Choibalsan City

On our trip to Mongolia’s eastern aimags we stayed in the town of Choibalsan (in Dornod aimag).  The town has some amazing monuments and murals.

The biggest monument marks the history of the area. During World War II the Soviet and Mongolian forces halted Japanese forces pressing on Mongolia’s eastern border in Dornod aimag.  These key battles are known as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol (Khalkin River).  Sadly we didn’t visit this site. It was another ten hours from town with nowhere great (i.e. warm) options to stay overnight in the winter.  I hear it’s a worth the trip, something to see if I’m in the area again.

This is the town's largest monument. I'm not sure if it's for the Battle of Khalkhin Gol or to the historic Mongolian - Soviet military partnership, but it's a cool looking monument.
This is the town’s largest monument. I’m not sure if it’s for the Battle of Khalkhin Gol or to the historic Mongolian – Soviet military partnership, but it’s a cool looking monument.
The mosaics at the monument picture battle scenes. Here, a Mongolian woman is offering a blessing of dairy (milk) to departing soldiers. She is very dressed up.
The mosaics at the monument picture battle scenes. Here, a Mongolian woman is offering a blessing of dairy (milk) to departing soldiers. She is very dressed up.
Tanks are part of the monument.
Tanks are part of the monument.
Someone made their own dairy offering to the monument and left the milk carton behind.
Someone made their own dairy offering to the monument and left the milk carton behind.

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I'm not sure what this was -- I think it used to be a monument in front of the old government building, but since the building moved, it looks like they took down the flags and whatever was on the monument.
I’m not sure what this was — I think it used to be a monument in front of the old government building, but since the building moved, it looks like they took down the flags and whatever was on the monument.

Mongolian horsehair banners stand behind the statue of Choibolsan.

An apartment building.
An apartment building near the center of town.

A fantastic mural.

Murals in town.

In front of the province's museum is a statue of Choibolsan, the town's namesake. He was Mongolia's leader during Stalin's reign and a commander in the Battle of Khalkhin Gol.
In front of the province’s museum is a statue of Choibolsan, the town’s namesake. He was Mongolia’s leader during Stalin’s reign and a commander in the Battle of Khalkhin Gol.
USAID mural
I can only read part of this USAID mural; it’s about working together for wildlife preservation.

Wandering through town, you get the impression that it was very prosperous in the Soviet-era with state-organized herding, farming, and factories. As an outsider it’s hard for me to say how the city is doing today.  There is a university in the town, new construction is happening, and with a population of 38,000 , it is Mongolia’s fourth largest city.

The newer buildings are in the middle of town, and as you head out of town or towards the older sections, you see facades of crumbling buildings.  Signs of another era.

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I also have to include these pictures because driving by the power plant was crazy.  There was so much steam produced that all the trees within a 50′ radius were weighed down in layer upon layer of frost.

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An oversize Russian toy sits in front of a playground.

fireman statue

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