Altai Tavan Bogd National Park
This stunning region stretches south from Tavan Bogd and includes the twin lakes of Khoton Nuur and Khurgan Nuur (and the less interesting Dayan Nuur), which are the source of the Khovd Gol that flows to Khar Us Nuur in Khovd aimag. Despite its remote location, the park and its beautiful scenery make it the premier attraction in western Mongolia.
Tsambagarav Uul National Park
The permanently snow-capped Tsambagarav Uul straddles the border between Khovd and Bayan-Ölgii aimags and the park is accessible from either side. Despite its altitude of 4208m, the mountain's summit is relatively accessible and easy to climb compared with Tavan Bogd, but you’ll need crampons and ropes.
Of the 12 sums in Bayan-Ölgii, Tsengel is the largest. Although the town itself is bigger than most, it is still just a collection of gravel roads and wooden fences that surround compounds, each containing an earth and log home, possibly a ger or two and invariably a guard dog in a foul mood.
Most travellers pass through Sagsai on their way to the lakes in Altai Tavan Bogd National Park, with little reason to stop. That is until September when this tiny community hosts the Altai Eagle Festival. The festival, held about 6km southwest of the town (GPS: N 48°52.250', E 89°37.170'), is smaller than the one in Ölgii although it follows much the same program.