Exploring the world in the Beechcraft Bonanza

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

1 Like

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.

Leg 162, Baise, Guangxi to Xingyi, Guizhou Province, China

DAY01_31.PLN (6.6 KB)

One day this will be one of the best places to fly through. Amazing scenery potential with so many beautiful places to visit and deep narrow canyons to fly through. However as it is now, over 90% of the terrain looks terrible. The aerial data either isn’t there (with very course sat imagery) or is messed up with clouds, plus constant seams between the two. Not recommended to fly here in its current state.

01-30 Baise Youjiang ZTII 5:28 PM
01-30 Liuzhou Bailia ZGZH 6:17 PM Sunrise 6:15 PM
01-30 Liangjiang ZGKL 7:19 PM
01-30 Guilin ZGUL 7:28 PM
01-30 Lingling ZGLG 8:04 PM
01-30 Leiyang Air Base ZLEE 8:29 PM
01-30 Huanghua ZGHA 9:06 PM
01-30 Changsha Dutuopu ZDAT 9:17 PM
01-30 Zhijiang ZGCJ 10:24 PM Phoenix Acient city 27°57’07.7"N 109°36’01.5"E
01-30 Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon 29°23’52.2"N 110°41’51.8"E Skipped, No Bing data
01-30 Qianjiang Wulingshan JIQ 11:18 PM
01-31 Jiangbei ZUCK 12:06 AM
01-31 Chongqing Air Base ZBAI 12:16 AM
01-31 Luzhou ZULZ 12:41 AM Great cycling along the river
01-31 Yibin Caiba ZUYB 1:00 AM
01-31 Zhaotong ZPZT 1:43 AM
01-31 Anshun Huangguoshu ZUAS 2:31 AM
01-31 Xingyi ZUYI 3:12 AM

Flight time 9:44 16 stops

Liuzhou in north-central Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on the Liu River

Big city, beautiful region, Longtan Park on the right

Sun rise was a bit later than listed online, at Shangren the sun appeared

Further up near Yulei

Passing by Liyu

I went to visit Basha Miao Village. A primitive Miao village hidden away in a forest and filled with stilted wooden houses by the river. The Basha are famed for being China 's last tribe of gunmen.

Sadly no Bing coverage here, nothing in the sim

Chengyangqiao Scenic area on the Linxi river

This is about as good as it gets in this area

Another beautiful place to visit

Liangjiang Airport

Guilin in southern China, known for its dramatic landscape of limestone karst hills

Guilin Liangjiang International Airport

Guilin and surroundings

Reed Flute Cave in Guilin

The lighting reminds me of the cave in Dear Esther

Flying by the Bailian Reservoir

Changsha, capital of central China’s Hunan province, dating back to the Zhou dynasty (1046–256 BC)

Situated along the Xiangjiang river

Mawangdui Museum build on the archeological site of Western Han Dynasty Tombs

The site contained the tombs of three people from the Changsha Kingdom during the western Han dynasty (206 BC to 9 AD): the Chancellor Li Cang, his wife and a male believed to have been their son.

Near Jiangjialing

A little piece of decent valley at Hat Shitan

Near Huaihua

Near Shuangjiankou, river not listed

Which is close to Phoenix Ancient City. Unfortunately that area has no coverage on Bing

Aka Fenghuang Ancient Town. It was the center of the unsuccessful Miao Rebellion (1854–1873), which created a Miao diaspora in Southeast Asia during the last two centuries. The city is revered in Miao traditions and funeral rites and is the location of the Southern China Great Wall. Nowadays it looks like a tourist trap.

Beautiful buildings and views, should be on the top of the list for PG data

I wanted to visit Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon as well. Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon is home to the longest and highest glass bridge in the world. It was a bit further out of my direction of travel so I checked on Bing maps first, and passed. There’s nothing there on Bing.

People having fun with the bridge

And of course a great place for bungee jumping

It would have been great to fly through the canyon, but no data (yet)

Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport, huge X shaped terminal

Yibin, located at the junction of the Min and Yangtze Rivers

High terrain near Dachongzi

Great for wind farms, these windmills are huge! At Ma’an Mountain

This area has amazing potential, so many narrow canyons to fly through. Also home to China’s highest waterfall, Huangguoshu waterfall, 243ft high main fall with another 17 falls along the way.

Anyway, nothing there in the sim, landscape looks like FS 2004

Approaching Xingyi, final stop for the day

Safely down, the engine shut off by itself. High altitude sickness

Stunning area, this should be part of a world update

From left to right, Xingyi Malinghe Canyon Scenic Area, Jilong Castle and Wanfenglin Scenic Area

As it is now, only the immediate surroundings of big airports have decent detail. Most of the landscape simply has no coverage, very coarse sat images and height data. On to Myanmar (Burma) tomorrow. China is amazing, high on the list to explore further when map data has improved.

Some more fun with glass bridges

Leg 163, Xingyi, Guizhou Province, China to Bago, Myanmar (Burma)


DAY02_01.PLN (7.4 KB)

Into Myanmar, formerly Burma (until 1989), the land of golden pagodas, with one of the strangest capitals I’ve seen. New (planned) capital since 2005. This just in: Myanmar coup: Aung San Suu Kyi detained as military seizes control Myanmar got rid of military rule in 2011, only 9 years ago. Now back under military rule as of today.

01-31 Xingyi ZUYI 5:23 PM
01-31 Luliang Air Base ZZHO 5:50 PM
01-31 Wujiaba ZPPP 6:11 PM
01-31 Lintsang Airfield ZMEE 7:15 PM
01-31 Tanyang VYTY 8:00 PM
01-31 Anisakan VYAS 8:45 PM
01-31 Chanmyathazi (Mandalay) VYCZ 8:58 PM
01-31 Mandalay Intl VYMD 9:07 PM
01-31 Pakhokku VYPU 9:32 PM
01-31 Bagan VYBG 9:45 PM Bagan Landmark 21°09’41"N, 94°51’28"E
01-31 Pauk VYPK 9:58 PM
01-31 Kyauktu VYKU 10:09 PM
01-31 21°17’54.13"N, 94°2’6.95"E 10:18 PM CTD after the game froze, no warning signs
01-31 Last known position 10:26 PM
01-31 Sittwe VYSW 11:03 PM
01-31 Kyaukpyu VYKP 11:26 PM
01-31 Manaung VYMN 11:41 PM
02-01 Mazin VYTD 12:00 AM
02-01 Pyay VYPY 12:31 AM
02-01 Naypyitaw Intl VYNT 1:04 AM Capital
02-01 Taungoo VYTO 1:20 AM
02-01 Bago VYBA 2:06 AM

Flight time 8:35 19 stops

First up, Kunming before dawn, modern capital city of China’s southern Yunnan province

Home to a stone forest of tall limestone formations (on the right)

Yiliang Jiuxiang Scenic Area

Dian Lake next to Kunming

Xiaoqingkou Reservoir

Near Xiawuyan

Sun coming up behind me near Hetaohe

Colorful farms near Shijiacun

And Hebiancun

Lintsang Airfield

Which is actually Lincang Airport

Hka-lingngwa, I made it into Myanmar

Flying over Tanyang, a township of Lashio District in the Shan State of eastern Burma

Elephants are the local workhorse, still around 4,000 domesticated elephants are used for logging


About 2,000 wild elephants are left

Anesakhan or Anisakan (in game) looking at Dat Taw Gyaint Waterfall

Mandalay Chanmyathazi Airport with Mandalar Thiri Sports Stadium on the left

Mandalay Palace in the middle


Mandalay is the former royal capital in northern Myanmar, next to the Irrawaddy River

Many pagodas can be found around here, Kuthodaw Pagoda


The Mahamuni Buddha image is deified at this important Buddhist temple & pilgrimage site

The view from Mandalay Hill

Pakhokku in the Magway Region in Myanmar

Bagan, ancient city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Mandalay Region of Myanmar


From the 9th to 13th centuries, the city was the capital of the Pagan Kingdom

Mingalar Zedi Pagoda or the “Blessing Stupa”, built in 1277 by King Narathihapati


(It’s simply called Bagan landmark in game)

The real thing on the left, one of very many in the area

All beautifully showcased on Samsara

Photogrammetry here pls! There are about 2,200 amazing buddhist temples around here.

Crossing the Arakan mountains on the way to the coast

Nat Ma Taung National Park in the Arakan mountains

Mount Victoria behind on the left

The Chin state’s highest scenic mountain, at 10,016ft

Following the Mon river out of the mountains

Kaladan river flowing into the bay of Bengal

Sittwe, capital of Rakhine State, on the coast with View Point Park on the bottom right

Kyaukpyu, Yanbye Island on Combermere Bay

Manaung on Manaung island

Thandwe Airport at Ma Zin

Approaching Pyay in the Bago Region in Myanmar

Pyay next to the Irrawaddy River

Naypyitaw, administrative capital of Myanmar since 2005

Planned city without a real center


Diplomatic housing development across the lakes

Uppatasanti Pagoda, replica of the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon

A peek inside the national museum


Not all that much here yet since the city is only 15 years old

Taungoo on the Sittang river

Home to the Shwe Sandaw Pagoda

Near Sabyin, enjoying the vast forests

And many reservoirs, Ye Nwe Dam Reservoir

Baing Dar Dam Reservoir

BawNatGyi Resevoir in the Moe Yin Gyi Wildlife Reserve

Theybu Reservoir (first one up)

Bago formerly known as Hanthawaddy

Hantharwaddy Airport, which is still in the planning stages


The project was first initiated in the early 1990s, but due to ongoing financing issues there’s not much there yet. The first phase of the new airport, a joint venture between Myanmar and Japan, is slated to be complete in 2027. FS2020 let me land there just fine! Sometimes it’s behind, sometimes it’s ahead (like an already flooded lake in Africa with the dam still under construction)

Bago is home to the Golden Palace, with a reconstruction of a 16th-century royal audience hall

And you can visit the Snake pagoda here


Home to a massive uncaged python (and many others) that is believed to be very old & holy

Tomorrow some more of Myanmar (the former capital) then on to Thailand.

Leg 164, Bago, Myanmar (Burma), via Thailand and Laos to Đồng Hới, Vietnam

DAY02_02.PLN (8.4 KB)

Beautiful place to fly over, pretty good data quality. Only to the East it gets a bit patchy, West side is nicely detailed and clear of problems. Lots of forests and mountains.

02-01 Bago VYBA 6:44 PM Sunrise 7:06 PM
02-01 Hmawby VYHB 6:53 PM
02-01 Yangon Intl VYYY 7:01 PM former Capital
02-01 Mawlamyine VYMM 7:36 PM
02-01 Mae Sot Aero VTPM 7:58 PM
02-01 Tak VTPT 8:18 PM Sukhothai Historical Park 17°1’28"N, 99°41’58"E
02-01 Sukhothai VTPO 8:38 PM
02-01 Uttaradit VTPU 8:54 PM
02-01 Phrae VTCP 9:11 PM
02-01 Lampang VTCL 9:29 PM
02-01 Lamphun VTCO 9:44 PM
02-01 Chiang Mai Intl VTCC 9:57 PM
02-01 San Sai VTSI 10:02 PM Short runway, trees in the way
02-01 Chiangkham AB VTCB 10:46 PM
02-01 Xienglom VLXL 11:03 PM
02-01 Sayaboury VLSB 11:28 PM
02-01 Van Vieng VLVV 11:56 PM
02-02 Wattay Intl VLVT 12:25 AM Ventiane Capital
02-02 Udon Thani VTUD 12:42 AM
02-02 Sakon Nakhon VTUI 1:13 AM
02-02 Nakhon Phanom VTUW 1:29 AM
02-02 Thakhek VLTK 1:40 AM Son Doong caves Vietnam 17°32’32.6"N 106°08’29.5"E
02-02 Dong Hoi VVDH 2:28 AM

Flight time 7:44 22 stops

First up Hlawga Lake

Yangon International Airport

Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, the largest city in Myanmar

Shwe Dagon Pagoda, according to legend over 2,600 years old, estimated to be first built between 6th and 10th century BC. Possibly the oldest Buddhist stupa in the world and an important pilgrimage site.

Yangon Kandawgyui Lake (left) with Karaweik Palace

Maha Bandula Park (right) with Yangon Region High Court in a British colonial Building

A peek in Yangon national museum

Those sunglasses definitely come in handy now while crossing the gulf of Martaban

Mawlamyine at the mouth of Thanlwin River

Mawlamyine Shwe Nat Taung Pagoda and view from Mahar Myatmuni Buddha Image

Some of the reviews are highly specific: Solitary pagoda not too far from the road. If you’re a foreigner, be prepared to be followed and gawked at by some strange kid and possibly an old lady.

Entering the mountains near Taw Naw Natural Waterfall

Mae Sot in western Thailand, housing a substantial population of Burmese migrants and refugees

Mae Lamao Forest Park

Tak Airport

Between Tak and Sukothai

Sukhothai historical park with remains of the 13th- to 14th-century royal capital city of Sukhothai

Sirikit Reservoir

Got to keep paying attention, bit of a hill in the way to Phrae

Up and over, just in time

Chiang Mai International Airport

Chiang Mai Old City. Founded in 1296, it was the capital of the independent Lanna Kingdom until 1558

From left to right, Wat CHiang Man (13th century) Wat Phra Singh Woramahawihan (14th-century) and Wat Chedi Luang (15th-century) with a partially crumbled chedi & a pillar believed to protect the city.

These are just a few of all the Buddhist temples inside the 13th century walled old city with ancient gates all around.

Mae Kuang Dam

Khun Chae National Park

Near Mae Chedi Mai

There is a hot spring & geyser here on a shopping mall parking lot along route 118

Mae Puem National Park

Crossing the border into Laos

Xienglom, Laos

Nam Houng River below

Xayaburi Dam on the Mekong river

Not visible in game and a peculiar one without a reservoir (run-of-river hydroelectricity)

I guess less risky than the traditional reservoir type

There are poblems with run-of-river dams as well (fish migration), no such thing as a free lunch

Towering mountains near Ban Houay Toum

Flying over the rice fields at Ban Nampè

Van Vieng, a small town north of Vientiane, on the Nam Song River

Nam Ngum Reservoir

That-Luang Lake in Vientiane, the capital of Laos on the border with Thailand

Most of the capital is hidden under clouds on the aerial data, this the only good part

Pha That Luang Vientiane, initial establishment, suggested to be in the 3rd century

The stupa has undergone several reconstructions as recently as the 1930s due to foreign invasions

It is generally regarded as the most important national monument in Laos and a national symbol

Patuxay monument (left) 1960s war memorial dedicated to the struggle for independence from France

That Dam Stupa (right) Ancient, bell-shaped stupa believed to have once been protected by a 7-headed water serpent. Now serves as a roundabout.

COPE visitor center & museum with displays & films on history of bombings & related disabilities

Nai Muang, Thailand on the left and Thakhek, Laos across the Mekong river on the right

Straight over Nakai-Nam Theun National Park crossing the next border into Vietnam

Looking back at Laos on the border

Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park

Where you can find Hang Sơn Đoòng cave, located right in the middle here

One of the world’s largest natural caves, amazing place

Quick impressions

Full documentary on the ecosystem inside the cave

Final stop for the day, Đồng Hới, capital of Quảng Bình Province in the north central coast of Vietnam

Heading South tomorrow along the coast.

1 Like

Leg 165, Đồng Hới, Vietnam via Cambodia to Côn Đảo, Con Son Island, Vietnam

DAY02_03.PLN (7.4 KB)

I had some re-organizing to do, my Imgur album blew up, spitting out images on the other end when trying to add more. I already have 5,500 screenshots, 15GB combined from this trip. I’m past halfway at least, I think. It’s a 12 hour time difference to where I’m flying currently, which is Vietnam. Beautiful, proud country.

02-02 Dong Hoi VVDH 6:05 PM Sunrise 6:25 PM
02-02 Phubai VVPB 6:40 PM Golden Bridge 15°59’41.3"N 107°59’48.6"E
02-02 Danang Intl VVDN 7:08 PM
02-02 Chu Lai VVCA 7:27 PM
02-02 Phucat VVPC 8:02 PM
02-02 Pleiku VVPK 8:28 PM
02-02 Ratanakiri VDRK 8:51 PM
02-02 Stung Treng VDST 9:13 PM
02-02 Kratie VDKT 9:41 PM
02-02 Mondulkiri VDMK 10:12 PM
02-02 Buon Me Thuot VVBM 10:38 PM
02-02 Nhatrang VVNT 11:07 PM
02-02 Cam Ranh VVCR 11:17 PM
02-02 Phan Rang VVPR 11:29 PM
02-02 Lienkhoung VVDL 11:49 PM
02-03 Long Thanh VVLO 12:28 AM
02-03 Bien Hoa Air Base VV02 12:38 AM
02-03 Tansonnhat VVTS Ho Chi Min City (Saigon) 12:55 AM
02-03 Vung Tau VVVT 1:18 AM
02-03 Conson VVCS 2:00 AM

Flight time 7:55 19 stops

Departure from Đồng Hới at dawn

Điền Hương headed South along the coast

Huế in central Vietnam, once the seat of Nguyen Dynasty emperors and the capital from 1802 to 1945

Above the imperial city inside the forbidden city, facing the Huong River (Perfume River)

Build in 1804 by Emperor Gia Long (Nguyễn Phúc Ánh) the first emperor of the Nguyễn dynasty

Phubai Airport (Cảng hàng không Quốc tế Phú Bài)

Vinh Hà

Hai Vong Dai Park

Flying over xã Tư, the river has no name on the maps

Ba Na Station West of Da Nang

On the top of that hill (left side) is the golden bridge supported by huge sculpted hands

Da Nang, known for its sandy beaches and history as a French colonial port

Also here, Asia park (on the right) with themed areas based on Asian countries

Chu Lai International Airport

Hương Chiêm along the Sông Trà Câu (river)

Nhà máy điện mặt trời Mỹ Hiệp, solar photovoltaic power plant in front of the dam

The dam and reservoir are not on the digital maps, the solar panels are not on the aerial images.

Cảng Hàng Không Phù Cát Airport

Nearby, Phu Loc Cham Temple and Banh It Cham Temple around the rice fields

Pleiku Tonung lake in the distance

Lake Yeak Laom next to Krong Ban Lung, Cambodia

There’s a small bug where the moon’s reflection is always a full moon, even if the real one is merely a sliver. I also doubt it would be this visible mid day.

Also nearby Kachanh Waterfall and another picture of Lake Yeak Laom

Back at the Mekong river, it grew quite a bit along the way

Kratie Airport near Krong Kracheh

Flying over a sea of trees headed back to Vietnam

Flying over Mondulkiri province in Cambodia

Krong Saen Monourom

Mondulkiri Airport, nearby Sea Forest, national park

Roum El Stone Field in Phnom Nam Lyr Wildlife Sanctuary near the border with Vietnam

Peculiar slab of stone in the middle of a sea of trees, Nam Lair National Stone Park

Coffee fields near Buôn Ma Thuột, famous as the regional “capital of coffee”

The World coffee museum, great architecture for photo shoots

Nhatrang, coastal resort city in southern Vietnam

Approaching Bãi Dài Nha Trang Beach

Cam Ranh International Airport

Cam Ranh in southern Khánh Hòa Province on the Biển Đông coast

Binh Son Beach in Phan Rang–Tháp Chàm

Kalan Po Klong Giarai, built in honor of the legendary king Po Klaung Garai (Dragon king of J’rai people), who ruled Panduranga from 1151 to 1205

And the view from Ninh Chu Beach

B’ja Da Noh

Long Thanh Airport

Bien Hoa Air Base

Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon

Along the Sông Sài Gòn (Saigon river), Bitexo Financial Tower, the tallest one

Tansonnhat Airport in Ho Ci Minh City

Lots to see here, the Independence Palace, historical building of the Vietnam War era, now a museum

People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City on the left

Bui Vien Walking Street aka Backpacker Street on the right, busy nightlife

The war remnants museum displaying lots of US military equipment

In the middle the famous picture “Napalm girl” showing the effects of napalm bombing in 1972.

Notre Dame Cathedral of Saigon, 1880s Catholic cathedral built with French bricks

Saigon Central Post Office, Monumental central post office, completed in 1891

Plenty museums around as well, this one stood out to me, Museum of Traditional Vietnamese Medicine

Outside of Vietnam, Saigon is mostly known for the musical Miss Saigon

Vũng Tàu, once a French colonial town, now a popular seaside resort

Vũng Tàu Airport

Going South a bit over the South China Sea, Con Son Island

Beautiful cliffs and amazing beaches

Con Dao Airport, beautiful place to land

And great place to call it a night

Tropical paradise

With a sinister history, Nhà tù Côn Đảo, Con Dao Prison museum

War museum & former prison built by French colonists used as a torture site during the Vietnam War

I assume the Vietnam war refers to the US-Vietnam war, aka Second Indochina War and in Vietnam known as the Resistance War Against America. Vietnam survived many wars. The Indochina Wars lasted from 1945 to 1991, between communist Indochinese forces against mainly French, South Vietnamese, American, Cambodian, Laotian and Chinese forces.

Tomorrow on to Cambodia and Bangkok

Leg 166, Côn Đảo, Con Son Island, Vietnam, via Cambodia and Thailand to Dawei, Myanmar (Burma)

DAY02_04.PLN (9.1 KB)

Cambodia is amazing as well, Angkor Wat is a lot bigger than I thought it was while the Dhammakaya temple in Thailand had my jaw drop to the floor.

02-03 Conson VVCS 6:00 PM
02-03 Soc Trang SOA 6:22 PM Sunrise 6:18 PM
02-03 Camau VVCM 6:44 PM
02-03 Rachgia VVRG 7:02 PM Phu Quoc Prison 10°02’39.0"N 104°01’07.7"E
02-03 Duongdong VVPQ 7:39 PM
02-03 Sihanukville VDSV 7:58 PM
02-03 Phnom Penh Intl VDPP 8:40 PM Capital
02-03 Kampong Chhnang VDKH 9:06 PM
02-03 Krakor VDSY 9:20 PM Angkor Wat 13°24’46"N, 103°51’57"E
02-03 Siem Reap VDSI 10:00 PM Landed on a dirt strip first, can’t find the ‘airport’, Ultralight wing airfield
02-03 Siem Reap VDSR 10:09 PM
02-03 Surin VTUJ 10:45 PM
02-03 Buri Ram VTUO 10:57 PM
02-03 Nakhon Ratchasima VTUQ 11:18 PM
02-03 Khorat VTUN 11:28 PM
02-03 Korat AAF Z28Q 11:32 PM
02-04 Sa Pran Nak Aero VTBH 12:04 AM
02-04 Khok Kathiam VTBL 12:09 AM
02-04 Lop Buri VTLO 12:18 AM
02-04 Wang Noi VTWA 12:40 AM
02-04 Bangkok Intl VTBD 12:52 AM Capital
02-04 Lak Si VTLA 1:13 AM 3 attempts, tiny runway Wat Pho 13°44’47"N, 100°29’33"E
02-04 Samut Sakhon VTSU 1:42 AM Maeklong Railway market 13°29’14.4"N 100°08’14.7"E
02-04 Photharam VTPR 2:00 AM
02-04 Dawei VYDW 2:42 AM

Flight time 8:42 24 stops

Departure from Conson Island at dawn

Sunrise over the South China Sea

Cà Mau, located in the southernmost part of Vietnam’s inland territory

Most goods are transported here by boats and barges

Hòn Tre island

Phu Quoc, tropical island in the gulf of Thailand

Known for Phu Quoc Prison, dubbed “Coconut Tree Prison”, on the left side of the road here

Built 1949-1950 during the French colonial era and used during the Vietnam war to torture prisoners

Now houses exhibits on the prisoners’ experiences and torture methods

Phú Quốc International Airport

There’s a bridge sticking out into the ocean…

Challenge accepted

Odd glitch, bridge to nowhere

Phnom Penh International Airport

Phonm Penh, the capital of Cambodia at the junction of the Mekong and Tonlé Sap rivers

The X marks the spot, of the central market in a unique art deco space

More dark history here, Choeung Ek Genocidal Center

Execution & burial site of victims of the Khmer Rouge regime, with a glass-walled stupa full of skulls

Under the leadership of the infamous Pol Pot, between 1.5 and 2 million Cambodians (nearly 25% of the population) died in a radical push towards Communism

Above, Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, housed in a former Khmer Rouge prison & interrogation center

There is a lot of beauty to be seen here as well, the Royal palace on the left, build in 1866

Wat Phom in the middle, Buddhist temple built on the site of a 14th-century pagoda
The national museum on the right in a 1920s building inspired by temple architecture

A peek inside the museum

Independence monument on the left, Cambodia gained independence from France in 1953

Silk island in the middle and the Cambodia-Vietnam friendship monument, which was built in the late 1970s by the communist regime that took power after the Cambodian-Vietnamese War, which overthrew the Khmer Rouge regime

Moving on, about to fly over a huge lake, part of the Tonlé Sap river

View of the lake near Phumi Phat Sândaông

Neak Poun temple on a man made island inside a huge man made lake

Close to Angkor Wat which is visible in the distance to the left

Neak Poun temple, built during the reign of King Jayavarman VII (1122-1218)

There are many many temples in the area, some examples:

Ta Som Temple (late 12th century), Kutisvara temple (9th century) and Ta Nei temple (late 12th century)

Phreah Khan Temple, Ta Phrom temple and Bayon temple (late 12th and early 13th century temples)

And many more, plenty material for another 100 tomb raider games!

Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world by land area, measuring 162.6 hectares

Originally constructed as a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Vishnu for the Khmer Empire

Today, it is one of the most important pilgrimage site for the Buddhists in Cambodia and around the world

Hard to spot landing strip, Aero Cambodia Above Angkor

Easier place to land, Siem Reap International Airport, Angkor Wat right behind

Nakhon Tachasima, Thailand. More temples here in Phimai Historical Park

Khorat, aka Nakhon Ratchasima, one of the four major cities of Isan

Korat AAF, nice little runway

Lamtakhong dam, no clue what it is written on the dam

Wat Khao Wong Phrachan Temple on the top of the mountain

Over 3,700 steps lead up the steep hill to this Buddhist temple

Khao Phra Ngam

Khok Kathiam Air Force Base

Wang Noi Airport, had to turn the marker on as it looked rather unbelievable

Precision landing, those parked planes are in the water

Luckily plenty long to take off again, no way to turn around here

Dhammakaya temple, hard to miss from the air

Spectacular doesn’t begin to describe this place

Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, landing at the international airport first

Lak si, tiny tiny government air strip

This took many tries, landing at stall speed with brakes already set

Not long enough for take off, luckily plenty run off area to get air born again

Bangkok on the Chao Phraya River

The Grand Palace in front along the busy river

Wat Phra Chetuphon (Wat Pho - Temple of the Reclining Buddha) to the right of the Grand Palace

The Grand Palace built in 1782, currently a museum

Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand. Located on the Palace grounds, left of the Grand Palace

Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchaworamahawihan on the opposite side of the river

Chao Phraya River and Khaoson road on the right, known for it’s vibrant international nightlife

And a peek in the national museum of Thailand

Samut Sakhon, looked like a small runway, was actually luxurious compared to earlier strips

Maeklong Railway market

Crossing the border into Myanmar

Ayeyarwady river

Near Ah Myar, bit of a climb

Final stop today, Dawei in south-eastern Myanmar close to the Andaman Sea

heading South tomorrow, towards Malaysia

Leg 167, Dawei, Myanmar (Burma) via Andaman and Nicobar Islands to Hat Yai, Thailand

DAY02_05.PLN (5.4 KB)

A little detour to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, technically back in India again. I didn’t quite make it to Malaysia, stopped short at the border. Beautiful islands though, worth a visit.

02-04 Dawei VYDW 6:11 PM
02-04 Palaw VYPW 6:37 PM Sunrise 18:44 PM
02-04 Myeik VYME 6:49 PM ~20 knot tailwind
02-04 Shibpur Airstrip VABM 8:35 PM
02-04 Port Blair VOPB 9:11 PM
02-04 Car Nicobar AB VOCX 10:05 PM
02-04 Campbell Bay VO94 10:57 PM
02-05 Phuket Intl VTSP 12:45 AM ~20 knot headwind
02-05 Thalang VTSW 12:51 AM
02-05 Krabi VTSG 1:13 AM
02-05 Nakhon Si Thammarat VTSF 1:43 AM
02-05 Cha-Ian VTSN 1:49 AM
02-05 Songkhla VTSH 2:23 AM
02-05 Hat Yai Intl VTSS 2:36 AM

Flight time 8:25 13 stops

Early morning on the way to Palaw

And further South to Myeik

Myeik Airport spotted, much easier when they have lights

Myeik in the extreme south of Myanmar on the Andaman Sea

On the West side of the Malay Peninsula, which Myanmar shares with Thailand

Sunrise shortly after departure to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Passing over Kadan

And then a lot of Andaman Sea

I didn’t take many pictures of the islands due to a current issue with coast lines. Water creeps up the shore in ugly triangles, not the best time to go island hopping. Hopefully it will be fixed before I set out over the Pacific ocean.

North Andaman, Andaman and Nicobar islands, India

Shibpur Airstrip near Kalipur Beach (in front)

Kalighat a bit further South on North Andaman

Port Blair on South Andaman, looking at the Circular Prison down below

It used to be circular, a bit over a quarter left as a museum

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (1883-1966) an Indian independence activist was imprisoned here

Vinayak Savarkar formulated the Hindu nationalist philosophy of Hindutva and was a leading figure in the Hindu Mahasabha. Savarkar is still a debated figure, nationalist or traitor.

Savarkar was arrested by the government for making “Hindu nationalist speeches” and got a 50 year sentence for revolting against the Morley-Minto reforms. He was released after 13 years after promising to to participate in politics any more.

Interesting figure, also (wrongly) accused for being part of Gandhi’s assasination

Port Blair Airport, the runway is certainly long enough

Port Blair Tsunami Memorial. The Andaman and Nicobar islands were hit hard in the 2004 Tsunami.

Back over the Andaman Sea to the Nicobar Islands

Katchal island below

Mahasamudra beach

I was wondering what that spot was, seems to be just an exposure issue on the source data

Katchal, beautiful beaches and a picture of the aftermath of the 2004 Tsunami

Ranganatha Bay on Nicobar island

Campbell Bay a bit further South

With a nice airport along the shore

Beautiful place, yet beware, that sign on Marganala beach warns of frequent Crocodile visits

Long flight back to the Malay Peninsula, arriving at Phuket island, with the Big Buddha on top of the hill

The Big Buddha Phuket and a shot of the lovely waters around here

Phuket city along Patong Beach, the main resort town

Freedom beach on the left, Monkey hill viewpoint on the right

Patong has a busy nightlife, Chillva night market on the left

Patong is also notorious for its raunchy nightlife, Thanon Bangla walking street on the right

Phuket International Airport at the North end of the island

Passing over Phru Nai headed further East

Ko Hong, little island with a hidden lagoon on the left

Sai Thai Garden Home below

Krabi

Tha Di river under the low hanging clouds

Cha-Ian Airport in Pak Phun

Songkhla, known for the white-sand beach Hat Samila, home to a bronze mermaid sculpture

Songkhla Municipal Song Thale Park, Khatichon Wittaya Museum and the Mermaid Sculpture

Hat Yai located close to the Malaysian border

Wat Hat Yai Nai with one of the largest reclining Buddha statues and Hat Yai Muncicipal Park

Final stop for today, Hat Yai International Airport

Malaysia tomorrow and Indonesia next.