Exploring the world in the Beechcraft Bonanza

Leg 144, Ngari Gunsa, Tibet, via Pakistan to Ahmedabad, India

DAY01_13.PLN (7.4 KB)

Sunrise over the Himalayas then on to New Delhi and the Taj Mahal in Agra

01-12 Ngari Gunsa ZUAL 8:02 PM Climb to 18.5Kft FLC 90 to 21Kft to avoid peaks
01-12 Kullu Manali VIBR 9:07 PM Sunrise 8:58 PM
01-12 Jallowal VI88 9:39 PM Golden temple next 31°37’12"N 74°52’37"
01-12 Amritsar VIAR 9:54 PM
01-12 Allama Iqbal Intl OPLA 10:07 PM Entered the bad stutter zone again CoherentGTDraw spikes to 600ms
01-12 Faisalabad Intl OPFA 10:39 PM Bad stuttering again until touch down
01-12 Okara OPOK 10:55 PM
01-12 Lallgarh VI1P 11:17 PM
01-12 Sirsa VISX 11:36 PM
01-12 Hissar VIHR 11:53 PM
01-13 Bhiwani VIBW 12:04 AM
01-13 Indira Gandi Intl VIDP 12:23 AM
01-13 Safdarjung VIDD 12:30 AM Lotus temple
01-13 Dhanipur Airstrip VIAH 12:54 AM
01-13 Agra AB VIAG Taj Mahal 1:09 AM
01-13 Jaipur VIJP 1:51 AM
01-13 Vanasthali VANI 2:05 AM
01-13 Ondwa VA1H 2:40 AM
01-13 Udaipur VAUD 3:01 AM
01-13 Ahmedabad VAAH 3:49 AM

Flight time 7:47 19 stops

Departing from Nagru Gunsa, climbing to 18,500ft to cross the ridge

Qusum town before dawn, climbing on to 21,000ft

Over Dundui

The sun is starts to hit the mountain peaks at Giu Thach

Lari still in the dark below

Sunrise over the Spiti river

That’s enough lens flare for today

Mikan and Mikkan on the Pin river

Pin Valley National Park

Thunda Bhuj Parvaty Valley

Kullu Manali Airport on the Baes river

Shamshi in the same valley

Jalpa Forest

Following the Baes river out of the mountains

Sutley river below, Baes river reservoir in the distance, created by Pong dam

Amritsar, Punjab, home of the gilded Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib)

Harmandir Sahib is the holiest gurdwara (religious complex) of the Sikh religion

Partition museum on the right, chronicling the 1947 partition of India & Pakistan

Faisalabad, formerly known as Lyallpur, historically one of the first planned cities within British India

The Clock Tower, center of the city, on the lower left in the screenshot above

Aka “Ghanta Ghar” گھنٹہ گھر in Urdu which translates into “Hour House”

Durjanpur, indicative of 90% of the landscape in Northern India

Indira Gandi International Airport

New Delhi, the capital of India, central park down in the circle below

Rashtrapati Bhavan, official residence plus Mughal and herbal gardens of the President of India

Baha’i Lotus Temple, opened in 1986 and open to those of all religions

So much to see in New Delhi. Qutab Minar on the left, 73m tapering tower built in 1193 by Qutab-ud-din Aibak after defeat of Delhi’s last Hindu kingdom

Humayun’s tomb of Mughal Emperor Humayun, built in 1572 in the middle

Shri Laxmi Narayan Temple (Birla Mandir) on the right. 7.5 acre Hindu temple complex, up to a large extent dedicated to Laxminarayan. The side temples are dedicated to Shiva, Krishna and Buddha. I could be completely wrong, the picture looks like to be a side temple dedicated to Krishna, the god of compassion. The swastika at the top of the temple symbolizes surya (“sun”), prosperity and good luck. The mirror (left facing) variant 卍 is called sauvastika, symbolizing night or tantric aspects of Kali.

Some images from India’s rich culture, found at the National museum

Agrasan Ki Baoli, step-well from the 10th century

Isa Khan’s tomb, built in 1547–1548 during the reign of Sher Shah Suri

Part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Humayun’s tomb complex

Sri Bangla Sahib Gurudwara, one of the most prominent Sikh gurdwara, or Sikh house of worship

Features a holy river inside its complex with healing properties, known as the “Sarovar.”

There is much more to see in New Delhi, meanwhile my plane is already at Agra Air Base

Agra is where the Taj Mahal is located

17th-century, Mughal-style, marble mausoleum, one of the great wonders of the modern world

A view of the interior

Heading South, more cultivated land, mostly flat with some hills appearing at Sankarwada

Udaipur, Rajasthan, formerly the capital of the Mewar Kingdom

Founded by Maharana Udai Singh II in 1559, also know as the city of lakes

Home to plenty lavish royal residences, and below Nethru Garden, island garden in Fateh Sagar Lake

Memorial of the Rajput hero Maharana Pratap (1540-1597) on the left, the 13th king of Mewar

Jagmandir in the middle and Jagdish Hindu temple on the right

City Palace on lake Pichola, monumental 16th century complex of 11 palaces, courtyards and gardens

Ahar museum, containing sculptures & artifacts dating to the 10th century, plus cenotaphs of royal rulers

Over the years I’ve been conditioned to immediately associate this with a water level puzzle. The Longshot must be in a chamber underneath.

Last stop for today, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, on the Sabarmati River

Hutheesing Jain Temple, 19th-century marble Jain temple

And the Calico Museum of Textiles, devoted to 5 centuries of Indian fabrics & weaving techniques

No lack of visual splendor in India, so much to see. I’ll be heading further South tomorrow.

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Leg 145, Ahmedabad, Gujarat to Sholapur, Maharashtra, India

DAY01_14.PLN (8.4 KB)

A lot more India, mostly the cities. Most of the area I flew over is all cultivated with lots of cities. 1.4 billion people, 382 per sq km, it shows. And so much to see in cities, I might have more external screenshots this leg than views from the game.

01-13 Ahmedabad VAAH 7:19 PM
01-13 Rajkot VARK 8:00 PM
01-13 Amereli Airstrip VAAM 8:17 PM Virtual vision landing
01-13 Bhavnagar VABV 8:37 PM
01-13 Surat VASU 8:55 PM
01-13 Vadodara VABO 9:22 PM
01-13 Khargo Govt. Airstrip VAKH 10:08 PM
01-13 Devi Ahilyabai Holkar VAID Indore 10:29 PM
01-13 Bentaya VE85 10:43 PM
01-13 Bhopal VABP 11:16 PM massive input lag, fine after touch down
Bad stutter is back, CoherentGTDraw spiking again, flat terrain, nothing out of the ordinary, fine after landing
01-13 Amla VA1L 11:54 PM
01-14 Nagpur VANP 12:20 AM
01-14 Chanda VA1B 12:44 AM
01-14 Adilabad VAAD 1:02 AM Massive stuttering on the ground, fine in the air
01-14 Basanth Nagar VORG 1:35 AM
01-14 Warangal VOWA 1:52 AM
01-14 Hakimpet VOHK 2:21 AM
01-14 Hyderabad VOHY 2:28 AM
01-14 Nadirgul VALA 2:36 AM
01-14 Rajiv Gandhi Intl VOHS 2:47 AM
01-14 Bidar VOBR 3:15 AM
01-14 Gulbarga VAGU 3:33 AM
01-14 Sholapur VASL 3:59 AM

Flight time 8:40 22 stops

Rajkot in the western Indian state of Gujarat

Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) spent part of his childhood here in Kaba Gandhi No Delo

Who hasn’t heard of Gandhi, considered the father of India, best known for his nonviolent resistance, leading the successful campaign for India’s independence from British rule. (He used nukes just as readily as everyone else in Sid Meier’s 1991 Civilization though :p)

And of course known for many inspiring quotes like
“An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.”
“I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.”
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

Sadly Gandhi was assassinated for his efforts to calm religious tensions in a recently split-up India. He inspired many others around the world to continue non violent resistance, for example Martin Luther King jr adapted Gandhi’s idea of civil disobedience. Martin Luther King was assassinated as well…

Surat, on the Tapi river close to the Arabian Sea, once known for silk weaving

Dutch and Armenian cemetery on the left with colonial era tombs

On the right a view of the restored Surat Castle, build in the 16th century by Sultan Mahmood III to defend the city against Portuguese colonists.

Flying over the confluence of the Namada and Hathni rivers

One of the few rugged places on this leg

Indore in west-central India on the Saraswati river

Home of the 18th century 7-story Rajwada Palace from the Holkar dynasty

In total contrast, the 19th century Lal Bagh Palace, also from the Holkar dynasty

Bhopal in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh

At the edge of the city, Van Vihar National Park Bhopal

Between the city and the park, Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya

Anthropology museum depicting the history of mankind with outdoor reproductions of villages

The State Museum here has fossils, paintings and rare Jain sculptures

The Tawa reservoir, dam and hydro plant on the Tawa river

A bit of forest near Amla

Nagpur in the central Indian state of Maharashtra

Sitabuldi Fort, hilltop fort & site of the Battle of Sitabuldi, next to the train station

Currently housing the 118th infantry battalion

The Zero Mile Stone, geographical center of India under British Raj

All distances in India were measured from here during colonial rule

Deekshabhoomi, sacred monument of Navayana Buddhism and pilgrimage site

Maha Bodhi Tree on the right, grown from three branches of the Bodhi Tree at Anuradhapura (Sri Lanka). The saplings were taken from the same Bodhi Tree planted by Sanghamitra, daughter of the Great Emperor Asoka, during her monkhood (253 BC). The Bodhi Tree in Sri Lanka was originally a sapling from the bodhivriksha under which the Buddha became enlightened.

The typical landscape around Dodanda

Hills coming in at Lingapur

Cement factory at Basanth Nagar Airport, Ramagundam Airport on the map

Warangal in the south Indian state of Telangana, here looking at Fort Warangal in the center

Warangal was the capital of the Kakatiya dynasty from the 12th to 14th century

Many intricately carved monuments from this period still stand among the 13th century ruins of Warangal Fort

As well as the Thousand pillar temple build in 1163

Hyderabad Begumpet Airport

Hyderabad is the capital of southern India’s Telangana state and a major center for the technology industry

Situated around Hussain Sagar lake, housing a giant Budha Statue on a small island

Sanjeevaiah Park with Flag monument, the target above the maze garden

Chilkur Balaji Temple, known as ‘Visa’ Balaji, drawing devotees who wish for visas abroad

“popularly know as Visa God among IT people. If you are facing any difficulties in getting Visa, just go to temple, have a wish for it and then make 11 round of temple. Once the wish fulfilled, again have darshan and make 108 round of main temple.”

Birla Mandir, large Hindu temple built on a 280 feet high hillock called Naubath Pahad

The Budha statue on its own island in lake Hussain Sagar on the left

And one of the Qutb Shabi tombs built by the various kings of the Qutb Shahi dynasty

At the edge of Bidar

Sholapur Airport, in the south-western region of Maharashtra

Solapur Bhuikot Fort, strong Dark souls vibes

Further South tomorrow to the tip of India.

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Leg 146, Sholapur, Maharashtra to Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India

DAY01_15.PLN (9.7 KB)

Another full leg of India, wonderful country. More varied landscape this time with some great sights.

01-14 Sholapur VASL 7:28 PM
01-14 Osmanabad OMN 7:42 PM Virtual vision landing
01-14 Aurangabad VAAU 8:22 PM
01-14 Shirdi VASD 8:39 PM Bad stutter time, maybe it’s early morning related, gone after take off
01-14 Ozar VAOZ 8:56 PM
01-14 Vijay Nagar VADE 9:05 PM
01-14 Juhu VAJJ 9:33 PM
01-14 Chhatrapati Shivaji Intl VABB 9:36 PM Mumbai, formerly Bombay, Bollywood
01-14 Aamby Valley VALO 9:51 PM Bugged terrain, random spikes
01-14 Pune AB VAPO 10:05 PM
01-14 Pune VAPN 10:10 PM
01-14 Karad VA1M 10:38 PM
01-14 Ratnagiri VARG 11:03 PM
01-14 Kolhapur VAKP 11:25 PM
01-15 Dabolim VOGO Vasco da Gama 12:01 AM
01-15 Hubli VOHB 12:37 AM
01-15 Baldota Koppal Aerodrame VAKA 1:02 AM
01-15 Vijayanagar Aerodrome VASA 1:13 AM
01-15 Bellary VO17 1:23 AM
01-15 Sri Sathya Sai VOPN 1:56 AM
01-15 Kempegowda Intl VOBL 2:21 AM
01-15 Yelahanka AB VOYK 2:28 AM
01-15 Bangalore VOBG 2:41 AM
01-15 Hosur VO95 2:51 AM
01-15 Salem VOSM 3:17 AM
01-15 Sulur VOSX 3:43 AM
01-15 Coimbatore VOCB 3:50 AM

Flight time 8:22 26 stops

Arriving at Aurangabad at dawn, located in Maharashtra state

The hills at the North side of the city house some amazing caves

A complex of 12 6th to 8th century caves with Buddhist shrines, stupas & statues carved into basalt rock

Shirdi, small town in the state of Maharashtra, in western India

Known as the former home of revered spiritual leader Sai Baba and has become a major pilgrimage site

Sai temple, Sai Baba mandir (mandir meaning spiritual place)

Ozar, aka Ojhar

Here you can find the HAL museum (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited)

Flying over the Dama river

Ghoti Budruk where there is a fort on top of the hill

and the Stargazing Mumbai Observation Site is located at the foot of the hills

Mumbai on the Arabian sea, known as Bombay until 1995

The name was changed since Bombay was seen as a legacy of British colonialism. The regional political party wanted the city’s name to reflect its Maratha heritage, hence renaming it to pay tribute to the goddess Mumbadevi.

More ancient cave temples can be found here on Elephanta island up ahead

Many other great sights, yet Mumbai is most famous as the heart of the Bollywood film industry

Not just great movies, Bollywood also inspired many flash mobs around the world

I need to watch more Bollywood, always a great spectacle

Flying back inland, quick stop over in Aamby Valley

Mulshi Lake

Created by Mulshi dam

Pune on the Mula Mutha river

Once the base of the Peshwas (prime ministers) of the Maratha Empire (1674-1818)

Aga Khan Palace built in 1892 and now a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi

Also the site of Gandhi’s 2-year imprisonment in the 1940s

Pataleshwar caves, Hindu temple from the 8th century carved from basalt rock, still in use

Fort Vajragad on the hill, find a hill, find a fort on top

Near Karad

Koyna river

Lots of windmills around Matrewadi

Chandoli dam backing up the Warana river

Gadgadi river

Ratnagiri, port town on the Arabia sea

Home to Thiba Palace which was the residence of the exiled king of Burma (Myanmar nowadays)

Kolhapur on the banks of the Panchaganga River

Known for Shree Mhalaxmi Ambabai Temple, 12th century Hindu temple and pilgrimage site

And for my collection of video games inspired by India, Myst/Riven added to the list

Lake Kalamba with half sunken Sandhya Math on the left

Lake Phatakwadi hidden in the forests

Near Udeli

Stand off at Vasco da Gama

First time I’ve seen these ship models, it looks like they are surprised to see each other as well

Vasco da Gama on the Mormugao peninsula in Goa, western India

Vazara waterfalls

Feeding the Supa Dam reservoir

Supa Dam and the Kali river

More windmills at Atmakur

Sri Sathya Sai Airport

Near Harobande

Yelehanka Air Base at Bangalore, aka Bengaluru

Bengaluru is the capital of India’s southern Karnataka state. The center of India’s high-tech industry.

Bengaluru has many lakes, including lake Rachenahali

And Ulsoor lake park / Halasuru Lake in the center

Bengalore Airport

Bengalore is known for its vibrant night life

And stand up comedy

The weather is getting worse, near Salem

One more shot before disappearing in the clouds, near Dadapuram

Tomorrow I’ll set sail for the Maldives, then back to India via Sri Lanka.

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Leg 147, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India via Maldives to Koggala, Sri Lanka

DAY01_16.PLN (5.7 KB)

Great day, I solved the terrible stuttering problem I kept getting! It turned out it was from turning the ATC voices off… Every time my co pilot wanted to talk to ATC I got up to a 700ms stutter. Since at low visibility (night / early morning) ATC often denies landing requests, the game enters in a loop where my co-pilot keeps asking for landing clearance. Which result in getting up to 700ms stutters every 2 seconds from 11nm out to the next runway. Bizarre combination of bugs.

ATC voice is back on, co-pilot is no longer allowed to touch the radio. I now either switch frequency or wait until ATC gives up, no answer, no stuttering.

01-15 Coimbatore VOCB 7:03 PM
Bad stuttering already, not even close to dawn, CoherentGTDraw spiking again up to 700ms
Reducing terrain detail has no effect, game is missing many key presses as well, nearly unplayable
01-15 Calicut VOCL 7:30 PM
Cleared up again after touch down, stays gone. Next time just land on a field to solve it…
Stutters re-appear 4 minutes from the airport, like it hates approaches
EUREKA!!! I turned ATC voices off a while ago, after turning them back on, problem solved!
01-15 Cochin Intl VOCI 7:59 PM
01-15 Cochin VOCC 8:05 PM
01-15 9°52’43.45"N 77°21’13.89"E 8:34 PM CTD in heavy storm no visuals, was editing pictures

01-15 Last known coordinates 8:41 PM
01-15 Madurai VOMD 9:01 PM
01-15 Ramnad Naval Air VORM 9:26 PM
01-15 Dhanushkodi Point 9°8’59.41"N 79°26’57.98"E 9:40 PM
01-15 Tuticorin Southwest VOTK 10:10 PM
01-15 Thiruvananthapuram VOTV 10:39 PM
01-16 Hanimaadhoo VRMH 12:05 AM
01-16 Male Intl VRMM 1:03 AM
01-16 Thimarafushi VRNT 1:45 AM Runway missing, just a concrete base for airport
01-16 Kadhdhoo VRMK 1:59 AM
01-16 Gan VRMG 3:00 AM

01-16 Gan VRMG 12:34 PM 587nm to next stop (fly high or lean mixture)
01-16 Koggala VCCK 3:47 PM 20 knot tailwind 196 GS at FL700, slowed down to 178 GS 2 knot headwind
11:03 14 2835 1,792nm 139,510nm

Calicut, coastal city in the south Indian state of Kerala

Which is close to Kappad beach where Vasco da Gama (1460s - 1524) landed in 1498

Cochin International Airport

Cochin aka Kochi on the Arabian sea close to Lakshadweep tropical archipelago

A port since 1341, when a flood carved out its harbor and opened it to Arab, Chinese and European merchants.

Vasco house in Kochi and his original tomb in St Francis CSI church

St Francis is India’s first European church, built in the 15th century. Vasco da Gama’s remains were later moved back to Portugal and buried in 1880 at Jerónimos Monastery near Lisbon.

Chinese cantilever fishing nets near Fort Kochi on the left

Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica Fort Kochi on the right, reconstructed 1880s Catholic church originally built by the Portuguese in the 1500s.

Dawn approaching on the way to Madurai

Near Palkulam Medu

Kottakkalli hills

Sunrise over the Kottakkalli hills

And then I got swallowed by the clouds

Lots of windmills near Thappukundu

Madurai, ancient city on the Vaigai River in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu

Meenakshi Amman Temple, a major Hindu pilgrimage site

Madurai’s skyline is dominated by the 14 colorful gopurams (gateway towers)

A peek inside Meenakshi Amman Temple

Ramnad, aka Ramanathapuram on the Palk straight

Rameswaram on Pamban Island, looking towards Sri Lanka

Dhanuskodi, abandoned town at the south-eastern tip of Pamban Island

The town was destroyed during the 1964 Rameswaram cyclone and remains uninhabited

Dhanuskodi point, I could not resist landing there

On the left the remains of a church in Dhanuskodi

48km the other way is Sri Lanka over Adam’s bridge, now a chain of limestone shoals. It was reportedly passable on foot until the 15th century when storms deepened the channel. The sea still rarely exceeds 3ft in depth along the former land bridge. I’m heading to the Maldives first.

Thoothukudi, formerly known as Tuticorin in the Coromandel Coast of Bay of Bengal

Climbing over the mountain range near Agasthyamalai mountain peak (6,129ft)

Neyyar dam ahead

38% of India’s installed electricity generation capacity is from renewable sources

Thiruvananthapuram, capital of the southern Indian state of Kerala

Sreevaraham temple pond with Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple a bit further ahead

Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple

1729 temple complex with shrine to Padmanabha reclining on a serpent

On to the Maldives, spotted a couple of the 1190 islands in the distance

Hanimaadhoo, just like with the Seychelles, coverage is very spotty. The good half of the island

Unfortunately, not a palm tree anywhere

So many little islands, most of which can be gone by 2100

Hinnavaru, it’s about twice the size in aerial view on Google and Bing, high tide simulator

Kaashidhoo

Palm trees, they are there. I guess no palm tree models yet

Malé, the densely populated capital of the Maldives

(aerial imagery is a mess to the left and right)

Very pretty place with an uncertain future

Rising water isn’t the only problem, safe drinking water another

Coming in for a landing at Kadhdhoo

Hulhumeedhoo part of the Addu Atoll, the southernmost atoll of the archipelago

Gan Airport, Addu City, small island marking the southernmost point of the Maldives

Still expanding despite rising water levels

As with the Seychelles, my impressions of the Maldives were largely formed by Survivor

Back in the days the show still showed some of the history of the places they visited

I made the flight to Sri Lanka today, night time over the Laccadive sea

Arrival at Koggala, Sri Lanka

No lights at the runway however it was in the G1000 and is located in between two lit streets, the black strip ahead, relatively easy landing.

Pretty place with another way of fishing

Tonight I’ll be exploring Sri Lanka, 7:56 PM sunrise.

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Leg 148, Koggala, Sri Lanka to Visakhapatnam, Bay of Bengal, India

DAY01_17.PLN (8.4 KB)

Sri Lanka is very nice, would love to visit for real some time

01-16 Koggala VCCK 7:22 PM
01-16 Katukurunda AB VCCN 7:38 PM
01-16 Colombo VCCC 7:46 PM
01-16 Bandaranaike Intl Colombo VCBI 7:57 PM Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte Capital inside Colombo
01-16 Amparai VCCG 8:40 PM
01-16 Batticaloa AB VCCB 8:49 PM
01-16 Minneriya VCCH 9:10 PM
01-16 Sigiriya VCCS landmark 9:25 PM
01-16 Anuradhapura AB VCCA 9:39 PM Ruwanwelisaya Stupa, Bodhi Tree, sapling to Nagpur, India
01-16 Vavuniya VCCV 9:53 PM
01-16 Iranamuda VCKI 10:08 PM Dirt road street view, palm leaves stuck on the camera
01-16 Tanjore VOTJ 10:52 PM
01-16 Tiruchirappalli VOTR 11:11 PM
01-16 Puduchery VOPC 11:47 PM
01-17 Tambaram VOTX 12:12 AM
01-17 Chennai Intl VOMM 12:19 AM
01-17 Arkonam VOAR 12:34 AM
01-17 Tirupati VOTP 12:49 AM
01-17 Nagarjuna Sagar VONS 1:59 AM
01-17 Vijayawada VOBZ 2:37 AM
01-17 Tadepallegudem VATA 2:54 AM
01-17 Rajahmundry VORY 3:08 AM
01-17 Vishakhapatnam VOVZ 3:47 AM

Flight time 8:22 1,138nm 22 stops

Early early dawn at Kutukurunda on the West coast, Laccadive Sea

Colombo, the commercial capital and largest city of Sri Lanka

Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, aka Kotte, the official administrative capital of Sri Lanka

A satellite city and located within the urban area of Colombo

It looks like Colombo is losing beach front as well

Independence square on the left. Sri Lanka gained independence from British rule in 1948

Lotus Tower on the right, 365 meters, great place to view the city from

Also plenty religious sites around the city, 1909 Jami Ul Alfar Mosque mosque on the left

Gangaramaya temple and Seema Malakaya to the right

A selection from the national museum of Sri Lanka

The weather was unruly early morning, thunderstorms on the way to Amparai

Heavy rain near Adhikarigama

Clearing up a bit, sun spotted

Crossing the Ganga river

Crossing the maha Oya (Oya river) near Rambukkana

Minneriya, near Minneriya lake which was built by King Mahasena of Anuradhapura (ruled 277 to 304 AD)

Minneriya wewa (tank, reservoir) and Minneriya National Park, hot spot for safari lovers

Manihira (Minneriya) is the largest of the 16 tanks build by King Mahasen

Sigiriya or Sinhagiri, ancient rock fortress near the town of Dambulla

King Kashyapa (477-495 AD) built his palace on the top of this rock

Abandoned after the King’s death, it was used as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century

The path to the top and lion gate on the right

Sigiriya today is a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site as one of the best preserved examples of ancient urban planning

View of Sigiriya from Pidurangala, best place to view Sigiriya, popular place for hiking

Pidurangala is also home to a 48ft long sleeping Buddha

Anaradhapura Air Base

Ruwanwelisaya stupa, 140 BC sacred Buddhist site, 338ft high stupa

Nearby is Jetavanaramaya, the world largest stupa, build by King Mahasen (273-301 AD)

One of the tallest structures in the ancient world, 400ft high, and the largest brick building ever built

Jaya Siri Maha Bodhi Tree Court, a sacred fig tree in the Mahamewna Gardens, Anuradhapura

It is said to be the southern branch from the historical Sri Maha Bodhi at Buddha Gaya in India under which Lord Buddha attained Enlightenment. Planted in 288 BC, it is the oldest living human-planted tree with a known planting date. Today it is one of the most sacred relics of the Buddhists in Sri Lanka and respected by Buddhists all over the world.

Leaving Sri Lanka behind already, on the way to Thuraikkuda, India

Thambikkottai, Tamil Nadu, India

Tanjore in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu

Brihadeeswara temple on the left, 11th century Chola dynasty–era complex

Maratha palace middle and right, 16th century fortress

Tiruchirappalli, also called Tiruchi or Trichy

The Kaveri (center) and Kollidam (right) rivers flow around Srirangam Island

Home to the ancient Rock Fort Temple complex towering over the city

Thayumanaswami Temple, Rockfort, build in the 6th century

Chennai International Airport

Chennai on the bay of Bengal at the end of the Adyar river

Home to fort St George, first British fortress built in India, established in 1644

Edword Elliot’s beach with the Karl Schmidt memorial, commemorating a European sailor who drowned in 1930 while saving the life of a girl. The English girl attended a party the following evening as though nothing had happened. The then governor, who was apparently angry with her, built the memorial to mark Schmidt’s gallant act.

And Santhome Cathedral Basilica, rebuilt in 1896 at the site of St. Thomas Apostle’s tomb.

Near the Kailasakona Waterfalls

Sri Venkateswara Swamy Vaari Temple, Tirumala

Venkatagiri Hills Nature Preserve

Passing Narrawada

Near Gajjalakonda

Vijayawada on the Krishna River in the southeast Indian state of Andhra Pradesh

The Paraksam Barrage across the Krishna river

Paraksam barage and the missing train bridges in the screenshot above

Sri Durga Malleswara Swamy Varla, pilgrimage destination dedicated to the goddess Kanaka Durga

Undavalli caves, carved-stone temple from the 4th century on the South-West side of the river

The sacred Godavari river at Rajamundry

Rajamundry, on the eastern banks of the Godavari River

Along the river, Hindu devotees bathe in the Godavari from Saraswati and Pushkar ghats (bathing steps)

Briefly climbed above the low hanging clouds over Yerravaram

Last stop today, Visakhapatnam, port city on the Bay of Bengal

Next up, further North towards the Himalayas

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Leg 149, Visakhapatnam, Bay of Bengal, India to Sylhet, Bangladesh

DAY01_18.PLN (10.1 KB)

Before heading back to the Himalays I followed the coast to Bangladesh. The river deltas don’t look so great in game, but still plenty to see in Bangladesh.

01-17 Vishakhapatnam VOVZ 6:26 PM
01-17 Jeypore VEJP 6:52 PM Virtual vision landing
01-17 Vedanta Lanjigarh Airstrip VABH 7:19 PM Virtual vision landing
01-17 Gopalpur VAGP 7:51 PM Konark Sun Temple on the coast 19°53’15"N 86°05"41"E
01-17 Bhubaneshwar VEBS 8:30 PM
01-17 Cuttack VE62 Netaji Birth place 8:40 PM
01-17 Jaipur (Sukinda) Airstrip VADA 8:53 PM Steel plants, Chromite reserves
01-17 Keonjhar VEKJ 9:11 PM
01-17 Barbil Aerodrome VAKI 9:23 PM Iron ore Manganese deposits
01-17 Noamundi VANO 9:31 PM Iron and steel industry
01-17 Chakulia VECK 9:56 PM
01-17 Kalaikunda VEDX 10:08 PM
01-17 Behala (Kolkata) VEBA 10:30 PM
01-17 Nataji Subhash Chandra Bose International VECC 10:44 PM
01-17 Barrackpore VE31 10:48 PM
01-17 Jessore VGJR 11:07 PM
01-17 Phultala VGPH 11:25 PM
01-17 Nalchiti VGNA 11:44 PM
01-18 Shah Amanat Intl VGEG 12:17 AM
01-18 Comilla VGCM 12:48 AM
01-18 Tejgaon VGTJ 1:12 AM
01-18 Zia Intl VGHS 1:22 AM
01-18 Agartala VEAT 1:41 AM
01-18 Khowai VEKW 1:55 AM
01-18 Kamalpur VEKM 2:01 AM
01-18 Kailashahar VEKR 2:11 AM
01-18 Shamshernagar VGSH 2:17 AM
01-18 Osmany Intl VGSY 2:41 AM

Flight time 8:15 27 stops

Jeypore before dawn, established by King Veer Vikrama Dev in 1648-49 CE

Vedanta Lanjigarh Airstrip

Sunrise over Aleswar beach, Bay of Bengal

Konark Sun Temple

13th-century Hindu place of worship depicting the vast chariot of sun god, Surya

Bhubaneshwar, ancient city in India’s eastern state of Odisha, formerly Orissa

Home to many temples built from sandstone dotted around Bindu Sagar Lake in the old city

Left: Rajarani Temple, 11th century Hindu temple possibly dedicated to Vishnu
Middle: Brahmeswara Temple, 9th century Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva
Right: Lingaraja Temple, 6th century Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva

Udaygiri and Khandagiri caves, formerly called Kattaka Caves or Cuttack caves, 1st century BC

ANd Mukteswara Temple, 10th century Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva on the right

Jaipur Airstrip at Sekinda, iron ore mining (vast Chromite reserves)

Sukinda Tata Steel. 97% of India’s proven Chromite reserves are found in the Sukinda valley.

Sukinda is also in the top 10 most polluted places on Earth

Thick forests near Nola

Patahara Waterfall somewhere down there

Barbil Aerodrome, more iron ore and Manganese deposits

Naomundi, small mining town located close to the Odisha border

Sonudor

Kolkata formerly known as Calcutta, the capital of India’s West Bengal state

Founded as an East India Company trading post, it was India’s capital under the British Raj from 1773 to 1911

Eden gardens, 66,000-capacity cricket ground, on the banks of the Hooghly river

Howraw Bridge, 1943 cantilever road bridge, not quite the way it’s supposed to look

First time I’ve seen a boat moving on a river, going under the bridge no less

I followed him for a bit, so far so good

Mayday mayday, sadly sunk in a magic river hump

Much to see in Kolkata, 20th century Victoria Memorial and 18th century Fort William (middle)

Fort William is known for its black hole prison

The Mother House Of the Missionaries Of Charity containing Mother Teresa’s tomb

Mother Teresa (1910-1997) aka Saint Teresa of Calcutta, was an Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic nun and missionary. In 1948, Teresa founded the Order of the Missionaries of Charity, now active in 133 countries.

Ramakrishna Mission Swami Vivekananda’s Ancestral House and Cultural Centre

Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902) was a key figure in the introduction of the Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world and is credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the status of a major world religion during the late 19th century.

Belur Math on the left, dedicated to spiritual guru Sri Ramakrishna.
Dakshineswar Kali Temple on the right, 19th century temple with shrines to Krishna and Vishnu.

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (1836-1886) was an Indian Hindu mystic, saint, and religious leader know for such quotes as:
The winds of grace are always blowing, but you have to raise the sail.
When the flower blooms, the bees come uninvited.
The world is indeed a mixture of truth and make-believe. Discard the make-believe and take the truth.

Jessore, major city in Jashore District located in the south-western region of Bangladesh

Patuakhali on the southern bank of Laukathi river

I wondered what those red areas were on the map, SSBM corporation, brick factory

Chattogram, large port city on the southeastern coast of Bangladesh and Kamaphuli river

Flying along the Sandwip Channel

Meghna bridge over the Meghna river

It was built with the assistance of Japan and officially named Japan Bangladesh Friendship Bridge 1

Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh beside the Buriganga River

Zia International Airport serving Dhaka

Dhaka fast growing city, Sadarghat bustling river port on the right

Lalbagh Fort from the 17th century with the tomb of Pari Bibi

Pari Bibi (1650s-1678) was a Mughal Princess and the daughter of Shaista Khan. When Pari Bibi died a premature death, Shaista Khan viewed the fort as inauspicious and stopped construction. He built the tomb of his daughter within the compound of the fort.

Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (1920-1975) Memorial Museum

I have no idea what the significance of the pay phone is, perhaps the site of his assassination on August 15th 1975 during a military coup.

Some images from Bangladesh National Museum

The Meghna river near Santipur. The red seems to be some kind of cover on farm ground

Argartala, India with the white Ujjayanta Palace, built in 1901 in the center

Khowai river

Khowai Airport in the Indian state of Tripura

Sylhet, city in eastern Bangladesh, on the Surma River

Keana bridge, iron & steel bridge built in 1936

Ali Amjad’s Clock, oldest clock tower in Bangladesh, Keana bridge and Shahi Eidgah

Hazrat Shahjalal Mazar Sharif, tomb of the greatest saint of Bengal

Shah Jalal (1271-1346) a celebrated Sufi Muslim figure in Bengal, often associated with the conquest of Sylhet and the spread of Islam into the region.

To the Himalayas next via Bhutan.

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Leg 150, Sylhet, Bangladesh via Bhutan and India to Tulsipur, Nepal

DAY01_19.PLN (9.4 KB)

A little tease of the Himalayas today, exploring the foothills along Bhutan, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in Northern India, before heading into Nepal.

01-18 Osmany Intl VGSY 7:34 PM
01-18 Barapani VEBI 7:53 PM
01-18 Guwahati VEGT 8:10 PM Chime Lhakhang 27°31’37.3"N 89°52’41.2"E
01-18 Gelephu VQGP 8:42 PM Thimphu capital 27°28’22.0"N 89°38’18.0"E
01-18 Paro VQPR 9:35 PM Taktsang 27°29’31.0"N 89°21’47.7"E
01-18 Shiliguri VASG 10:19 PM
01-18 Baghdogra AB VEBD 10:23 PM
01-18 Chandragadhi VNCG 10:30 PM
01-18 Kishanganj VAKG 10:44 PM
01-18 Purnea VEPU 10:57 PM
01-18 Bhagalpur Z12Q 11:17 PM
01-18 Munger VAMG 11:31 PM
01-19 Patna VEPT 12:04 AM
01-19 Bihta VEBT 12:09 AM
01-19 Chapra VE1J 12:15 AM
01-19 Ghazipur VAGH 12:42 AM
01-19 Ramnagar VARN 1:13 AM Dhamek Stupa
01-19 Varanasi VEBN 1:20 AM
01-19 Phaphamau Z13T 1:44 AM
01-19 Chakeri AB VECX 2:19 AM
01-19 Kanpur VIKA 2:22 AM
01-19 Lucknow VILK 2:39 AM
01-19 Bakshi Ka Talab VIBL 2:52 AM
01-19 Faizabad VAFA 3:24 AM
01-19 Katra VAKT 3:41 AM
01-19 Dang VNDG 4:10 AM

Flight time 8:36 25 stops

First up Barapani Airport near Shillong along the Umiam river

Guwahati on the Bramaputra river

Getting closer to the mountains on approach to Gelephu

Gelephu, Bhutan, across the Manas river (the one with water)

Leaving Gelephu Airport in the early morning sunshine

Bhurgaon, Bhutan, right on the border with India

Passing Bitana hidden in the clouds

Chime Lhakhang Buddhist temple along the Puna Tsang Chu river

Chime Lhakhang also called the temple of fertility

Built in 1499, this Buddhist monastery features a statue of Lama Kunley and a wooden phallus

The artwork can probably use a bit of explanation

Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan

That’s the best shot I could make last night, the entire valley was hidden in the clouds

No matter, clock tower square below

National memorial Chorten

Built in 1974 to honor the third Druk Gyalpo, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (1928–1972)

Tashichho Dzong, Buddhist monastery and fortress

Originally built in 1216, rebuilt many times (fires, earthquake)

No traditional museum to peek into, but there is Simply Bhutan

Museum resembling a Bhutanese village, featuring traditional cuisine, demonstrations and performances

Paro Airport, a star airport, hence the (barely visible) fence

Star or not, it remained hidden from view. The cloud is slowly moving further.

Paro, the half that was still visible

The big building (from above) is Rinpung Dzong, 15th century Buddhist monastry and fortress

Behind it is the national museum of Bhutan (right) in a 17th-century watchtower. Very pretty building, but no pictures of the collection (maybe too many phalli)

Sangchen Chökhor Monastery at the end of the rainbow

Taktsang clinging to the side of the mountain on the left

Paro Taktsang (left) one of thirteen Tiger’s Nest caves in historical Tibet in which Padmasambhava practiced and taught Vajrayana in the 8th century

Partially restored ruins of Durkgyel Dzong (right), probably built by Tenzin Drukdra in 1649 at the behest of Ngawang Namgyal, Zhabdrung Rinpoche, to commemorate victory over an invasion from Tibet

Then some beautiful mountains to fly over at Jigme Khesar Strict Nature Reserve

It’s a long way back down, on the way to Siliguri

Kalagaity close to Siliguri

Siliguri in the northeast Indian state of West Bengal, on the Mahananda river

Following the river downstream, Mechi river joining the Mahananda river

Kishanganj

Bhagalpur on the Ganges

I tried landing on the bridge, it’s not solid…

Munger further up the Ganges

Munger Fort, believed to have been built during the early rule of Slave dynasty of India (early 13th century)

Kastharni Ghat (bathing steps) in the middle and you might meet some Bengal tigers around here

Different farming style at Shekhpura

Actually it’s not a farm at all. It looks very different on Google with lots of dump trucks driving around. One of the corners is labeled NTPC pound, livestock auction house. Yet NTPC stands for India’s National Thermal Power Corporation Limited. Mystery.

Patna, ancient city along the south bank of the Ganges River in Bihar, northeast India

Home to Bihar Museum

And Patna Museum

Ghazipur, further along the Ganges with Lord Cornwallis’ Tomb below

Charles Cornwallis (1738-1805) was a British Army general and official

He is best remembered as one of the leading British generals in the American War of Independence. In India he helped enact the Cornwallis Code and the Permanent Settlement of Bengal.

Varanasi, dating to the 11th century BC and regarded as the spiritual capital of India

The city draws Hindu pilgrims who bathe in the Ganges River’s sacred waters and perform funeral rites

7UP Air NCC, BHU Helipad, landing strip at Banaras Hindu University

Ramnagar Fort on the East side of the Ganges

Sandstone structure built in the Mughal style in 1750 by Kashi Naresh Raja Balwant Singh

Assi Ghat, one of the many bathing steps on the West side of the river

Shivala Ghat a bit further down the river

Actually a couple pictures won’t do this place justice

The first I saw of Varanasi was from Baraka

I couldn’t find a better quality version, however I can fully recommend getting Baraka on blu-ray. Fully scanned in 8K from the 65mm original prints, mastered in 4K and down sampled to blu-ray. Together with Samsara, two of the best looking and best sounding blu-rays out there.

Also here is Dhamekh Stupa, odd choice to model amid all the splendor in Varanasi

143ft Buddhist shrine dating back to 500 CE, was tough to spot in the terrain

Chakeri Air Base next to Kanpur, further up the Ganges river

Lucknow on the Gomti river, KD Singh Babu Stadium in the picture

Manyawar Kanshiram Ji Smarak Sthal

Marble stone paved park dedicated to the glory of dalit leader Shri Kanshi Ram

Kanshi Ram (1934-2006) was an Indian politician and social reformer who worked for the upliftment and political mobilization of the Bahujans, the backward or lower caste people including untouchable groups at the bottom of the caste system in India.

Bara Imambara (left) also known as Asfi Mosque, built by Asaf-ud-Daula, Nawab of Awadh in 1784

Rumi Darwaza (right), monumental 1784 city gate & emblem of Lucknow

Faizabad on the Ghaghara river

Crossing the border into Nepal

West Rapti river

Flying into Dang district, Nepal

Ghorahi in Lumbini Province in the mid-Western part of Nepal

Tulipur Chowk (square) and the view from Ghordaura view point

Ambikeswari temple also known as ‘Maiko Than’ (Mother’s Place) Hindu temple

Gwar Khola river and my final destination for today

Dang Aiport, great weather here

Dang Aiport ATC, sorry to drop in unannounced

Tomorrow, Kathmandu and Mount Everest. Hopefully the weather co-operates. I’ve already done my research and will need to climb to 20K ft to cross over alongside Mt Everest. The Bonanza can now reach 23K ft if you’re patient enough which is still 6,000 ft short.

Btw, if one place should get priority for photogrammetry, India is it!

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Leg 151, Tulsipur, Nepal to Shigatse, Tibet, China

DAY01_20.PLN (4.8 KB)

A bit shorter flight since I skipped Monday night entirely. I had been looking forward to this leg for a long time and stopping after Mount Everest was perfect. Much slower flight as well due to detours and circling to gain altitude. I tracked my flight on Little navmap and edited in the actual flight path, the darker blue dotted line.

Great leg, the weather cooperated and no icing problems (mostly due to the temperature bug in this area) Awesome views and plenty time to enjoy them while climbing at FLC 90 to over 20K ft.

01-19 Dang VNDG 7:11 PM
01-19 Salyan VNSA 7:25 PM Virtual vision landing
01-19 Dolpa VNDP 7:46 PM Virtual vision landing, 2 attempts, short runway
01-19 Jomsom VNJS 8:22 PM
01-19 Manang VNMA 8:47 PM Virtual vision landing, heavy fog
01-19 Gorkha VNGK 9:12 PM
01-19 Tribhuvan Intl VNKT 9:39 PM Kathmandu
01-19 Jiri VNJI 10:01 PM Unclear runway
01-19 Phaplu VNPL 10:15 PM
01-19 Lukla VNLK 10:32 PM 9,400ft
01-19 Syangboche VNSB 10:57 PM 12,330ft FLC 100 should gain enough altitude
Fly back out to VNPL, climb to 14K ft then slow turn and reduce to FLC 95 after turn.
Pass in front of Everest (need 19.3K ft) to cross ridge on the West side (need 20.0K ft) reduce to FLC 90
Follow glacier down before heading North-East to ZCAR, don’t turn to soon, follow valleys and roads to Shingatse, 18K ft
01-20 Shigatse Air Base ZCAR 12:50 AM 12,408ft

Flight time 5:39 11 stops

Early departure, navigating through the mountains by virtual vision

Near Baijibari

Dhaulagiri II mountain peak (25,430ft) Dhaulagiri massif in the Dhaula Himal range

Tukuche peak (22,703ft)

Crossing the Kali Gandaki river, thunderstorms in the lower valleys

Jomson also known as Dzongsam, altitude 8,858ft

Sun spotted at the base of Tilitso Himal 23,406ft

The start of the Marsyangdi river

Manang approach, difficult landing ahead

Virtual vision landing, I started braking a bit late, stopped at the end of the not all that long runway

Climbing back out of the clouds just in time to see Lamjung Kailas / Lampjung Himal peak 22,740ft

Approach to Gorkha, beautiful valley

Gorkha on the Daraudi river, nitially named “Prithibinarayan” after King Prithvi Narayan Shah

Gorkha and Gorkha museum

Flying past Laxmibazar

Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital, a lot bigger than I had envisioned it to be

Many of the city’s historic sites were damaged or destroyed by a 2015 earthquake

Durbar Square’s palace, Hanuman Dhoka, and Kasthamandap, a wooden Hindu temple, are being rebuilt

Tribhuvan International Airport

Some of the stupas in historic Patan, now Lalitpur Metropolitan City

Lalitpur is pretty much merged with Kathmandu, Bagmati river separating the two.

Katmandu Durbar Square on the left, Bakthapur Durbar square right (East of Kathmandu)

There is also Patan Durbar Square. Durbar Square means Royal Square, and are the areas opposite the old royal palaces in Nepal.

A selection from Patan Museum

Near Basuki Nag Temple, easier to navigate by temples than place names

Interesting place

I know kid, I didn’t enjoy history/culture either until much later

Phaplu, home to Phaplu Everest base camp

Airport at 7,918ft

Bit of a climb and/or go around to get to Lukla in the next valley

It was looking a bit worrisome, huge wall of fog ahead where Lukla should be

Luckily it wasn’t a very big patch, Lukla was in the clear behind the fog

Coming in to this once chance landing approach at Tenzing Hilary Airport, sloped runway at 9,380ft

It was rough. Despite the weather looking very clear, lots of turbulence on the way in throwing my little plane around while getting closer. It calmed down over the runway, little bit of wind shear then a much more gentle side wind for a soft touch down.

Of course after parking I get rammed by a forklift…

Lukla is beautifully modeled in game, I spend some time exploring here

On the other side of the airport, Base Camp Lodge and a base camp a bit further up

Everest has been climbed over 4,000 times, first (known) ascent in 1953. However the people that climb the mountain the most are the Sherpas. Apa Sherpa has climbed the mountain 21 times

A more interview style look at Apa Sherpa

Another more in depth documentary about Nepal and the sherpas

Getting ready to depart for Everest

Icing won’t be a problem as according to the game it’s currently 83F here, 28.3c

Obviously that’s not correct and I suspect it’s a bug in conversion. It should be 28F (-2c) and I guess the game thinks it’s receiving the temperature in celcius, converting it to 83F.

Doesn’t look like 28 degrees celcius!

Fuel topped up, final checks completed, oh wait flaps

One more stop before Everest at Syanboche airport, 12,330ft

Don’t land with full flaps this high, too much drag in the sim

The engine shuts off immediately after coming to a halt, need more throttle to idle at this altitude

To gain enough altitude to visit Mount Everest I had to fly back over Lukla first

Turning around over Lukla at 15,000 ft

And back over Syanboche at 17,000 - 18,000ft, climbing at FLC 95

There she is, Mount Everest, 29,032ft high, sticking out in between Nuptse and Hillary peak

Going around Imja Tse aka Island peak (20,305ft) while climbing to 19,500ft

To make a pass in front of Lhotse and Hillary peak

To then turn around Nuptse on the west side of Everest, climbing to 20,200ft

Mount Everest on the left behind Nuptse

Firmly out of my reach, however you apparently can land a helicopter on the top of Everest

More breath taking views in this short Summit climb documentary

Continuing on on the North side of Everest, the glacier coming down from in between Everest and Nuptse

Following another glacier down that starts at the North-West side of Everest, Everest behind me

Now flying North-East, descending to 18,000ft, passing Quzongcun, Everest still visible

Near Geyang along the Zhaga Qu river

Kaqiong mountain peak

Over the Pum Qu river (I guess Qu means river)

Jijiao, Sa’gya County, Shigatse, Tibet, China

Duigangcun along National Highway 318 / G318

Longest highway in China at 5,476 km from Shanghai to Zhangmu on the China-Nepal border

Liuxiang

Chongdacun, following G318 to Shigatse

Shigatse located within the historical Tsang province of Tibet

Officially known as Xigazê (Tibetan གཞིས་ཀ་རྩེ, Chinese 日喀则)

Also home to plenty monasteries, Pelkor Chode on the left

Tashilhumpo monastery on the right

2 views of the landscape around here

And final stop today at Shigatse Peace Airport at 12,330ft, with a 5,000 meter long runway

Amazing flight, more mountain flying tonight!

Leg 152, Shigatse, Tibet, China via IMyanmar (Burma) to Aalo, Arunachal Pradesh, India

DAY01_21.PLN (7.1 KB)

More mountain crossings and a loop through northern Myanmar (Burma)

01-20 Shigatse Air Base ZCAR 7:31 PM
01-20 Gonggar (Lhasa) ZULS 11,975ft Potala Palace 29°39’19"N 91°07’6"E Need 17.5Kft to 19.5Kft
01-20 Yongphulla VQ10 8:12 PM 8,330ft
01-20 Rangapara VARB 9:53 PM
01-20 Tezpur VETZ 9:58 PM Lot of height bugs, bumpy rivers
01-20 Tezpur VATZ 10:07 PM
01-20 Gohpur VAGR 10:12 PM
01-20 Dimapur VEMR 10:36 PM
01-20 Imphal VAIM 11:04 PM Buildings on ‘runway’
01-20 Tulihal VEIM 11:10 PM
01-20 Hommalin VYHL 11:31 PM
01-21 West Nampong VYNP 12:23 AM
01-21 Pamti VYMK 12:26 AM
01-21 Vijaynagar Advanced Landing Ground VE91 1:03 AM
01-21 Putao VYPT 1:27 AM
01-21 Naungmom VYNM 1:45 AM
01-21 Teju New VE48 2:26 AM
01-21 Pasighat VEPG 2:20 AM
01-21 Along VEAN 2:50 AM Short runway

Flight time 7:19 18 stops

Sunrise on the way to Lhasa

Along the Yarlung Tsangpo River

Lhasa Gonggar Airport at the confluence of the Lhasa river and the Yarlung Tsangpo

Early morning, long shadows on a long runway at 11,975ft

Lhasa is still an hour drive away, 120km detour to visit Lhasa

Lhasa, Tibet, on the Lhasa river. Potala palace sticking out ahead

Potala palace, 17th century dzong fortress with hundreds of rooms and shrines

It was the winter palace of the Dalai Lamas from 1649 to 1959

Potala palace and a temple on the water (labeled Norbulingka, maybe part of it)

Norbulingka, Tibet’s largest man made garden

Also the Dalai Lama’s ritual summer home in a 374-room palace from 1755

There are many monasteries around here as well, for example Drepung monastery built in 1416

And Sera monastery with a golden roof, built in 1419

I was determined to find a landing spot in Lhasa, I did find one, but…

Not on Bing unfortunately, thus not in game. Good thing I topped up the fuel at Gonggar

Banzha, just crossed the Yarlung Tsangpo again near Gonggar

Terrain quality is generally bad in this area with a few good spots like here near Pujin

Flying over Cona County

I’ll be descending into that, prepare to get wet

Not yet, still clear along the Brahmaputra river

Gohpur, Assam, India down below

Only one picture there (left), on the right Kanaklata Barua, who was born here.

Kanaklata Barua (1924-1942) also called Birbala and Shaheed, was an Indian independence activist and AISF leader who was shot dead by the British police while leading a procession bearing the National Flag during the Quit India Movement of 1942.

Chathe river ahead

Passing Laikot mountain peak, 9,278ft

Awang Sekmai, the skies are getting worse by the hour

Imphal, the capital of Manipur, a state in northeastern India

In front, Kangla Fort on the Imphal river, 16th-century sacred palace with a citadel

Behind the fort the centuries old Polo Ground (Mapal Kangjeibung)

Imphal is the birthplace of Polo

Near Alang

Chahong Khunou

Getting close to Hommalin

Homalin or Hommalinn on the Chindwin River in North-Western Myanmar (formerly Burma)

Uyu river ahead

On the way to West Nampong, nothing but forest in between

And some farmland at Sanlaik

Myitkyina on the west bank of the Ayeyarwady river, aka Irrawaddy river

Myitkyina means “near the big river” in Burmese

Some of the sights

Mya Myizul Pagoda on the East bank of the Irrawaddy river

On the way to Vijaynagar, definitely raining over there

Vijaynagar Advanced Landing Ground, military base

Vijaynagara Valley containing the Noha Dihing river

Climbing out of the valley

And into the rain, no sight of the runway until 10 seconds before touch down at Puta-O

Some of the bridges around Puta-O

A small break in the clouds above Man Kabat

Another small break over Putao township at the India-Myanmar border

Tezu, Arunachal Pradesh, India on the Denning Nallah river near the Lohit river in the distance

Close to the border with Burma

Near Bolung, sun shaft illuminating a singular cloud

Then back in the soup, no visuals at Pasighat

Final stop at Aalo (formerly Along) in Arunachal Pradesh, India where the Sipu river joins the Siyom river

Beware, short runway, I stopped just in time… At least they have a fire extinguisher next to the fuel tanks right at the end of the short runway!

Another very pretty place

Tomorrow, exploring more of China, heading North to visit the highest airports in the world.

Leg 153, Aalo, Arunachal Pradesh, India to Chengdu, Sichuan, China

DAY01_22.PLN (5.2 KB)

This leg I’m visiting the highest airports in the world. Flying at 18K to 20K ft just go get over the mountain ranges, pushing the Bonanza to its limits taking off at 14K ft. Fun!

01-21 Along VEAN 7:15 PM Climb to 12.5Kft
01-21 Machuka VE67 7:33 PM Climb to 15Kft-16.5Kft FLC 90
01-21 Nyingchi ZUNZ 8:00 PM 9,700ft
01-21 Yushu Batang ZYLS 9:54 PM 12,762ft
01-21 Baitang ZBAT 9:57 PM 12,900ft
01-21 Qamdo Bangda ZUBD 10:58 PM 14,436ft FLC 100 up the valley to 17.5Kft-19Kft watch peaks
01-22 Daocheng Yading ZUDC 12:15 AM 14,472ft highest airport in the world
01-22 Kangding Airport ZUKD 1:01 AM 14,042ft Kanding love song scenic spot 30°11’15.3"N 101°54’19.4"E
01-22 Wujin (Changzhou) ZUXJ 1:52 AM
01-22 Shuangliu (Chengdu) ZUUU 2:01 AM New Century Global Center 30°34’09.1"N 104°04’05.0"E
01-22 Chengdu ZCHE 2:14 AM Severely bugged area, bad textures and river height data
01-22 Checgdu Air Base ZXII 2:19 AM Dujiangyan Scenic Area 30°59’57.6"N 103°36’36.7"E
01-22 Chengdu ZUCG 2:46 AM

Flight time 7:31 12 stops 892nm

Early morning, few clouds on the way to Machuka

It was still dark at Machuka, hidden in the clouds

Already high enough to stall my engine after coming to a stop

Back up in the air, into the light

Sun spotted on the way to Nyingchi

Over Mêdog county, lots of ‘Forest’ here, unnamed forest areas on the map

Flying over an unnamed river near Mainling

Coming up on Zhagonggou scenic area

Approach to Nyingchi, the runway is the white line ahead to the right

Along the mostly frozen Yarlung Tsangpo river

Jiaraokacun at the other side of the runway

Coming up on Lulang Gongcuoha Scenic Area

With Namcha Barwa (25,530ft) mountain peak to the right

Isolated peak in the Himalayas serving as the eastern anchor of the chain & its 3rd highest peak

Sejila National Forest Park

Papoi, err I mean Paipai, Bome, Nyingchi, Tibet, China

The temperature bug is here as well, flying at 19K ft, +10c, no risk of icing

Near Peilong, the difference between Sat snow (front) and game added snow (back)

Near Rongqiongda

Another snow comparison near Zongqionggong

Near Nashaoge, you don’t want to run out of fuel around here

Crossing over the Qiangqu Qu and Za Qu rivers

Two airports right next to each other in the middle of nowhere, Baitang and Yushu Batang at 12,900ft

I’m guessing the one on the right (Yushu Batang) is the old one, looks to be no longer maintained on Google maps. On Bing Yushu Batang already redirects to the new airport, unless you look for Yushu Batang Airport which ends up in the middle of the city…

The old Yushu Batang airport, shows up as a huge slab of concrete in game

Near Tuomupu. Nope still before noon locally, sat pics must be from late afternoon

Near Bairinang

Qamdo Banga, runway at 14,436ft

Looks like my visibility is getting taken away, near Yelong

Coming up on the Yinsha river

Daocheng Yading (ZUDC), highest civil airport in the world at 14,472ft

The runway goes on forever

(Actually a bit shorter at 4,200m than the 5km one at Shigatse)

The terminal looks like a flying saucer

Departure, slow climb out after slowly getting up to speed

Huangyancun down below on the Litang river

Kanding Airport, very limited visibility here

The Scenic Spot of Kangding Love Song

I flew over it but it remained completely hidden in the fog

History of the song in the very detailed description

One of the 10 most popular folk songs in the world and the first Chinese music recording sent out with a NASA probe.

A glimpse of the terrain at Yinchang

Changzhou Approach

Terrain quality was already pretty spotty in the mountains, unfortunately in the flat lands it gets very bad with huge patches of default farm textures including height bugs and a few weird spikes. Hence not many in game pictures around here.

Tianning temple at Wujin Changzhou on the left

Maoshan Mountain scenic area on the right, popular place to visit

Shuangliu with Chengdu ahead, dating back to at least 4th century BC as capital of the Shu Kingdom

Chengdu New Century Global Center

It’s a giant mall or rather multipurpose building and is the world’s largest building in terms of floor area

Luckily that landmark is in a decent spot, the rest of Chengdu is a mess due to clouds on the sat images

Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, working to restore the Panda population

Chengdu park with Du Fu’s thatched cottage

Du Fu (712-770) was a Chinese poet and politician of the Tang dynasty. Along with his elder contemporary and friend Li Bai, he is frequently called the greatest of the Chinese poets.

A peek into Chengdu Museum New Hall

Anshun bridge on the left, Dujiangyan on the right

Dujiangyan is a smaller city a little North-West of Chengdu with huge parks and scenic areas

Here you can find the AnLan bridge over the Min river

261m-long suspension bridge, one of the last five major bridges from ancient China

Dujiangyan Scenic Area

Quite a show at night

Back into the mountains tomorrow, heading for Mongolia

Leg 154, Chengdu, Sichuan to Yangjiaqiao, Gansu Province, China

DAY01_23.PLN (6.2 KB)

More mountain flying over questionable terrain data. Some great spots, some very bad. Terrain quality varies a lot in this region. I also ran into (one of) the great wall(s) along the way. While it is visible from space (it’s on the sat image after all…) the wall is pretty hard to spot!

01-22 Chengdu ZUCG 6:30 PM
01-22 Guanghan ZUGH 6:36 PM
01-22 Mianyang ZUMY 6:51 PM
01-22 Jiuzhai Huanglong ZUJZ 7:39 PM 11,312ft
01-22 Nyinma ZNYI 8:23 PM
01-22 Ljtao Air Base ZTAA 9:09 PM
01-22 Lanzhou Air Base ZYUZ 9:28 PM
01-22 Zhongchuan ZLLL 9:47 PM
01-22 Caojiapu ZLXN 10:18 PM
01-22 Haibei ZQIN 10:44 PM
01-22 Jinchuan JIC 11:29 PM
01-23 Zhangye Ganzhou ZDOO 12:02 AM
01-23 Qingshui Air Base ZXIE 12:39 AM
01-23 Jiayuguan ZLJQ 12:54 AM
01-23 Dunhuang ZLDH 2:12 AM
01-23 Yangjiaqiao ZYAJ 2:17 AM

Flight time 7:47 15 stops

First up Mianyang where the Bishui temple is

I wonder what the significance is of the blue water sprays, also in other places. “Blue represents the element of wood in Chinese culture, also symbolizing immortality and advancement. Blue also represents the season of Spring.” It’s also the color of water of course, and it looks nice.

Sunrise on the way to Jiuzhai Huanglong

Near Xiangyang

Nice forests near Tuchengxiang

Into the mountains at Huyaxiang

Near Wintertime Qieju, 冬日切居, which translates to Winter cut house

Approach to Jiuzhai Huanglong

Jiuzhai Huanglong airport at 11,312ft with a nice drop off at the end

The sun is just peeking over the mountains down here

Taohe River

Near Ji’ang

Ljtao Air Base along the Taohe river

On the left, Xiaoxitian Gamisi temple. The left-facing swastika (sauwastika) symbolizes night and the tantric aspects of Kali, the chief of the Mahavidyas (A group of ten Tantric goddesses who each form a different aspect of the mother goddess Parvati)

Zhaga waterfall on the right, one of the tallest travertine in China

Near Yaojiawan, fresh snow highlighting the farm fields

Lanzhou Air Base ahead

Changchuancun, a farm on any piece of flat ground available

Gaochang, Ledu District, Haidong, Qinghai. China has so many place names and sub divisions.

Caojiapu Airport ahead along the Huangshui river

Xining, the capital of Qinghai province in central China, by the Tibetan Plateau

Lijiaxia Reservoir on the left and a view of the city

From left to right, Xining Nanchan Temple, Ta’er monastery and Tolou temple

Also here the Chinese Tibetan Medicine Culture Museum

Near Huahai Yuanyang

That line through the landscape turns out to be high speed rail

It will be fun to chase these trains if they ever come to FS2020

Between Jinchuan and Zhangye Ganzhou

Zhangye Ganzhou Airport

Zhangye

Terrain quality is pretty bad around here, pictures to the rescue

Mati temple, cave temple built in the Northern Liang Dynasty era, with 500 Buddha statues

Near Luyaquan

Near Wutongquan

Jiayuguan in northwestern Gansu province, named after the nearby Jiayu Pass

Jiayu Pass is the largest and most intact pass of the Great Wall of China

Heavily restored, tourist destination

Jiayuguan Changcheng ‘Great Wall’ Museum

On to Dunhuang

Dunhuang airport

Dunhuang is located on the edge of the Gobi Desert, here Crescent lake

The city is right on the other side of the sand dune

Magao caves nearby

Complex featuring 492 cave temples with Buddhist artwork, believed to span from 4th-14th centuries

Tomorrow a lap around the Gobi desert before continuing to Mongolia. Actually my plane has already been flying since 5pm, first 2h30 hop in the dark, not a lot of airports around here! 7 minutes until Qiemo. I better get ready to land, stow away the tray tables.

Leg 155, Yangjiaqiao, Gansu Province to Hami, Xinjiang, China

DAY01_24.PLN (4.9 KB)

This area is a puzzle to find the one camera angle that keeps all the seems out of view. Very interesting area though, following the route of the Silk road along the North side of the Gobi desert.

01-23 Yangjiaqiao ZYAJ 4:57 PM
01-23 Qiemo ZWCM 7:33 PM Virtual vision landing, Sun rise 8:28 PM
01-23 Hotan ZWTN 9:12 PM
01-23 Kashi ZWSH 10:36 PM
01-23 Qilan ZQIL 11:44 PM
01-24 Aksu ZWAK 12:01 AM
01-24 Kuqa ZWKC 12:42 AM
01-24 Korla ZWKL 1:53 AM
01-24 Uxxaktal Air Base ZTEE 2:18 AM
01-24 Turpan Joaohe ZWTP 3:00 AM
01-24 Shanshan ZWSS 3:21 AM
01-24 Hami ZWHM 4:12 AM

Flight time 11:15 11 stops

I already send my plane up 3 hours before sunrise while flying away from the sun, so after 2h30 flying in the dark, arriving in the dark in Qiemo

Dawn approaching over Azima

The ground finally became visible near Yueganji, it was a moonless night

Nothing around, the nearby airport list has no alternatives. Over the Gobi desert

‘Near’ Takelama Ganshamo

Gobi desert Sunrise

Approaching Hotan

Hotan Airport, in the southwestern part of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region

Hotan Kunluhu Park, local market

Flying on towards Kashgar

Over Dun Qiaka’er

Kashgar Airport

Kashgar was a stop on the Silk Road, with its history stretching over 2,000 years

Kashgar old town

Near Xike’erkulezhen

Kalpin County

Qilan Airport at Yituan Erying

Aksu city was next but completely broken in the game

Muzart river

The Mystic Grand Canyon of the Tianshan north of Kuqa

Kizilya Scenic spot nearby along the Kuqa river

Ketaike Like

Aqi Ke’eken

Tiemenguan City along the Kudong Highway

Korla also known as Kurla or from Mandarin Chinese as Ku’erle or Kuerle

Korla has existed since at least the Han Dynasty

Site of the Iron gate pass at the North side of Korla

The Iron Gate Pass connects the Yanqi Basin and the Tarim Basin, following the gorge of the Kongque River. It was a vulnerable bottle-neck on the Silk Road, a military checkpoint was established at the pass during the Tang Dynasty.

Bosten lake, enormous freshwater lake on the edge of the desert

The ancient city of Jiaohe near Turpan in the Yarnaz valley

Jiaohe was the capital of the Jushi Kingdom from 108 BC to 450 AD

In 2014, the Jiaohe Ruins became part of the Silk Road UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Turpan museum with ancient mummies on display, I assume found in Jiaohe

Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves near Shanshan

Complex featuring 77 caves decorated with Buddha murals, dating from the 5th to 14th centuries

Shanshan county, also transliterated from Uyghur as Piqan County

Kumtaq desert

And the final stop in Hami, the origin of sweet Hami melons

No temperature bug here, some icing along the way

I’ll be continuing on towards Mongolia next and on to Irkutsk in Siberia.

Leg 156, Hami, Xinjiang, China via Mongolia to Baley, Zabaykalsky Krai, Russia

DAY01_25.PLN (7.5 KB)

A lot of bad weather this leg, ending in a snow storm. Also mostly rural sparsely populated areas, good for making distance with fun landing challenges along the way.

01-24 Hami ZWHM 6:05 PM
01-24 Altai ZMAT 7:31 PM
01-24 Donoi ZMDN 8:02 PM
01-24 Tosontsengel ZMTL 8:39 PM
01-24 Muren ZMMN 9:10 PM
01-24 Hatgal ZMHG 9:33 PM Foggy, 2 attempts
01-24 Kyren UKYY 10:19 PM Very low visibility
01-24 Irkutsk UIII 10:57 PM
01-24 Vostochny UIIR 11:04 PM
01-24 Oyok Airfield UOYY 11:13 PM
01-24 Ust-Ordynskiy UIOO 11:26 PM Short runway, boxed in by houses
01-25 Khuzhir UKHZ 12:09 AM Unclear runway, invisible in the snow
01-25 Goryachinsk UTUU 12:25 AM Plane animations broke, no flaps, no gear visible
01-25 Barguzin UBAU 12:51 AM Landing without gear, hovercraft style
01-25 53°2’0.15"N 110°42’54.21"E 1:11 AM CTD, inevitable, more and more plane functions breaking
01-25 Last known position 1:19 AM
01-25 Sosnovo-Ozerskoye USOZ 1:34 AM Unclear runway, snowing
01-25 Kashtak Airfield USMO 2:08 AM
01-25 Cheryomushki Air Base UCHI 2:12 AM
01-25 Kadala UIAA 2:17 AM
01-25 Domna Air Base UDON 2:25 AM
01-25 Baley UBAL 3:23 AM 20 knot headwind

Flight time 9:10 19 stops

Ground spotted (with boosted exposure) near Tsagaanchuluut

Donoi Airport at dawn

With a slanted runway, one way not to have standing water issues

Uliastai, waiting for the sun

Sunrise near Yaruu

Frosty morning, pretty much icing through the entire flight

Clearing up for a bit near Ider

Still so cold, and no window defrost

Tosontsengel in western Mongolia along the Ider river

Where is that ice scraper

Peaceful place

Declaring a missed approach at Hatgal, climbing back out

The runway is just a chalk line on the grass

Hatgal on the southern tip of Lake Khövsgöl

Then the weather got really bad, arrival at Irkutsk, Siberia, 11 AM local time

130 Kvartal on the left, restaurant area and Ice-Breaker Angara Museum on the right

The Angara came in service in 1900, transporting passengers and goods over lake Baikal. During the civil war (1918-1920) the Angara became the flagship of a warship flotilla on lake Baikal and got armed with two 6-inch cannons and 4 machine guns. After the war the Angara went back to serving as a passenger vessel, then as a fishing vessel until getting decommissioned in 1963. In 1991 the donations of the inhabitants of the city helped to turn the oldest ship of its class into a Museum.

Sobor Bogoyavlensky, used as a bakery and grain store during the Soviet era

A glimpse of the terrain at Turskaya

Oyok Airfield. The runway is barely distinguishable from up here, invisible lower to the ground

Interesting airfield, lots of old planes to admire

Back to zero visibility at Chernorud

Khuzhir on the west side of Olkhon Island in lake Baikal

Shaman rock at Khuzhir, marble & limestone rock with cliffs & a cave with spiritual significance

Approaching Barguzin over the forest

Barguzin airport, I picked the straight going slightly right as the ‘runway’

Barguzin, rural locality in the Republic of Buryatia, Russia

Flying over Berezka

Sun spotted at Kadala Airport, about 3pm locally

Final stop today at Baley, just getting out of the storm

Baley or Balei on the Unda River

I’m heading back to Mongolia tonight, towards Ulaanbaatar.

Wow, very impressive!

Seems like you are doing this trip alone. You must be an FS20 Expert by now. I will try to catch up with you on a few flights. I’ll just download the flight plans for those days.

I only got this version of FS20 on December 11, 2020. Got my new PC December 28, 2020, New Razer Headset on January 15, 2021 and my X56 HOTAS January 20,2021.

Still working on mapping some HOTAS switches. But I put priority on setting up the Autopilot.

Haven’t flown the Bonanza yet, but I will put some time in it in the new few days.

But I have been flying older versions of FS for a long time.

Hope to catch up with you on a flight soon!

Goodluck! The best part to me is discovering new places and reading about local history and how global events affected different places. Without the vast resource of the internet, I wouldn’t be going for what seems the longest way possible around the world.

Autopilot does most of the flying, I operate the drone more than the plane. While landing in as many places as possible keeps it fun. And sometimes it becomes an endurance race, like atm over Mongolia. Airports are far apart, the landscape is pretty broken (poor coverage), no visibility for the first couple of hours.

So yep, I fully recommend mapping as many auto pilot features to the flight stick (heading bug, vs/flc speed, altitude) Enjoy the views or watch an in flight movie while stuck in a blizzard, over open water or endless desert. The sense of scale still comes through.

It’s great to have flight simulator back. Last time I flew around the world was in a 747 in FSX back in 2006.


I’m still playing at the same fps, target of 20, slightly higher!

2 Likes

Leg 157, Baley, Zabaykalsky Krai, Russia via China to BayankHongor, Mongolia

DAY01_26.PLN (5.5 KB)

Starting out in the same bad weather which cleared up later. Unfortunately that just revealed the poor quality of the terrain data through Mongolia. There were still a couple decent sections. Cool country, bad coverage.

01-25 Baley UBAL 6:12 PM
01-25 Gazimurskiy Zavod UGAA 6:38 PM Drone cam landing
01-25 Krasnokamensk UIAE 7:14 PM
01-25 Dongshan ZBLA 7:45 PM
01-25 Arxan Yi’ershi ZBES 8:28 PM Part virtual vision landing
01-25 Holingol Huolinhe ZBHZ 9:12 PM unclear runway, might have landed in a farm field
01-25 Baruun-Urt ZMBU 10:46 PM
01-25 Underkhaan ZMUH 11:30 PM
01-26 Maanit ZMMA 12:21 AM
01-26 Byant-Ukhaa ZMUB Ulaanbaatar 12:45 AM
01-26 Erdenet ZMED 1:36 AM Unclear runway, no clue, landed in a field
01-26 Bulgan ZMBN 1:51 AM
01-26 Kharkhorin ZMHH 2:32 AM
01-26 BayankHongor ZMBH 3:15 AM

Flight time 9:03 13 stops

Trying to find the runway at Gazimurskiy Zavod, early morning

It’s snowing on and off, overcast

Prerry much my view during sunrise

The sun finally manages to burn through the clouds near Urulyunguy

Uranium mine at Krasnokamensk

Krasnokamensk is known as the site for Russia’s largest uranium mine

The weather cleared up into Mongolia, now I need that ice to melt

Baruun-Urt, capital of Sükhbaatar Province in eastern Mongolia

Underkhaan, renamed to Chinggis City in 2013 in honor of Genghis Khan, who was born here

Apart from the name, nothing much to see here related to Genghis Khan

Near Dzabilgaiin Hiid

Höhöteyn Hural

Crossing the Herlen River

Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia in the Tuul River valley

Looking West along Peace Avenue

Originally a nomadic Buddhist center, it became a permanent site in the 18th century

Looking North at Sukhbaatar Square and the National Amusement Park in front

Sukhbaatar Square with a statue of Marco Polo on the left

Zaisan monument remembering soldiers of Mongolia & the USSR lost in WWII

Gandantegchinlen Monastery, Buddhist monastery featuringan 82ft gold Megjid Janraisig statue

The museum of the Bogd Khaan (1869-1924) formerly the Winter Palace of the Bogd Khan

The Bogd Khan became the Bogd Gegeen Ezen Khaan of Bogd Khaganate in 1911, when Khüree declared independence from Qing dynasty of China after the Xinhai Revolution. He was born in Tibet. As the 8th Jebtsundamba Khutuktu, he was the third most important person in the Tibetan Buddhist hierarchy, below only the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama.

Something different, the International Intellectual Museum, brain teasers

And more traditional relics in the National Museum of Mongolia

The first time I heard of Ulaanbaatar was on “Don’t drive here”

It does look like there are still a lot of dirt roads, Chinggis Khaan International Airport

The weather seems to be turning again near Tseel

Approaching Bulgan

Hishig-Öndör

Kharkhorin with Erdene Zuu Monastery in that big square

Erdene Zuu Monastery

Tibetan Buddhist monastery built in 1585, rebuilt in the 18th century & partially destroyed in 1939

Part ‘living’ museum nowadays

Near Tsagaan

In the area of Tovkhon Xiid monastery, very remote area

Near the Orkhon river

Last stop today was at BayankHongor, capital of the Bayankhongor Province in central Mongolia. Heading for China tomorrow, still lots to see there.

Leg 158, BayankHongor, Mongolia to Xinle, Hebei, China

DAY01_27.PLN (8.9 KB)

More hit an miss terrain detail, luckily Beijing turned out great as well as some better views of the Great wall along the way.

01-26 BayankHongor ZMBH 6:18 PM
01-26 Dalandzadgad ZMDZ 7:29 PM Sunrise 7:23 PM
01-26 Tavantolgoi ZMTT 7:48 PM
01-26 Khanbumbat ZMKB 8:11 PM
01-26 Bayannur Tianjitai ZBYZ 8:59 PM
01-26 Ulashan ZULA 9:25 PM
01-26 Baotou ZBOW 9:44 PM
01-26 Hohhot Air Base ZQAA 10:06 PM
01-26 Baita ZBHH 10:19 PM
01-26 Ulanqab Jining ZBUC 10:43 PM
01-26 Zhangbei ZZHC 11:12 PM
01-26 Zhangjiakou Ningyuan ZZHA 11:34 PM
01-26 Yongning Air Base ZJII 11:56 PM Great wall scenic area otw
01-27 Gulou ZGUO 12:20 AM
01-27 Beijing Shahezhen Air Base ZSHH 12:36 AM Google bugged, aerial images don’t match overlays, 400m offset
01-27 Beijing Capital ZBAA 12:44 AM Lot of landmarks, Forbidden city
01-27 Beijing Xijiao ZBBB 1:15 AM
01-27 Beijing Nanyuan ZBNY 1:24 AM
01-27 Yangcun Air Base ZYAA 1:44 AM
01-27 Binhai ZBTJ 1:56 AM
01-27 Tanggu ZTAN 2:11 AM
01-27 Xiaowangzhuang ZXIZ 2:26 AM
01-27 Cangxian Air Base ZCAN 2:37 AM
01-27 Zhengding ZBSJ 3:13 AM 5.97 GIB 1.52 mbps 4.95 MB/nm

Flight time 8:55 23 stop

Sun rise close to Dalandzadgad

Dalandzadgad Airport. Dalandzadgad is the capital of Ömnögovi Aimag in Mongolia

Small town with street view available and some cool statues

Nice skies on departure, the terrain remains rather flat

Khanbogd, a sum (administrative division) of Ömnögovi Province in southern Mongolia

Khanbumbat Airport serving Khanbogd

Wu Senturu, Inner Mongolia, China along an isolated mountain range

Ulashan Airport

Crossing the mountain range at Houwancun

Near Daoshicun

Tumed Left Banner below. A banner in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, North China

Administrative divisions in Mongolia are called a sum (divided further into bags) yet called a banner in Inner Mongolia in China. Banners were first used during the Qing Dynasty, further divided into Sumu, while several banners together make up a league.

Guojiayingcun, Shouguang, Weifang, Shandong, China

Lot of windmills near Luotuo Kiln

Coming in to Zhangjiakou Ningyuan Airport

More restored parts of the Great walls can be seen here

Flying over Matiwancun

Great wall visible in the terrain at Wangquanyu

Blackshark AI added nice little towers

The view from Lianhuachicun, a little further along the wall

This section of the wall is around the Mutian Valley, not far North of Beijing

On to Beijing, coming up on the World Trade Center, CCTV headquarters and China Zun

Of course I had to fly in between / under the CCTV headquarters building

With the China Zun building behind

Spoiler alert, an invisible wall knocked me out of the sky, same as most bridges

Tiananmen with the forbidden city

From the side with the Southern Sea in front

The shiny dome is the National Center for the Performing Arts

And of course the Olympic bird’s nest, Beijing National Stadium

Beijing Xijiao Airport witht the Summer palace across Kunming Lake

Some other sights around Beijing, Ming Dynasty Tombs

Tombs of 13 Ming Dynasty emperors (1368 to 1644)

The temple of heaven, temple complex from 1420

Beijing Temple of Confucius on the left, 14th-century Confucian temple

Lama Temple on the right, Tibetan Buddhist temple complex built in 1694

And a couple items from the National Museum of China

Flying on towards the coast, Binhai

Tianjin Binhai Aircraft Carrier Theme Park

In 1996 the Kiev was sold to Binhai Aircraft Park where it now serves as a hotel with many Russian restaurants. I wonder what the Canadian flag is doing on a Russian Aircraft carrier in China.

A lot more windmills near Xiaowangzhuang

Cangxian Air Base, heading inland again

Away from Beijing terrain quality quickly becomes pretty poor again, clearing up a bit near airports. Google maps is bugged in China as well, all the road and POI overlays are 400 meters offset from the aerial data, very confusing and messy. It’s the same on Bing maps. Really odd similar offset, mostly East and a bit North.

Last stop today at Zhending Airport

Tonight I’ll be trying to locate one of China’s Satellite launch centers in the terrain then on to Huashan where the infamous plank walk is on Mount Hua.

Leg 159, Xinle, Hebei to Wuhu, Anhui province, China

DAY01_28.PLN (7.2 KB)

More variable terrain while making my way through central China

01-27 Zhengding ZBSJ 6:02 PM
01-27 Xinzhou Wutaishan ZBXZ 6:45 PM
01-27 Hezhi ZHEZ 7:15 PM Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center 38°50’54.8"N 111°36’28.7"E
01-27 Yulin Yuyang ZLYL 7:59 PM
01-27 Yulin ZYUL 8:08 PM Short, narrow runway
01-27 Bojia ZBOJ 9:12 PM
01-27 Xianyang ZLXY 9:23 PM
01-27 Xi’an Xiguan ZLSN 9:31 PM Mount Hua Huashen Plank Walk, 34°28’40.2"N 110°05’05.6"E
01-27 Yucheng Guangong ZBYC 10:14 PM
01-27 Luoyang ZHLY 10:39 PM
01-27 Luyang Air Base ZRAA 11:05 PM Bugged city block extending onto airport
01-27 Nanyang Jiangying ZHNY 11:22 PM
01-27 Baolin ZBAL 11:54 PM
01-28 Xiaogan Air Base ZCHH 12:10 AM
01-28 Tianhe ZHHH (Wuhan) 12:20 AM
01-28 Guanshang ZGUA 12:36 AM
01-28 Anqing Tianzhushan ZSAQ 1:22 AM
01-28 Jiuhuashan JUH 1:39 AM
01-28 Wuhu Air Base ZSWU 2:09 AM 11.14 GIB 3.56 mbps 9.49 MB/nm

Flight time 7:07 18 stops

Early morning near Chuangoucun

I went to visit Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center

Unfortunately it’s all beneath the clouds on the sat images

The terrain got a bit better at Shichangju

Near Yangjiacuncun

This terrain went on for a long time. The Yellow River winding through here

Near Wangmijiapancun

Shishan Mountain

There are lots of little lakes around, dammed rivers near Jianshanwan

G65 Highway along the Yanhe River

Getting greener from Lishuping on

Mount Hua, unfortunately very low terrain quality in this are

The real thing

The infamous Huashan plank walk

Just when you thought you found a spot crazy enough people would leave you alone…

Luoyang in central China’s Henan province, widely recognized as the region where Chinese civilization originated. Luoyang was China’s ancient capital during multiple dynasties

White Horse Temple, thought to be the first Buddhist temple in China, completed 68 AD

On the south side of Lyonyang the Longman Grottoes

UNESCO–listed site with thousands of statues of Buddha carved in caves

A few things from the Luoyang Museum

More trees appearing near Zhujia Laowan

Wuhan, the sprawling capital of Central China’s Hubei province

The now infamous South China Sea food market is located just above the square building at the top right of the train station. (Caishan square office building)

Second Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge on the left

East Lake on the right, picturesque park with lots of gardens including a cherry blossom park

Guiyan Temp on the left, Buddhist temple built in the 15th year of Shunzhi (1638-1661), Qing Dynasty

Yellow Crane Tower on the right, a traditional Chinese tower. The current structure was built in 1981, but the tower has existed in various forms from as early as 223 AD

Leaving the Yangtze river behind for now

Anqing Tianzhushan Airport

Final stop today at Wuhu Air Base. I’ll take some of that fuel

On to Shanghai tomorrow, then down the coast

1 Like

Leg 160, Wuhu, Anhui province, China to Zhangzhou, Fujian, China

DAY01_29.PLN (8.5 KB)

Great flight with lots to see. I had some issues with Steam while trying to free up more resources to get longer stable performance. 16GB ram really is very little for FS2020 and page file use can quickly lead to performance degradation. I switched windows memory compression off since that was causing more page faults instead of helping. Steamwebhelper is another process that is not adding anything useful while flying, but Steam insists on being online and active while running FS2020. The windows store version would have been the better option. (Although the windows store probably has its own overhead)

Anyway, next to the plane, many other gauges to monitor, CPU/GPU temps, pagefile size, hard faults, committed / active ram, all early stall (CTD) warnings. Flying slower helps, let the sim catch back up.

01-28 Wuhu Air Base ZSWU 6:03 PM
01-28 Lukou ZSNJ 6:14 PM Sunrise 5:48 PM
01-28 Dajiaochang Z08T 6:21 PM Zifeng Tower 32°03’45"N, 118°46’41"E
01-28 Taizhou ZSYA 6:43 PM Closing Steam to get better performance
CTD, can’t exit Steam while flying, closes without asking, switching to offline mode instead (Steam)
01-28 Taizhou ZSYA 6:51 PM 45.80 GIB
Can’t switch Steam to off-line, disables all data streaming, no server connection in FS2020
01-28 Taizhou ZSYA 7:05 PM 45.80 GIB
01-28 Rugao Air Base ZSRG 7:21 PM
01-28 Xingdong ZSNT 7:32 PM
01-28 Yongxing ZYON 7:45 PM
01-28 Shanghai Dachang Air Base ZCHA 7:58 PM
01-28 Hongqiao ZSSS 8:04 PM Lupo Bridge, lots of towers
01-28 Pudong ZSPD 8:43 PM
01-28 Jiaxing Air Base ZHEN 9:12 PM Tidal bore up to 9 m (30 ft) high, traveling at up to 40 km/h
Hangzhou Qiantang River Jiaxing-Shaoxing Sea Bridge 30°16’05.7"N 120°52’45.3"E
01-28 Zhoushan ZSZS 9:59 PM
01-28 Lishe ZSNB (Ningbo) 10:18 PM
01-28 Huangyan Luqiao ZSLQ 10:46 PM
01-28 Longwan ZSWZ 11:05 PM
01-29 Nanping Wuyishan ZSWY 12:10 AM Xiyuan Grand Canyon 26°37’57.9"N 118°07’59.6"E
01-29 Fuzhou Air Base ZGAI 1:02 AM
01-29 Changle ZSFZ 1:14 AM
01-29 Beigan RCMT 1:30 AM
01-29 Huian Air Base ZLUO 2:02 AM
01-29 JinJiang ZSQZ 2:12 AM
01-29 Gaoqi ZSAM 2:29 AM
01-29 Zhangzhou/Chang-Chou Airfield ZZHN 2:44 AM 50.70 GIB

Flight time 8:19 22 stops

Departure from Wuhu early morning

Lukou approach

Zifeng tower at Nanjing, capital of China’s eastern Jiangsu province along the Yangtze river

Xuanwu lake, North East behind Zifeng tower

Zifeng tower and Xuanwu lake

Crossing the Yangtze river here called the Baoshan Waterway

Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport

Shanghai, China’s biggest city and a global financial hub

Great fun zooming around the Jing Mao Tower, Shanghai Tower and Shanghai World Financial Center

In between the towers of the HSBC building

Oriental Pearl TV Tower

Threading the needle through the Shanghai World Financial Center

No problem with invisible barriers here, fun.

Night view of this area

Shanghai is also knows for Yu garden, 5-acre garden built in 1577

A peek in Shanghai Museum

Shanghai North-South Elevated Road, called Lupu bridge in game

Also no issues flying under this bridge

Underneath was too easy, this really gives you a speed rush

Pudong Airport at Shanghai, pick a lane

Jiaxing-Shaoxing Sea Bridge over the Qiantang River

The Qiantang River has the largest tidal bore in the world

It doesn’t always go as planned, 2015

Hangzhou Bay Bridge a bit closer to the East China Sea

22-mile cross-sea bridge, among the longest in the world, with a service center in the middle

Fuchi Island

Dinghai District

Zhoushan, formerly romanized as Chusan, an urbanized archipelago on Hangzhou Bay

Zhoushan Airport

Ningbo, major port and industrial hub on Hangzhou Bay

Zhe Jiang Lin Hai Guo Jia Di Zhi Gong Yuan National Park with Puba Harbor in the distance

Ximendao Island straight ahead

Linxi Reservoir below and Feiyun River delta on the horizon

Near Tuoshanjiao

Baizhang Jishuiku / Feiyun Lake, dam at the top of a narrow gorge

Feiyun lake in the gorge behind the dam

Nanping Wuyishan Airport

Xiyuan Grand Canyon at Nanping

Looks a bit more dramatic in reality

Approaching Fuzhou, some low hanging clouds along the way

Fuzhou, the capital of southeastern China’s Fujian province on the Minjang river and Wulong river

Tianmen Mountain at Fuzhou features glass walkways hanging onto the cliffs

Shipaiang Scenic Area on the right

Beigan, insular rural township in Lienchiang County, Taiwan

Beigan Aiport, fun place to land

I’ll visit Taiwan proper when I’m heading back North to Japan, return to China for now

Huian Air Base

Did I win any bonus points, or is a helicopter going to land on my head any second

Xiamen Approach

Xiamen, port city on China’s southeast coast, across a strait from Taiwan

Bailuzhou Park / Great Godess Square on the left, the little circle in the screenshot above

Last stop today in Zhangzhou, alternately romanized as Changchow, in Fujian Province

Tianluokeng Tulou cluster and Yuchang Building in the mountains nearby

UNESCO World Heritage site, a cluster of round earth buildings (Fujian Tulou) unique to the region. Some are over 700 years old, each housing up to 80 families. Each structure only has one entrance, guarded by re-enforced doors and gun holes at the top level for defense against bandits.

Tomorrow, more China and Hong Kong

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Leg 161, Zhangzhou, Fujian, China via Vietnam to Baise, Guangxi, China

DAY01_30.PLN (7.6 KB)

A couple more big cities to do some stunt flying while making my way along the South China Sea coast. Then a visit to Northern Vietnam. I thought those iconic pictures of those mountains sticking out the water were isolated to a specific area, it goes on forever inland! What a strange landscape.

Meizhou in eastern Guangdong province. Early morning, full moon is up.

Xingning Airport

Mirs Bay, heading to the South China Sea

I had to skip this one, Kuiyong Airport

Checking on Bing maps, I drew in the ‘runway’ in red, looks implausible

You can also see the weird offset between road/poi overlays and aerial data China is plagued with

On Google it’s definitely not an airport

Same weird displacement which syncs back up at Hong Kong, mismatching again inland and also on Hainan island.

Moving on to Shek Kong in Yuen Long District, New Territories, Hong Kong

Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China after the UK handed Hong Kong back to China in 1997. The UK invaded China in 1839 and has had possession of Hong Kong since 1841.

Here looking at Victoria Harbor with Sky 100 Hong Kong Observation Deck in front

Hong Kong island with the sun peaking out above Two International Finance Centre

A couple residential buildings in Happy Valley, The Summit and High Cliff, got special attention

A little bit back to Victoria harbor, looking at Central Plaza on the left

Zooming by the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre

Great fun following the road low around the harbor

Night view of Victoria Harbor

Hong Kong also has some cool ways to get around, Ngong Ping 360 on the left

Peak Tram going up to Victoria Peak

Macau, an autonomous region on the south coast of China, considered the Las Vegas of Asia

Ferreira do Amaral Plaza

Lots of restaurants and casinos around here, even a full replica of the Venitian from Las Vegas

That’s actually see through glass in reality

Macau is a contrast between colonial Portugese architecture and modern casinos

Ruins of St. Paul’s (17th century) on the left. Macau was a Portuguese territory until 1999.

Houhaisha, an island between Leizhou Bay and Wailuo Channel

Jingliu, utilizing the fertile sea bed between the islands

This volcano was tough to find, Haikou Volcanic Cluster Global Geopark on Hainan island

Very old volcano, some remnants of volcanic flow are visible in the park

Flying by the Hainan Nantai reservoir

Skimming the tree tops on the hills near Xiashuitian

Sanya on the southern end of China’s Hainan Island

Served by Phoenix International Airport in Tianya District

On the South China Sea, Guanyin of Nanshan, 354 ft statue of the bodhisattva Guanyin on the coast

Valong Bay Tropic Paradise Forest Park in the hills, more glass walkways

Daguang Dam Reservoir, constructed between 1958 and 1973

Catbi Airport near Haiphong, major port city in northeastern Vietnam

Haiphong Kien An Airport next to the Cấm River

Pho Chieu Pagoda and a view of the bay

Gia Lam Air Base at Hanoi

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam on the Red river, parliament building in front below

Hanoi Keangnam Landmark Tower 72, 3 towers, main tower 1,150ft high

That calls for some extra fun

Too easy, practice a bit of inverted flying instead

The Bonanza is pretty good at aerial stunts

Lots to see in Hanoi. Hồ Chí Minh (1890-1969) Mausoleum

Hồ Chí Minh, born Nguyễn Sinh Cung, also known as Bác (Uncle), was a Vietnamese revolutionary and politician. He served as Prime Minister of North Vietnam from 1945 to 1955 and President from 1945 to 1969.

Thăng Long Imperial Citadel from the 11th century

Trấn Quốc Pagoda, Buddhist temple built in the 6th century on a small island

Quán Thánh Temple (left), formerly Trấn Vũ Temple, a Taoist temple dating back to the 11th century

One Pillar Pagoda (right) rebuilt Buddhist temple, originally erected in 1049

A peak in the National History Museum of Vietnam

Phuc To Airport at Ba Vi National Park

Very peaceful here, nice views

Yen Bai Air Base up the Red river

Hồ Thủy Diện Thác Bà Lake, created for Nhà máy thủy điện Thác Bà Hydroelectric power plant

Flying over Làng Mãn, the lake behind me

Crossing the Sông Lô (Sông means river)

The landscape is getting more and more rugged, near Hoà Phú

Crossing the Sông Bằng

Miles and miles of this terrain stretching to the horizon, near làng Lí

And over the border, Xiatao, Hubei, China down below

Mining operation near Jingxi, a peak inside these hill/mountains

Last stop today at Baise Youjiang Airport

Baise comes from Youjiang Zhuang Baksaek, meaning “in, or blocking, a mountain pass”

Very pretty here, Jiuzhou and Equan scenic areas

Tongling Grand canyon nearby as well

One more day in China, Phoenix Ancient city is on the menu for tonight.