Ondorkhaan (also spelled Öndörkhaan and Undur Khan, Mongolian: Өндөрхаан) is a city in Eastern Mongolia. It was renamed Chinggis City (Чингис) in 2013 to honor the great conqueror born in the north of the province. Government sources (including maps and buses) will generally use the new name, however Mongolians are more likely to know it by the old one, and using the old name for internet searches helps avoid the many other conflicting uses of the name "Chinggis".
Ondorkhaan is home to about 15,000 people and is the capital city of Hentii province. The area around the city has been occupied by permanent settlement since at least 1660 when a monastery was constructed where the center of the city now sits, which at one point had over 1,000 monks. However, all the monks were driven out in the 1930s and the buildings destroyed in the 1950s. Today, one of the most noticeable features of the place is the unusually large number of statues of Genghis Khan (even by Mongolian standards)
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There is no functioning airport in Ondorkhaan.
Buses from Ulaanbaatar depart daily at 08:00, and perhaps at other times, from the east-bound station on Peace Ave, a few kilometers east of Suukhbaatar square. Tickets can be purchased inside the building and up the stairs, and cost 13,000 ₮ in May 2018. The drive should take 5–6 hours, including a few stops for passenger exchanges, and one rest break.
Ondorkhaan is aligned along a southwest-northeast axis, and is about 5 km long. Most travel is done by walking, but taxis are common. There is a taxi stand in front of the West Market. Also, just standing beside the road and stretching your arm will flag a taxi. The rate is 500 ₮/km.
- Ethno Museum of Khentii – this is the premiere museum in Khentii. As of May 2018 it is closed for repairs, which show no sign of activity or progress. It used to be open from Tuesday-Saturday 09:00-18:00 and cost about US$1 per person. The museum, which is a set of small buildings from a former Buddhist temple, includes an impressive replica of Chinngis Khan’s ger, along with an extensive collection of historical pieces from the area. Access from the green gate on the north side of the property, which is to the southeast of Khan park.
- Local Resource Museum - Located in a single-story building with a yellow roof, across the street to the north of Khan park.
- Buddhist Monastery – located south of town and to the west of the bridge crossing the Kherlen river, is the renovated Buddhist Monastery (surrounded by large white walls). It is an impressive structure and one of the most beautiful places in Khentii.
- Turkic Balbal – located 7 km southwest of town (past the old airport) is a stone man from the Turkic era. Look for the blue habuks blowing in the wind. The intricacies of the stone carving and the age of the stone man are very impressive. Be sure to bring a small offering of food or money to leave at the balbal.
- Khan Park – this is the centrally located city park in Ondorkhaan. It starts at the Museum of Khentii and ends at the sports complex. There are a few monuments and tanks from the Soviet era. The park also includes a monument with the image of an approaching Mongol horse, a stone statue of Chinngis Khan, and an imposing ensemble of statues of Mongolian wrestlers.
Ondorkhaan is home to many Buryats (or Buriyads), which is an ethnic people from Siberia. There are bootmakers in the city that make boots called "Buryats", which are known for their warmth. A typical pair will cost ~60,000 ₮. Also, there are many bakeries in Ondorkhaan that make Buryat bread, which is fluffier, lighter, and sweeter than traditional Mongolian bread. To find the bread, go into any of the supermarkets/delguurs and look for the bread section.
There are many guanzs on the main street of Ondorkhaan. The fare is typical Mongolian (hooshur or buuz). The pricing is essentially the same and the service is quick. If you are in a hurry or on a tight budget, try one of these. There are multiple guanzs on the first floor of the Ogooj (өгөөж) building. The Ogooj building is the 2-story yellow building in the center of town on the main road.
China Restaurant, is on the first floor of Hotel Negdulchin. It is an upscale restaurant that focuses on traditional Mongolian and Chinese platters. The food portions are large, so you may want to consider splitting.
Khangard (хангард), is the most popular upscale restaurant in town for the locals. The menu is very broad and includes many traditional dishes, along with chicken and Italian fare. A VIP room is available.
Och (өч), specializes in large dishes of traditional Mongolian food. The décor is very modern and clean and this restaurant stays open later than others.
(Зочид буудал) Public Hotel – across the street from Khan Park and near the Museum of Khentii. Private room with shower and toilet (15,000 ₮ per person), Quad room with private toilet (7,000 ₮ per person), Regular no toilet (6,000 ₮ per person). Shared hot shower.
Jonon Hotel – Luxury with toilet (22,000 ₮ per person), ½ Luxury with toilet (9,000 ₮ one person), Regular with shared toilet (6,000 ₮ per person). Special luxury room for foreigners with toilet/shower (22,000 ₮). Shared hot shower. Karaoke bar on first floor. Lower rates were quoted. It's about 2 blocks almost due north from the bus depot, on a paved street with decorative helix lanterns.
Governor’s Hotel – 2 rooms available, both rooms are spacious and sleep 2-3 people (20,000 ₮ per person). There is a renovated shared bathroom (hot shower and toilet). Private parking, large shared kitchen/dining area available.
(Эрдэс Hotel) Erdes Hotel – The hotel is next to the Museum of Khentii and near many of the shops, supermarkets, and banks. Looked closed in May 2018.
Hotel Negdulchin – Quality hotel in Ondorkhaan, long considered a premiere option. It is about 5 blocks due east from the bus depot. Deluxe with private shower/toilet (2018: 50,000 ₮), ½ luxury with private toilet (2011: 30,000 ₮), double room with shared toilet (2011: 20,000 ₮), single room with shared toilet (2011: 15,000 ₮), Shared hot shower. Private parking, China Restaurant on first floor.
Hotel Ezent Guren - Opened in 2014, prominently located, well signed, and tastefully decorated. On the south-east corner of the main park. Was quoted 65,000 ₮ in May 2018 for one person in a large room with private bath and queen-sized bed.
As the Aimag capital and a regional hub, the town is well served by cellular towers. A visitor in May 2018 reports 5 bars HSPA+ (LTE) service on the Unitel network.
There are pick-pockets (including children), primarily in the markets and the main shopping district. Also, beware of drunk people and avoid them.
Taxis and meekers (vans) travel daily between Ondorkhaan and all major cities (UB, Choibolsan, Baruun-Urt). The price is negotiable based upon the number of travelers, the type of vehicle, and the final destination. A taxi from Ondorkhaan to UB (small car) typically costs 30,000 to 45,000 ₮ each way. In Ondorkhaan, the taxi/meeker stand is in front of 4th school near the sports complex.
This is the most economical way to travel between Ondorkhaan and other major cities. Here is the bus schedule (as of 2011):
Ondorkhaan to Ulaanbaatar: 10,000 ₮ each way, leaves Ondorkhaan post office at 08:00 everyday, arrives in UB at 14:00, tickets purchased the day before or the morning of in the post office (center window). This bus includes stops at soums along the road, including Baganuur and Mandaltsenker. The bus stop in UB is Bayanzurk Teevrin Tovchoo, which is about 8 km east of Sukhbaatar Square.
Ondorkhaan to Bor-Undur: 8,500 ₮ each way, leaves Ondorkhaan post office at 08:00, Monday, Thursday, Saturday only, arrives in Bor-Undur at 15:00, tickets purchased the day before or the morning of in the post office (center window). This bus includes stops at soums along the way.
Ondorkhaan to Choibolsan: 15,000 ₮ each way, ask the ticket window for where and when the bus leaves (changes regularly), tickets purchased the day before or the morning of in the post office (center window). This bus includes stops at soums along the way.
Ondorkhaan to Baruun-Urt: 15,000 ₮ each way, ask the ticket window for where and when the bus leaves (changes regularly), tickets purchased the day before or the morning of in the post office (center window). This bus includes stops at soums along the way.
It is recommended to purchase tickets early the day before because the seats do fill up. Also, if the bus is full, tickets will be sold for the center aisle, which will require the rider to sit on a plastic stool in the aisle or stand for the duration of the ride.