Western Mongolia Tours
The wild and remote western edge of Mongolia is home to a group of Kazakh nomads. Here, among the soaring Altai Mountains, which climb up to 4100 metres, the nomads have lived an isolated existence for hundreds of years. On this rugged frontier, there are no paved roads and the horse is central to the Kazakh way of life. The Kazakh ethnic group makes up around 90% of the population of Mongolia’s Bayan-Olgi province, with around 100,000 Kazakhs spread thinly across the wilderness. Kazakh culture is distinct here: the nomads are Muslim and they speak Kazakh in everyday life, using Mongolian only when they need to communicate with other tribes or groups. They can trace their roots back to the 15th century and to Chinngis Khaan. They settled in this region of the Altai Mountains in the 18th century after fleeing the Russian Empire. The nomads live in the empty and remote mountainous terrain of the Upper Dayan Valley, which spreads out near the border with China.
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