As an aviation geek, there are so many things I love about flying — I love the miracle of flight, I love how complex the industry is, and I like experiencing the differences between airlines. But there’s one thing I probably like more than anything, and that’s the view from the sky, especially around sunrise and sunset.
In this post:
A stunning sunrise on MIAT Mongolian Airlines
I just completed a trip on MIAT Mongolian Airlines, flying on a Boeing 787 from Frankfurt to Ulaanbaatar, and on a Boeing 737 from Ulaanbaatar to Seoul Incheon. Ulaanbaatar isn’t a place you want to visit in January, at least if you’re like me, and like warm weather. The temperatures there aren’t just freezing, they’re negative. The other day I was looking at temperatures there, and it was -20 Fahrenheit. I got lucky, as it was “only” -10 Fahrenheit while I transited, and you certainly feel it on the jet bridge!
Sometimes the harshest climates can make for the most beautiful views, though. My MIAT Mongolian Boeing 737 MAX flight departed at 7:45AM, and currently (in late January) the sunrise is at 8:25AM. As we taxied out, I could tell the sunrise could be pretty.
However, I wasn’t quite prepared for just how beautiful the scenery would be this time of year. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves, because what can I really say? I felt like I was on a different planet…
It was interesting to see how the landscape transitioned as we continued our journey, initially through the Gobi Desert, and then over China. At first the landscape flatted out a bit…
And then as we got closer to China it got more mountainous again, but you can tell it wasn’t quite as cold…
You could also see the weather patterns shift as we got closer to the water, as there was no longer consistent snow cover…
For those curious, below was the route for the flight.
I’m sure the views would be pretty in summer as well, though flying in winter around sunrise made this really, really special.
There are some airplane views I’ll never forget
There’s something so special to me about views from airplanes. It’s one of the reasons that I always select a window seat, because I can’t imagine flying and not gazing out in amazement at the world.
I’ll take it a step further. There are some flights that I’ll never forget due to their views, and this flight was one of those. While I’ve flown over some gorgeous cold parts of the world (like Greenland), it’s typically at cruising altitude. So to not only take off in these conditions, but to also do that right as the sun was rising, was magical.
Heck, I almost want to plan another early morning winter flight out of Ulaanbaatar, just to be able to recreate this experience at some point. This also makes me want to visit the Gobi Desert, though perhaps that’s more of a summer activity. 😉
There’s something special about gazing out at the world from a plane. While looking out the window never gets old, there are some flights that have truly unforgettable views. This can be due to a combination of factors, like landscape, a sunrise or sunset, and more.
I think I enjoyed the most memorable views of my life this weekend, flying MIAT Mongolian on a cold winter morning from Ulaanbaatar to Seoul Incheon. If you have the chance to fly this route, I can’t recommend it enough for the views alone. MIAT Mongolian has great fares from Frankfurt and Istanbul to destinations across Asia, and these views might just be the biggest selling point of flying with the airline.
What are your most memorable views you’ve ever had from a plane?