The Best UNESCO World Heritage Sites to Discover by Helicopter

Georgetown in Malaysia is one of many excellent UNESCO destinations in Asia

From the ancient temples of Cambodia’s Angkor Wat Archaeological Park to lush Banaue Rice Terraces in the Philippines, Asia is dotted with a diverse collection of prized UNESCO World Heritage Sites waiting to be discovered.

With the globe keen to rekindle their adventurous spirit, some of these iconic destinations have seen sparse few visitors and you might want to beat the crowds that flock to regularly to these sites and charter a helicopter to soak up simply breath-taking views from the sky.

Here are some of the top spots to enjoy unparalleled bird’s eye vistas of some of the region’s most treasured gems.

Borobudur & Prambanan temples, Indonesia

Borobudur & Prambanan temples, Indonesia

Holding the title of the world’s largest Buddhist temple, Borobudur is a sprawling complex that dates back to the 9th century. The majestic temples sit atop a hill flanked by lush fields and rolling hills close to Yogyakarta on the Indonesian island of Java.

The temple compounds, which consist of the Borobudur Temple and two smaller temples. The Main attraction sits atop a hill and is has three tiers. The pyramid has five square terraces, and on top of the base are three circular platforms; while the last tier is home to the iconic stupa.

Close by is another UNESCO World Heritage Site, Prambanan. Southeast Asia’s largest Hindu temple!

This is Indonesia’s most visited site, and attracted around five million visitors yearly prior to the pandemic – 90% of whom were domestic tourists, and 10% were international visitors.

The authorities have also implemented e-ticketing and e-payment systems to minimise person to person contacts and are looking at using virtual reality and augmented reality to digitise the sites.

However, the sites are spectacular and look even more impressive from above. Get in touch about private helicopter tours to visit the Borobudur & Prambanan temples.

Angkor Wat Archaeological Park, Cambodia

Angkor Wat Archaeological Park, Cambodia 

The jewel in Cambodia’s crown is Angkor Wat Archaeological Park, which attracts millions of visitors annually. Skip the crowds and hire a helicopter to explore the vast park that is peppered with hundreds of ancient temples and religious relics.

While air traffic is prohibited from flying directly above the mighty Angkor Wat, there are plenty of other temples in the vast area waiting to be discovered and viewed from the skies. These include the Rolous Group, Pre Rup and Banteay Samrei.

This is one of the most beautiful and famous cultural sites on the planet. The Angkor Wat Archaeological Park is a national treasure and the most popular sightseeing attraction in the Kingdom.

You can book a package and select from a range of top of the line helicopters such as the Bell 505 and Airbus H125, we look at some of the best helicopter experiences in Cambodia.

Great Wall of China, China

Great Wall of China, China 

Soak up sweeping views of one of the world’s most famous historic sites, the Great Wall of China.

From Beijing, board a helicopter and fly above the famous Mutianyu section of the wall near Badaling. This is the only way to truly appreciate the vast scale of the wall, which rises and sinks out of view with the curve of the mountains.

Latest reports suggest the Great Wall of China could be a phenomenal 13,170.7 miles long! Arguably the most popular (and arguably the most beautiful) section runs for 5,500.3 miles between Hushan to the Jiayuguan Pass.

China’s most famous and popular tourist sights are situated within a geographic triangle hinged by three fantastic cities: Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai. From these easily accessible destinations, you can reach China’s three best-known tourism hotspots: the Great Wall, the Army of Terracotta Warriors near Xi’an and Bund and the modern metropolis of Shanghai.

You can also book a charter to see some of the top 5 hot spots in Sanya, located in the southern end of Hainan Island and home to Yalong Bay.

Banaue Rice Terraces, Philippines

Banaue Rice Terraces, Philippines

Bask in the breath-taking beauty of the carpet of rice terraces running down mountain slopes that form Banaue Rice Terraces.

The striking terraces were carved into the hillsides by indigenous Ifugo tribes more than 2,000 years ago. The unique rice farming technique is still used today by local farmers who grow an abundance of rice on the stepped slopes.

The terraces are, by some, called the "Eighth Wonder of the World and the vast site is even more remarkable considering it is thought that the terraces were built with minimal equipment, largely by hand.

The status of the park was cemented by being featured on the 1985 series of the Philippine one thousand peso note as well as the reverse side of the 2010 series of the Philippine twenty peso note!

You can also explore the beautiful islands of the Philippines by charter helicopter flights and enjoy a range of tailored experiences.

Georgetown, Malaysia

Georgetown, Malaysia 

Malaysia is a popular tourist destination and the island of Penang is also a foodies getaway., with Georgetown the state’s capital city and a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.

Exploring the historic Georgetown, visitors can enjoy alternative views of Georgetown from the comfort of a helicopter. This is actually Malaysia’s second-largest city after Kuala Lumpur, but the pace and sights are world’s apart.

The UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site is home to a quaint collection of well-preserved heritage buildings that date back to colonial times, Chinese shophouses and a network of narrow alleys that form a magical mosaic from the sky.

The network of over 12,000 old buildings offers a variety of Chinese shophouses, churches, temples, mosques, and British colonial government offices and monuments. The influence of the Peranakans is still visible in Penang's architecture and in the eclectic and excellent cuisine.

Georgetown has also more recently become famous for an amazing street art scene will murals and urban pieces found throughout the town. All of this exploring has to be accompanied by sampling the many, many excellent dishes of street food found in Penang.

Explore more charter flight experiences from Kuala Lumpur and explore the famous Batu Caves and the city itself from the skies.