In the north of Mongolia lies the turquoise pearl of Lake Khovsgol. It runs one hundred miles long and holds 1% of the world’s fresh water. Mongolians don’t call it a lake, however; they refer to Khovsgol as Dalai Eej, or Mother Ocean.

You can see ten, twenty feet down with perfect clarity.

You can ride or hike up the encircling mountains and breathe in the fragrance of dozens of wildflowers.


Khovsgol Dalai Eej is home to Mongolia’s navy. (AKA: the ship Sukhbaatar, docked behind us in this photo).


Because of its remoteness, this gorgeous place doesn’t draw too many people. When I visited, I saw more yaks dotting the lake than foreigners. Here are my friend Tuya and I, two lasses from Mongolia’s far East, sitting in the northern sun with a new friend.


We met a bunch of government workers from a village in Ovorkhangai. All eight of them wanted to take photos with a “gadaa hun” (foreign person).


I felt like a movie starlet… until the next gadaa hun wandered along and they mobbed him for photos too.

Tuya and I wandered across a singing contest between a German tour group and their Mongolian guides. It took place next to a blazing bonfire. I played for the Mongolian side with my rendition of the popular song, “Mother’s boiled tea.”