Ever since Royal Bhutan Heli Services Limited introduced helicopter Service for the first time in Bhutan in the year 2015 coinciding with the 60th anniversary of our 4th Druk Gyalpo! I had a dream to ride on our chopper. My wishes, hope and dream became reality recently when I got an opportunity to fly in Bhutan Helicopter for almost 2 hours. Ever since that once in a lifetime luxurious helicopter tour, I have been endlessly raving about to my loved ones.
On the morning of 11.12.2019, I headed to Paro International Airport with full of excitement. Since I saw our dragon iron birds parked at the ground of Paro Airport, like any other human Denkar assumed the entrance to be the same gate as that of passengers plying in and out of the country. My sister dropped me at the common departure gate.
As I walk in the gate, security asked me, madam where is your passport and I proudly tell him, “Passport mee…Nga Helicopter Na jo ni eeen” (I don’t have a passport for I am flying in the chopper). The security personnel smiles at me and responds ‘madam you entered the wrong gate’. Right away I shamelessly walked out of the Airport Departure Gate and called the staff of RBHSL to pick me up from the parking arena.
Shortly after the call, Pema a Marketing staff comes to pick me and we head to the main station of helipad which is located at the left side of the arrival gate. It was my first time that I got closest to the chopper. I have seen it fly and land but never near the bird.
The flight was scheduled to fly at 8:00 a. m and I just couldn’t wait any longer for the ride. Before the crew got in, the technical personnel briefed about safety & security while on board. That day we were scheduled to fly to Punakha en-route Dochola Pass. Although the weather didn’t look promising in the morning, as we were waiting to take flight, it favoured us.
Since it was my first time flying on chopper I wanted to capture the best scene as much as possible thus I took the front seat right to the pilot (I wished I was captain for once). Before the engine started I took a long breath. In between the engine had started and we were already taxing on the runway of Paro International Airport.
The second helicopter took its sorte it was the happiest day of my life for my dream of flying on chopper came to reality. This scenic flight offered a spectacular view of Paro valley from the air. While flying along the valley, you will discover most of the sacred places and the important landmarks the valley has to offer and enjoy the majestic view of the mountain from the ground.
Just when we were flying over the dense forest in 5-7 minutes we were flying above Thimphu city. The areal view of buildings appeared like a toy house and of course, I let the world know that @Denkars Getaway was riding on the chopper, so I updated the live scene from my phone on social platforms.
As we flew towards the central West, we pass through the significant landmark of Druk Wangyal Chorten at Dochola Pass and be greeted by the most spectacular view of the snow-capped mountains. Further down south, we crossed the stunning rice terrace in rural Punakha. The yellow rice paddy fields narrowed by the winding river from the North seemed like a Mater piece of Art.
As we drew closer to Zomlingthang over the Mo Chhu, a handful of local people including those of monks waited for the chopper to land. (they just wanted to see how chopper land).The next flight was to take groceries and goodies of highlanders to Laya and Lunana however the weather didn’t favour thus we had to take a detour back to Paro. After spending almost 2 hours with the Lunaps and the Local Spectators, with new knowledge I was set to return.
Initially, my flight was from Paro-Punakha-Paro, however, I got lucky. The bad weather favoured me. why? Because we had to take the longer route via Chhukha Dzongkhag. The flight took 1hour 20 minutes. We flew over the densely forested area, also spotted some of the most stunning waterfalls from the sky.
If you ever fly that route note that you will also find the sparsely populated area with scattered houses located miles away from the neighbourhood. The scene left me wondering if it was the Nomads of Chhukka who lived on the hamlet.
As we drew closer to Paro Valley, my heart cried with full of gratitude and for allowing me to fly with Bhutan Helicopter. Had I not been the first and solo travel blogger/vlogger from Bhutan, I don’t think I could have made the chopper ride possible anytime soon.
Heli ride is one of the most exciting and novel ways of exploring a new destination. The thrill of flying and the glorious view from the top is an experience that will remain with you for years to come. Here are the 5 most attractive heli rides in Bhutan that you simply cannot afford to miss.
Charter Packages of Bhutan Heli;
• Heli scenic Tour Western Bhutan
• Heli Scenic Tour Eastern Bhutan
• Heli Biking Tour
This Heli ride was supported by Royal Bhutan Heli Services Limited. My heartfelt gratitude to the staffs and crew for the warm hospitality and genuine support.