This trek will take you to a destination few people have experienced. The Western parts of Mongolia are a cultural mix of Muslim and traditional Mongolian traditions. Trekking through this wild countryside will bring in varied experiences and make for an exciting trip of discoveries.
We depart from Ulaanbaatar in the morning, bound for Ulaangom by plane. After the three and a half hour flight we arrive in Ulaangom, the provincial capital of Uvs, with a population of 30,000 people. This province is the same size as Austria but is home to a total population of less than 80,000 people. After going to the market and visiting the museum we will take a Jeep southwest out of the city. We shall travel along 30km of unsurfaced roads to Tarialan. Gers appear on the landscape and the nomads and their animals can be seen as we journey towards our destination for the day. We will make camp near the village on the banks of the Kharkhiraa Gol.
We will trek for 8 days through the mountains with camels or yaks as pack animals and 1 or 2 local herders to guide and work the animals. There will be also be an interpreter/cook in attendance. Camping will always be by a river and sometimes close to nomadic camps. The mountains in this area belong to the Altai Mountain range, the highest of which tower at an altitude of 4000m above sealevel, capped with huge glaciers. We begin out trek on the east-side of the Altai Mountains, meeting a small Islamic group along the way who came to Mongolia under Chinggis Khan. At the halfway point we cross between the highest peaks via a mountain pass 3000m above sea level. On the west side we will see the Bayad – one of the larger Mongolian tribes recorded in ancient history – and the Dorvod – one of the four sub-groups of the Oirat ethic group. The trek is technically not too difficult, walking, about 20km per day with lots of stops to absorb the scenery, meet locals, eat meals and take photographs. The end point of the trek will be, Khovd Brigad a small summer settlement.
We will drive through parched desert-like landscape hemmed in by green-banked rivers and snow-capped mountains. On this section we will cross from Uvs to Bayan Olgii. This is where the Kazakh live within their distinctive, taller nomadic homes called yurts. We will also encounter the minority population who live on the banks of the river Khovd.
Visiting Olgii with its lively bazaar and mosques allows us to sample and enjoy a very different culture peculiar to western-Monglia. Our 3hour return flight departs from here back to Ulaanbaatar, where we will transfer to the hotel.