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WESTERN MONGOLIA


Western Mongolia is famous for a dozen ethnic groups of Mongolia and the Kazakh people and is the least traveled area of the country. The nature is more beautiful and pristine and the people are more hospitable and generous there. There is impressive Altai Tavan Bogd mountain range here. Altai region is settled by human ancestors since Lower Paleolithic period or 300 thousand years ago containing precious records of petroglyphs and graveyards. Glamorous fresh water lakes are the main fascination of the area. Kazakh is the main ethnic group with colorful culture and rich history. Originally, Kazakhs are the descendents of the Hereid tribes and settled down in Bayan Ulgii aimag in 1940 after hundreds of years travelling. Golden Eagle Festival is a “must-see”. It is an exclusive hunting tradition with Eagles that existed for 2000 years and still strong among the Kazakhs.

Altai Tavan Bogd Mountain

Located at the western most point of Mongolia, this park on the border of both Russia and China has views of Kazakhstan from the highest peak of Tavan Bogd Mountains (“Five Sacred” in Mongolian). At the northwest end of this 630,000 hectare park, the Tavan Bogd Mountains contains the 5 highest mountain peaks in Mongolia, with the highest, Khuiten Uul (“Cold Peak’) at 4374 M (14,201 ft). The mountains are considered sacred to local Tuva and Kazakhs. 
The park contains the full spectrum of archeology in Bayan-Ulgii with petroglyphs, standing stones, burial mounds, and Kazakh cemeteries. This biggest concentration of petroglyphs with over 10,000, which is the Tsagaan Sala site, is situated along a 15km river valley. Another popular region of the park is the lakes region, which is renowned for its natural beauty.
The Altai Tavan Bogd National Park is the most visited park in western Mongolia with a wide variety of activities. Mountain climbing is best during late summer when weather is warmest. Four of the peaks require mountaineering equipment and experience climbers, though the shortest, Malchin orgil (“Herder Peak”) at 4025 M, can be hiked by novices. Near the mountains it is possible to hike Pontuninii Glacier. Hiking, fishing, mountain biking, horse and camel riding, and whitewater rafting is popular throughout the summer and autumn, with tour packages of several days or weeks available. The best area to hike is around the lakes and to the Tavan Bogd Base Camp at 3092 M elevation.
Fishing is permitted in the park from middle of June to April. Everything except mountain climbing and rafting is available through the winter.

Khar Us Lake

The lake is about 40km to the east of Khovd city. Khar Us Nuur (Dark Water Lake), the second-largest freshwater lake (15,800 sq km) in Mongolia – but with an average depth of only 4m. Khovd Gol flows into this lake, creating a giant marsh delta. Khar Us Nuur is the perfect habitat for wild ducks, geese, wood grouse, partridges and seagulls, including rare relict gulls and herring gulls – and by late summer a billion or two of everyone’s friend, the common mosquito.
The outflow from Khar Us Nuur goes into a short river called Chono Khairkhan, which flows into another freshwater lake, Khar Nuur (Black Lake), home to some migratory pelicans. The southern end of Khar Nuur flows into Dörgön Nuur, which is a large alkaline lake good for swimming. The eastern side of Dörgön Nuur is an area of bone-dry desert and extensive sand dunes.

Khyargas lake

The Khyargas lake is one of the four lakes which cover more than 1000 square. Khyargas lake is elevated at 1023 m above sea level that is in the south of Uvs province, descended from tectonics, covered 1406.8 km2 square, 75 km length, 31 km width, 253.8 km length shore, 92 m depth of water nearby yellow berry line and in other places about 40-50 m depth in there. Khan Khukhii Mountain laying behind of Khyargas Lake is damaged from rainwater thus there are many creeks and chutes. And the south side of the Khyargas lake looks so beautiful that seems jutting the marble white rocks. Khyargas lake has many kinds of fishes that are pikes, herrings of Altai, herrings of Nokhoi and the migratory birds, which are rare, foregather mostly in the surround of the lake thus there is a gorgeous native land wherever unrepeatable.

Gurvan Tsenkher Cave

Gurvan Tsenkher cave is located in Mankhan county of Khovd province. Related to the upper Paleolithic period, the rock art found in Khoit Tsenkher Cave includes symbols and animal forms painted from the walls up to the ceiling. In one of corners of the cave measuring 2.5 m high and 1.5-2.0 m deep, numerous symbols and animals were painted overlapping each other on the ceiling and wall. A quiet standing stag was portrayed clearly among the animals. Also a standing buffalo with horus looking ahead was represented separately. In another corner of the cave, many animals including oxes, ibexes, elephants, ostriches were pictured, overlapping each other.
On its wall in a cave hollow measuring 10 m long and 8 m wide a camel with two humps was portrayed. Also many symbols and trees were painted at the height of 2.0-2.5 m not far from the wall, where the camel was portrayed. Lions, elephants, argali sheep, ibexes, ostriches, antelopes, camels, as well as symbols were painted with mineral-based paints of rosy and brown colours on the walls deep inside the cave. By the method of painting of different kinds of animals, their colour and view, the Khoit Tsenkher cave rock paintings show their original artistic, cultural and historical features which are different from the other rock paintings in Mongolia and her neighboring countries.
Some particular parts of the animals such as their horns, necks, humbs are depicted with an exaggerated hyper-realism typical of the Palaeolothic period. This site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on August 1, 1996 in the Cultural category.

Tsambagarav Mountain National Park

Tsambagarav Mountain National Park is situated along the border of Khovd Province. This park has many snow-capped mountains and glaciers. It houses a number of endangered animals. On the southern slope there are small patches of larch which are coniferous trees. This park is filled with beautiful valleys and gorges making it a very spectacular destination. The wildlife is diverse here. One can see many Turkic stone-men and petro glyph. There are various recreational activities like camel trekking, sunbath, canoeing, swimming, mountain climbing and horse riding in this park. This park is spread over an area of 110 hectares. The highest point of the park is 4208 m above sea level. Ulaan Baatar the capital city of Mongolia is around 1630 kms away from this park. Hovd City is around 130 kms from Tsambagarav Mountain National Park. Jeeps and vehicles are easily available for reaching the park.

Uureg lake

Uureg lake has breathtaking surroundings. The salty water lake is located among a superb panorama, surrounded by the high summits of the Altai. Fishing and hiking opportunities are overwhelming here and rock paintings that represent animals can be seen in the gorge of the Tsagaan river. The local herders of this area are called Durvud ethnic group.

Achit lake

Achit lake is one of the largest lakes of Mongolia, covering 311 square kilometers. Length of lake is 30km width is 16km. It is between Kharkhiraa Uul and Turgen Uul, at 1,464 meters above sea level. Achit lake is irrigated from 10500sq.km square and fed by Altangadas and Bukh murun rivers therefore feed the Khovd river. The island of Devel in the Usan Khooloi River has been protected the state protection.