Travelling to Bayan-Ulgii
Glaciers, Diverse Wildlife, Highest Mountains, Longest River and Kazakh Eagle Hunters
Bayan-Ulgii is more than a destination – it’s an experience that will take your breath away. The Mongol Altai mountain is the symbol of Bayan-Olgii. The highest peaks, many over 4000m, are permanently covered with glaciers, while the valleys have lush green pastures, which support about two million livestock, as well as bears, foxes and lynxes. These valleys are dotted with small communities of nomadic families enjoying the short but beautiful summer as well as some wonderful alpine lakes.
The Nairamdal peak 4374m of the Altai Tavan Bogd mountain is the highest point, Khovd, the biggest river 516 km in length in the country flows through its territory. There are many crystal fresh water lakes in Bayan-Ulgii as Tolbo and Dayan lakes. The province was founded in 1940 and became a refuge for Muslim Kazakhs fleeing separatist fighting in Chinese province.
Today, the Kazakhs make up over 90% of the province’s 90 000 populations and its capital Ulgii has very distinct Central Asian spirits. Ulgii is located on the southern bank of Khovd river which has unique atmosphere with solid white and flat roof buildings. Ulgii has bazaar, plus a mosque and Islamic schools. Most popular tourist attractions in Bayan-Ulgii are mountaineering, hiking in the high Altai Mountains, attending Golden Eagle festival, experiencing Kazakh nation's culture, taking part of their everyday nomadic lifestyle and wildlife snow leopard, argali sheep, ibex, bird watching.
The must-see event in the province is golden eagle hunting. Usually Kazakh men train the eagle from their young age to hunt from the horseback and they primarily hunt red foxes or small animals. Physically, Kazakhs has slight Caucasian appearance than Asians. Ordinary Kazakh men wear moustache and skullcap and women wear long embroidered dresses and cover their heads by colorful scarves. The cuisine is very different than Mongolian dishes, with a smell of flat oven baked bread and “besbarmak” – a traditional dish consisting of boiled horse or mutton.
Best places to visit in Bayan-Ulgii Province
- Otgontenger mountain
- Khar lake
- Zagastai and Solongtiin mountain pass
- Bor hyariin sand dunes
- Tes river
- Deer stones at Daagan Del and Ider river
- Telmen lake