If you want to experience the panoramic wonders of the Himalayas and Everest from an aerial vantage point, there are primarily two ways to do so. The most popular option is on a plane with a group, and this will fly you parallel to the Himalayas, including Everest. The other option is a helicopter flight that will take you a lot closer to Everest, and consists of landing either at the Everest Base Camp or Kala Patthar. The Everest mountain flight, either by plane or helicopter, is especially suited to those who are short on time and for people who do not want the rigors of trekking due to fitness considerations or otherwise. Here we compare the Everest flight versus Everest heli tour based on several factors, and in the process we will give you a brief overview of what it’s like to fly near Everest on plane or helicopter.
The Everest flight on plane is a non-stop one hour flight from Kathmandu to Kathmandu. This is an early morning flight starting at 6am. The helicopter tour typically takes around 3.5 to 5 hours, with multiple stops, including a quick stop for refuelling at Lukla. There are some heli tour operators who can arrange Everest flights for an hour or so, but may not include a stop at the Everest base camp except for the refuelling at Lukla.
Photography and Mountain View
Peering through the window of your plane, For airplane flights, optimum lighting is not feasible inside a plane. Plus the movement of the plane along with taking photographs through the window won’t give you the best of your camera. Short lenses with circular polarizer are your best bet in your airplane flight, and although you won’t be shooting any award-winning photos, you will still have some decent snaps to bring home and relay your stories through your photos. One good thing about the airplane flight is that you are briefly allowed inside the cockpit behind the pilot seat for a cockpit view and take some snaps in the process. Well here’s your chance to have a feel for what it’s like to have a cockpit view of the Himalayas including Everest as you fly high up in the air.
If you are hoping to take photographs that will turn your friends and family green with envy, then helicopters are hands down your best option. You will not only have a chance to observe the panoramic view of the mountains, but also be able to land the chopper and set foot on Everest base camp and nearby Kala Patthar and take as many snaps to your liking. You can pose yourself in front of the mighty Himalayas, with Everest itself on the background, and bring home the photographic memories of a lifetime. Obviously all of this is not possible if you were inside a plane.
Value for Money
Well, to be fair, you get what you pay for. If you are short on budget but want to have some up close aerial view of Everest and nearby Himalayan range, then Everest flight tour by plane is suitable. However, if you want that real feel of a bird’s eye view of Everest along with the touchdown opportunity on the Everest region, then heli tour is obviously the better option. Along with that, Everest heli tour also gives you that ultimate luxury of flying with a limited number of people with ample time to gorge the vistas around, which is not feasible with a plane flight.