Heliservices, Hong Kong
I’ve visited Hong Kong many times in the past for all kinds of reasons—from visiting Victoria Peak, to eating various delicacies at the temple night markets, to shopping in some of the trendiest stores and scoring bargains, there is so much to do there. The convenience of a short flight time and the sheer proximity of this city makes it an easy choice for those who want to do something fun over the weekend. I wanted to inject a little novelty into my usual Hong Kong sojourn this time, so I decided to avail of an interesting invitation from 1 : the chance to take a helicopter ride from their base in Shek Wong, all the way to the Peninsula Hotel.
What a rush it was! It was definitely something which made me feel a lot more privileged, somehow—I guess it’s the combination of seeing the attention to detail in prepping for the helicopter ride, right down to getting ready for take-off. Most people don’t expect that there will be much of a difference from your usual airplane trip when you take a helicopter ride, but it was a much more exhilarating experience.
First of all, we were given silencer headphones to wear during the ride, and the helicopter could only take on a limited number of passengers. The combination of the outside noise being drowned out by the headset, along with the more intimate feeling of being with only a few people in the same place, was a world away from the noisy flights with hundreds of passengers and the packed seating arrangements. The silence was actually a good thing, as it gave me a very settling sense of peace and serenity during the ride which is not always present when you’re traveling, unless it’s in a place that’s a bit more out of the way.
The view was spectacular. Now, I’ve seen Victoria Harbor from some of the highest points in the city—from the peak itself down to some of the chicest hotel rooftops or nearby cafes—but riding in a helicopter really gave one a bird’s eye view of the city which wasn’t possible even from those places. I was lucky enough to get the window seat, which really gave me the best peek. A clear day’s ride would afford anyone an excellent look at the soaring skyscrapers and some of the most famous monuments of Hong Kong, along with the lush, verdant mountains and deep blue sea. I amused myself as well by watching some of the boats departing from or arriving at Victoria Harbor—truly a serene picture. Most people only have this image of the urban landscape of Hong Kong, but when it’s viewed from a helicopter ride, you can see why so many people keep coming back here—it’s a marriage between the natural beauty of the nearby islands with the concrete neatness of the city proper.
I felt like a total superstar by the time we landed at the Peninsula’s helipad. There is a reason, after all, why many people conclude that when there’s a helicopter landing, it’s probably a celebrity or an important businessman arriving—it’s the sheer luxury of the thing which makes many people feel like it’s such an unattainable experience. It’s true that at 1999 Hong Kong Dollars, it’s a bit pricey, but that fifteen minute ride was such an eye-opener that I felt it was definitely worth it to arrive in style at the Peninsula, and with the royal treatment, no less!
If you’re looking for something new to do in Hong Kong, chartering a trip with Heliservices is something you should look into to make part of your tour, whether it’s your first time there or you’re a returning tourist. It’s a unique option as well for those who are into photography and videography, or for those looking to make their honeymoon experience magical. Apart from the partnered trips with the Peninsula, they also offer VIP packages that will pick you up from Macau or the Hong Kong International Airport. With a gorgeous view from a helicopter, it will make that particular visit one you’ll never forget!
Photography by Kay Dulay