Asia has become a major tourist destination in recent years as more and more travellers are discovering the continent’s endless travel adventures. With stunning landscapes, flavourful cuisines, and rich cultures it can be overwhelming to pinpoint exactly which beach to visit in the south of Thailand, which temple to explore among the ruins of Angkor Wat, or which mouth-watering bowl of noodles to devour in Vietnam.
For those seeking authentic, off the beaten path travel adventures, Asia’s incredible diversity provides a collection of excursions, sights, and experiences that make even the most seasoned travellers realise there is still a lot to accomplish on their bucket lists.
To ensure you make the most of your next journey to the Far East, we have chosen the following six must-have travel adventures in Asia.
The first travel adventure you must have in Asia is a 2 days 1 night Khao Sok National Park experience, which proves that there are overnights and then there are overnights. Set within the jungles of southern Thailand, this slice of Jurassic Park paradise reminds you that picture-perfect postcard destinations aren’t only reserved for the beach.
Trade in the bustle of tourist-favourite Phuket island for a peaceful escape to nature at Khao Sok National Park where your days will be filled with bamboo rafting, bathing elephants, and exploring caves. Bring your bathing suit and swim in the crystalline waters of Cheow Lan Lake before embarking on a night safari aboard a traditional longtail boat; and, as if this excursion couldn’t get any better, you’ll be rocked to sleep at night by gentle waves aboard your own authentic floating house bungalow.
Jeju Island is an outdoor-enthusiast’s paradise with its pristine beaches, volcanic mountains, and exotic landscapes. Only 130 kilometres off the coast of South Korea, Jeju is also home to an extensive network of walking and hiking trails for those looking to see its beautiful terrain on foot.
One hiking adventure that’s not to be missed is that of Hallasan Mountain. The highest peak in South Korea, this once active volcano is a UNESCO biosphere reserve and features six trails to suit your hiking experience level. Those brave enough to climb to its 1,950-metre summit will be rewarded with breath-taking views of Jeju island and the sparkling sea below.
After the climb, head for a dip in the pools of Jeongbang waterfall or make your way through the chilling lava tubes of Manjang cave before settling in for one of the world’s most beautiful sunsets.
You may think the journey from Hanoi to Halong Bay is scenic, but nothing will prepare you for the natural beauty that awaits on a Halong Bay day trip. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to thousands of limestone formations whose majestic cliffs stand guard as you paddle your way through the striking emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. You will never forget the breath-taking scenery as you discover the endless grottoes and hidden karstic passageways scattered across this picturesque waterscape.
Even more adventure awaits inside the magnificent rooms of Thien Cung cave, where spectacular formations greet you at every turn. Speaking of greetings, you’ll also love practicing your Vietnamese skills with the friendly locals at Ba Hang fishing village before relaxing on the deck of your Halong Bay tour boat – there’s no better way to end the day!
When most people hear Siem Reap, Cambodia images of the magnificent Angkor temples spring to mind; however, less than 2 hours drive from the city centre lies another hidden gem that should not be missed – Phnom Kulen National Park. Truly off the normal tourist path, the highlight of this jungle oasis is the awe-inspiring Phnom Kulen Waterfall. Here you can follow the lead of local Cambodians as they jump into the refreshing natural swimming pools below the cascading falls.
Others may also enjoy heading further into the jungle to Kbal Spean. This site is famous for its River of 1,000 Lingas, where you will find a series of Hindu symbols and icons carved into the sandstone beneath the babbling waters of the Stung Kbal Spean River. It provides a truly mysterious and unique look into the rich culture and history of Cambodia.
*Please remember that since Phnom Kulen Waterfall is a local escape, it’s important to dress conservatively when swimming (i.e. no bikinis or speedos) and to be respectful when visiting any temple or religious areas.
In addition to incredible outdoor excursions, Asia is home to some of the world’s best urban travel adventures as well. One such activity in Singapore takes your traditional fine-dining experience and literally elevates it 300 metres above the sea.
Once aboard the Singapore Cable Car, you are whisked away from Mount Faber station on a romantic aerial escape. You will enjoy incredible 360-degree views of the Singapore skyline and famous landmarks such as Sentosa Island, Merlion Park, and Padang field, as you indulge in a four-course meal worth writing home about. It’s one of those unique experiences that leaves you wanting more; and if you ask us, even the most rugged adventurers deserve an adrenaline-filled, yet refined meal every once in a while.
Take your holiday to new depths and spend the day strolling along the seabed in your ultra-modern Sub Sea Systems helmet. Underwater walking brings you off the coast of Danang the Cu Lao Cham Island – another UNESCO biosphere reserve that is not to be missed. You will feel like a real underwater explorer as you are surrounded by exotic marine life and stunning coral formations. Be sure to stop and take a minute to revel in the sheer peace and beauty of the world beneath the waves.
Your travel adventures are waiting at TheAsia.com! Experience your Asia today.