Our main destination was the Tsaatan community located in the East Taiga and their winter habitat in the taiga mountain range. We began our journey by sending our guests, a London couple on a night train from Ulaanbaatar to Erdenet city. Our team drove ahead and reached Erdenet city the night before to meet the guests in the early morning. Despite the hour, we were able to find a local coffee shop that was open and served hot drinks. After breakfast, we visited the Erdenet Mining Museum, a modern facility showcasing one of the top 10 copper mines in the world. From Erdenet, we headed to Murun city where we took a short tour of the local market and purchased horse meat for our journey ahead. The weather was clear and sunny with temperatures ranging from -20C to -30C. The scenery was breathtaking, with snow-covered fields, mountains, valleys, and passes, creating a winter wonderland.
The following day, we set out for Tsagaan-Nuur town, a journey that would take us through rugged off-road terrain. We watched the sunrise and marveled at the orange, red, and yellow hues that filled the sky. Along the way, we encountered yaks and a large herd of sheep and reached the Darkhad valley, surrounded by white-frosted larch forests. We had lunch in the town of Ulaan-Uul before continuing on to Tsagaan-Nuur, driving on the frozen lake for 10 km. At Tsagaan-Nuur, we were greeted by our local host family and treated to a delicious horse meat dinner.
The next days, we drove to the Tsaatan community located in the taiga mountain range. The Tsaatan people follow the reindeer habitats and still live in tepees, making their lifestyle unique and rich in culture. We spent several hours with the community, had lunch, and returned to Ulaan-Uul for the night.
Our next stop was Khatgal town, located on the shore of Khuvsgul lake. On the way, we visited a nomad family and later drove to the main part of the lake to see its beauty. We celebrated New Year's Eve at our camp and spent the next two days driving back to Ulaanbaatar city. Although our guests had wanted to take the night train back to Ulaanbaatar, all seats were fully booked, so we drove the entire way.
Winter tours to this region are rare and that is what makes this journey so special. The breathtaking scenery and rich cultural experiences make it a trip of a lifetime. Don't miss out on the opportunity to explore the beauty and wonder of Mongolia in the winter.
Travel resoprt was written by Gur who was a tour guide on this trip
His FB account: https://www.facebook.com/jigjie