Bucket List 101: the Asian destinations perfect for hiking

Bucket List 101: the Asian destinations perfect for hiking

It’s no secret Asia is the place to go for travelling. It’s a continent full of diversity and beauty, with opportunities to either lay back and relax or explore all it has to offer. For the latter, hiking is perhaps the best way to see the landscape in all its glory – here is just a small selection of some of Asia’s best trails.

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Kalimpong, India 


 Although Kalimpong is populated, unlike a majority of hiking sites across the world, you’ll find its residents live in little hamlets and villages secluded in the rolling hills. As you ascend the peaks of Kalimpong, Audley details how your view of the Himalayas grows clearer and clearer, with India’s highest peak – Kanchenjunga – towering above.

The residents of Kalimpong are extremely welcoming, too, and you may even be able to stay in a local home for the night should you need to. Elsewhere, activities such as mountain biking and white water rafting are available to take part in across the cragged terrain.

Annapurna Circuit, Nepal

It’s arguably the most popular hiking trail in the world, and for good reason. Nepal’s Annapurna Circuit has widely been considered the “holy grail” for hikers, due to its immense diversity and wealth of sights, nature and wildlife.

The trek begins in the jungle, surrounded by forestry and wild animals, before giving way to sections of deep canyons, isolated Tibetan villages and, eventually, a towering mountain range that is home to Thurung La, the highest point of the Annapurna Circuit that nears 20,000 feet. It’s a walk full of wonder, that needs to be done in its entirety to realise its immensity.

Mount Kinabalu, Malaysia


 If you want to experience hiking to the peak of a mountain, look no further than Malaysia’s Mount Kinabalu. It doesn’t take long, either – depending on whether you want to challenge yourself or simply take it slow, the climb will take you a day or two respectively.

And once you reach the peak of Mount Kinabalu, you’ll see why it’s so popular. The view stretches for miles all around, with equally impressive mountains giving way to lush greenery. Hot springs await you upon your descent, too, so don’t be afraid to relax in a natural paradise when you come back down.

Sapa, Vietnam

Home to Vietnam’s highest peak, Sapa is a must-visit for any budding hiker visiting the country. It’s quickly becoming a tourist hotspot but for now it remains relatively undiscovered, so you can expect your journey to be relatively isolated – except for the hill station and town of Sapa itself.

The main thing that distinguishes the site from any other is how green and flourishing it is. Rice terraces give way to rolling hills, the refreshing mountain air adding to the experience. Consider getting a guide to take you through Sapa’s surrounding countryside, in order to learn all there is to know about the unique location.

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Doi Inthanon, Thailand


Thailand is arguably the number one destination for travellers across the world. And why wouldn’t it be? With such a range of things to do and see, including unparalleled natural beauty, it makes sense for people to flock to the country. Doi Inthanon, however, is one place that many of them are yet to discover.

And it likely won’t take long for the masses to realise how incredible this peak is. Being the highest point in Thailand is impressive enough, but Tieland to Thailand states that the mountain and its surrounding national park is now their favourite place in the country due to its lush nature trails, secluded waterfalls and sweeping panoramic views.

Which of these amazing Bucket List 101: the Asian destinations perfect for hiking would you hope to visit? Have you hiked any of them? Tell us all about it or which is your favorite in the comments below.

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This was a guest post written by Isabel Leong from belaroundtheworld.com

41 thoughts on “Bucket List 101: the Asian destinations perfect for hiking

  1. What a helpful article for hikers who want to get out there and explore! Your pictures are spectacular. I hope you add to this series!

  2. Asia is high on my list! So many wonderful places in your post. Saving this for later as it is so helpful!

  3. This was such an interesting and insightful list! I love hiking so much, so I definitely will refer back to your post when I’m on the lookout for great trails 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
    xx Elena

  4. I’m embarrassed to say we haven’t done any of these yet. The good news is we have this list to work through. I love the addition of a Mount Kinabalu as this is one I hadn’t heard of yet and looks stunning.

  5. These are some lovely hiking spots. I have been to Kalimpong and stayed a couple of days. Though I have not actually hiked there, I can say it is indeed a lovely scenic place for hiking. A great place set amidst the hills and verdant lush vegetation makes for an exhilarating trek.

  6. Although I am not really a hike person, but hiking through Nepal and Thailand seems like a nice option. The photographs display the immense beauty of these place. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful post.

  7. I have not visited any of these destinations- and honestly, I never thought of Asia when it came to hiking. In hindsight, that was stupid of me- look at all these amazing places!! 🙂

  8. My husband and I enjoy hiking, just got back from hiking a 500-mile pilgrimage in Spain in fact, so this is a wonderful list for us. I had never really thought of Asia as a place for hiking though for some reason. So thanks for enlightening me!

  9. We haven’t made it to Asia at all yet, but Thailand is at the top of our list…. and looking at Doi Inthanon, now I think we’re both even more excited to go. Thank you so much for sharing this list!

  10. I adore hiking and I’m always looking for new places! These all sound like great additions to my ever growing list. To be honest, I haven’t visited much of Asia, but I can recommend Sri Lanka for awesome hiking!

  11. My top choice would be Sapa, it just looks stunning there. I spent a few months in SE Asia a while back but there is sooo much more I would love to see!

  12. So many of these are new to me but they all look amazing. I must admit that hiking is something we haven’t done a lot of overseas but it’s something we perhaps should. I just keep thinking of all the extra gear we’d have to cart from Australia 🙂

  13. You missed Indonesia. Let see, there are, among other things, Kawah Ijen (a blue lava volcano) Kelimutu (a mountain peak with 3 different colors that change according to the moods of the spirits that dwell in them – according to the local legend), a pink beach and Komodo dragons. Ok, the last 2 were not hiking trails. But, it might persuade you to put Indonesia in your bucket list 😉

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