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Hotels of Altai Republic

A hotel on Altai Republic is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger on Altai Republic hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms on Altai Republic are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Altai Republic hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Altai Republic hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels on Altai Republic have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:

Upscale luxury hotels on Altai Republic
An upscale full service hotel facility on Altai Republic that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Altai Republic hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.

Full service hotels on Altai Republic
Full service Altai Republic hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.

Historic inns and boutique hotels on Altai Republic
Boutique hotels of Altai Republic are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Altai Republic boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels on Altai Republic may be classified as luxury hotels.

Focused or select service hotels on Altai Republic
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Altai Republic travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Altai Republic focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.

Economy and limited service hotels on Altai Republic
Small to medium-sized Altai Republic hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Altai Republic traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Altai Republic hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.

Guest houses and B&Bs on Altai Republic
A bed and breakfast on Altai Republic is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Altai Republic bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Altai Republic B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.

Hostels on Altai Republic
Altai Republic hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Altai Republic hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.

Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels on Altai Republic
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Altai Republic hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels on Altai Republic lack an on-site restaurant.

Timeshare and destination clubs on Altai Republic
Altai Republic timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts on Altai Republic often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Altai Republic on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.

Motels on Altai Republic
A Altai Republic motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Altai Republic for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Altai Republic motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.

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Travelling and vacation on Altai Republic

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For other uses, see Altay.

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Altai Mountains
Altai Mountains.jpg
Map of the Altai mountain range
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese 阿尔泰山脉
Traditional Chinese 阿爾泰山脈
Transcriptions
Standard Mandarin
Hanyu Pinyin Ā'ěrtài Shānmài
Mongolian name
Mongolian Алтайн нуруу/Altain nurú
Russian name
Russian Алтай
Romanization Altay
Kazakh name
Kazakh Алтай таулары/Altay tawları/التاي تاۋلارى

The Altai Mountains (also spelled Altay Mountains; Altai: Алтай туулар, Altaj tuular; Mongolian: ᠠᠯᠲᠠᠢ
‍ᠶᠢᠨ
ᠨᠢᠷᠤᠭᠤ
, Altai-yin niruɣu (Chakhar), Алтайн нуруу, Altain nurú (Khalkha); Kazakh: Алтай таулары, Altay tawları, التاي تاۋلارى Russian: Алтайские горы, Altayskiye gory; Chinese; 阿尔泰山脉, Ā'ěrtài Shānmài, Xiao'erjing: اَعَرتَىْ شًامَىْ) are a mountain range in Central and East Asia, where Russia, China, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan come together, and are where the rivers Irtysh and Ob have their headwaters. The northwest end of the range is at 52° N and between 84° and 90° E (where it merges with the Sayan Mountains to the east), and extends southeast from there to about 45° N and 99° E, where it gradually becomes lower and merges into the high plateau of the Gobi Desert.

The name "Altai" means "Gold Mountain" in Mongolian; "alt" (gold) and "tai" (suffix - "with"; the mountain with gold) and also in its Chinese name, derived from the Mongol name (Chinese: 金山; literally: "Gold Mountain"). In Turkic languages altin means gold and dag means mountain. The proposed Altaic language family takes its name from this mountain range.

Altai Mountains: Geography

For the area north of the Altai, see Geography of South-Central Siberia.
Lake Kucherla in the Altai Mountains
Belukha mountain
Belukha-the highest mountain in Altay and Siberia
Altay Mountains, Kazakhstan

In the north of the region is the Sailughem Mountains, also known as Kolyvan Altai, which stretch northeast from 49° N and 86° E towards the western extremity of the Sayan Mountains in 51° 60' N and 89° E. Their mean elevation is 1,500 to 1,750 m. The snow-line runs at 2,000 m on the northern side and at 2,400 m on the southern, and above it the rugged peaks tower some 1,000 m higher. Mountain passes across the range are few and difficult, the chief being the Ulan-daban at 2,827 m (2,879 m according to Kozlov), and the Chapchan-daban, at 3,217 m, in the south and north respectively. On the east and southeast this range is flanked by the great plateau of Mongolia, the transition being effected gradually by means of several minor plateaus, such as Ukok (2,380 m) with Pazyryk Valley, Chuya (1,830 m), Kendykty (2,500 m), Kak (2,520 m), (2,590 m), and (2,410 m).

This region is studded with large lakes, e.g. Uvs 720 m above sea level, Khyargas, Dorgon and Khar 1,170 m, and traversed by various mountain ranges, of which the principal are the Tannu-Ola Mountains, running roughly parallel with the Sayan Mountains as far east as the Kosso-gol, and the Khan Khökhii mountains, also stretching west and east.

The north western and northern slopes of the Sailughem Mountains are extremely steep and difficult to access. On this side lies the highest summit of the range, the double-headed Belukha, whose summits reach 4,506 and 4,440 m respectively, and give origin to several glaciers (30 square kilometers in aggregate area, as of 1911). Altaians call it Kadyn Bazhy, but is also called Uch-Sumer. The second highest peak of the range is in Mongolian part named Khüiten Peak. This massive peak reaches 4374 m. Numerous spurs, striking in all directions from the Sailughem mountains, fill up the space between that range and the lowlands of Tomsk. Such are the Chuya Alps, having an average elevation of 2,700 m, with summits from 3,500 to 3,700 m, and at least ten glaciers on their northern slope; the Katun Alps, which have a mean elevation of about 3,000 m and are mostly snow-clad; the Kholzun range; the Korgon 1,900 to 2,300 m, Talitskand Selitsk ranges; the Tigeretsk Alps.

Several secondary plateaus of lower elevations are also distinguished by geographers, The Katun valley begins as a wild gorge on the south-west slope of Belukha; then, after a big bend, the river (600 km long) pierces the Katun Alps, and enters a wider valley, lying at an elevation of 600 to 1,100 m, which it follows until it emerges from the Altai highlands to join the Biya in a most picturesque region. The Katun and the Biya together form the Ob.

The next valley is that of the Charysh, which has the Korgon and Tigeretsk Alps on one side and the Talitsk and Bashalatsk Alps on the other. This, too, is very fertile. The Altai, seen from this valley, presents the most romantic scenes, including the small but deep Kolyvan lake (altitude 360 m), which is surrounded by fantastic granite domes and towers.

Farther west the valleys of the Uba, the Ulba and the Bukhtarma open south-westwards towards the Irtysh. The lower part of the first, like the lower valley of the Charysh, is thickly populated; in the valley of the Ulba is the Riddersk mine, at the foot of the Ivanovsk Peak (2,060 m), clothed with alpine meadows. The valley of the Bukhtarma, which has a length of 320 km, also has its origin at the foot of the Belukha and the Kuitun peaks, and as it falls some 1,500 m in about 300 km, from an alpine plateau at an elevation of 1,900 m to the Bukhtarma fortress (345 m), it offers the most striking contrasts of landscape and vegetation. Its upper parts abound in glaciers, the best known of which is the Berel, which comes down from the Byelukha. On the northern side of the range which separates the upper Bukhtarma from the upper Katun is the Katun glacier, which after two ice-falls widens out to 700 to 900 metres. From a grotto in this glacier bursts tumultuously the Katun river.

The middle and lower parts of the Bukhtarma valley have been colonized since the 18th century by runaway Russian peasants, serfs, and religious schismatics (Raskolniks), who created a free republic there on Chinese territory; and after this part of the valley was annexed to Russia in 1869, it was rapidly colonized. The high valleys farther north, on the same western face of the Sailughem range, are but little known, their only visitors being Kyrgyz shepherds.

Those of Bashkaus, Chulyshman, and Chulcha, all three leading to the alpine lake of Teletskoye (length, 80 km; maximum width, 5 km; elevation, 520 m; area, 230.8 square kilometers; maximum depth, 310 m; mean depth, 200 m), are inhabited by Telengit people. The shores of the lake rise almost sheer to over 1,800 m. From this lake issues the Biya, which joins the Katun at Biysk, and then meanders through the prairies of the north-west of the Altai.

Farther north the Altai highlands are continued in the Kuznetsk district, which has a slightly different geological aspect, but still belongs to the Altai system. But the Abakan River, which rises on the western shoulder of the Sayan mountains, belongs to the system of the Yenisei. The Kuznetsk Ala-tau range, on the left bank of the Abakan, runs north-east into the government of Yeniseisk, while a complexus of mountains (Chukchut, Salair, Abakan) fills up the country northwards towards the Trans-Siberian Railway and westwards towards the Ob.

The Ek-tagh or Mongolian Altai, which separates the Khovd basin on the north from the Irtysh basin on the south, is a true border-range, in that it rises in a steep and lofty escarpment from the Dzungarian depression (470–900 m), but descends on the north by a relatively short slope to the plateau (1,150 to 1,680 m) of north-western Mongolia. East of 94° E the range is continued by a double series of mountain chains, all of which exhibit less sharply marked orographical features and are at considerably lower elevations. The slopes of the constituent chains of the system are inhabited principally by nomadic Kyrgyz.

The five highest mountains of the Altai are:

  • Belukha (4,506 m), Kazakhstan–Russia
  • Khüiten Peak (4,374 m), China–Mongolia
  • Mönkh Khairkhan (4,204 m), Mongolia
  • Sutai Mountain (4,220 m), Mongolia
  • Tsambagarav (4,195 m), Mongolia

Altai Mountains: Fauna

Skull of a Siberian ibex, found near the Belukha
Wisent herd at a nursery of the Russian Academy of Sciences in the Russian Altai (Shebalinsky District, Altai Republic)

The Altai mountains are home to a diverse fauna, because of its different habitats, like steppes, northern taigas and alpine vegetation. Steep slopes are home to the Siberian ibex (Capra sibirica), whereas the rare argali (Ovis ammon) is found on more gentle slopes. Deer are represented by five species, Altai wapiti (Cervus elaphus sibiricus), moose (Alces alces), forest reindeer (Rangifer tarandus valentinae), Siberian musk deer (Moschus moschiferus) and Siberian roe deer (Capreolus pygargus). Moose and reindeer however, are restricted to the northern parts of the mountain range. The wild boar (Sus scrofa) is found in the lower foothills and surrounding lowlands. Until recently, the Mongolian gazelle (Procapra gutturosa) was found in the Russian Altai mountains, more specifically in the Chuya River steppe close to the Mongolian border. Large predators are represented by snow leopards (Panthera uncia, syn. Uncia uncia), wolves (Canis lupus), lynx (Lynx lynx), and brown bears (Ursus arctos), in the northern parts also by the wolverine (Gulo gulo). The Tien Shan dhole (Cuon alpinus hesperius) (a northwestern subspecies of the Asiatic wild dog) also lives there.

Until the 20th century, the Caspian tiger (Panthera tigris virgata) was found in the southern parts of the Altai mountains, where it reached Lake Zaisan and the Black Irtysh. Single individuals were also shot further north, for example close to Barnaul. Closely related to the Caspian tiger is the extant Amur tiger, which has the taxonomic name Panthera tigris altaica.

The wisent was present in the Altai mountains until the Middle Ages, perhaps even until the 18th century. Today, there is a small herd in a nursery in the Altai Republic.

Altai Mountains: History and prehistory

The Altain mountains have retained a remarkably stable climate changing little since the last ice age. In addition the mix of mammals has remained largely the same - with a few exceptions such as extinct Mammoths - making it one of the few places on earth to retain an ice age fauna.

The Altai mountains were home to the Denisovan branch of hominids who were contemporaries of Neanderthals and of Homo Sapiens (modern humans), descended from Hominids who reached Asia earlier than modern humans. The Denisova hominin, dated to 40,000 years ago, was discovered in the Denisova Cave of the Altai mountains in southern Siberia in 2008. Knowledge of the Denisovan humans derives primarily from DNA evidence and artifacts, as no complete skeletons have yet been recovered. DNA evidence has been unusually well preserved because of the low average temperature in the Denisova caves. The same cave has uncovered Neanderthal bones, and tools made by Homo sapiens, making it the only known locale in the world where all three hominids are known to have lived.

A dog-like canid from 33,000 years ago was found in the Razboinichya Cave. DNA analysis published in 2013 affirmed that it was more closely related to modern dogs than to wolves.

The Altai Mountains have been identified as being the point of origin of a cultural enigma termed the Seima-Turbino Phenomenon which arose during the Bronze Age around the start of the 2nd millennium BC and led to a rapid and massive migration of peoples from the region into distant parts of Europe and Asia.

Altai Mountains: World Heritage site

Main article: Golden Mountains of Altai

A vast area of 16,178 km²-Altai and Katun Natural Reserves, Lake Teletskoye, Mount Belukha, and the Ukok Plateau-comprise a natural UNESCO World Heritage Site entitled Golden Mountains of Altai. As stated in the UNESCO description of the site, "the region represents the most complete sequence of altitudinal vegetation zones in central Siberia, from steppe, forest-steppe, mixed forest, subalpine vegetation to alpine vegetation". While making its decision, UNESCO also cited Russian Altai's importance for preservation of the globally endangered mammals, such as snow leopard and the Altai argali. Siberian ibex also live in these mountains. The Uvs Nuur basin is also a protected site.

Violations of the protection status of Argali sheep and other species have been alleged, together with accusations of corruption, in the Altaigate Scandal. The incident arose from the death of several Russian VIPs in a helicopter crash early in 2009, purportedly on a poaching excursion.

Altai Mountains: Geology

The Siberian Altai represents the northern most region affected by the tectonic collision of India into Asia. Massive fault systems run through the area, including the Kurai fault zone and the recently identified Tashanta fault zone. These fault systems are typically thrusts or right lateral strike-slip faults, some of which are tectonically active. Rock types in the mountains are typically granites and metamorphic schists, and some are highly sheared near to fault zones.

Altai Mountains: Seismic activity

Although earthquakes are generally rare occurrences, on 27 September 2003 a very large earthquake measuring MW 7.3 occurred in the Chuya Basin area to the south of the Altai region. This earthquake and its aftershocks devastated much of the region, causing $10.6 million in damage (USGS) and wiping out the village of Beltir.

Altai Mountains: See also

  • Altai Krai
  • Altaic languages
  • Altay language
  • Altai-Sayan region

Altai Mountains: Notes

  1. , p. 758.
  2. "Altai Republic :: official portal". Eng.altai-republic.ru. 1999-06-30. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
  3. Klotz, Gerhard; et al. (1989). Hochgebirge der Erde und ihre Pflanzen und Tierwelt (in German). Leipzig: Urania Verlag. ISBN 3-332-00209-0.
  4. Vratislav Mazak: Der Tiger. Nachdruck der 3. Auflage von 1983. Westarp Wissenschaften, Hohenwarsleben 2004, Buy book ISBN 3-89432-759-6.
  5. Nowell, K.; Jackson, P. (1996). 'Wild Cats: status survey and conservation action plan. IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland. Retrieved 2016-03-17.
  6. Taras P. Sipko: European bison in Russia – past, present and future. In: European Bison Conservation Newsletter. Band 2, 2009, S. 148–159. Online-PDF
  7. Colin Barras (23 January 2014). "Ice-age animals live on in Eurasian mountain range". New Scientist. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  8. Pritchard, Hamish (3 August 2011). "Ancient dog skull unearthed in Siberia". BBC News. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
  9. Ovodov, Nikolai D.; Crockford, Susan J.; Kuzmin, Yaroslav V.; Higham, Thomas F. G.; Hodgins, Gregory W. L.; Plicht, Johannes van der (28 July 2011). "A 33,000-Year-Old Incipient Dog from the Altai Mountains of Siberia: Evidence of the Earliest Domestication Disrupted by the Last Glacial Maximum". PLoS ONE. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
  10. Druzhkova, Anna S.; Thalmann, Olaf; Trifonov, Vladimir A. (6 March 2013). "Ancient DNA Analysis Affirms the Canid from Altai as a Primitive Dog". PLOS ONE.
  11. Keys, David (January 2009). "Scholars crack the code of an ancient enigma". BBC History Magazine. 10 (1): 9.
  12. "Greater Altai – Altai Krai, Republic of Altai, Tyva (Tuva), and Novosibirsk – Crossroads". Archived from the original on March 14, 2007. Retrieved 30 November 2006.

Altai Mountains: References

  • This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Kropotkin, Peter; Bealby, John Thomas (1911). "Altai". In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica. 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 758–759. Authorities cited:
    • P. Semenov and G. N. Potanin, in supplementary vol. of Russian ed. of Ritter's Asien (1877)
    • Ledebour, Reise durch das Altaigebirge (1829–1830)
    • P. Chikhatchev, Voyage scientifique dans l'Altai oriental (1845)
    • Gebler, Übersicht des katunischen Gebirges (1837)
    • G. von Helmersen, Reise nach dem Altai (St Petersburg, 1848)
    • T. W. Atkinson, Oriental and Western Siberia (1858)
    • Cotta, Der Altai (1871)
    • Adrianov, "Journey to the Altai," in Zapiski Russ. Geogr. Soc. xi.
    • Yadrintsev, "Journey in West Siberia," in Zapiski West Sib. Geogr. Soc. ii.
    • Golubev, Altai (1890, Russian)
    • Schmurlo, "Passes in S. Altai" (Sailughem), in Izvestia Russ. Geogr. Soc. (1898); xxxiv. 5
    • V. Saposhnikov, various articles in same periodical (1897), xxxiii. and (1899) xxxv., and, by the same, Katun i yeya Istoki (Tomsk, 1901)
    • S. Turner, Siberia (1905)
    • Deniker, on Kozlov's explorations, in La Géographie (1901, pp. 41, &c.)
    • P. Ignatov, in Izvestia Russ. Geog. Soc. (1902, No. 2).
  • "Ancient spirit and might preserved by indigenous people of Altay." on YouTube RT. 6 November 2011.
  • Guide to the Mountain Altai – Welcome to Altai
  • Photos of Mountain Altai – Altai-Photo
  • Golden Mountains of Altai at Natural Heritage Protection Fund
  • UNESCO's evaluation of Altai (PDF file)
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