Erdenet is the second largest city in Mongolia, located in the Orkhon province, about 370km drive from the capital, Erdenet is a fairly young city founded in 1974. However, while it is a young city it is one of the most important, having the 4th largest copper mine in the world, contributing a great percentage to Mongolia’s GDP. The city of around 100,000 is home to Erdenet Mining corporation and is a major stop on the railway route to Russia. So here are the top 5 things to do in Edenet.
Things to Do in Erdenet:
Whether you arrive in Erdenet by train, bus or car and whether you have several hours or several days there is plenty of things to do in Erdenet.
Located in the central city Öndörlög Monument can give you an excellent view of the city and the mass mining monds outside the city. Walk up the steps and find the soviet era monument with its brightly coloured mural which tells a story that I won’t ruin for you. If you are into history you will find this monument particularly interesting so its worth checking out.
Erdenet Buddha Statue:
Located behind Öndörlög Monument the God statue (literally the locals told me thats its name) is’nt everything it appears. From afar it may just seem like a another statue constructed for the region, a religious monument. However what you will see infront of you is actually pure gold. I’m not joking its actual gold! Waying in a 80 tons, the statue was completed in September 16th 2008. It cost 3.2 billion tugriks. 650 million was contributed smaller towns and local companies so it really is a community effort to construct it. So back to the gold part, it is actually only the 2nd statue in Asia that is covered fully in real gold, the first is in Hongkong and when you see the size of it up close, thats impressive!
You will be able to take a look around inside, where you may be greeted by Buddhist Monks or someone else willing to take your photo. However while inside you wont be able to take photos so keep that in mind.
Erdenet Mining Museum:
So this next one is not for everyone, but Erdenets Mining Museum allows you to see a rich history of Erdenets core industrial industry. Located next to the cities main square you, the museum will showcase information about rocks, formations and Erdenet mine itself. A side note here, don’t be surprised if it isn’t open, you will need to possibly book a tour to be able to see the museum. If you are staying more than a day or overnight, pop into the museum and ask when the next tour is and to be registered onto it.
If you are into Buddhist Monasteries then this is one to tick of your bucket list. Located around 60km from the city, it is the third biggest Monastery in Mongolia. Built in 1727, this monastery is currently made up of 28 temples, 6 of which are open to the visitors, with a small admission fee of course. The temple is home still to many monks who keep watch over mummified bodies Bogd Gegeens and cultural important and significant scripts. It is as much a place of culture and history as it is religious.
While it isn’t exactly located in central Erdenet, pick up a guide (in a russian van) and enjoy the day exploring this attraction.
If you get the chance to visit Erdenets mine I would say go for it. Unfortunately you can’t just ‘rock up’ to the mine and ask to see it. This visit will require to book in advance, normally far in advance. If it does interest you get a friend to make some phone calls to a local representive in Erdenet.
Bonus Erdenet Carpet Factory:
The mention can’t go without being said. Erdenet is a centre for carpet production. The factory established in 1981 and has wide range of cashmere and silk products to choose from…and…of course your carpets. Perhaps a good place to find that gift for that odd relative of yours back home?
Well why not visit Erdenet? The best time is in July, June and August, but why not take a train ride to Erdenet itself. Eitherway if you do end up in Erdenet for whatever reason, there is always something to do!