Wondering where to go and what to do during the long weekend at Tsagaan Sar, which is just in a couple of weeks? We are suggesting you to visit the beautiful Lake Huvsgul – so called the Blue Pearl of Mongolia. And I know it’d sound quite extreme - it must be freezing cold out there!
The pristine Lake Huvsgul is 2 million years old, and makes up to 1% of the world’s total fresh water reserve. The Huvsgul stretches for 136km in the Alpine-like mountains, and the deepest point of the lake is 262m. The Huvsgul region itself is a home to the Tsaatan – Reindeer Herders of Mongolia, an ethnic group famous for their distinctive lifestyle based on keeping reindeers in the depth of the Taiga.
The Huvsgul Lake is a part of the Huvsgul National Park. A small village Hatgal is at its southern shore and is a popular destination among locals and visitors both in summer and winter. Located at an altitude of 1645 meters above sea level the Lake freezes over from December until April or May revealing fantastic lacy ice patterns. Some visitors even imagine that the Lake ice doesn’t melt away even in summer!
You can enjoy spending a few days at the beautiful Lake and do some winter hiking in the woods, reindeer sledding, ice fishing, and horse or yak riding, besides visiting a nomad family or two to see their lifestyle in the winter.
Moreover, when the large lake is frozen solid up to 3 meters deep, that Huvsgul’s most famous event takes place – the Ice Festival! At the beginning of March the two day Ice Festival is held on the frozen lake with locals and visitors partaking. Events include a gala opening ceremony on the ice, a folklore concert, shaman ceremony and many competitions featuring ice sculptures, ice ankle bone shooting, plus horse, reindeer sled, jeep and ice skating races. Winter sports include downhill and cross-country skiing, ice-fishing contests, a 100 kilometre ice-skating marathon and a 12 kilometer horse sleigh race. Join us for Mongolian winter tour!
Article by Zola. Cooperated with www.gogo.mn