Khovd: An offbeat getaway in Mongolia

A perfect holiday destination for the lovers of serenity
/ New Delhi
Khovd: An offbeat getaway in Mongolia

Though not busy and bustling like Ulaanbaatar, Khovd offers scenic natural attractions perfect for nature lovers (Photo: Ariungoo Batzoirg/ Unsplash)

Situated in the far west of Mongolia, and sharing borders with China in the south, Khovd is a city where one can slow down and enjoy the grandeur of nature blended with cultural experiences.
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Located 1425 km from Ulaanbaatar, capital city of Mongolia, Khovd is the historic and charming capital city of the Khovd province. With colourful attractions such as the statues of Amarsanaa, a famous Zuungarian King and Galdan Boshigt, the ruler of Züüngar, the collective identity of several Oirat tribes that formed and maintained the last Nomadic Empire in Xinjiang in today’s China, at the main square, along with local museums and large markets, it is sure to keep visitors entertained during their visits.

Though not busy and bustling like Ulaanbaatar, Khovd is rich in historical and cultural sites, and creates for an ideal getaway for cultural enthusiasts. Khoid Tsenkher caves, located in Mankhan Soum at the foot of Chandmani mountain, is a must-see attraction here. These caves that were said to have been explored in 1967 by a joint Soviet-Mongolian archaeological expedition presents art drawn  in red paint on the walls and which dates back to the Stone Age period. Images of bulls, ibex, mouflons, gazelles, camels and more make for an interesting and captivating sight here.

If one is up to lean more on admiring the beauty of the city’s nature, perhaps the scenic and pristine Khukh Serkh waterfall is the ideal place.

Also ReadMongolia : horses, dunes and nomads.

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For adventure-seekers, mountaineering, trekking, fishing and hunting are some of the many popular options available here. Though there are plenty of accommodations in the city, perhaps the best that one should opt for when visiting Khovd is the Buyant Hotel, that has rooms available without reservations anytime, except during Mongolia’s traditional festival- Nadaam that usually falls in July.

A Mongolian ger (Photo: Bat Erende Ganzor/Unplash)

Those looking for a pocket friendly experience, but with a traditional Mongolian touch, can definitely opt for the Mongolian Ger camps, that offer a portable circular dwelling, much like a tent, similar to the ones used by nomadic tribes in Mongolia. To head towards the camp, walk towards the grassy flats of the Buyant Gol, that is a decent walk from town, and is run by Khovd Tour.

Many restaurants in Khovd serve traditional local fare but which is not necessarily geared towards foreign visitors. If one is tired and wants to opt for some western cuisines, then the restaurant down at the Buyant Hotel, offering English menus is considered to be the best in town.

There is also a wonderful supermarket in the city, for those who are keen and curious about the markets that the locals frequent. Abundant with fresh fruits, vegetables and imported foodstuffs, the huge ‘Nomin Supermarket’ makes for a perfect place for walkers to dwell and observe the shoppers. For those who prefer to shop in a much quieter environment, there are many other smaller shops lined around Khovd, that sell essentials like bread, vodka and candy.

Also Read11 new biosphere reserves recognised by UNESCO.


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