FEATURE: Khuvsgul Ice Festival 2017

Journalist A.Odontuya

2017-03-13 12:36 GMT+8

Blue Pearl International Ice Festival 2017 was successfully held for the 17th time this year at Khatgal village, the southern shore of lake Khuvsgul on Mar 3-4th

This year over 10,000 people visited the festival with more than 1500 cars. An entrance fee was MNT 20,000 for each car. 

The 2-day event comprised various fun sports and competitions such as ice sculptures, horse sled races, and shaman`s fire ceremony. Also, traditional Mongolian ice shooting competition, skating competition, and ice sumo competition were held among participants. 

Meanwhile, local people were selling souvenirs, jewelries, and traditional costumes while 5-6 gers (Mongolian traditional dwelling) were serving hot food and beverages during the festival. 

The most entertaining activity at the festival was horse sledding. Everyone can take part in the horse sledding at small charges starting 20,000 MNT

Moreover, the festival organizers offered many interesting side activities to the guests including reindeer riding, camel riding, and horse sled. 

Apart from the festival, one must enjoy the spectacular  Khuvsgul lake and its surrounding landscape. You can walk and drive on the deepest and purest frozen lake of Mongolia while shooting the untouched beautiful nature.

Year by year, the number of both foreign and domestic tourists visiting the festival has been increasing, as the scope has been expanded with international participants, adding international status to the ice festival.

We will inform about next year’s Blue Pearl 2017 International Ice Festival dates sometime in March 2017. 


The pristine lake Huvsgul stretches for 136km in the Alpine-like mountains, and the deepest point of the lake is 262mThe lake freezes over from December until April or May revealing fantastic lacy ice patterns. 

The Huvsgul region itself is a home to the Tsaatan – Reindeer Herders of Mongolia, an ethnic group famous for their distinctive lifestyle based on keeping reindeers in the depth of the Taiga.


You can join existing tour groups from Ulaanbaatar or take a private tour with your family and friends (enquire from travel agents near you).

If you drive in Mongolia (you have a driving permit) you can drive yourself (make sure your vehicle is good for snow, and you travel with a Mongolian friend who can assist you with directions). The Lake Huvsgul is some 12hr drive (895 kilometers) from Ulaanbaatar with some good stops on the way for food and accommodation (all paved road).

Take a public transport from Ulaanbaatar Dragon centre to Murun (center of Huvsgul province) and hire a local transport from Murun to the ice festival.

Moreover, flight to Murun city, the center of Khuvsgul aimag is available on the occasion of the festival at about 500-600 thousand MNT. Then you can take a taxi to the Khatgal village which is 100 km away from Murun city. 

Photo credit: B.Munkhtulga 

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