Agreement Date: August 21, 2011
Population: About 25,000
Mayor: D. Ulziisaikhan
Major Industries: Animal Husbandry, Dairy production, Tourism
Sister City Coordinator: Bolor Smith
Tsetserleg (Mongolian: Цэцэрлэг, garden) is the capital of the Arkhangai aimag (province), and is located in the southern Erdenebulgan soum (district) on the northeastern slopes of the Khangai (Hangayn) Mountains.
True to its translation (“garden”), the city is surrounded by lush green landscapes and beautiful wildflowers in the countryside, perfect for the traditional herding lifestyle still present in the culture. Some of the natural scenery one can enjoy there includes the Chuulut Gorge, White Lake National Park, and Taikhar Rock.
Tsetserleg is one of the most visited cities in Mongolia. It has an airport, with regular connections from and to Ulan Bator, a theatre, hotel, hospital, an agricultural college, and a plethora of local shops and restaurants. Some of the tourist attractions include camping and visiting the Tsenker Hot Springs.
Historically, Tsetserleg has a rich legacy of being a cultural and commercial center. It has three main temples: the Guden Süm, the Right, or Summer Semchin Temple, and the Left, or Winter Semchin Temple, all of which were constructed in the early 1680s.
The town experiences a subarctic climate and is usually met with dry, cold winters and pleasantly warm and relatively wet summers.
The Sister City Relationship
Tsetserleg is the newest of Bellingham’s seven sister cities. It The official sister cities agreement between Bellingham and Tsetserleg was signed on August 21, 2011 by Tsetserleg Mayor D. Ulziisaikhan, as well as Arkhangai Governor Ë. Baatarbileg and several other community leaders. Bellingham was represented by BSCA President Terry Carten, Tsetsergleg City Chair Bolor Smith and Barbara Sanchez, former BSCA President.
The Bellingham delegation was also joined by representatives from Blue Sky Education Project and Sound Essence Project, two Bellingham-based non-profit organizations with the focus on providing educations scholarship assistance to Mongolian students, as well as spreading knowledge about cultural sustainability. Two Tsetserleg college students were awarded scholarships, as were many other elementrary students to provide funds for school supplies.
This looks to be the beautiful beginning of another sister city relationship in the hopes to better understand Mongolian culture, discuss programs both cities can benefit from, and strive for world peace.