Asia offers a diverse range of terrain and a plethora of adventure holidays to throw yourself into. From the towering mountains of Nepal, the aquatic wildlife of the Indian Ocean and the dense jungles of South-East Asia, the scope for adventure holidays in Asia is virtually unlimited.
If you’re wanting to head out to Asia and love an adventure, check out the suggestions below for inspiration.
1. Mountain Biking in Nepal
Famed for its gigantic mountains, well, mountain, Nepal offers some of the best adrenaline-fuelled mountain biking on the planet. Among the top recommendations is the epic three-day stint through the Annapurna range from Thorung La to Beni.
Naturally, the 120km jaunt is predominantly downhill, including a steep 2791m vertical down the Kali Gandhi Gorge, the world’s steepest and longest descent you will ever experience.
Carving your way through this jagged mountain range will give you a few scares, but there are plenty of hotspots to recover your breath and admire the stunning scenery. A trail for rock star mountain bikers.
2. Volcano Trekking in East Java
Despite the earth moving beneath your feet and the rumble of semi-dormant mountains, there’s something ironically romantic about climbing a volcano. That’s certainly the case in East Java where giant craters take you up so high you can almost touch the clouds.
Head to Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park and you will find a plethora of steaming calderas to conquer. The volcanic mountains of Mount Bromo and Semeru provide the toughest challenges, and you will need camping gear. Easier climbs up Gunung Batur and Gunung Agung can be tackled in a day.
3. Camp in the National Parks of Sri Lanka
For such a small country, Sri Lanka is a hotbed of national parks, each of which has its own character and animal of choice. The bravest of adventurers head for Yala National Park in south-east Sri Lanka, a six-hour drive from Colombo. Why? Leopards. Roaming, untethered leopards.
If you’re not too keen on hanging around natural predators, there are plenty of other options. Udawlawe National Park is famed for its elephants whilst Wilpattu and Minneriya and Bundala National Park are all reliable zone for spotting wildlife.
The grassy plains and tangled networks of forests offer more than a safari. Given a number of locations are a good distance from civilisation, camping is recommended – an experience you won’t forget in a hurry. Sri Lanka is a perfect opportunity to live in the natural habitat of exotic animals including water buffalo, elephants, sloth bears, crocodiles and 400 species of bird.
4. Motorbike Tour of Vietnam
The classic Vietnam road trip is Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh or vice versa – but there are many routes you can take along the way. You could go the typical route through Hue, Hoi An, Dalat and Nha Trang, but in doing so you miss seeing the real Vietnam and wind up in tourist traps.
There are more interesting routes through the central highlands and bright green valleys. There’s nothing to stop you from snaking out towards the edge of the country for a view of idyllic turquoise seas and golden beaches, of course, but the best coastline is in the south-east.
No matter what time of year you go to Vietnam, the weather varies drastically. Rainy season hits the country at different times of year so make sure you pack a poncho and a warm jacket. You will also need plenty of water and an open mind when dining in local restaurants.
5. Canyoning in the Philippines
The Philippines has a wealth of dense jungles, pristine emerald pools and rocky playgrounds that are ripe for canyoning (or canyoneering). Whilst still a relatively young adventure holiday, canyoning is becoming increasingly popular – cliff jumping and all.
One of the most beautiful and highly recommended canyoneering hotspots is Kawasan Falls in Cebu a short drive from the towns of Alegria and Badian. If you’re into waterfalls, the Nalalata Falls at Mt. Isarog National Park in Camarines Sur is the best option.
For adventurers that are technically skilled, Biliran presents plenty of challenges and is less crowded with day-trippers, whilst Mapawa Nature Park presents you with a series of waterfalls – and you can go white water rafting. Canyoneering in the Philippines has all the hallmarks of an adrenaline-pumping and fun-filled adventure.
6. Cruising in Myanmar
Although best known for its wealth of Buddhist monasteries, Myanmar’s lesser-known recluses are the most interesting attraction. The Moken sea-nomads (they’re not real monks) live in secluded jungle villages and are known for their freediving abilities and intimate knowledge of the Mergui Archipelago.
A six-day cruise takes you to rarely visited tropical islands and the chance to swim in the sultry waters of the Andaman sea, snorkel tropical coral reefs and learn how to live on the ocean. There are plenty of golden sands to enjoy but this adventure is much more than a beach holiday.
7. Nature Trails in Japan
Mountains dominate the Japanese landscape. Subsequently, the country boasts a wealth of hiking trails and has an abundance of nature. There are literally hundreds of routes to choose from, most of which are best explored with an experienced guide that has an intimate knowledge of the surroundings.
From Tokyo, Mount Takao and Mount Mitake are both favourites with the locals whilst in the south, the most travelled trail in the Kumano Kodo, an ancient pilgrimage from Kansai. The trail is the equivalent of Spain’s Camino de Santiago.
Japan’s walking trails are a prime opportunity to escape the city and connect with nature – and a great way to meet locals. The Japanese are a nation of hikers. Plunge into the green valleys, explore the foothills of mysterious mountains and tick off the animals you spot in your guide book. Most of all, enjoy disconnecting.
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