An airpark opened in Phuket quite recently and offers some of the most thrilling experiences you would ever find in this beautiful island.
Phuket’s sights from above can be categorized into three different landscapes: turquoise sea water outlining the white sand along the busy west coastline, the lush green jungle and neatly maintained golf courses and lakes in the centre, lastly Phang Nga Bay with its high and majestic limestones on the North East coast.
Sunrise paramotor discovery flight
What is paramotor? Unlike paragliding, you don’t need to jump off a cliff to fly. Instead, you will be taking off from land with the help of a lightweight engine, thus often referred to as “powered paragliding”.
This is also considered as one of the safest form of aviation, operating during the calmest times of the day when the wind is low and the nature is still or falling asleep.
We checked in for our paramotor flight early morning lead by Paul, an experienced Austrian pilot. The sun was rising up from the Phang Nga Bay as we seat ourselves into this humble craft. Paul started the engine, and as soon as 20 seconds later, we were floating in the air witnessing Phuket’s stunning landscape.
I initially thought that it was one of those extreme activities where you need to be a little more daring to get on it, but to my surprise, it is actually more of a relaxing experience while you remain calm and captivated by the surroundings. This activity is also suitable for everyone, from 7 to 77 years old!
Of course, for those of you who want to feel the thrill of the paramotor experience, you can just ask for it. Paul will take an infinite pleasure to bring you high and low, dive in just above the trees, make some last minute turns and make you feel like a bird.
eOasia’s verdict : By far this is one of our favorite activity tested this year! It was indeed a once-in-a-lifetime experience, offering you a bird’s eye view above one of the most picturesque part of Thailand. Paul cater to all kind of expectations, whether you want a smooth and relaxing ride or a thrilling one, you’ll get what you ask while feeling safe throughout your flight.
…. Followed by a magical gyrocopter flight!
A gyrocopter or AutoGyro is a hybrid between a plane and an helicopter and also one of the safest form of aviation in the world. This has a stable flying platform and cannot stall. It works with a system of auto-rotation that makes it independent from its engine. For those of you who are wondering, the gyro would simply glide to a safe landing in case of an engine failure.
In addition to being so safe, the gyrocopter has a cool and futuristic design, the idea behind it is just to keep calm and being cool while “flying on top of the world”, just make sure you bring your Ray Bans! 🙂
Pat, my pilot had over 40 years of experience and could tell you a lot more about the sophistication and mechanism of the gyrocopter, and if you listen to him carefully, he might even let you take the commands of the flight for a few minutes!
Yes, this is for real! The gyro is equipped with dual controls, so you might be able to feel the control and magic of flying on your own. Your pilot obviously can take over at any time, and will provide you with the best and safest guidance at all times.
For my part, I was extremely busy working with the camera, trying my best in capturing the insanely stunning landscapes. So there I was, 1000 feet above Phuket ground, snapping my camera away and not missing a beat. For 20 minutes, I turned into a paparazzi in the sky!
In less than 5 minutes we flew east to west, spotting stunning villas and gleaming swimming pool hidden in the lush green hills, we flew over splendid and resplendent golf courses on top of the hills, and arrived above Patong, the tourist mecca of Phuket, which actually looks much nicer from the air (personal taste!).
The best part of the flight is when reaching the North bay, we flew lower and it allowed us to spot more details while being able to view the high limestones standing along the magical Phang Nga Bay in front of us. But my captivation was so intense that the 30 minutes flight passed so fast.
eOasia’s verdict : This stunning landscape and captivating flight was a truly unforgettable experience. The pilot and the team operating it truly offer an added value to the service by being such experts in the field. Do remember to ask when booking for a GoPro camera to record your flight on a video that will be given to you at the end, free of charge.
Adventure hearted, photo addicts or extreme sport lovers, this rare pearl is for you and this is the only place you can find it in Thailand.
I have to warn you that both of these activities are really addictive, while respectively offering different sensations, both could be compared to riding a motorbike in the sky: the paramotor being more of a vintage one, why not the legendary Royal Enfield while the Gyrocopter could be associated to a glamorous and powerful engine, why not a sexy Ducati or Ferrari?
If like me you feel that you will become addict, both the paramotor and the gyrocopter provide a certified training to make you able to fly your own. Do contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to have more information.