Hatgal Things to Do
When I arrived at MS-Guesthouse I was looking for information to visit the reindeer people. Unfortunately I couldn't visit this people as they had moved to another place far away and, as I was travelling alone, should not be possible to go to the new place by jeep. It was necessary more time and to spend a lot of money.
Then, I was advisable to take a horse ride for 1 or two days to the Western shore of the lake. I accepted the offer for two days.
We (I and my guide) left Hatgal around 11:00 and a couple of hours later, we were tasting Mongolian and milk yak vodka at the family place at Gurt where we would spend the night. The family was very busy for a wedding the following day.
Just to taste the vodkas, I felt drank. My Ger, at this time, was different. It was made of wood and inside it the family was preparing a special dish for the wedding.
Besides the fare I payed to the guide, I payed for accommodation directly to the family and it was supposed to include the food, but only breakfast was served, by the way, very good. MS-Guesthouse had idea both breakfast and dinner were included. There was no dinner, but vodka and apetizers. It was very interesting for those who like to drink vodka, not for me. Anyway, I appreciated a lot the warm reception by the family.
Dalai, tel. 88374660
Is spite of not speaking a good English, Dalai can understand the basics of the language. He is a good person and guide.
Hatgal lies at the base of beautiful Lake Hovsgol, one of Mongolia's premier tourist attractions. Hostals and guest houses in the area, including Garage 24 where I stayed, can arrange hiking expeditions, kayak trips, and horseback trips. With limited time and aging knees, I opted for a day hike into the hills near the lake and along the lakeside on the West side of the lake. The views here are really spectacular, and the attached pictures speak for themselves. I hired a driver for the trip and ate a good meal at one of the ger camps along the lake, all for a cost of less than $50.Related to:
- National/State Park
- Hiking and Walking
Not far before the main road along the lake peters out, an ancient wooden pier serves as a dock point for several rusting hulks. Only one, the aging lake tour boat Sukhbaatar, is currently in operation. Twice daily it makes a trip of about 1.5 hours out onto Lake and back. There is Mongolian music, Mongolian snacks, running commentary from a Mongolian woman attired in a military style uniform, and a fairly high rate of vodka and beer consumption. The engine clatters and black smoke pours from the stack, but the thing runs, and it was quite a trip--in several senses of the word. I was the only non-Mongolian on board, and most of the guests seemed to have arrived in tour groups by bus, many from the capital. Several found me such a novelty that they wanted me to pose with them for pictures. It was fun to do, but very hard to arrange. The departure times posted on the big sign on the highway are incorrect, and only one hard-to-find person speaks a few words of English. But I persisted, and it worked out. Despite some rain, I was rewarded with some nice views and an experience I'll long remember.Related to:
- National/State Park
- Adventure Travel
This was the first restaurant I have visited in Hatgal for lunch. I have found here a good ambience and service. The food was traditional and tasty.
I wanted to try other restaurants, but I have found all of them closed.
When we arrived at Gurt, an amazing place near the lake, we were warmly received by a local family. They were very busy beacuse of a wedding the following day. In my wooden ger, they were making baked sheep.
Many apetizers were given to us, including sweets, cheese, hard yogurt along with milk tea. They also offerd us yak and Hövsgöl vodka. I was expecting a dinner, but this was the dinner.
I had some cookies, just in case do not have the dinner but, as I like the family, I offered them to the children.
This guesthouse, which accommodation is in gers, is open all year round. They have some facilities such as free wireless internet and tea / coffee.
The dinning room is a spacious, clean and comfortable, where the meals are served, and we can meet other travelers.
If you opt for accommodation with breakfast, you have an European breakfast. They have a menu with some Mongolian dishes, such as buuz and huushuur. Some dishes, claimed to be Mongolians, aren't. They are made for tourists. The dish I ordered was writen in English and asked for the Mongolian name. The kind lady had no answer for me. I liked very much my dish and I must say the lady is a great coocker, but I haven't find it genuine Mongolian food.
There is a daily minibus from Hatgal to Mörön. It departs in the morning, between 10:00 and 12:00, and the trip takes 1h 30min.
It is hard to find the bus station, as this bus travels from one point to another one to pick up the passengers.
10.000 TG (Octobre 2014)