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.
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.
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.