From the grandeur of the Himalayas down to the coastal areas of southern Southeast Asia, the continent of Asia has the most diverse landscape in the world. There are thousands of islands here, the highest mountains in the world, dense rainforests and gushing rivers, meaning that if it’s an activity holiday you’re after, Asia has all the options.
There is so much scope in Asia for exploration, from the islands and beaches of the Philippines, Thailand and Japan to fabulous World Heritage sites like the Great Wall of China and Angkor Wat and spiritual havens such as Tibet’s grand city of Lhasa. Only your imagination will limit your choices as to where to go.
Trekking: Asia has the world’s best trekking in the Nepalese Himalayas and neighboring India with the highest peaks on the planet allowing great scope for walking. In addition, Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia and Thailand have well established trekking operations and some of the most delectable landscapes.
Diving and snorkeling: Indonesia and Thailand have the best options for this activity in Asia with their sub-tropical islands and abundance of coral and marine life. Dive sites of note include Indonesia’s Raja Ampat Islands and Thailand’s Similan Islands, while Thailand and the Maldives also have cracking snorkeling.
Surfing: Indonesia has some world class surfing with some wicked left-handers and barrels at the well known G-Land as well as Bali’s popular Kuta beach. Other popular surfing locations in Asia include Thailand for beginner to intermediate surfers, the Maldives with its fantastic reef breaks and even Hong Kong.
White water rafting and kayaking: owing to its immense rivers, Nepal has the best whitewater rafting in Asia while India also has a slice of this high altitude Himalayan action. China’s Yangtze offers great scope at the Great Bend and many Southeast Asian climes possess rough rivers and scenic karst seascapes for kayaking.
Skiing: Japan easily has Asia’s best skiing with hundreds of ski resorts and prices have eased in relation to Western resorts over the years to boot. In addition, India, China and South Korea also have some pretty good skiing and the quality of snow and long seasons makes skiing in Asia particularly attractive.
Mountain climbing / rock climbing: Mount Everest, K2 and Annapurna I are just three of the highest mountains in the world that people come to Nepal to climb and trek. For some easier climbing, Japan’s Mount Fuji and Borneo’s Mount Kinabalu are a good choice while rock climbing is best done in Krabi, Thailand.
National parks and reserves: there are hundreds of these in Asia with the very best located in Malaysia, Indonesia, India and Thailand where an unending selection of flora, fauna and landscapes can be discerned.
World Heritage sites: in Asia include the likes of the heart-warming Taj Mahal, Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, and China’s terracotta army and Great Wall, while many of the great national parks of Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia have also been designated by UNESCO.
Spiritual places and trips: spirituality in Asia is celebrated like nowhere else on Earth at the likes of Lhasa in Tibet, Varanasi in India, Ayutthaya in Thailand, and Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Every religion is represented in one way or another.
Islands and beaches: Asia’s best beaches can be found way down in the tropics in Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia while Goa in India, Cheju in South Korea, Mui Ne beach in Vietnam, and the Maldives archipelago also have fine beaches.
Festivals and events: from the Philippines Ati-Atihan Festival early on in the year through to the Thai King’s Birthday at the end, festivals and events of significance go off every month of the year in Asia.