- Capital: Zuunmod,
- Altitude 1529 m
- Area 81000 km²
- Population: 85 166 inhabitants (2011)
- Ethnic groups: Khalkha and Buryats
- Ecosystem: steppe
The Tov aimag, which surrounds Ulaanbaatar, occupies the central part of the chain of the Khentii. The region is quite mountainous and has many rivers making it the most arable region of the country. It is also one of the most developed provinces of Mongolia and has the most tourist facilities.
Bogd Khan uul strictly protected area
Becoming a UNESCO world heritage site in 1996, The Park of Bogd Khan Uul is regarded as sacred by Mongolians. Created in 1778, sitting 2122 m above sea level and covering an area of 416 km² it is the oldest protected natural area in the world. Originally it was guarded from poachers by 2000 lamas.
It is a forest steppe ecosystem and is host to a variety of wildlife such as deer, mousedeer, red deer, ibex, wild boar, lynx, badger, weasel, elk, wolves and foxes. At the heart of this area lies the Manzushir monastery. Although destroyed in 1937 by Stalin’s men, it was partially restored in the 1990s. The main temple is now a museum but the rest is still in ruins. The beautiful surrounding forest adds to the site’s serenity.
Gorkhi-Terelj national park
Close to Ulaanbaatar covering an area of 2864 km², Gorkhi-Terelj is ideal for a weekend getaway and visitors can take in the scenery on foot or on horseback. There are two unique rock formations that are quite popular with holidaymakers: ‘turtle rock’ and ‘the reading man’.
3 km from turtle rock lies the Aryaval monastery and meditation center. If you are lucky you might chance upon monks reciting mantras during a prayer session.
Khustai national park
This 50620 hectare park is an important site for the rehabilitation of Przewalski’s horses. Created in 1993 to protect the wild ponies of Mongolia, it is also home to red deer (maral), gazelles, deer, wild boars, pallas cats, wolves and lynx.