Horse Riding, Yak Milking & Kayaking at Lake Khuvsgol

After two weeks volunteering on the Ranch, myself and a fellow rancher took ourselves off on the 10hr bus from Darhan to Möron. (The bus goes from the station in Darhan, costs around £10 (30,500T) and leaves when full – sometime after 3pm). We arrived at 3 in the morning and checked into 50*100* hotel for convenience (55,000T/£20 per night). Delighted to have hot showers, a nice clean bed and wifi, we stayed for 3 nights (2 more than planned.)

There’s not an awful lot to do in Möron, the ‘black market’ is worth a look. You won’t find any drugs or human organs on this black market. In fact you’ll be stretched to find anything black, it’s the most colourful market I’ve ever been to! Lots of stalls work out of their own colourful shipping container. The market is huge – you can find a vast amount of miscellaneous things here as well as clothes, luggage, furniture, utensil etc.

As we were struggling with the language barrier in the hotel, and couldn’t find any info online as to the location/timetables of the buses to Khüvsgol, we paid a visit to the tourist information centre, who also couldn’t speak a word of English, but kindly put us on the phone to somebody who could.

Saraa, who had her own (cheap – 15,000T/£5 a night including breakfast) guesthouse in Möron managed to sort not only our transport to Khövsgol (15,000T/£5 each)but also a tour to see the Tsaatan reindeer herders in the far north (£200/$250 for 7 days, transport & horse guide). She met us at our hotel to talk over it and I sent a suitcase full of stuff I didn’t need for the time being back with her to collect after I’d done my reindeer tour. A driver picked us up a few hours later and drove us the 1.5hrsto Khatgal.

We naively packed bikinis and summer dresses thinking we would be splashing about in the lake and tanning our pasty bodies on the bank.

It. Was. Freezing.
We had wanted to stay in a ger by the lake (£5/night per person) but got dropped off at G24 hostel, and like moths to the flame, we barely left the toasty warmth of the fireplace once the sun went down. G24 has lovely wooden dorms, a fire in each room, a large chill area, good wifi, good food and REAL COFFEE!! We paid 20,000T per night (£7).

Through the guesthouse, we organised a guided horse ride which was amazing! It took us through the forest, alongside the lake and to the guides home, where we were treated to yak meat noodle soup, yak milk tea, yoghurt & curd. We also tried our hands at milking a yak or two! We paid 40,000T/£13 each for 4-5hr guided tour. The price was 20,000T each plus 40,000T for the guide, so this would work out cheaper for a bigger group.

The only instruction we were told by our guide was that shouting ‘CHA!’ will make things a lot more exciting. (Cha! means Go!)

 

As Khüvsgol is famous for its lake. An impressive body holding 2% of the worlds fresh water, it would be a pity not to partake in some kind of activity on/in it. We opted for a leisurely kayak ride – something we could enjoy within the comfort of our 4 layers of clothing! We paid 20,000T (£6.50) each for 2 hours (cheaper if you share a double kayak).

On our last day, we took a little detour which turned into an unexpected mini hike (good work from Kelsey in flip flops!) and got to see a beautiful sunset over Khatgal town and Khüvsgol lake.

Back at hostel G24 we packed up, warmed up and watched the moon rise in all its iridescent glory, shared a beer and prepared to part ways the following day.

Khüvsgol is definitely a beautiful place to relax, explore on horseback and enjoy the god’s wonderful creation. It would also be good for families with young children in the warmer months.

 

*We visited mid August 2017.

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