13 August 2014

3 helicopter rides of a lifetime

There is something adventurous and exciting about boarding a spinning helicopter. These are three of the most memorable rides.

1. Helicopter to Everest Base Camp

You can choose to trek to Everest Base Camp but, if you don't have 7-14 days to spare the fastest way to the highest place on Earth not requiring life threatening training is via an helicopter ride to 5,300m

The most glamorous stop over for photos

The trip will also includes breakfast at Everest View Hotel, at the more bearable 3,400m high where the uninterrupted views of the highest mountain in the world appear in front of your eyes. Feast on a hot breakfast because the temperatures are likely to be low. even at the peak of the summer you will be barely above zero.

Breakfast at Everest View Hotel

Because of the risk of altitude sickness the pilot will be hooked on oxygen, but you won't. On the way, you will make a pit stop at Lukhla Airport, one of the most dangerous in the world, to drop some petrol weight which you will pick up on the way back. Unless, like us, your pilot is called during breakfast to pick up a sick trekker from Base Camp down to Kathmandu.  

Base Camp

The stop at Base Camp will be brief, enough to take 1-2 selfies with the majestic mount behind you and you will hop back again onto the helicopter immediately feeling slightly dizzy. But it will be, oh so worth it!

2. Hover over Angkor Wat's temples

Temple magic

Southeast Asia has a fair share of beautiful religious complexes but together with Bagan in Myanmar, Angkor Wat series of temples and Wats are intricate and sophisticated. There is a magical sense of place around the narrow alleys, the steep pagodas and the wrap around storytelling carvings.

Tonle Sap Lake

From the sky, the magnitude of the temples reveals itself and you will also be able to spot Tonle Sap Lake. The ride will not replace the sunset and sunrise visits but will show you how impressive the complex is.

3. Fly over Victoria Falls and through the Zambezi Gorges

The mighty Zambezi river offers lots of adventure opportunities. From kayaking down to Mana Pools to animal spotting but the most exhilarating one must be riding an helicopter through its narrowly carved gorges created over years of erosion from the fast flowing waters of Victoria Falls.

Water spray

After you emerge from the gorges you will have a unique bird's eye view of the Falls.

Water falling

After you have fully understood the size of the largest sheet of falling water in the world you will be better prepared to walk along the pathways that provide a closer look. Although the amount of water varies significantly across seasons at the peak of the rainy season an helicopter ride is a must. From the ground, you will not be able to take in the sights because the curtain of water spray shot into the air by the falling water will not let you see the Falls.

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