Many regions within Asia lend themselves well to private aviation. Southeast Asia is perfect for flying around on a King Air or else a small jet like a Citation or Hawker. If you want to fly routes that lack nonstop flights, such as Chiang Mai to Yangon, Luang Prabang to Phuket or Saigon to Chiang Rai, a charter saves significant time in what would otherwise take most of a day on a connecting flight.
Myanmar's erratic commercial flight infrastructure, as well as its mostly one-class flights, make it a worthwhile destination for private chartering, using locally-based helicopters or fixed wing aircraft brought in from Bangkok.
Some of the best destinations in Indonesia are quite remote and difficult to access, requiring connecting flights and layovers, a problem that is alleviated with private aircraft.
The sheer size of China and India make them two of the most enticing countries in which to fly privately, especially if you are interested in traveling extensively beyond their main international hubs.
Please read on for more information and contact us today to discuss your private aviation needs.
Until 2012 the tiny Kingdom of Bhutan had only one airport, but since then it has opened two new domestic airports in the far eastern towns of Bumthang and Trashigang. Still the flights are not daily and the times are not always convenient, so many of our clients are now chartering so they can travel on their own schedules and even do day flights to these remote areas where fewer than 5% of Bhutan visitors ever venture. Short “flightseeing” charters of 2-3 hours over the Himalayas are also possible.
Most Remote Lands clients in Siem Reap charter helicopters for day flight 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. Ultra-luxe new Song Saa Private Island Resort is reached 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.
Most major cities of eastern China are connected by nonstop flights. However, once you go off the beaten path or go west of Xian, commercial flight routing and schedules become far less convenient and charters are a major time-saver. Urumqi to Lhasa, Lijiang to Kashgar, Shangri-la to Guilin and Harbin to Hohot are but a few of the routes that would otherwise require connections. Helicopters are now available for flights over the Great Wall of China but few other places in China.
India lends itself well to private aviation because many amazing destinations such as Jaisalmer, Darjeeling and the wildlife parks of Ranthambore and Bandhavgarh lack commercial airports and typically require long car rides to reach. Very few towns are linked by nonstop flights, so connecting flights are required through hub cities like Delhi and Mumbai. The ideal India holiday includes a combination of private jets as well as helicopters to land at resorts like Amanbagh and Wildlife Hall in Shimla where the closest fixed-wing runways are hours away by road.
Some of our favorite destinations in Indonesia such as Kalimantan (Borneo), Raja Ampat, Papua, Sulawesi and Sumba are quite difficult to reach, and overnights in connecting cities such as Bali, Jakarta and Banjarmasin are often required. Commercial flights within Indonesia are generally rather unreliable, so flying privately is the answer, and can save hours or even days of travel by flying nonstop on routes such as Pangkalanbun to Labuan Bajo, Torajaland to Sumba, Yogyakarta to Sorong in Raja Ampat.
Mongolia is a fascinating country to visit, but the long car rides can be stultifyingly dull in this vast country the size of western Europe but with only a few airports. The good news is that chartering is relatively inexpensive, and airstrips can be set up almost anywhere with a few artfully arranged flags. Instead of driving all day to a fascinating places like Ikh Nart National Park or the Onon River where serious anglers fish for the massive taimen “megafish”, a helicopter or turboprop plane can whisk you there in a tiny fraction of the time.
In Myanmar, many Remote Lands clients like to venture off the beaten path to places like Kengtung, Mrauk-U and Putao where flights are infrequent and inconvenient. Commercial flights within Myanmar, which are often delayed or cancelled, utilize one-class aircraft which many of our clients do not favor. For these reasons, we often charter Bangkok-based jets and Myanmar-based helicopters to transport our clients in comfort and convenience within Myanmar.
The infamous Everest region of Nepal, from the gateway village of Lukla all the way up to Mt Everest Base Camp (EBC), has no roads, vehicles or even bicycles. All travel is by foot, and yaks assist with carrying the heaviest loads. Helicopters are ideal for those want to skip the 11 day trek and go straight to EBC, and turboprops can go as high as Syangboche airport to save several days trekking. Helicopters to Mustang, Muktinath, Gosai Kunda, Damodar Kunda, Halesi and Lumbini and other far-flung areas are crucial for avoiding days of driving.
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.
Sri Lanka is a small country with only a few commercial airports, so long car rides on narrow windy roads are par for the course for most travelers. To avoid this, most Remote Lands clients charter helicopters for part or all of their journey - to reach Dambulla and the cultural triangle in the north, and then Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Bogawantalawa Valley and the southern coast, as well as jaunts to places like Trincomalee and Jaffa. Between Colombo and Galle, we favor seaplanes which can be chartered if scheduled flight times do not suit.
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.