Khovd (Ховд) aimag has long been a centre for trade, business and administration in western Mongolia, a status that began during the Qing dynasty when the Manchus built a military garrison here. The aimag still does robust trade with China through the border at Bulgan. Its agricultural university is the largest of its kind in Mongolia outside Ulaanbaatar.
Besides its developing economy, Khovd is notable for being one of the most heterogeneous aimags in Mongolia; it's home to a Khalkh majority and the Khoton, Kazakh, Uriankhai, Zakhchin, Myangad, Oold and Torguud peoples. Its terrain is equally varied, with large salt lakes, fast-flowing rivers and the Mongol Altai Nuruu almost bisecting the aimag.