Photos of Bayan-Ölgii Province, Mongolia

Bayan-Ölgii Flag
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Bayan-Ölgii Province

Bayan-Ölgii (= Rich cradle/region) is Mongolia’s most western aimag or province, sharing borders with both Russia and China. It is the highest province in Mongolia, principally located in the Mongolian Altay mountains, with the Khüiten Peak in the Tavan Bogd massif the highest point at 4,374 metres. It has a total area of 45,704.89 km².

Road Khovd-Ölgii
Snow mountains
Ovoo along the road
Tolbo Nuur
Heading to Ölgii
Houses and bus
Snow on the mountains
Mosque in Ölgii
Main square, Ölgii
Bus station
On the market, Ölgii
Aimag museum
Main square, Ölgii
Ölgii school children
Khovd Gol near Ölgii
Khovd river, near Ölgii
View of Sagsai
Crossing Khovd Gol
Kazakh eagle hunter
Milking the goats
Feeding the eagle
Kazakh yurt
Getting dressed
Grasslands near Sagsai
Crossing Khovd Gol
In Sagsai sum
Crossing Khovd Gol
Milking the goats
Cat on a yurt
Man leading camel
Mosque of Sagsai
Village of Sagsai
Mosque in Ölgii
Aimigiin zakhiraa
Provincial headquarters
Playing soccer, Ölgii

Most of the 93,000 inhabitants of Bayan-Ölgii are ethnic Kazakhs, making up almost 90% of the population. The Kazakhs practice eagle hunting, and each year in early October, Ölgii hosts the Eagle Festival, with traditional displays, horse games and camel races. In September, the village of Sagsai, 27 kilometres to the west of Ölgii., has the Altai Eagle Festival with a similar program. The region near Sagsai (Sagsai Sumiin Bigeeu) has numerous Kazakh eagle hunter families living in their yurts (called üy).

The capital, Ölgii, is a small town with a large central square, an interesting museum, a good market and a few mosques. There are good places to stay, in ger camps and hotels.