Lake Khuvsgul Region is one of Mongolia’s geographic gems and a highlight travel destination that should be visited. Its picturesque landscapes is dominated by sapphire freshwater lake, emerald forests and remarkably beautiful Mountain scenery. Ger to Ger is offering you an unique opportunity to explore nomadic lifestyle and participate within daily routines of nomadic families within the region. You will spend your days traveling by horseback, ox carts as well as some light trekking between nomadic camps. In your free time you will have plenty of time to prepare traditional foods and drinks, assist families in herding and milking of their animals. All these wonderful travel experiences will take place in a region with one of the most pristine ecological backdrops.
Difficulty of trip: Moderate
Community Fee: $145 USD for 6 days/ 5 nights
Community Fee: $275 USD for 9 days/ 8 nights
Additional In-Country Travel Expenses
Rural Bus to Murun (1 way): $22 USD
Optional (domestic flight): $473 USD
Rural transport (approx.): $227 USD
Note: Jeep cost can be divided among number travelers (1-4 persons)
Booking & travel orientation w/ handbook: $25 USD
Day One and Two - Scenic bus ride to Khuvsgul Province (L, D): Prepare yourself for a long scenic bus ride across a diverse geographic landscapes i.e. steppes, mountains, rivers, etc. The local bus (much like USA’s Greyhound Bus Line) will depart at 2pm from Ulaanbaatar to Murun – the destination town. In order to make good time, the journey will be non-stop (2 drivers) so do bring a headrest (will be bumpy in some locations) and something to cover your eyes as you will need the rest along the way. You you will arrive in Murun the next afternoon around 12pm. Upon your arrival, our local facilitator Mrs. Nyamdavaa will greet you at the bus station and you will have a chance to refresh and have lunch before departing on the route. Soon after, you will depart to the first nomadic family by Russian jeep for 130 kilometers. Upon arrival, Mr. Enkhbayar and his family will prepare and serve you a nomadic dinner and hot tea before you retire for the evening to your tent. Keep in mind that stargazing in Khuvsgul region is brilliant – depending on the weather, you may just want to go out and enjoy this opportunity.
Day Three - Experience both nomadic & reindeer herders’ daily lifestyles (B, L, D: After breakfast, you will have a chance to learn how to make homemade bread using an iron pot inside a wood-burning stove with assistance from the hostess who will teach you a little about the local culinary practices. Then you will start your round trip journey (10 kilometers) to Shar Tsaram where you will have an opportunity to meet a Reindeer family. You will enjoy in the breath taking landscapes of Khuvsgul Province which is already renown both domestically and internationally for its pristine natural beauty. Lake Khuvsgul is recorded as the deepest lake in Central Asia with a maximum depth reaching 262 meters. Khuvsgul lake is crystal clear and the reflections of larch forests and majestic Mountains are amazing. You will greatly enjoy trekking along the beautiful shoreline and a picnic lunch surrounded by picturesque landscapes. In the evening time, you will return to the host family for a hot nomadic dinner and tea to be followed by a deep and relaxing sleep in your tent.
Day Four - Traveling by ox cart to Santiin Ovoo: After your breakfast, you will make homemade bread by yourself and impress the family by your skill. Afterwards, you will start your journey by ox cart to “Santiin Ovoo”. On the way, you will be served a picnic lunch. In the late afternoon, you will return to the nomad family and enjoy a homely dinner with the family.
Day Five - Horseback journey to next nomadic family: After breakfast, you will start a 15 kilometer journey by horseback and/or horse carts to the next nomad family. As you make your way to Mr. Purevdalai’s family you will pass “Sagsag” hill and cross “Alag tsar” river. Upon arrival at Mr. Purevdalai’s family, you will be served a lunch and traditional milk tea. This is a great opportunity for you to pull our your camera and take shots of the picturesque landscapes and scenery.
Day Six - Experience the nomadic daily routine: Today you will have a great opportunity to spend quality time with the nomadic family that includes assisting with livestock herding, making nomadic dairy products, collecting water by ox cart as well as collecting fallen timber with assistant from the herder family that is used for cooking. In the evening time you can enjoy the freshly made yogurt, have an enjoyable dinner followed by a fun evening of learning how to play a Mongolian game called “Khorol” as well as trying your ability at some other anklebone games with the family before retiring for the night.
Day Seven - Trekking along the Lake Khuvsgul: Today after breakfast you will have a wonderful opportunity to pull out the camera during your 10 kilometer roundtrip trek along Lake Khuvsgul with your nomad guide before returning in the evening for dinner with the family and overnighting in your tent next to the family.
Day Eight and Nine - Depart back to Ulaanbaatar (B, L): Shortly after your morning breakfast with family, the rural driver will arrive and take you to Murun (125 kilometers) by Russian jeep or minivan. Before the 2pm Ulaanbaatar bus, you will have chance to have a lunch at the local guesthouse.
Visiting nomadic families
All nomadic breakfast, lunch and dinner which are stated on itinerary
Herder guide service on route
Horse riding according to itinerary
Traveling by ox cart according to itinerary
Pack animals on route
Cultural activities (making yogurt, playing ankle bone game etc)
Boiled water on route
Two ways bus tickets reservation between UB and Murun
Local jeep arrangement by facilitator
Hot shower service in Murun town
Camping equipments /sleeping bag, mattress and tent/
Transportation costs which stated in additional expenses
Orientation lesson fee
National park fee
Mongolian Cultural Travel Tips & Information
Horseback Riding in Mongolia
Mongolia's Gobi Desert Camels
Mongolians and horses have historically co-exist since the early times and It’s impossible to imagine Mongolians without horses. There are many horse related folk legends, stories about horses, epic literature and songs written about horses. Mongolians prohibit the cursing of horses, beating horses and whipping of horses on their heads and chests. Mongolia’s horse culture according to their traditions teaches to show to respect to the horse during its life and honorifically place the horse’s head on an Ovoo or other sacred place to show their respect to the nobility of their horse’s life. The head of a horse is often decorated with white stones or horse dung. Heads of especially fast racing horses are usually wrapped in a blue scarf. The Mongolian traditional horse head fiddle further glorifies the station of the horse by its artistic design and traditional sounds. The culture of the Mongolian horse even spreads to embroidery, handicraft, wooden carving, metal and silver crafts – Mongolia’s respect of the horse can be found everywhere throughout the country.
The world’s rare two-humped Mongolian Bactrian Camel is considered to be the tolerant and noble animal among five animals (horse, cow, sheep, goat and camel) and is sand colored herbivores mainly found in the Gobi Desert region of Mongolia. Mongolia leads the number of Bactrian camels in the world and Mongolian camels were domesticated in olden days and are traditionally used as nomadic transport. When Mongolian camels are used for nomadic transportation their noses are pegged and they are outfitted with a leading rein, halter, saddle, saddle cloth and stairs. Mongolian camels weight is between 400-800kg and camel meat is low in fat and lean. Mongolian camel milk is a staple food for Gobi Desert nomads and is more rich in fat and protein than cow’s milk. A female camel produces about 3 to 4 liters of milk a day; camel milk can readily be made into airag (fermented beverage), hoormog (yogurt diluted with milk) and dried curds. Mongolian camel wool is produced as a natural insulation against the cold and easily sheds in the heat. Mongolian camel wool has unique characteristics of silky softness and strength.
Riding Mongolian Camels
Mongolian nomads say that it’s much closer to the sun from the top of the tallest animal of desert - so while you are riding a Mongolian camel you will always have a panoramic view of the Gobi Desert. Generally, Mongolia’s camel guides are Mongolian nomads that are born and live in the Gobi Desert. Mongolians often start to ride camels at a very early age and have plenty of experience to share with you about how to saddle, groom and command to lay down a camel to mount and dismount. During your camel trek, you can help the Mongolian nomad by looking after your camel; learn how to groom it, saddle and unsaddle it as well as bring water and feed it. Kind attention between the camel and the rider always contributes towards establishing a close. Almost any traveler can ride a camel (in reasonable physical condition) and learn how to control it quickly – though its highly recommended to review the camel riding tips that can be found in the Ger to Ger Travelers’ Handbook. Its good to apply your knowledge and practice on a camel with a Mongolian nomad around their Ger (traditional dwelling) before starting a long trek. A camel trek could cover between 5 to 25kms a day between nomadic families or even for a short roundtrip for sightseeing.