If your budget will stretch to it, taking a mountain flight over the Himalayas is a great experience.
We had a trip of just over an hours duration which took us to view the major ranges, and afforded some great views of Everest. We were even allowed on the flight deck for a short period, although I suppose that practice has probably stopped given current aircraft security regulations.
The trip departed from and returned to Kathmandu airport.
Given that I am unlikely ever to climb Everest, I suppose this is about the closest I'm likely to get!
We didn't have time to go to Mt. Everest "for real" so we took the hour mountain flight. Chose Buddha Air. Heard it was the best and it was $120 a person. Buy there. Don't buy online beforehand. It's about $40-$60 more if you do. Our first flight was canceled due to weather. You will get your money back if this keeps happening. We went back the next day and it was fine. We were so lucky to be on the 16 seater with some fun Malaysia's. Almost got stuck with the obnoxious Americans...and I'm American. We snuck passed that group who were complaining about everything and I was embarrassed for being American...for a moment. Plus, it's better to experience something like this with other's.
There was one flight attendant, two pilot's and a window seat for everyone. We each were allowed in the cockpit (when was the last time anyone can do that) to take photos. They point out peaks and give some background on the Himalayas.
There are many travel companies in the Thamel area so you shouldn't pay more than $120. We were quoted higher but you can negotiate.
Seeing Everest is an experience I can’t fully describe. I only saw it from the plane and it took my breath away. Telling this sounds ridiculous and cliché to me but it is true. I still feel the same heartbeats while looking its photos. I think it is calling me. This is actually a sad thing, if you wanted to join a mountaineer club in university and couldn’t. It was something I should do in my 20s and I heard the call of Everest when I’m 34.
If you aren’t lucky to have a flight by Everest, you can make your own luck. As Yeti Airlines, several local airlines have special Everest flights.
This is a must if your budget allows you to and if you dont have either the expertise or time to go all the way up to the Everest!!
We took the 6:30 AM flight with Buddha Air and it lasted 1 hour.
A panoramic encounter with the highest mountains on earth. The 14- seater propeller aircraft from Kathmandu flies along side the Himalayas to give you eye level views of the snow peaks cruising close to the awesome massifs of rock and ice, the flight presents a mind-boggling sight
Visit this link for more info and pictures http://www.geocities.com/papiah/nepal_blog/mountainflight.htm
To book these try www.buddhaair.com
Mountain flight is the quickest means of reaching different mountains of Nepal in a short period time. It gives you mind stunning new experience of viewing the most tallest mountains of the world in Nepal. Mountain Flight tour is being operated everyday in the morning by different Airlines and the cost of it is 146 $ plus Tax. We offer you a panoramic encounter with the highest majestic Mountains on earth. The 14 sitters� comfortable plane departs from Kathmandu and flies along side the Himalaya to give you eye level views of the snow peaks and then brings you in one hour. Cruising close to the awesome massifs of rock and ice, the flight presents a mind -blowing sight. Program like Mountain flight is well-known and well established in Nepal which is very richly famous all over the world. The moment when the plane takes off and heads towards the east you will see Gosaikund also called Shisha Pangma, situated at the majestic height of 8013m. With in a minute to the right of Gosiankund, there appears Dorge Lakpa 6966m.To the right of Dorge Lakpa is Phurbi Chyachu, which looms over the Kathmandu Valley. Heights with the above 8000 meters including Mt .Everest, Next is Kayrolung, an intensely white mountain that at 6511m. gleams with the rising sun. Cho-Oyu is the sixth highest mountain in the world. Reaching a height of 8201m. It appears stunningly beautiful from the Aircraft. Next in the menu is Gyachungkang, at the majestic height of 7952m. Considered an extremely difficult climb. To the Right of Gyachungkang is Pomori 7161m. As you get closer to Everest there is Nuptse 7855m. This means west peak, signifying its direction From Everest. Finally we will view on Mt Everest, the tallest land f the world and more.
Day by day Itinerary.
Day 01 - All most all mountain to view within an hour of time.
But if a view from your left seat doesn't satisfy your curiosity, you can opt to go for a mountain flight (USD130) where you can get closer to the mother of the mountains, the Everest.
You can fly via Buddha Plane. The plane is old, maybe a 100-year-old :) with flat-out tyres. but hey once in a lifetime, isn't it worth the risk?
As in the above tips. This is about Buddha Air and the Mountain Flight.
You are Well looked after by Buddha Air, You receive a map outlining the mountains so you can identify each one during the flight, you are also invited individually up to the cockpit to meet the pilot and to get those Special pics and at the end of the flight you are given a nice souvenir certificate to commemorate your flight
As I have already said in the above tip Buddha Air does the Best Mountain flight, However IF your time is short and you find that All the seats have gone with Buddha Air then you might want to try Yeti Air as they also do mountain flights, The planes aren’t quite as good and the price is the same but The Views will be much the same !!
Again, Nirmal at H.M.C. can sort out your ticket – Details on previous page
"I Didn't Climb Mt Everest .. But I touched it with my Heart"
This is the Logo of the Buddha Air Mountain Flight and don’t you think that it is appropriate?
The flights leave Every morning as long as the weather is clear from the domestic terminal at Kathmandu Tribuvan Airport starting about 07.00 and up to about 09.30. Usually up to about 6 flights a day,
You are guaranteed a Window Seat, The flight lasts for one hour and Really is an Awesome Experience, Judge yourself from the pics that I have posted here !!
The cost as of March 2007 is $132.
You can purchase your ticket from most Travel Agencies but my Preferred Agent is Nirmal Nakarmi at Himalayan Magic Adventures, Thamel, Phone 977 1 262524 or email firstname.lastname@example.org,np
This is an experience you must have while in Nepal. If you are lucky enough to have a good weather the scene in front of you will be breathless.
While in Kathmandu check for those agencies organizing a one day flight around Himalaya and ask how distant you will be from these mountains before departure!
On the flights to Bhadrapur as well as to Pokhara, the planes will take you along the eastern and western sections of the central Himalayas respectively. They won't go as close as a proper mountain flight, but close enough to bring up your camera and mountain profile map.
If you travel to Taplejung, Simikot, Lukla and Tumlingtar you will have the same experience.
If there is a haze and cloud cover, only Buddha Air will fly high enough to give you a view (20.000 ft).
This is a most interesting scheduled flight. You get a real mountain flight thrown into your transport from A to B. You fly over the trekking areas of Poon Hill, then into the gorge between Annapurna South and Dhaulagiri, and on the left flying in you will see Dhaulagiri. Seing Annapurna is a bit more difficult due to the morning light against this side and the mountian being so close you cannot really get a wider view.
Further in you fly into the arid zone, over villages and the Kali Gandaki river.
The flight is by small aircraft (up to 18-20 seats' Twin Otters and smaller Dorniers). The fare is 60-65 dollars each way, depending on the airline.
I'm not comfortable flying, but I was not going to miss this opportunity. You have to grab an early morning flight (I think they stop by noon, due to the winds). We went on Buddha Air, and we were treated wonderfully. Each seat has its own window, and you're given a map of the Himalayan range so spotting the peaks is easy. The pilots also narrate briefly, and even though the plane is small, there is a helpful flight attendant on hand to point out landmarks. The entire flight round trip, took about 1.5 hours and was DEFINITELY well worth the $100 + USD. Be prepared to experience some delays before they permit the plane to take off (usually weather related).
If you are at a loss for time and you really want to see the Himalayan giants, you should opt for the mountain flight. Buddha Air has the best one, see their website for more information at: www.buddhaair.com . Costs vary, but it was around USD92.
Here is some info provided from Buddha Air:
Everest Experience Flight
We are proud to be part of a country, nestled in the laps of the beautiful Himalayas. For many years, people have been drawn by the mystery and beauty that has surrounded them. Now with our Everest Experience flight we make your visit to the highest peak just as easy.
It is not always that you look out of your window and catch the highest peak in the world just outside of it; but when you do you definitely would want to remember the moment forever - and our Everest Experience flights allow you to do just that. An experience unlike any other, we fly you past nine gorgeous peaks in the world.
Our sightseeing flight to Mt. Everest has created a niche for itself. The powerful PT6A-67D engine enables the aircraft to fly at 25,000 feet. Circling Mount Ammadablam to enter the Khumbu valley, we take you almost five nautical miles from the highest peak in the world-Mt. Everest ( weather permitting ) - a feat accomplished by our aircrafts and pilots alone.
We provide each passenger with an individual window seat during the entire flight. Moreover, we invite all our passengers to the cockpit form where you can take some spectacular pictures of the highest peak in the world. Our full stand up cabin height of 6 feet allows you to move freely within the cabin. In addition the low noise and the instant cabin temperature allow you to have the most comfortable flight available.
Having flown more than 150,000 passengers in Everest Experience Flight in just four years and with a growing demand, we can confidently say that we have been operating the best mountain flight in the world. A flight so satisfying that one of our passenger commented "I did not climb Mt. Everest but I touched it with my heart."
On a day off from our clinics, we piled into one of the many little planes that fly out of the airport in Kathmandu on flightseeing tours of the Himalaya. The flight lasts about an hour and you fly along the range out to the Khumbu - Mt Everest - area and back. November/December is a good time to visit since the weather can be at its most settled. The same would apply to trekking in the various mountain regions. But it is also very cold, so be prepared. The flight gives you a good overview of a good section of Nepali Himalaya and the mountains are truly majestic. The planes are pressurized and everyone gets a turn to scramble forward and take a view from the pilot's cockpit, too.