Bayankhongor was once home to one of the largest Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, Gegeen Monastery, in Mongolia with over 10,000 Lama monks until Stalinist purges in the 1930s. It was a major center of learning and religion for the region at the time. However, the communist government destroyed most of the temples and executed many of the monks. In the early 1990s, a small concrete ger was established on the site in an effort to restore Tibetan Buddhism. There are several other active monasteries nearby, plus ruins of other also destroyed by the communists. The city is situated near the northern boundary of the Govi Desert with desert to the south and steppe and forests to the north. Outside of the city are many hot springs, rivers, lakes, oases, and the Great Gobi A National Park.
There is a bus that goes from Ulaanbaatar everyday at 8AM. In 2013, a paved road connecting Bayanhongor with Ulaanbaater through Arvayheer. Travel time was 10–12 hours before the road was completed. It should be at least a couple hours less now.
By planeAirport is located just outside of the city with a concrete runway.
phone: +976 7000 1111 (Ulaanbaatar), +976 7044 2244 (Bayanhongor)Formerly Mongolian Airlines. Flights to Ulaanbaatar and Altai, Govi-Altai every Tues and Fri.
Getting around the town is pretty easy. You can walk from one side to the other in less than 30 minutes. Even the airport is within easy walking distance if you don't have too much luggage. Taxis in Bayanhongor work like they do elsewhere in Mongolia, wave down a random car or go to the market to hire one. Taxis to the villages (or soums) surrounding Bayanhogor gather at the market. Most drivers live in the villages and drive into Bayanhongor in the morning, leaving in the afternoon.
Great Gobi Strictly Protected Areaaddress: South of Bayanhongor, near the Chinese BorderThe park spans across 45,000 km² of some of the driest parts of the entire Gobi Desert, with the exception of a few isolated oases, and is recognized as a United Nations International Biosphere Reserve. Because the area is so dry, even the nomadic herders that live in other parts of the desert generally avoid the park. The park is home to the critically endangered Govi Bear and wild Bactrian Camels, as well as a numerous species of mammals, reptiles, and birds.
Museum of Natural Historyaddress: Near 2nd SchoolFor such a small, remote town, the museum has an impressive collection of displays that includes a complete Tarbosaurus skeleton. Other displays show stuffed animals of the Govi Bear, eagles, wild sheep, and mineral deposits in the region.
History and Ethnographical Museumaddress: Next to the Naadam StadiumDue to the region's former role as a center of religion, the museum has a large collection of impressive Tibetan Buddhist relics like several huge green and whites taras of the god Lama Gegeen and gold coated sutras. There are also displays on nomadic lifestyle, ethnic clothing, and life under the Manchus and Soviets.