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Khublai Complex to be established for green tourism

Trans. by B.DULGUUN

The Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics of the Mongolian Academy of Science (MAS) is set to develop a large science complex for green tourism, based at the Khurel Togoot Astronomical Observatory.
The institute is planning to name the new complex after Khublai Khaan, and are aspiring to turn it into a discovery center where children and adults can stargaze, learn about astronomy and space sciences all four seasons. By expanding and introducing new services, the project initiators hope to promote the Khurel Togoot Astronomical Observatory among Mongolians and foreign tourists as the observatory is facing challenges in attracting visitors.
The current observatory, established in 1957, is capable of receiving around 20 people at once. The project initiators believe that once it is expanded and a new complex is established, it will be capable of receiving approximately 3,000 people. They said that establishing a special science complex with green tourism will contribute to Friendly Ulaanbaatar Program and help increase the number of foreign and local tourists in Mongolia.
Currently, the blueprint for Khublai Complex has been drafted. The project will be implement from 2015 to 2030, expanding to an area of 50 hectares in total. The institute is aiming to complete the construction work within three years and commission the building by the end of 2018.
The observatory is located 25 km away from the capital on a picturesque high ground near the northeast peak of Bogd Khan Mountain. It’s also close to popular tourist hotspots such as Temee Khad, a hiking spot 15 minutes from the observatory and four hours from Tsetsee Gun, the highest peak of Bogd Khan Mountain surrounding Zaisan Memorial, Nukht Resort and Manzushir Monastery. However, the observatory has low fresh water reserves, rundown facilities, and poor road and engineering infrastructure.
The Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics emphasized that all of these issues will be resolved during the construction of the complex. Accordingly, roads and infrastructure will be improved, new bus routes will be developed, and the 2.7 km dirt road connecting Sky Resort to Khurel Togoot Astronomical Observatory will be fixed to create comfortable conditions for visitors. Another advantage of the new complex is increased variety of tourism products and services so that the new complex can operate all-year-round.
Project initiators are setting up new astronomy and discovery workshops and exhibitions, as well as an astronomy research center and museum. They’re also searching for adequate solutions for waste and sewage problems to reduce negative impact on the environment and make the complex eco-friendly.
Khublai Complex will consist of seven sections: training area for astronauts, testing sight for rocket launchers and model aircrafts, and an open area to view these trials. Near the testing sight, initiators plan to display smaller models of American, Russian, Chinese and other countries’ spaceships, airplanes and aircrafts. Another anticipated highlight of the science complex is an outdoor astronomy theater where summer nighttime stargazing will be available with explanation of the solar system.
The general plan shows that a memorial site for astronauts will be built on 9.44 hectares, rocket launcher and aircraft testing site on 4.12 hectares, outdoor astronomy theater on 12.96 hectares, and an amateur astronomy site where telescopes can be rented will be built in an area of 9.04 hectares. The project managers are planning to construct a parking area for 500 cars in five hectares of land.
The project will require a substantial funding as it will develop a large science and tourism hotspot and introduce many new services. Over 300,000 USD has been estimated for the project preparation work alone. Some construction work will be executed by the private sector to attract investment from them, according to the Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics. They’ve planned to have private businesses operate shops, exhibitions, restaurants and recreational activities.
For starters, the project initiators asked Minister of Environment, Green Development and Tourism N.Battsereg to have land issues of Khublai Complex sorted. Currently, most of the land around Khurel Togoot Astronomical Observatory has been bought by wealthy people and only a small area has been left untouched. However, this area has been planned to become an apartment complex.
In response, the minister accepted it favorably and expressed that he would assist on resolving land issues. According to the project initiators, the outdoor stargazing facility can be constructed immediately with investment from the private sector once land issues are settled.

Source: Unuudur

Short URL: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/?p=16622

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