Jargalant Mountain overlooking Khar Us Nuur in Hovd aimag

Hovd or Khovd is a city in the Hovd province of Mongolia.


The history of Hovd dates back about 240 years. At the north end of town there is a ruined fort where the Manchu dynasty Viceroy lived with his troops. Mongolian revolutionaries chased them out in 1912. While the Manchus were ruling, they planted trees along the main streets that can still be seen today.

Since 1912, Hovd has developed, acquiring a big hospital, a university for the youth of Western Mongolia, a quality airport, kindergartens, a cinema, and a theater.

Hovd is unique in its diverse ethnic makeup. It consists of 17 soums (similar to a county with each county containing one larger town that also bears the soum's name), some of which have their own ethnic groups including Kazakhs and seven different Mongolian ethnic groups. Many of the small ethnic groups represented in the city are from the surrounding Hovd aimag, and have their own unique dialects, clothes, dances, songs, musical instruments, and ceremonies. Uriankhais (an ethnic group concentrated in Munkhkhairkhan and Duut soums in the Altai Mountains) are of especial note; their archery is unique and involves shooting rubber-tipped arrows at leather balls.


 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily highs (°C) -16.3 -12 0.3 11.1 19.1 23.8 24.7 23.4 17.7 9.0 -2.3 -12.9
Nightly lows (°C) -29.9 -27.1 -14.7 -3.5 4.6 10.3 12.3 10.0 3.9 -4.7 -15.7 -25.6
Precipitation (mm) 1.4 0.9 2.3 5.9 9.5 26.5 35.0 22.7 10.6 4.6 1.8 1.6

NOAA (1961-1990)

url = ftp://dossier.ogp.noaa.gov/GCOS/WMO-Normals/RA-II/MO/44214.TXT

Get in

By plane

By bus

UB to Hovd: The bus to Hovd leaves from the Dragon Center in UB. At this time (October 2012) the bus leaves three times a week around 1PM from UB, most days, for 65,000T one way. You can purchase tickets up to three days in advance; speak to a driver about purchasing a ticket or approach the building behind the buses with an "автобус" sign on it. There are several ticket windows with destinations, one of which will be Hovd (Ховд) or you can ask any of the women behind the windows for guidance. Other vehicles leave from the Black Market (Naran Tuul) to Hovd. There are no scheduled times for these vehicles to leave, they leave when the driver thinks his vehicle is full. Prices for vehicles from the Black Market vary but are usually around 65,000T one way. Travel time can be anywhere from 36hrs to 58hrs, depending on the driver and vehicle.

Hovd to UB: Vehicles leave for UB from Hovd continuously, again you have to go and find a driver who has room and is leaving at approximately the time you want to be heading back to UB. You can find these drivers from a small enclosed area across from the southeast corner of Hovd's central market. The price should be about the same as UB to Hovd.

Khovd Main Square

Get around

A taxi around Hovd costs 500T for 1KM.

Transportation within Hovd Aimag - You can get a car, furgon or jeep in the market to get around the aimag and to neighboring aimags. - Vehicles (jeeps/cars/pargons) for soums leave from two different places near the central market. The first is along the main road in front of the north entrance to the central market. The second is along the road behind the central market. Most of the vehicles don’t have signs so you have to ask around. Usually if you approach someone and they aren’t going to your soum they will know someone to send you to. Most of the vehicles to soums further away come in on the weekends so it can be difficult to leave during the week. Don't expect to leave on a Thursday because that is the day the central market is closed.  Hovd aimag approximate soum prices (one-way): • Bulgan, 25,000T • Must, 12,000T • Tsetseg, 12,000T • Mankhan, 6,000T • Durgun, 6,000T • Zereg, 10,000T • Chandmani, 12,000T • Munnhairhan, 12,000T • Uyench, 25,000T • Altai, 20,000T • Hovd, 2,500T • Buyant, 1,500T • Myangad, 2,500T • Duut • Erdeneburen


It is possible Kazakh, Khalkh Mongolian and other Mongolian ethnic groups' customs and culture, as there are many ethnic groups living in Hovd.

The Statue of Amarsanaa in the Secret Park


The Buyant River


Most banks change dollars to togrog, but exchanging euros can be a major headache. A Khaan Bank near the Tushig Hotel might change euros to tugruk. You cannot withdraw money from ATM's with a Mastercard, but according to the banks, Visa should work. Western Union money tranfer is not working at the time of writing.


Eating out in Hovd is predictable. Most places serve variations of the same dishes. However, just because an item is on the menu doesn’t mean it is available that day. If you want to eat like a real Mongolian, order milk tea (сүүтай цай suutai tsae) with your meal.

The time tables are official opening and closing times. However, opening and closing times tend to be more flexible in Mongolia versus other places in the world.



Restaurants offer more expensive, less traditional Mongolian food. Usually comes with sides of rice with ketchup, mashed potatoes and pickled or mayo-ed veggies. Most larger restaurants offer sides like rice with milk or eggs for vegetarians. Most restaurants also have packaged snacks sold at marked-up prices. Beer, wine and vodka are also available.



Mongolian people usually drink salty milk tea. There many different types of beverages and drinks are available in the market such as Coke, juices, and instant coffees and hard liquors as well. In spring time, you can taste traditional beverages such as the fermented mare's milk, health beneficial camel milk and other milks as well.

There are about ten bars where people spend their free time singing karaoke, dancing, and listening to music.



Hotels in Hovd are mixed-rate generally, meaning that budget, mid-range, and splurge-level rooms can be found in each hotel. Gers tend to be more budget-level in terms of amenities, although that is due to the generally spare nature of ger living in general.

Ger Camps



The Internet Cafe in the Post Office charges 700T an hour. There are also several other Internet Cafes in the center.

Go next

From Hovd it is possible to catch a shared jeep or van to Ölgii or Ulaangom for 25,000T. Ölgii takes about 8 hours on average, and Ulaangom takes about 10 hours.

There are seventeen soums (governmental divisions) in Hovd province (including the aimag center). Some of them are home to different ethnic groups. Please see the Hovd (province) page for more information on the soums and things to do in the surrounding countryside. Most of the true attractions are in the countryside not in the city.

The Buyant River outside of Hovd
Ovoo on shore of Dörgön Nuur
  • The east coast of the lake, where you can go boating
  • Rashaantyn Am Valley, where you can see the highest waterfall in Mongolia
  • Ulaan Shiree, where there is nice swimming
  • Bayan Khairkhan, meet herders and see traditional culture
The cost of each night in a ger is 20,000 tugriks. This includes three meals per day. The group offers other services at an additional charge including:
  • Horse riding, 1,000T per hour
  • Camel riding, 1,000T per hour
  • Mini Naadam, 120,000T
  • Khorkhog (traditional meal of goat or mutton) 30,000T
  • Panjig (traditional game) 5,000T
  • Boating on Khar Us Nuur, 5,500T per hour
  • Throat singing and long song performances, 5,000T
  • Local Guide 2,000T per hour
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