Lake Hovsgol National Park
Lake Hovsgol National Park
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5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles67 reviews
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KodoDrummer
Buenos Aires, Argentina70,599 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2020
Horseback riding here gives one the taste of freedom. One can ride for kilometres and kilometres without seeing any others. A wilderness getaway, but certainly on the chilly side.
Written 2 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MarlowesMom
San Francisco30 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2014 • Solo
If you want hard-core, unspoiled nature and warm, humorous, hospitable people, go to the stunning Hovsgol National Park in Northern Mongolia.

I went on the "Spirit of the Reindeer Herders" horse riding tour of the park with the Mongolian outfitter Nomads, booked through the U.S. agency Equitours. We traveled via vehicle to our horseman's ger near the village ("soum") of Ulaan Uul, then rode horses out to the west taiga to camp two nights with a Tsaatan reindeer herding family. (The taiga is where you should visit the reindeer herders. The sensitive--but so gentle and curious--reindeer suffer when Tsaatan families bring them down to the crowded tourist camps along Lake Hovsgol in the hope of selling things to tourists because the plants they eat at higher altitudes are not available around the lake.) We returned from the taiga via horseback to the horseman's ger where we camped two nights, then rode the horses for four more days to and along the west side of the pristine and lovely Lake Hovsgol. The riding was followed by two restful days at a ger camp on the relatively quiet east side of the Lake. A ger camp, as opposed to an individual family's ger, is like an old-time lakeside resort with cabins, only instead of a cabin, you sleep in a ger. The ger camps have bath houses with flush toilets and hot showers. We reached the ger camp via vehicle after the horses went home. The trip was one of the top experiences of a lifetime of traveling.

The horses were easy to ride, could seemingly go forever, and never put a foot wrong no matter how rugged the terrain--and up to six hours a day of saddle time over steep rocky mountain trails, rushing streams and muddy swamps got pretty rugged. The bilingual guide-interpreter made wide-ranging conversation with Mongolian nomads possible. The cook conjured delicious meals with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables no matter how remote our location and although I was warned I would get sick, I never did. The staff were unfailingly friendly and inspired confidence. I never doubted their commitment to my safety, enjoyment and, to the extent resources allowed it, comfort.

There were some slight deviations from the announced itinerary and occasional glitches (one driver showed up over three hours after the appointed meeting time). But it's Mongolia, a developing country with a young tourist industry and infrastructure that is very limited by western standards, not Disneyland force-feeding you through mechanized amusement park rides.

This trip is not for people who require high thread-count-sheets, gourmet dining, Wi-Fi access or regular bathing. It's not ideal for vegetarians or others with dietary restrictions. Part of the fun is trying everything. The meat and dairy are the most fresh, organic, grass-fed, free-range that you'll ever find in your life. And the nomads, while not exactly offended, are a little sad when visitors refuse their hospitality by refusing the food and drink they offer. We had long hours in the saddle, covering around 300 km at a fast pace over seven days of riding. We slept in tents, on pads on the ground, for 11 consecutive nights with no running water, no showers, and no electricity. Although the days got warm, every morning when I woke up, my tent was covered with a thin layer of ice--in August. Vehicle travel was more uncomfortable than horse travel. The roads are so bad that I felt like I was being thrown around inside an empty paint can on the mixing machine at the hardware store in the no-safety-features Russian trucks--which are nonetheless ideal for the terrain because they are high off the ground and easy for the drivers to fix if a part falls off plunging into one of the hundreds of huge potholes. No matter how sore or tiered or uncomfortable I was, I never stopped being in awe of the varied and beautiful terrain and the kindness of the Mongolian people.

If you are not an experienced horse rider, I recommend at least several months of regular riding lessons, with the opportunity to ride on hilly trails, before you go. This will develop your confidence in handling horses and your saddle muscles. I also recommend that you use a reputable tour company that provides a guide who speaks your language well in addition to Mongolian. If you want to hire a guide/interpreter independently, actually talk to them yourself before you hire. Mongolian is a very difficult language to pronounce and understand. Trying to communicate by pointing at words and phrases in a guidebook will exhaust you and the nomads with whom you are trying to converse. And when things deviate from the plan, roll with it and make the best of it, as your Mongolian hosts will do. Rural Mongolia is a place where you can find tranquility and contentment at a level rarely found in the 21st century.
Written 20 August 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dan K
Berlin, Germany14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2014 • Solo
Hello I have been Mongolia 2 times I have been in Gobi and at lake Khovsgol.Also in April and May.I mostly has loved Khovsgol lake in the north.If you will go Mongolia don't forget visit that amazing lake and nomads in the area!I stayed there with the family at Mongolian farm for 20 days..It was amazing...Also I had chance to ride horse up to the Lake...Anyway if you decide to go there you can mail me on power_eco@ymail.com I can give some informations,contacts and days how was there....Mongolia is amazing country...Land of nomad home of asia...I did it in very low cost..

okay all the best

have a nice time in Mongolia
Written 1 January 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Edd
Island of Malta, Malta85 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2018 • Couples
We stopped there to relax after 2 weeks on the road. Weather was OK and we relaxed with 2 great horse riding treks (ballads in the mountains are astonishing (count 5 to 8 hours horse ride). I also tried the wreck dive which was amazing. The dive center is good, very well equipped and Marian, the dive instructor and manager very professional. I highly recommend the dive. Great experience.
Written 19 August 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kathy M
Hornbrook, CA202 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2016 • Friends
We went to Lake Huvsgol on our trip to central Mongolia, and it is a jewel, a must for any visit along with Duut hot springs, small Nadaams in Tsetserleg and Hovsgol sum, and Karkhorum.
Last year I visited in late May, the ice was still across the lake, and the wild flowers just coming out. This year we visited after the ice melted, and though rainy the views were absolutely stunning, and wild flowers created large carpets of color.
Written 22 June 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hosting and Travelling
Mendoza, Argentina42 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2014 • Solo
It has been a while since I visited this region alone on my travel. But it seems it hasn't changed too much, seeing that only 10 reviewers gave some feedbacks, similar than what I experienced. When I was there, wifi didn't exist, tripadvisor neither. As I went there late November, I was the only stranger in Hatgal, so it seemed. But I was well hosted by the owner of MS Guesthouse who organised the 2-weeks-tour by horse in and around the nationalpark. My 70-years old guide was kind and respectful. We went through beautiful yellow Larch forest, mountains, and the Taiga, had snowstorms and sunshine. Ate together bread, nutella and goat meat, drank tea with goat fat, were hosted by the nomads on our way, slept in our cosy tent with the wood owen and spoke no words together. I had my most impressive experience in nature - and was surprised by not seeing one wild animal in this huge land - they must have heard the horses from far away. A magical place on Earth!
Written 5 March 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

zeevrozen
Kiryat Tivon, Israel49 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2017 • Friends
I'd heard there was now a dive shop on Lake Khövsgöl, saw the sign as we drove by the resort, walked up to a ger and asked if there was any possibility of me going diving with them. Less than an hour later I was on their boat speeding out to the Sükhbaatar. Super nice operation. All high-end gear in very good condition - White drysuits, Bare undergarmets, Apex regs, etc... Mask selection is limited, so bring your own if you can, though the Mares they had worked well on my hard-to-fit face. Also the only gloves they had were three-fingered mitts, though I was still able to make my camera work with them. Water temperature wasn't too bad - around 10°C (50°F) at depth and a bit warmer on the surface. We did a ~45-minute dive and made two laps around the wreck - would've liked a bit longer or two have done two dives but I think my divemaster was getting cold. Price was very reasonable considering the location. If you are accustomed to diving wrecks in the ocean or anything discovered pre-1987 in the Great Lakes you will be stunned at the amazing condition of this wreck. Please leave it that way!
Written 10 September 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bulbul Jamak Travel
Bayan-Olgii Province, Mongolia31 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2016
There are numerous caves around the lake, so specialists are interested in the area, though finding a cave worth exploring in the thick forests will require a guide, considerable time and a lot of luck. Visitors also come to fish, swim in the icy water, watch the ducks, seagulls and other bird life, hike or horseback ride along the shoreline, or just find a comfortable spot to stay and soak in the fresh air and natural beauty.
Written 25 October 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

VancouverOutside
Vancouver Island, Canada84 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2015 • Friends
This lake and its surrounding areas are simply stunning. I did a horse trek through the Khoridal Saridag Mountains and the next day kayaked back to our ger camp. This truly feels like one of the few accessible, hardly touched places on earth. The air is clean, the water in the lake is PRISTINE and there is a crazy abundance of ladybugs and butterflies fluttering about (which I would think is a good sign!). I recommend a trip here, a horse trek, and a kayak along the lake. It is just a stunning area to visit.
Written 11 May 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

namjilsuren
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2016 • Family
Khuvsgul Lake is located in the northwest of Mongolia near the border to Russia, at the foot of the eastern Sayan Mountains. It is 1,645 m above sea level, 136 km long and 262 m deep. It is the second-most voluminous freshwater lake in Asia, and holds almost 70% of Mongolia's fresh water and 0.4% of all the fresh water in the world. Its watershed is relatively small, and it only has small tributaries. It gets drained at the south end by the Egiin Gol, which connects to the Selenge and ultimately into Lake Baikal. In between, the water travels a distance of more than 1,000 km, and a height difference of 1,169 m, although the line-of-sight distance is only about 200 km. Its location in northern Mongolia helps form the southern border of the great Siberian taiga forest, of which the dominant tree is the Siberian Larch. The lake is surrounded by several mountain ranges. The highest mountain is the Burenkhaan / Munkh Saridag (3,492 m), which has its peak north of the lake exactly on the Russian-Mongolian border. The surface of the lake freezes over completely in winter. It's inhabited by nine species of fish including the Siberian grayling, sturgeon and lenok and the area is rich with various species of flora and fauna. And the area is home to argali sheep, ibex, bear, sable, moose and wolves. The region hosts three separate, unique peoples: Darkhad, Buriat and Tsaatan. Shamanism, rather than Buddhism, is the religion of choice in these parts.
Written 13 March 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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LAKE HOVSGOL NATIONAL PARK (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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