|Center:||Ulgii. located 1055 miles (1,698 km) from Ulaanbaatar.|
|Ethnic group:||93% - Kazakh, 7% - Durvud, Uriankhai, Tuva, Khalkh|
Bayan-Ulgii is a far-off land of high mountains (the Mongol Altai - Tavan Bogd mountains with 4,373 m peak) torrents and glaciers, inhabited by Kazakh, a minority who has a different culture from the Mongols, herding yaks and goats and hunting with trained eagles.
Bayan-Ulgii aimag is situated in the extreme West of Mongolia, on the West and North it borders with the Russian Federation and on the South-West with the People's Republic of China.
The ethnic groups who call Bayan-Olgii home are comprised of the Kazakh, Khalkh. Durvud, Uriankhai and Tuva. Unlike the rest of Mongolia, which is dominated by the Khalkh Mongols. About 90% of Bayan-Ulgii's population are Kazakh, almost all of them Muslim. The remaining 10% are mostly obscure minority groups.
Many people in the aimag speak Kazakh, so if you have spent time perfecting some conversational Mongolian, you may be devastated because many Kazakhs won't be able to understand you. There is bound to be someone nearby, however, who speaks Mongolian and, possibly Russian, but certainly nothing else.
In 1998, Bayan-Ulgii aimag harvested over 3.000 tons of grain, 600 tons of forage, and 21.452 tons of potatoes and vegetables. The Mongol Altai Nuruu is the backbone of Bayan-Ulgii. The highest peaks, many over 4000m, are permanently covered with glaciers and snow, while the valleys have a few green pastures, which support about two million livestock, as well as bears, foxes and lynxes.
Flora and Fauna:
Rich flora of Bayan-Ulgii includes kobresia, sedge in the mountain plateau, gooseberry and ribes altissimum, also wild cherry, and sea bucks can be found along the banks of streams and rivers. 10 percent of the area is forest, consisting mainly of larches. There are wild sheep, ibex, and snow leopards in the Altai high mountain range and marmots, foxes inhabit the lower slopes of mountains. There are bears, lynxes, and squirrels in the forests.
The Nairamdal peak 14,350 feet (4374 m) of the Altai Tavan Bogd mountain is the highest point, Khovd, the biggest river (321 miles /516 km in length) in the country flows through the territory of the aimag. There are many fresh water lakes in Bayan-Ulgii. Tolbo and Dayan lakes are the largest. This aimag is well-known for Ak-su, Chigertei and other springs. Every part of Bayan-Ulgii aimag is suitable for pasture.
These valleys are dotted with small communities of nomadic families enjoying the short summer from mid-June to late August, as well as some beautiful alpine lakes.
The aimag has a rich collection of archaeological sites, with many balbal (Turkic stone figures believed to be grave makers), deer stones, kiirgans (burial mounds) and a remarkable collection of 10,000 petroglyphs near the Russian border at Tsagaan Sala (also known as Baga Oigor). If you are particularly interested in these remote and obscure sites contact the Mongol Altai Nuruu Special Protected Area office in Ulgii.
There is a bus 3 times a week from Ulaanbaatar (at least 48 hours on mostly unpaved roads) costing 80,000 ₮. It leaves from UB from the Dragon Center in UB, and to UB from the Theater (giant red building west of square) in Ulgii. Bus to Kazakhstan leaves every 10 days, and cost US$100 to Astana. You need to get visa in UB first. Tickets can be bought in the basement of the west wing of the theater building. Buses leave for UB on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at exactly 15:00. There are shared jeeps daily to and from Khovd. These are cheap, but very overcrowded. They leave from the Bazaar in Ulgii and Black Market in Hovd. Times depend on the driver. Travel time is roughly 8 hours, with a stop around halfway for dinner of buuz and hoshuur (steamed mutton dumplings and fried mutton pancakes). Price of shared jeep to Khovd is 20,000 ₮.
Ulgii Airport is 5 km from the center of the city. The airport has a new concrete runway and modern controls. Most flights are from Ulaanbaatar with the occasional stop on the way in Hovd, Ulaangom, or Moron. There used to be flights to Kazakhstan, but there are none now.
- AeroMongolia Address: "Gurvan Erdene" center 3rd floor Bayan-Ulgii, Mongolia Tel:88080025 99418288
- Hunnu Air Address: Bayan-Ulgii aimag, Against 1st High School of Ulgii, on the 1st floor of Elba Center
Tel: 70423355, 98000655, 99049987, 99414435, 99913433
Welcome to Bayan-ulgii province !