by Paul Bacon
Rotherham, United Kingdom
November 30, 2005
Never keen on understatement the Communists built Zaisan on an epic scale. It features a towering statue of a Mongolian soldier made from white stone that stretches over one-hundred feet into the air. At the base of that is a circular mural depicting key events in Mongolian history from independence in the 1920s right through to the 1980s when a Mongolian cosmonaut flew alongside his Soviet colleagues.
Whilst the history of the monument is interesting enough, getting to the top of the hill on which the monument stands involves over three hundred often icy steps and probably doesn't make the hike all that worthwhile. What does make the aching calf-muscles feel better though is the view on offer from Zaisan. From the foot of the large soldier it is possible to look across Ulaan Baatar and then into the country on the far side. In winter this is especially beautiful as not just the city, but the surrounding mountains and Zaisan itself are all covered in snow giving something of a fairytale appearance.
There are buses that travel to Zaisan, but the easiest way is by taxi, the ten-minute ride is likely to cost around $3/4.
From journal City to Steppe in Mongolia