Our guide: Why I love Western Mongolia

If you are tired of standard tourism and seek for an adventure somewhere in the wild nature then you need to visit Mongolia, to be more exact, the Altai Mountains – located in the West of Mongolia. Be sure that here you will get everything what you need for a great adventure: Eagle festival, trekking, outdoor adventures, hiking, fishing, horseback riding tours and other recreation tours.

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Bayan-Olgii, located in the Western Mongolia, is a unique city where mostly Kazakh ethnic group live. The Kazakhs of Western Mongolia have a rich culture and many traditions that are still practiced today that are centuries old. When the Soviet Union and China established borders, Kazakhs in Mongolia were isolated until the 1990s. During this time, nomadic herding and the traditional way of life was suppressed by the Soviet Union. The traditional nomadic lifestyle was preserved in the undeveloped and isolated steppes and mountain ranges of Mongolia.
Today, many Kazakhs in Bayan-Olgii maintain their traditional semi-nomadic lifestyle living in a Kazakh style ger. Households move with their herds largely containing of sheep, goats and also horses, yaks and camels to different pastures for each of the four seasons. This nomadic lifestyle can be a fantastic and exotic attraction for tourists. But whatever time of the year you visit Bayan-Olgii you ought to visit a Kazakh Family. You can feel the incredible hospitality of the Kazakh people. You will never forget the taste of a Kazi which is a special sausage meat of a horse and Besparmak which you eat by your five fingers. We love to welcome people from the different parts of the world and have fun with them.
The Altai Mountain range is Mongolia’s largest and highest mountain range and is the perfect place to take trekking and mountaineering trips. You will see snow capped stunning high mountain landscapes, feel the untouched wilderness and breathe fresh air in the eternal blue sky. You can hike to a glacier, explore ancient petroglyphs and watch various wild animals including a real ibex. This can be the perfect experience for adventurous trekkers!
Hunting with eagles is a traditional form of falconry found throughout the Eurasian steppe, practiced by Kazakhs. These Turkic people are famous for hunting with golden eagles. Kazakhs living in Bayan-Olgii Province of Mongolia who still keep their unique nomadic lifestyle continue to hunt with special trained eagles today. There are about 250 eagle hunters in the Western Mongolia. Their falconry custom is unique and practiced only with a trained Golden Eagle on horseback. Their hunting targets are wolves, red fox and rabbit. Every year in the first week of October, about 70 eagle hunters gather for the annual Golden Eagle Festival. They hunt only during the cold winter months when it is easier to see those wild animals in the white snow and also it’s easier to follow  their spoor. I suggest you to see this fascinating Golden Eagle Festival once in your lifetime. Enjoy the beauty of the Altai Mountains and experience the nomadic way of life with us.
khuanishBy Khuanysh
Kazakh guide living Olgii, Mongolia

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