Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2008

6. Heli-Tour of Hong Kong

Although a graceless 28-story extension has ruined the once elegant and low-rise contours of the 80-year-old Peninsula Hotel on Salisbury Road, one can be marginally forgiving because the said carbuncle houses the China Clipper — a swanky lounge that recalls the pioneering days of Asian flight. From the Clipper, guests are escorted to a rooftop helipad and into choppers for jaw-dropping aerial tours of Hong Kong. Arranged either through the hotel or through the charter company Heliservices (852-2802-0200), the tours start at a minimum of $850 for a 15-minute whirl around Hong Kong Island, during which the buildings will look close enough to prod.

Try an appetite-whetting jaunt before returning for champagne and lunch at the hotel's magnificent signature restaurant, Gaddi's (852-2315-3171), or afternoon tea in the famously palatial lobby. You'll be feeling slightly giddy for a while to come. (Nearest MTR: Tsim Sha Tsui)