Asia's Wild Side
Collected by Jen Murphy , AFAR Contributor
Asia is known for its dynamic city life, but there are plenty of natural wonders to explore, from empty beaches to jungle trails.
Tai Po, Hong Kong
Roughly three-quarters of Hong Kong is undeveloped land. The prime hike is the New Territories’ 62-mile MacLehose Trail, which skims gorgeous beaches and climbs to Hong Kong’s highest peak, Tai Mo Shan (3,140 feet). The trail is divided into 10...
Ham Tin Wan, Hong Kong
This is my favourite place in Hong Kong, perhaps even in the world. This beach is part of the MacLehose Trail that winds in and out of the coast of the New Territories for about 100 kilometres. You can catch a bus from Sai Kung town to Pak Tam Au...
Chiang Mai, Thailand
I'll just go ahead and say it. This is on my "Top Five Best Experiences" list. There's too much to describe what happened to us in two days, so here's the gist: - Tourist police - Waterfalls - Hot Springs - Geysers - Strenuous hikes - Incredible...
Mae Taeng District, Chiang Mai, Thailand
A friend and I booked an elephant trek and whitewater rafting combo package while visiting the Chiang Mai in the northern section of Thailand. We used the company called Siam River Adventures and the day was well worth the money. They picked us up...
Sinhagad Ghat Road, Dist Pune, Thoptewadi, Maharashtra 411025, India
When the city gets overbearing the people of Pune hit the hills, and one of their favorite destinations is the Sinhagad Fort. Sinhagad Fort was named in honor of a fallen Maratha warrior, and the name translates as Lion Fort. It stands at 4,300...
Church Road, Pallathuruthy, Kainakary South, Kerala 688505, India
The word that keeps coming to mind when I remember my trip through the Kerala backwaters in India is "languid." I took three kinds of boat rides through these tropical waterways in south India: canoe, motorboat, and house boat. The canoe was my...
Necklace Rd, Hyderabad, Telangana, India
Necklace Road is a main boulevard in Hyderabad, adjacent to Hussain Sagar Lake. Grab a cycle and head out at dusk when the boulevard comes alive with locals socializing and sampling fast food at Eat Street. Check out the views and People's Plaza,...
Located between Jodhpur and Udaipur, Jawai Leopard Camp reimagines safari style. Eight hand-stitched canvas tents are furnished with traditional Rajasthani crafts, and during the day guests get out and explore with experienced guides in 4x4s. You...
Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture, Japan
“Nature” may not be a word generally associated with Tokyo, but the Kanto Plain on which the city sits abounds with forests, rivers, and mountains. In many cases, though, you may only find one or two out of the three available in any one location,...
589 Ohara, 大原 いすみ市 千葉県 298-0004, Japan
Don’t get me wrong—I love Tokyo and wouldn’t trade it for any other city in world. But sometimes you’ve just got to get out and decompress by dropping the pace several notches with an overnight stay somewhere beyond the borders of the urban...
Yakushima, Kumage District, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan
Mossy landscapes and ancient, indigenous cedar trees make for fairytale hiking heaven here, and moisture is plentiful at this elevation – Yakushima is the highest mountain in southern Japan. The exquisite scenery of this island, its mountains and...
Azumi, Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture 390-1520, Japan
While many Westerners love to hike for athletic activity, walking in the Japanese Alps in times past was considered a spiritual practice. It’s lovely to think about combining physical exercise in a fantastic physical environment and consider it a...
1072 Amatsu, Kamogawa-shi, Chiba-ken 299-5503, Japan
The Torii Arch reaches skyward on a small islet off the Pacific coast of Amatsu-kominato in the Boso Peninsula of Chiba. I came across this after walking around the breakwater of the fishing port located in front of Tanjoji Temple, birthplace of...
Mount Nokogiri, Motona, Kyonan, Awa District, Chiba 299-1901, Japan
Trademark notch at the top of Nokogiriyama ("Saw Mountain") near Futtsu in Chiba Prefecture, Japan. The mountain features a distinctive sawtoothed profile of a Japanese saw, due in part to the mountain's history as a stone quarry during the Edo...
2549-5 Yumoto, Nikkō-shi, Tochigi-ken 321-1662, Japan
These little wooden structures house pumps that send piping-hot water from sulphur hot springs to the many inns and B&Bs dotting the area around Oku-nikko, a picturesque resort town located in the mountains of Nikko. It's a fantastic overnight...
Yamada, Kutchan, Abuta District, Hokkaido 044-0081, Japan
Kimamaya is the Japanese word for “be yourself,” and the laid-back nine-room hotel in the Niseko ski area encourages you to do just that. Snow Stats With a 600-inch average annual snowfall, Niseko has been called the Whistler of Asia. Kimamaya’s...
Đại Đình, Tam Đảo, Vĩnh Phúc, Vietnam
Popular with the French during colonial times, Tam Dao is now a favorite with Vietnamese looking to escape the stifling heat of summer Hanoi. The French villas have all but vanished to be replaced with some pretty gruesome concrete architecture....
Ninh Thắng, Ninh Bình Province, Vietnam
Visitors have a love hate relationship with Tam Coc - and Ninh Binh in general - thanks to the aggressive nature of the touts that descend upon them the moment they disembark from their day trip tour buses from Hanoi. Solution? Don't get on the...
Thanh Kim, Sa Pa, Lào Cai, Vietnam
Gitgit, Sukasada, Kabupaten Buleleng, Bali, Indonesia
A number of beautiful waterfalls grace Bali's landscape, but Gitgit is the highest. A day trip through mountains and Lake Tamblingan ending up at Gitgit for a cooling swim is a great way to prepare for the drive back to the south, if that's where...
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