Altai (Altay) is the capital city of Govĭ-Altai province. Straddling the western edge of the Gobi Desert where the Altai Mountains rise out of the sands, the region seems to symbolize emptiness. To the south of the city is the massive Great Gobi Strictly Protected Area 'A' and 'B'. Area A lies to the east with part of the park in Bayanhongor, and Area B is smaller and to the west. Together they cover some of the driest and more remote parts of the Gobi. Many high snow-capped mountains are closer to the city in the Altai range just to the south and west.
With a population of about 15,800, Altai is one of the smallest provincial capitals in Mongolia in one of the least densely populated provinces in the country.
Govĭ-Altai is home to many rare mammals like the Govi Bear, wild Bactrian camels, Argali sheep, black-tailed gazelles, and wild cats. Many other large mammals like wolves, foxes, marmots, and birds and reptiles live in different parts of the province.
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- AeroMongolia, ☏ (Ulaanbaatar), (Altai), ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Office Hours: M Tu Th-Sa 09:00-18:00. It is generally cheaper, but uses older planes. Charges foreigners double the local rate. Flights on M W and F.
- Hunnu Air, ☏ (Ulaanbaatar), ✉ email@example.com. Formerly Mongolian Airlines. Flights from Ulaanbaatar via Bayanhongor on Tues and Fri.
- 1 Narvanchin Khiid (adjacent to Entum Hotel). A monastery to explore.
- 1 Khantaishir. A movie theater.
If you get tired of eating at the Entum Hotel, you could eat at one of these:
- 1 Entum Hotel, ☏ . This hotel is very Stalinist looking, complete with cyrillic characters on top, but it looks better than the competition (rough). It has a restaurant and you get to look out on the ashen-looking town.