Raw, rugged and remote, this region has for centuries been isolated – both geographically and culturally – from the Mongolian heartland. With its glacier-wrapped mountains, shimmering salt lakes and hardy culture of nomads, falconry and horsemanship, western Mongolia is a timeless slice of Central Asia.
Squeezed between Russia, Kazakhstan, China and the rest of Mongolia, this region has long housed a patchwork of peoples including ethnic Kazakhs, Dörvöds, Khotons, Myangads and Khalkh Mongols. Traditional arts such as khöömii (Mongolian throat singing) and eagle hunting are still practised here, as they have been for thousands of years.
The wild landscape offers fabulous opportunities for trekkers and climbers on peaks that rise to more than 13,123 ft (4000m). If that sounds too extreme, then just pick a lake, pitch a tent and have yourself a camping trip you'll never forget.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Western Mongolia.