What to do in Khovd, western Mongolia

Written by Donovan May 16, 2015 Category: Asia, Mongolia Tags: Comments
Khovd may be a small city, but it is the largest of five aimags, making it the provincial capital. It is a tranquil town surrounded by nature, with mountains looming in the distance. Actually the whole of Mongolia is full of nature that is within easy reach from the cities.
For some cultural capital, visit the bazaar in Khovd which sells an array of things such as crockery to metallic equipment. It is also the place to buy bus tickets to other parts of the province and also to book a seat in a shared car to the border. There is a large square in the centre of town with people skating or you can just sit down to enjoy the sunshine.
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For the nature lover, you can go to the nearby mountain for a short trek. There is a stairway built on the side of the mountain to climb to the top for a lookout point of the city. We went there when the weather was overcast so we could not see much. Another scenic spot is the local river where families would gather for a picnic and children can run about freely, playing ball or taking a dip in the river. We followed ad group of local children who took off their shoes to wade across the stream and the waters were really cold. We just lazed on the grass patch with cows grazing nearby. It was a relaxing afternoon with a nice view of the mountains.
We tried to spend more time with our host family and witnessed how they slaughtered a sheep. It was a clean process with little bloodspill and they told us the way Muslims carried out the process was messier was they slit the throat and let the blood drip all over. For the Mongols, they slit the stomach of the sheep and pulled the artery, so the sheep would die and after that they separated the wool from the meat. The family sells sheep wool to be made into cashmere for a living and as for the meat, it is consumed and made into soup. They ate almost everything including the innards which I didn’t like so much.   
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For a day trip out of Khovd, one can rent a jeep to the Kharus Nuur National park for some hiking which is located 40km away from the city.
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with our extended host family who bid us farewell as we continued towards China

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