Where to See Reindeer Mongolia?

So many people when they come to Mongolia want to see horses, camels and even Mongolia’s amazing eagles. However many also want to see reindeer! Some tourists and Mongolians alike think they have to go far far out west to see reindeer, however, you don’t have to travel far to see them at all. If you want to see reindeer and you have a long weekend free you to will be able to see these incredible animals! Let me share with you the experience of finding the reindeer and give you a few tips.

The Trip:

Setting out from Ulaanbaatar, you will be heading the Khovsgol lake, which is very famous in Mongolia and a must-see attraction in summer and winter. Located almost 800kms from the capital, the small town of Hatgal is located directly on the lake. Considering the distance, you can get there in a day but you may want to stop off on the way in Erdenet or perhaps the city of Moron.

Just a fair warning though, the road from Ulaanbaatar to Erdenet is not exactly smooth. They have been constructing a new highway for 5 years now and the locals like to pull their hair out once driving the road. After Darkhan, another major city on the way to Erdenet the road is good though.


Once in Hatgal, depending on the time of year there are many things and places to see, and the nature itself is breathtaking. Like I already said, Hatgal is directly on the lake and you can even camp on the water’s edge, get up early and take a chilly dip! Fishing or even taking a boat ride is an option while there.

Khovsgol Lake is really breathtaking!
Finding Reindeer:

From Hatgal, you will head inland a little bit (about 35-40km). The road isn’t too difficult to transverse, even for the fan favourite Prius. However, there are a few spots that are muddy or rocky so check the weather before heading out.

After driving through some riverbeds you will come to the top of a hill, where you will find all the reindeer you could want, great for any animal lover wanting that cute cuddly animal high! I will warn you, in bad weather, although it is by the side of the road, you can miss it, especially in bad weather as the trees camouflage the reindeer quite well. If you start going down the step high, you have definitely missed them.

Once you arrive you see a number of stalls selling all kinds of items, including reindeer-related trinkets (reindeer cup anyone?). In the centre you will see what you came for…reindeer! What’s really cool is there are a wide variety, young, old, brown and white reindeer, all of which you can get a photo with.

Now you can have your photo taken with the reindeer, even pat them. The price is about 5000 turgiks to have your picture was taken and 8000 turgiks with traditional clothes. I don’t think that’s too bad for the experience and memory you make being up close and personal with these amazing animals. If you are a foreigner and you are with a Mongolian friend, have them talk with the owner if you want to get a better deal. Finish off checking out the reindeer with some khuushuur from one of the vendors, great on a cold day!

Khovsgol Lake Front:

After seeing the reindeer, regardless of whether you stay the night in one of the many Ger camps, I highly recommend you check out Khovsgol Lake down the hill from the reindeer. The views are spectacular ranging along the waterfront and it’s a great place for a picnic. If you aren’t sure you want to stay in a Ger camp but you want to do some camping, there is a designated site a couple of kilometres down the waterfront that is specifically for camping with toilets available.

Swan Beach Coffee Shop:

Now on a side note, if you do go down to the waterfront (you would be crazy not to) you will come across an amazingly cute and warm Swan Beach coffee shop. If you are into coffee like me, it was a welcoming surprise, if not it’s still very cool and will bring out the child in any person. The coffee tastes good but the adorable cosy setting is the best with swings for seats you may not want to leave!

There are so many great places to see and visit in Mongolia, but for the animal lovers out there, it’s a must-see.

Travel safe everyone!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *