Ideal destinations for helicopter charters can be divided into places where sightseeing is enhanced, and where transfers and access are greatly improved.
Mongolia, Sri Lanka, India, Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysian Borneo are places where transportation is made vastly more efficient by private helicopter, eliminating long drives and allowing landings just about anywhere, such as in the Singing Sands in the South Gobi desert, at the remote Amanbagh or Aman-i-Khas resorts in Rajasthan and on the idyllic beaches of Kudat in Sabah.
The breathtaking scenery of Phuket and Krabi, the exciting cities of Hong Kong and Macau, the awe-inspiring Mt Everest and the Himalayas, and the sheer cliffs and black volcanic beaches of Bali make for wonderful aerial day tours.
Some countries, of course, such as Cambodia, straddle both categories. An aerial tour of Angkor Wat offers a view that the Khmer rulers could only have dreamed of, while a chopper charter from Siem Reap or Phnom Penh to Song Saa Private Island obviates dependency on commercial flight schedules and the more circuitious access from Sihanoukville.
Most Remote Lands clients in Siem Reap charter helicopters for an aerial tour over the ancient Angkor temples, but we also recommend choppers for efficient access to far-flung regions of Cambodia where few tourists venture. Battambang, Kratie, Ratanakiri, Mondulkiri and the Cardamom Mountains are a breeze by helicopter, even if just for day trips. And, as mentioned above, the ultra-luxe new Song Saa Private Island Resort is reached by either by thrice-weekly flights from Siem Reap or a 3.5 hour drive from Phnom Penh - or else an easy helicopter ride whenever you wish.
The rice terraces of Banaue are legendary as the most jaw-dropping in all of Asia, but few foreigners ever brave the long drive. The only efficient way for a busy traveler to reach them is by private helicopter…and we recommend stopping off at nearby Sagada to see the astonishing hanging coffins. Flights to many of the remote islands of the Philippines are equally inconvenient or impossible, and small plane and helicopter charters are handy for these routes also.
Visitors to Phuket/Krabi seldom miss the famous boat ride around Phang Nga Bay, but few realize it is an equally big mistake to skip the breathtaking helicopter ride over the awesome karst islands. Our other most popular helicopter routes within Thailand are time-saving routes for transportation purposes from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai (saving the five hour drive), from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi to see the Bridge on the River Kwai and the tigers, and from Bangkok to the ancient capital of Ayutthaya and back..
The mountainous region of Sapa near the border with China, and northwest Vietnam where the famous battle of Dien Bien Phu took place, are inaccessible except by overnight train or long car rides. Helicopters (new European models as well as older Russian ones) are the quickest and easiest way to reach these areas. Stunning Halong Bay is a 3.5 hour car ride from Hanoi, which can be reached by helicopter in just 45 minutes, saving hours of tedious driving.