Russia, China, and Mongolia
Here's an excellent series of high-resolution images from Flickr user Ninoxowl, taken on a flight from London to Hong Kong and covering central Asia, from the mountains of southern Russia to the cities of southern China. We start in the Sayan Mountains in the Russian republic of Tuva, with the Gora Kyzyl-Tayga mountain visible in the lower left.
About 120 km southeast, the next image shows the Chazadyr River flowing through the Tannu-Ola Mountains, just north of the border with Mongolia.
A bit further south, the next image takes us right to the Mongolian border, with this view of Mongolia's Orog Nuur lake. The border runs along the edge of the plain in the foreground; the flatlands in the lower-right corner of the image are in Russia, while the rest is Mongolia.
Further into Mongolia, the next image shows low hills and snow-covered plains in Uvs Province.
The next image shows more Mongolian plains, with the Zavkhan River visible in the distance.
Here's a closer look at the Zavkhan River, along with the massive field of sand dunes in the Khökh Morit section of Govi-Altai province.
Next, we travel about 650 km further southeast, to this view from the western portion of Mongolia's Ömnögovi Province. The Chinese border lies just above center - the foreground is Mongolia, and the more distant plains are in China. The airstrip is called Obooto Hural Northwest.
With the next image, we cross over into China, with this view of a road running through the Gobi Desert in China's Inner Mongolia province.
Here's another image of the Gobi Desert in Inner Mongolia.
About 220 km further south lies the massive Badain Jaran Desert, home of the world's tallest sand dunes (some rise over 500 meters). The portion of the desert seen here is dotted with many small spring-fed lakes, some with fresh water and some with salt water. The larger lakes seen here measure about 1,500 meters across. Just left of center is Lake Nuoertu, and right of center is Lake Baidan Jaran, home of the Baidan Jilin Monastery.
Further south we have this image of a lake flanked by sand dunes in Gansu Province.
Continuing further south, we come to this image of snow-capped mountains in southern Gansu Province.
Approaching the southern border of Gansu Province, the next image shows the town of Minxian in Min County, Gansu Province.
Travelling another 1,500 km south, we next have this image of the Xijiang River in Guangdong Province. The city of Yuncheng is hidden by clouds in the upper left portion of the image.
Now approaching Hong Kong, the last two images show the southern outskirts of the city of Foshan, just outside of Guangzhou. Foshan's football stadium, the Century Lotus Stadium, can be seen (half cut off) in the lower left corner of the image.
The final image shows a wider view of the southern portion of Foshan, nestled between two branches of the Pearl River. The Century Lotus Stadium is in the lower center.
Photos taken: December 21, 2008
Photos by: Ninoxowl
Route: London to Hong Kong