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Choibalsan

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Choibalsan is the capital of Dornod province.

Get in[edit]

By Intercity Bus. Buses leave daily from the Eastern Bus Terminal at 8am. Arrives in Choilbalsan at 11pm. These are old Russian buses since part of the road is unmaintained dirt. Stops to eat twice on the way. Stops a few more times at small stores where you can buy drinks, candy etc. The Bus Terminal is about 10km east of the center of Ulaanbaatar. Return buses leave at 8pm from Choibalsan. You need to buy a ticket a day or two in advance. The ticket is for an exact seat by number.

By Airplane. Hunnu Air ( http://www.hunnuair.com/) is presently the only airline that offers services to Choibalsan. The flights are on Sundays and Thursdays.

Get around[edit]

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The "G.K. Zhukov Museum" is named after Russian General Georgy Zhukov. He s famous mainly for commanding the defense of Stalingrad, but his first great victory was here. In the late thirties, "Manchuko" (Manchuria) was a Japanese puppet state and Mongolia very much in the Soviet sphere of influence; there were a series of border clashes. These ended when Zukov, commanding a mainly Soviet force with some Mongolian troops, inflicted a decisive defeat on Japanese forces at the Battle of Khalkhin Gol in August 1939.

This battle is not well-known in the West, but it was rather important. It was not a small battle; each side had well over 50,000 troops involved. The crushing result — estimates of Japanese casualties run from 15,000 to over 40,000 — greatly affected Japanese strategy in Asia. After Khalkin Gol, they gave up their plan to take Siberia and turned instead to planning attacks on South East Asia. The museum is housed in a faded red building surrounded by a blue fence. It is usually closed, so it will be necessary to request that the caretaker, who lives next door, opens it for you. The museum is a 15 minute walk from the Mongolian Heroes Memorial (heading in the direction of the airport), on the road which runs parallel to the main road.

Other museums in town include the Aimag City Museum & Gallery (opposite the Mongolian Heroes Memorial) and the Natural History Museum (directly to the left facing the Aimag City Museum). Admission to the Natural History Museum is free with paid entry to the Aimag Museum. The caretaker at the Aimag Museum, may have to be asked to open the natural History Museum, as it is usually closed. The hours of operation of both museums depend on the season. In Summer, the museums are open everyday between 9:00am-5:00pm. In Winter, the museums are open on weekdays only between 9:00am-5:00pm.

==Do==Visit the War Memorials and various statues in town. The Mongolian Heroes Memorial is probably the best known landmark in Choibalsan. It is a statue of a cavalry soldier on horseback, with sword upraised as if charging the enemy, riding through an arch.It is a half an hour walk from the main hotel area, but there are quite a few memorials and statues to view on the way. If walking from the main hotel area in Choibalsan towards the Mongolian Heroes Memorial, the first monument to be seen is the Z.Nyamsuren memorial. This memorial is in a park across the road from the Royal Palace Hotel.

On the road beside the To Van Hotel, a statue of Marshall Choibalsan on horseback may be found in a large park on the left hand side of the road,after a few minutes walk. Further down the road, on the right hand side after passing the police station is the Danring Danjaalin Khild Monastery. If you head back to the main road, after a few minutes walk on the right, you will see a small park with a statue of Borte Ujin, who was the wife of Ghenghis Khan. To the left and to the rear of the park is a statue of Ts. Damdinsuren. Continuing on the main road, on the right hand side after passing the gas station, there is the Byantumen Town Bomb Memoeial. The Mongolian Heroes Memorial is on the left, a few minutes walk away.

As Choibalsan was once a military town, there are remnants of Russian occupation. About 2km past the Mongolian Heroes Memorial, on the right hand side of the road, is the old Soviet dormitory site. There are a few crumbling buildings here, but the main attraction is the statue of Lenin and a monument to fallen Soviet soldiers in the Khalk Gol war. At the Choibalsan Airport, if you look to the right upon exiting the terminal, there are quite a few tank bays that were used by the Soviet Army. the bays are concrete reinforced, and have huge metal doors on wheels. There are at least twenty in fairly good condition.

If you head from the hotel on the way to the airport, on the right on a small hill, there is a pilot's memorial to Soviet fighters who lost thier lives in the battle of Khalk Gol. this is one of the highst points in choibalsan (which is very flat), and a good place to watch the sunset.

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==Sleep==the Royal Palace Hotel is probably the best hotel in Choibalsan. It is a four story hotel, with no elevator. It has a good restaurant, clean rooms and Wifi.

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