Choir. Region of Mongolia. Place to visited in region of Mongolia.
Govi-Sumber aimag. Choir. Gobi-Sumber aimag.
Choir. Choir, about halfway between Sainshand and Ulaanbaatar, is a
town with one foot in the past and the other in the future. Unfortunately
the present is pretty grim. The only reason to visit Choir is to explore the
nearby springs at Khalzan Uul, or to refuel between Ulaanbaatar and
Around 15km north of the town is the village of Lun Bag, the site of the
largest Soviet air base in Mongolia. The Russians departed in 1992, leaving
behind an eerie ghost town of concrete buildings and statues of MiG
fighters. Some of the flats, which formerly housed military personnel, are
now occupied by Mongolian families, but many sit empty, the windows broken,
the plumbing ripped out and the walls scrawled with graffiti. The Russians
left behind something else: the best paved runway in Mongolia.
To promote rapid economic growth, Choir formally seceded from Dornogov -
it is now an autonomous municipality called Gov-Sumber, with a population of
13,300 - and was declared a Free Trade Zone. Nothing much was done to
promote the area; development was postponed after the change of government
in 1996 and is unlikely to take place in the near future.