Uliastai is the capital of Zavkhan province, and a former provincial capital of the Manchu Empire.


Manchu Marking Stone stating "Blue Dragon Bridge"

Uliastai is located at the border of the desert and the forest. It is in a valley near where the Bogdiin and Chigestai converge surrounded by the Khangai mountains, which makes travel difficult during the winter.


Alongside Hovd, Uliastai, occasionally referred to as Jibhalanta by the Manchus, is one of the 3 oldest settlements in Mongolia, and had long been an important center of caravan trade -even into the 20th century. It was connected by camel caravan routes with Urga (now Ulaanbaatar) in the east, Hovd in the west, Barkol and other points in Xinjiang in the southwest, and Hohhot in the southeast.

The city itself was founded as a military garrison by the Manchus in 1733 during the Qing rule of Mongolia. Uliastai was the de facto capital of Outer Mongolia and parts of what is now Russia, as the Qing Amban, the Governor General, located its office in Uliastai to keep eye on the Khalkh Mongols to the east and the Oirad Mongols west of the Khangai mountains. At its peak, the fortress held up to 3500 soldiers and was surrounded by a Chinese trading quarter, or Maimaicheng. However, during the Outer Mongolian Revolution of 1911 the Military Governor of Uliastai, his staff, and military guards, fled the fort under the protection of Cossack troops. Traces of Manchu rule can still be seen in Uliastai: the stone remnants of the governors fortress near the Bogdiin river are a short walk from town, the shackles and torture devices used by the Manchu are on display in the History Museum, and a hatag-laden stone near the central roundabout is carved with Chinese characters.

 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily highs (°C) -15.0 -11.2 -1.6 8.2 16.6 21.6 22.4 20.8 15.4 7.0 -5.3 -13.5
Nightly lows (°C) -28.3 -26.0 -17.0 -6.2 1.2 6.9 9.0 7.1 0.8 -7.2 -18.7 -25.7
Precipitation (mm) 2.1 1.7 4.8 9.2 14.8 34.0 54.9 48.2 21.7 9.3 4.6 3.2

NOAA (1961-1990)

Get in

You can either fly or take the bus from Ulaanbaatar to Uliastai. Buses leave everyday from the Dragon Center in UB for Uliastai at 9am. Going straight from UB can be easier than some nearby cities due to difficult mountain passes to the west and south of the city.

By Plane

Served by the Donoi Airport 25 km away in Aldarkhaan soum. The airport was constructed in 2002 with a grass runway. Taxis are available to take you from the airport to Uliastai.

Donoi Airport



Government Building
  Ten  Great Lamas of Zavkhan Province
  The State Prize Winner, Great Eastern Poet, Yavuukhulan B.
  The State Prize Winner, Film Producer, Vangan L. 
  The First President of Mongolia, Mr. Ochirbat P.
  The Second President of Mongolia, Mr.Bagabandi Natsag
  Labor Hero of Mongolia, Mr..Otgonbileg Shagdar
  Colonel Zagdgochoo D.
  The International Olympic Committee’s Honored Member, Mr. Magvan Sh.
  Hero of Mongolia, General of the Army, Dorj B.

We hope that you will visit our museum. Precious and non-repetitive cultural heritages are pleasing eyes and enriching the mind of visitors.


Zavkhan River


There are five hotels in Uliastai.

Tents can also be set up on the banks of the two rivers which flow through the center of the town.

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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, August 28, 2014. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.