Beautiful views and vast land is the order of the day at Khovsgol Nuur (the Khuvsgul Lake) in Mongolia, which is known to be the largest freshwater lake in Mongolia. Khuvsgul Lake is located in the northwest of Mongolia, near the Russian border.
Known as the “blue pearl of Mongolia,” Khuvsgul Lake a sight to behold and a must-see for its beautiful scenery, pine forests, and the flower-filled meadows.
And don’t let me get started with the mountains! Mongolia is the perfect place to go hiking or horseback riding, and I, fortunately, got to experience both! I do want to go on about the memorable trek, but let’s focus more on the horseback riding vacation I had in this pristine and peaceful area.
Horseback Riding in Mongolia at Khuvsgul Lake
When thinking about Mongolia, the first thing that comes to mind would be Genghis Khan or the deserts, not Khuvsgul Lake! But Mongolia is way more than the Gobi and sand dunes. It’s a country filled with never-ending silence and endless landscapes, that continue to grow without end and with no obstacles whatsoever.
I was keen on the horseback riding in the beautiful Khuvsgul upon knowing its beauty and scenic landscapes, but I wasn’t prepared for the long and memorable trip filled with lessons! The trip opens your eyes as you visit various nomadic families around the province.
Without any continuous light, running water, a division of rooms, or even a props bathroom, you are introduced to “living in the rough.” But even when areas are clustered with tents rather than the usual buildings and homes back in the city, the locals are ready for guests with a thermos of hot water or airbag (fermented milk).
And of course, there is the horseback riding vacation in the cold weather and breathtaking views!
Thanks to GER to GER, I booked a custom-made tour with my friends, a one-week trip with nomadic families and a lot of lessons to learn. Let me tell you, it isn’t just about riding the horse and going around the scenic backdrops.
I’ll start off with the first day. With our travel backpacks for women packed, we first had a long and scenic bus ride going to Murun, filled majestic mountains and rivers the whole ride. It was a non-stop route that will take 11 hours, so I urge you to prepare yourselves and pack a headrest or some music to stay entertained.
We then had a bit of time to stretch and have breakfast before leaving for our first nomadic family in Khuvsgul Province, where we had lunch and learned all about embroidery and the ethnic group’s traditional songs. As the day wore on, we then had another sumptuous meal and slept in the tent, with the stars shining brightly as we dozed.
The next day, we then learned about how the nomadic families in the area lived. After learning about making bread and some of the local culinary practices, the next exciting part came: The horseback riding vacation I’ve been waiting for!
It was the family’s men who taught our group how to ride two horses at the same time while picking something up off the ground and from the horse’s back! It was amazing watching them doing these feats effortlessly, and I was honestly a bit nervous about it.
Fortunately, I didn’t need to and just enjoyed the ride around the green lands, appreciating the fine views of the mountains around me. From early afternoon until evening, we were taught how to ride horses and enjoying the view. I didn’t want to go down my horse and stayed even longer than expected!
The night ended with a hot nomadic dinner and tea, then a lovely sleep in the tent and under the stars.
Our Horseback Riding Vacation To Khuvsgul Lake
On day four, we had our breakfast and began the ten-kilometer overland trip via ox cart to our next nomadic family. We arrived during lunchtime and went straight to the horses after a filling meal. I was surprised that we didn’t go straight to riding the horses, but learning about how to train them!
We were taught how to catch horses by rope and training these untamed horses for everyday care. It was NOT easy at first! As someone who’s used to riding trained horses (or simply just riding one), it was quite difficult trying to tame one. But that didn’t stop me from trying. I was able to befriend one majestic horse who maybe took pity on my numerous attempts, and it was smooth sailing after a short trip around the area.
Now, for the fifth day, which is my most awaited one! We began our ultimate horseback riding trip to Khuvsgul lake. The 25-kilometer trip was definitely a memorable one- You will be going through larch forests, majestic mountains, taking in everything at once with breaths of fresh air.
Once you have reached the Lake, I’m sure your jaw will drop as wide as mine did. It’s the deepest lake in Central Asia, but its depth wasn’t the only thing that astounded me. It was its clarity! I have never seen a body of water so crystal clear.
The lake showed a reflection of the evergreen forests and majestic mountains. It was a pleasure trekking all around the amazing shoreline, as well as having a picnic lunch surrounded by all the picturesque landscapes. Because of my excitement, I continued to go around the shoreline and took a lot of time, going past the schedule!
Fortunately, we still made it home before the sunset and had an amazing dinner before leaving Khuvsgul Lake and back to civilization.
Wrapping It Up
You do not only go to Lake Khuvsgul for riding the horses. You go here for the life lessons and spiritual escape from reality. The wild horses were a sight to see and tame, with the picturesque landscapes making it seem like I was in a movie, but even better because you truly got to learn about the nomadic culture. It was heartbreaking to leave, but I know I will be back soon. After all, it’s one of the best camping activities for adults.
GER to GER
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Our trip costs a mere $205 for a whole week, though our group spends an extra $50 on our orientation and the bus to Murun, as well as another $200 for rural transport (divided into four people).
This is a guest post by Deann Rebello – founder at BearinForest.com, a Camping blog that shares everything about traveling and camping. I’m just a young lady who loves camping out and always eager to share my bonding experience to the world.