|Dornod aimag - Choibalsan city|
|Dornod aimag - Choibalsan city|
Geography and landscape: Dornod aimag covers an area of around 123,600Km² and shares a border with Russia to the north, China to the east, Sukhbaatar aimag to the south and Khentii aimag to the west. This aimag is closest to Asia pacific and is considerably developed in terms of infrastructure and transportation. Khalkh, Buryat, Barga, Uzemchin, Uryankhai, Uuld, and Kazakhs make up the ethnic groups in Dornod. Choibalsan has a population of 40,000 people.
Dornod Strictly Protected Areas
In 1992, the national lower committee passed a resolution confirming the establishment of a strictly protected area (SPA) in order to protect and preserve the ecosystem of Khyalganat steppe and the habitat of the Mongolian gazelle. The territory extends through Matad, Khalkhgol, Sukhbaatar and Edenetsagaan Soum and covers around 570.3Ha of land. In this region, you can find the great sand dune and beautiful legendary mountain called Vangiin Tsagaan Mountain. 153 species of bird, twenty six species of mammals including the 2 amphibians listed on the Red book of Mongolia as well as Dornod’s Sarvaahai and Daguur’s hedgehog. Also Swan, Great Bustard, White-nape Crane, Relict Gull and other rare birds such as the falcon, Asian sand-piper visit the area during their migration.
Mongol Daguur Strictly Protected Areas: Established in1992 to protect and preserve the steppe environment which is home to plant and animal species, breeding and endangered bird species, to use for research purposes. This area became the first cross-boundary protected area, the boundary region between Russia China and Mongolia in 1994 and in 1997 the territory became part of the East Asian Crane protecting international network area. The protected area covering 103,000Ha extends over Chuluunkhoroot, Dashbalbar and Gurvanzagal Soum territory. Black, white and other kinds of rare Northeast Asian cranes lay their eggs and gather in large numbers here during migration.
Numrug Strictly Protected Areas: located along the border through the western region of Hyangan Mountain range, this protected area of 311,200Ha was established in 1992 in order to protect the forest area, animal and plant species of Hyangan mountain range and the water shed that is found in this area. Numerous rare and endangered animal species such as; Ussuri Moose, Manchurian mole, otter, brown bear and bird species such as wild duck, eagles, falcons, cranes and condors can be spotted here.
Yakhi Lake (National Preserve Area) In order to protect gazelle and resting site for migrating bird species, the area was taken under protection in 1998. This national preserve area is located on the borders of Choibalsan, Sergelen and Gurvanzagal Soum and extends over 251,38Ha. There are numerous species of animals such as white antelopes, wolves, marmots and steppe foxes, as well as migratory and sedentary birds such as vulture and magnificent landscapes featuring rocky hills, valleys and mountains.
Ugtam Mountain (National Preserve Area)The Ugtam Mountain region was made into a preservation area in 1993 with the purpose of restoring the wild life and preserving the habitat of endangered animal and plant species. This mountain lies in the area of Bayandun and Dashbalbar Sum became one of the national preserve areas.
Toson Khulstain Lake (National Preserve Area)Surrounding Toson Khulstai Lake, this 4700Km² area in Tsagaan-Ovoo, Khulunbuir and Bayantumen sums was made into a preservation area in 1998 as the main reserve for white antelopes. Wide spread are 80 different kinds of herbs such as the; Prickled Rose, Orchid, Rib Grass, grassy plant, along with rare Cranes, Steppe Bustards and Hedgehogs.
Buir Nuur. This beautiful lake is the largest in eastern Mongolia (the northern shore is actually in China). The surrounding countryside is mostly grassland, though there are a few trees. The lake has a maximum depth of 50m and, if you're equipped with the proper paraphernalia, is a good place to fish.
Khalkhin Gol. The banks of the Khalkhin Gol, in the far eastern part of Dornod, are of particular interest to war historians because of the battles against the Japanese in 1939. The dry, unpolluted air ensures that most of the relics, which are just lying around, have been well preserved.
Choibalsan's Mongolian Heroes' Memorial. It is a large arch with a soldier on horseback charging towards the enemy.
Danrag Danjalan Khiid. According to the chief monk, this monastery was built around 1840 and was once very active. It contained three northern temples and four southern temples, but less than half the 800 monks could be accommodated at one time, so most had to pray outside. The Mongolian security forces descended on the place in 1937, destroyed all records and arrested most of the monks, none of whom has ever been heard from since. In June 1990 the monastery reopened and it now has two small temples where about 35 monks worship.
Kherlen Bar Khot. Kherlen Bar Khot is the location of some small-scale ruins and a 3m-high tower from a 12th century city, once part of the ancient state of Kitan. There are also some balbals (Turkic stones believed to be grave markers) and, predictably, a Chinggis Khaan memorial of sorts: a rock called the 'Chinggis Bed', which commemorates his stay here. You can see a picture of the tower in the Choibalsan History Museum. Kherlen Bar Khot is about 90km West of Choibalsan, in the sum of Tsagaan Ovoo. It is on the main road between Choibalsan and Ondorkhaan, and is worth a look if you have your own vehicle.
Chinggis Khan’s wall A passage that extends through Bayan-Uul, Bayandun, Dashbalbar, and Gurvanzagal Soum, located 35 km from Khalkhgol Soum, there is a Ikh Burkhantiin Park which was built in 1859-1864, stone men of Turk period in Shonkh Tavan Tolgoi, the Khiimori Gobi in Matad Som, stone statues in the place called Khutsuu of Sergelen Som, ruins of freedom fighter Earl Savaa’s Statue in Sergelen Som, man-made mountain by Togtokhtur king of ILden Hoshuu which is located in the place called Tamsagbulan of Khalkhgol Som, Utai tavan Mountain, Melhii or a ger cave which was written in the Secret History of Mongols.