Asia is home to the highest mountain range in the world, the mighty Himalayas; thus options for trekking from neighboring countries, and particularly Nepal, are excellent. Well known peaks include Everest, Annapurna I and Kanchenjunga.
Outside the Himalayas the island of Borneo, shared by Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei, has the best trekking. Indonesia’s Mulu National Park and neighboring Malaysia’s Kinabalu National Park both reside on this island of mystery and are fantastic. China’s Great Wall also has fantastic trekking.
Thailand is especially known for its hill tribe treks in the north, yet finding an authentic one can be tough. Thailand’s Khao Sok National Park in the south also has some fine trekking and seems even more remote than the north.
Everest Base Camp, Nepal / Tibet Just about every trekker’s dream is to take on Mount Everest’s base camp. Although it sounds daunting, the actual trek is demanding yet not technical and most competent walkers could manage it provided they are very fit, take several days to acclimatize to the altitude beforehand and don’t suffer from altitude sickness. The base camp lies at a heady 5,400m and the view across the Khumbu icefall to the peak is spectacular.
Annapurna Sanctuary Himalayan Trek, Nepal Slightly less energetic than the Everest Base Camp trek, yet no less dramatic, the trek into Annapurna territory is a bit of a classic Himalayan trek and a must for the adventure type. The trek goes up through bamboo forests to emerge into the panorama of the Annapurnas and is best done in the spring or autumn.
Chomolhari Trek, Bhutan The ‘Land of the Thunder Dragon’ in the eastern Himalaya is a mystical kingdom with some fine trekking options. The Chomolhari trek is the best of them and up there with Nepal’s best walks, taking in the unique culture and landscapes of Bhutan.
Kanchenjunga, Nepal Lying in the east of Nepal, Kanchenjunga is close to the Indian and Tibetan borders and is the world’s third highest mountain, making it a significant trekking location. Due to its remoteness and lack of press, the mountain offers somewhat of a unique experience and comes complete with spectacular valleys, ridges and staggering scenery.
Ladakh, India If you make it to northern India the Buddhist retreat of Ladakh, nestled between the Himalayas and Karakorams (home of K2), is India’s highest plateau and extremely remote. The ‘land of high passes’ is one of jagged mountains and otherworldly landscapes and is best done on a package with local guide.
Great Wall of China One of man’s greatest achievements is a must for anyone seriously into walking, sightseeing and history. This huge collection of stone and earthen fortifications stretches for over 6,400kms and was built to keep invaders out during the dynasties. The most accessible sections are those near Beijing including the Juyongguan pass (the Badaling), which is five meters wide and almost eight meters high. The Ming Great Wall is also worth a look for its steep gradient.
Gunung Mulu National Park - Borneo, Indonesia Gunung Mulu National Park, a World Heritage site better known as Mulu, has the best trekking in Southeast Asia. Apart from the extensive trails and abundance of flora and fauna is the massive Sarawak Chamber. This huge cave is the world’s largest enclosed natural space and a must see when in Borneo.
Kinabalu National Park - Borneo, Malaysia Lying in the region of Sabah on Borneo (the Malaysian part of the island) Kinabalu National Park has great scope for trekking. The park is home to Southeast Asia’s highest mountain, Mount Kinabulu, which covers many climatic zones and reaches over 4,000m. Despite the altitude, Mount Kinabulu has pretty straightforward trekking.
Volcano walking, Indonesia Those into trekking and volcanoes need to check out the active volcanic islands of Java and Sumatra in Indonesia. The 2,000-meter Mount Bromo in East Java has some of the country’s’ best trekking while nearby Krakatoa is also immense in scale.
Chiang Mai, Thailand Hill tribe trekking in Thailand is one of the main activities in northern Thailand. Best done in the November to February dry season, treks typically go over three days and two nights taking in the jungle, several Lisu and Aka hill tribe villages, and elephant riding and bamboo rafting. Choosing a tour company in Chiang Mai wisely is advised.
Khao Sok, Thailand Of Thailand’s many amazing national parks, Khao Sok National Park in the south of the country features thick tropical rainforest, gushing waterways, a huge lake and many rare animals. The world’s largest flower is also here - the rafflesia – while elephants and even tigers are known to be in the region. Accommodation, facilities and accessibility at Khao Sok are all good.