Life the high life and explore the region in true style – by private helicopter and yacht.
Southeast Asia is dotted with a bounty of breath-taking natural beauty that ranges from chains of idyllic tropical islands and majestic limestone karsts rising from the ocean, to smouldering volcanoes and colourful coral reefs.
Here are some of the best places to splash out and charter a private helicopter and boat to discover the region’s highlights from the sea and air.
Halong Bay, Vietnam
Cruise away from the crowds that flock to this UNESCO-crowned natural phenomenon. The striking bay in northeast Vietnam features thousands of towering forest-hugged limestone karsts carved by the elements over millions of years. Daily, hundreds of day and overnight junk boats vie to moor at spots close to the mainland.
The best way to discover Halong Bay’s majestic beauty is to charter a luxury boat and set sail for the many enchanting islets that sit on the bay’s outskirts. The active should ensure the itinerary includes Cat Ba National Park, home to islands perfect for rock climbing and hiking. Those seeking true tranquillity in the Gulf of Tolkin can cruise to less-discovered neighbouring Lan Ha Bay.
After exploring the area from the seas, get on a high and charter a helicopter to capture incredible bird’s eye views of the stunning archipelago of ancient islands painted below. This is the perfect way to round out a visit to Vietnam’s revered Halong Bay.
Raja Ampat, Indonesia
For unadulterated tropical island beauty, look no further than this stunning archipelago of more than 1,500 islands that sit off Sorong. Boasting jungle-clad islets bursting with wildlife, powder white beaches, secret lagoons, colourful coral reefs and world-class diving sites, it’s little wonder Raja Ampat holds the title of one of the world’s most incredible island chains.
There are abundant options to charter a private boat and discover this pristine tropical island paradise in style. Weave across clear waters to the four main islands of Misool, Salawati, Batanta and Waigeo before veering off the well-trodden trail to discover hidden gems.
Combine the cruise with aerial views of the area and charter a helicopter. Marvel at the majestic beauty of the carpet of lush islands dotting the turquoise waters below during a private tour. Alternatively, soak up the stunning beauty during an exclusive helicopter transfer.
Langkawi’s chain of 99 islands proudly wear the crown of the ‘Jewel of Kedeh’ and it’s easy to see why. Sprinkled in the Andaman Sea about 30km off northwest Peninsular Malaysia, visitors head straight to the archipelago’s main island, also called Langkawi.
This is home to various coastal resorts, white beaches and an interior of ancient rainforest, sprawling farmland, rolling hills and rising mountains. Enjoy Langkawi’s enchanting beauty from the private deck of a luxurious boat, explore the smattering of tree-clad islets from the water and cruise through Kilim Karst Geoforest Park’s scenic mangroves.
There is no shortage of options for those wanting to view the stunning area from the sky. Organised helicopter tours take guests above the main island’s gorgeous beaches before lapping up unparalleled vistas of the archipelago from above. Alternatively, there is the option to charter a private flight and organise your own itinerary.
Palawan, the Philippines
If it’s tropical postcard-perfect islands you’re after, then look no further than this majestic archipelago that holds the title of the Philippines’ most sparsely populated region. The main island – also called Palawan – boasts a rugged Amazon-esque interior and sublime coastline, and is flanked by picturesque islands waiting to be explored.
There are plenty of cruises that range from chartering private yachts to other exclusive vessels to traverse the aquamarine waters and pristine islets that dot the archipelago. With marine life in abundance, there is also the option to explore the vivid underwater world diving into the inviting waters from the boat.
Transfer to and from the island in style and charter a helicopter. Alternatively, treat yourself to the unforgettable experience of discovering the islands from above and organise a private helicopter tour to soar above gems, such as El Nido beach and UNESCO-crowned Tubbathaha Reef National Park and Puerto Princesa Subterranean River.
Komodo National Park, Indonesia
Home to the mighty Komodo dragon, this chain of islands is the only place on earth where you can meet the world’s largest lizard. The marine park takes in the three main islands of Komodo, Rinca and Padar, and includes a smattering of smaller islets. This makes it the perfect cruising paradise.
Avid divers will also be in their element as the crystal-clear waters are home to a wealth of marine life, ranging from more than 1,000 species of fish, 260 species of reef-building coral, dugong, sharks, manta rays and at least 14 species of whales, dolphins and sea turtles.
After exploring the area by boat, get on a high and hire a helicopter to indulge in jaw- dropping views of the archipelago from above. This is also an excellent way to secure unparalleled vistas staring into the mouth of the volcanic peaks that dot the area, such as Kelimutu and its striking tri-coloured crater lakes.