Bayan-Olgii Aimag (Bayan-Ulgii province in western Mongolia) is dominated by the Altai Mountain range stretching along the southern border with China which slopes down to the Great Lakes Region of Mongolia in the northeast of the province. This province is the highest in Mongolia with 95% above 1600 m (1 mile) above sea level, with the highest point of Khuiten Uul at 4373 m. The Altai mountain range crosses Mongolia, China, Russia, and Kazakhstan forming a natural boundary between European and East Asian cultures. The Altai Mountains are the highest peaks in Mongolia and the only ones with permanent snow cover. Tavan Bogd Mountains, which are located in the westernmost point of Mongolia, are the 5 tallest peaks, followed by the 2 peaks of Tsambagarav Mountains on the eastern side of Bayan-Olgii. In the shadows of these mountains are many glaciers, 35 in Tavan Bogd National Park and several more in Tsambagarav National Park. The melting snow of Tavan Bogd supplies several lakes and rivers, including the longest in Mongolia, the Hovd River. There are 3 large freshwater lakes inside Tavan Bogd; Khurgan Nuur, Khotan Nuur, and Dayan Nuur that form the origin of the Hovd River. Another large lake is treeless Tolbo Lake in the southeast, which stretches several miles along the road to Hovd. The largest lake is Achit Nuur on the border with Uvs. This lake is just north of the heavily forested Davit Aral Nature Reserve and is home to a very large number of birds. Away from the river valleys, Bayan-Olgii is generally dry and rocky with some grassy steppe.
People in Bayan-Ulgii province
The population in Bayan-Ulgii province now is over 120,000 people. 97% of the population in Bayan-Ulgii province are Kazakh communities. People in Bayan-Ulgii speak a different language compare to the rest of Mongolia, but the official language in the country is Mongolian.
How to get to Bayan-Ulgii province
There is no international airport in Bayan-Ulgii province, so if you are planning to fly to Bayan-Ulgii you will need to first land in Ulaanbaatar (The capital of Mongolia) and next take a domestic flight from Ulaanbaatar to Ulgii. Or you can do border crossing from the Russian side or from the Chinese side directly to Bayan-Ulgii province.
Bayan-Ulgii province is the Mongolian highest tourist destination.