Jon and I arrived early for our helicopter ride at The Peninsula Hotel. Along with other passengers, we waited for our turn at the beautiful aviation-themed lounge called The China Clipper, located at the 30th floor. The views of Victoria Harbour from this floor of The Peninsula were amazing. We couldn’t wait to see it from the helicopter.
Two other groups went before us, each group came back happy about the sightseeing flight they just did. I started to become curious as to why some other passengers went back, while Jon and I were supposed to fly all the way to the base in the New Territories base (and go back by public transport). I reassured myself that we would have a special flight. Then thinking positively, I told Jon maybe we’ll still go around Victoria Harbour and then turn towards the other base. The highlight of most sightseeing flights in Hong Kong is tour over the buildings along the Victoria Harbour. Little did we know that this was not the tour we were in for.
The other passenger with us came in a little late. When she arrived, we watched a safety video and were later escorted to the helipad, where the helicopter waited for us. It was loud and windy as we made our way inside the chopper. We snapped our seat belts, placed our headphones over our heads and waited for them to close the door. In no time, the helicopter was off the helipad. It was exciting to be on a helicopter for the first time!
The captain welcomed us for the flight and asked if we were all locals, mentioning that mostly locals do these end day ferry flight. When Jon and I said we were tourists, he was confused as to why we were on that flight.
As the captain made his welcome, we slowly parted from the sight we so wanted to see. We only had a brief time at the harbour and didn’t go to the other side either. While most sightseeing flights go around the harbour, our helicopter turned from The Peninsula towards the New Territories. It wasn’t a special flight after all. The excitement had slowly faded and we just had to accept that this was the only flight we are going to get. Instead of the majestic Hong Kong Skyline, we saw the other islands from afar, and the residential buildings, bridges and ports along the way. We also saw a beautiful sunset during the flight. It was a good flight just that it missed out on the highlights of Hong Kong that, as tourists, we expected to see. The view of Victoria Harbour still lingered in my mind. I just wished we had a better chance to see it from the helicopter ride.
I suppose it is partly our fault that we didn’t ask further information before taking the flight. Heliservices HK has proper sightseeing tours but we can’t really recommend this as this was not the one we did. We learnt later on that this end day ferry flight is what they usually offer to bloggers like us. If we had know about the itinerary, Jon and I probably would have declined since it’s hard to recommend something that isn’t meant for tourists.
We have nothing against the company — their customer service was excellent and the whole experience leading up to the flight couldn’t have been better. We just find it strange that they would send people who are supposed to be promoting the company to tourists on a non-touristy flight.
Should you do the sightseeing flight? Maybe, but since we didn’t actually do it, it’s impossible for us to recommend it.
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