shore-of-khuvsgul-lake

Khuvsgul Lake Journeys

the twin lake of Baikal in Mongolia

Introduction

This journey will take us to the magnificent Lake Khuvsgul, the “Blue Pearl” as it is respectfully called by locals. It is the twin lake of nearby Baikal Lake. Khuvsgul freezes over rapidly and displays an amazing crystal clear ice. The lake is situated at an altitude of 1,645 meters above sea level at the foot of the eastern Sayan Mountains, close to the Russian border. It is one of the most ancient lakes in the world, being more than 2 million years old. It is the second-most voluminous fresh water lake in Asia, holding almost 70% of Mongolia’s fresh water. The lake and its pristine surroundings are protected in the Lake Khuvsgul National Park, home to a variety of wildlife such as ibex, argali, elk, wolf, musk deer, brown bear, moose, and sable. On the way north we will visit Amarbayasgalant Monastery, one of the largest and most important centers of Buddhism in Mongolia, located in a broad, secluded valley far off the main road. It is one of only few monasteries to have largely survived the purges of the 1930s. The journey will lead us through the city of Erdenet, built within just a few years to support one of the largest copper mines in the world and onwards through beautiful northern Mongolian landscapes with densely forested hills, wide open valleys and across mighty streams.

Trip Details
Khuvsgul Lake Journeys
6 Days / 5 Nights

Trip Details

Itinerary

Day 1: To Erdenet

Pick up from your hotel, and transfer to the railway station of Ulaanbaatar. We leave Ulaanbaatar in northerly direction for the city of Erdenet on the domestic night train which leaves at 20h35. Erdenet, situated in a valley between the Selenge and Orkhon rivers, is the third-largest city of Mongolia although it was founded as late as 1974. It owes it’s existence to the discovery of large deposits of copper in the 1950s. Just outside of the city operates the fourth largest copper mine in the world.

Day 2: Amarbayasgalant Monastery

At 07h40 in the morning our train will arrive in Erdenet. After breakfast we will depart to Amarbayasgalant Monastery located 110 km to the northeast. The monastery was established and funded by order of Manchu Yongzheng Emperor (and completed under his successor the Qianlong Emperor) to serve as a final resting place for Öndör Gegeen Zanabazar (1635–1723), the first religious leader of Lamaism in Mongolia. It is unique among Mongolian monasteries in that it was erected in a consistent style between 1727 and 1736. After visiting the monastery we will head back to near Erdenet for our private tentipi tent camp

Day 3: To Mörön

Today we will use the day to drive to Mörön, the small provincial capital of Mongolia’s northernmost province Khuvsgul. We will cross Bulgan province where we will visit the Uran Togoo Mountain, an extinct volcano named for its characteristic crater, well visible in the forested landscape. Hike around the area. On arrival to Mörön we may visit the so-called Black Market, one of the largest of its kind in northern Mongolia and enjoy the bustle of commerce.

Day 4 To Lake Khuvsgul

From Mörön to Hatgal is one and half hour drive, once arriving in Hatgal, one of  24 soums and located at the edge of southern west of the lake, you will travel  by boat to Ardavkhar, a simple ger camp on the peninsula, located in a secluded bay all on its own. The shoreline is spectacular, with forested hills coming straight down into the blue lake. We will hike up the hills and over to Somo Had, a sacred point of rocks jutting into the lake. It is worshipped by the locals, who travel there and leave hadag and others offerings.

Day 5 Lake Khuvsgul

We will hike through the forest for a few kilometers until we reach the steppe, where several nomadic families live and where we will have a visit with these hardy people.

Day 6 To Ulaanbaatar via Mörön

A.m. Supported by a yak cart, which will carry our luggage to the departure point, we will travel by boat for about half an hour to Hatgal village. Transfer from there to Mörön airport. If you fly to Ulaanbaatar transfer on arrival to your hotel in town.

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Gallery
Prices

DATES ex Ulaanbaatar

Approx mid June to mid September daily.

PRICE ex Ulaanbaatar:

USD 1750 per person (min 2 members)

Single supplement:

USD 160 per person

Includes: 

Local guide, all meals outside Ulaanbaatar, all overnights in Tentipi tents and night train cabins. All surface transport and entrance fees.

Excludes: 

Imported drinks. Transfer and hotel nights in Ulaanbaatar are excluded, and may be added to our services.

The luggage allowance (incl. hand luggage) is 15 kg, and above that overweight must be paid.

Practicalities

Nomadic Journeys Style

Hazard:

You need to plan to stay in Mongolia for at least 2 nights after the return from Lake Khuvsgul. Flights from the interior may cancel due to poor visibility (rain/fog), which is why there needs to be some “rubber” time built in to the itinerary to ensure that you arrive back in time for your international flight departure. The approach to Ardavhar peninsula is by boat directly onto the beach. While for most wind directions the shore is not that exposed, the lake can be choppy and windy to the extent we will use alternative arrangements to get there.

Transport:

This journey is supported by a jeep or minibus on the jeep road tracks. Overnight to/from Erdenet on a domestic train.

Staff:

A Mongolian English-speaking local guide will accompany you at all times.

Meals:

The meals will be provided in the ger camp, or as picnics.

Overnights:

Overnights are in double occupancy night train cabins, and double occupancy Tentipi tents. WC and showers are in tents.

Reversal of Trip:

Trips may be done in the reverse for operational reasons.

What our guests say

We appreciate your feedback about our tours and services.

  • Living the mongolian way

    Great place to stay and experience mongolian way of living, no tv, wifi, phone. Just nature and great company of the staff and livestocks of mongolia. The toilet is a hole in the ground covered by a shed. It is clean, but can be smelly to those used to city life. Not hot water supply, inform the staff that you like to hot water half an hour earlier so that they can boil it over camel dung 🙂

    5 star rating

    joycel
  • Living the mongolian way

    Great place to stay and experience mongolian way of living, no tv, wifi, phone. Just nature and great company of the staff and livestocks of mongolia. The toilet is a hole in the ground covered by a shed. It is clean, but can be smelly to those used to city life. Not hot water supply, inform the staff that you like to hot water half an hour earlier so that they can boil it over camel dung 🙂

    5 star rating

    joycel

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