Premium Travel will be introducing provinces of Mongolia as potential travel destinations to provide the readers and travellers with comprehensive travel information about Mongolia. We will be going for the least travelled provinces first, and our first destination is Zavkhan province, rightly a hidden gem in the western part of Mongolia.
Stretched for 82500 sq.km in the western part, the beautiful Zavkhan province borders with Russia in the north and 6 provinces of Mongolia in the east, south and west. The province is one of the first 5 provinces founded in 1923 in the formation of the modern Mongolian administrative units. Uliastai town is the centre of Zavkhan and is 1021km from Ulaanbaatar. The current population of the province is about 70 thousand, 65% of whom are nomadic herders. The population’s mainly made of a single ethnic group Khalkha, with a small number of Sartuul people with an interesting historical background. The Zavkhaners are proud for being the home to 8 of the enlightened monks of Mongolian Buddhism, and the first 2 presidents of Mongolia were both from Zavkhan.
The characteristics of Zavkhan landscape is a spectacularly beautiful combination of snow capped Khangai Mountains (highest point Mt. Otgontenger 4031m is in Otgon soum), lush green forest, crystal clear lakes and rivers (rich in fish), open steppe and even sand dunes at some parts. Also there are plentiful natural hot springs, which are believed to cure various diseases. Undoubtedly, Zavkhan offers an amazing scenery everywhere and sees a great prospective for developing various adventure and cultural tourism products including horse riding, mountain trekking, fishing etc.
Major attractions in Zavkhan are Mr. Otgontenger, Mongol Els sand dunes, Nariin Gol (Nariin Oasis & sand dunes), the Khar Lake, Senjit Khad (Hoop Rock), the Zavkhan river, Bulnai Mountains, Tarvagatai Mountains, the Lake Telmen, the Lake Oigon and many more.
The best time to visit Zavkhan is when the weather is milder, from early June till middle of September. The average summer temperature is 22’ C daytime. Tosontsengel soum is one of the coldest places in Mongolia once setting the record -55’ C in January. If you love winters and don’t mind experiencing the cold Zavkhan is the perfect winter travel destination for you!
And due to poor road system to the western provinces, Zavkhan was unreachable for many until last summer when 85% of the paved road construction was done. The paved road to Zavkhan is set to be complete by August 2016.
The blog is prepared specially for Gogo.mn by Zolzaya Ulzhiisaikhan (A co-founder of Premium Travel Mongolia)