Travel

The 7 Best Hiking Destinations in Asia

The 7 Best Hiking Destinations in Asia

Everything here, from the world’s most famous walks — Everest Base Camp, Fuji, Tiger Leaping Gorge — to Asia’s more off-the-beaten-path excursions, will reward you with gratifying treks and views unlike anything else on Earth. Discover Asia’s most beautiful hikes.

1. Sapa, Vietnam

This mountain community on the border of Vietnam and China is one of the world’s greenest hiking destinations, taking you past rice paddy fields, bamboo woods, and small villages on your way to Vietnam’s highest peak, Fansipan, which can take several days. Sapa has an interesting colonial past, as it was created by the French as a highland refuge to escape the heat. Sapa has a temperate climate all year, making it ideal for hikers, however, summer is better avoided, particularly if you try to climb Mount Fansipan. Sapa is appropriate for inexperienced hikers and is freely reachable from Hanoi through a rail and bus journey that takes approximately eight hours.

2. Mount Qixing, Taiwan

Mount Qixing, also known as Seven Star Mountain, is a dormant volcano in Taiwan’s Yakushima National Park, accessible by bus from Taipei. It is Taiwan’s highest peak and one of the most popular hiking trails due to the breathtaking views of the park and Taipei city from the top. This hike, which takes around four hours and is appropriate for people of ordinary fitness, leads you through the woodland and lush meadow and is spectacular from beginning to conclusion. It starts at the Visitor Center at the Miaopu Trailhead and takes about a half-day to complete; the hike is steep but manageable for anyone of ordinary fitness.

3. Mount Fuji, Japan

Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest peak, is an active stratovolcano with three volcanoes on top of each other: the Komitake volcano, the Kofuji volcano, and finally Fuji the top (last erupting in 1707). This creates a dynamic climb with four pathways to choose from, depending on how difficult you want it to be and if you want to slide down the volcanic rocks on your way down. The Yoshida Trail, which offers a six-hour journey up Fuji with easy access to mountain lodges for those seeking to stay overnight and catch the renowned sunrise, is the most popular. Fuji can only be climbed during the climbing season, which runs from July to September, and is extremely risky to walk outside of these months. Trains run straight to Fuji Subaru Line 5th station from adjacent cities such as Tokyo.

4. Annapurna Circuit, Nepal

This climb is well-deservedly regarded as one of the best in the world. The walk begins in Besisahar and concludes in Birethanti, stretching up to 145 kilometers over the snow-capped Himalaya. It can take up to 20 days to complete. As you round the enormous Annapurna Massif, one of the world’s tallest mountains, the trek takes you through some of Nepal’s most spectacular landscapes, including rice terraces, forests, and hilly and glacier terrain. To get to the path, fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara in central Nepal, or take a picturesque seven-hour bus ride directly from Kathmandu to Besisahar. The hiking season is in the spring and fall, with April, May, October, and November being the best months to try the trek; however, because these are the busiest months on the Annapurna Circuit, obtaining lodging can be difficult.

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5. Mount Huangshan, China

Huangshan, also known as Yellow Mountain, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of China’s most famous national parks. The four wonders of this foggy mountain range and adjacent scenic locations include wind-carved pines, a magnificent sea of clouds, granite summits, and soothing hot springs. The eastern staircase and the western stair, which are steeper but quieter, are the most popular routes for ascending the mountain. To catch the dawn, many people choose to camp at the top of the mountain or stay in a small motel near the summit. From Shanghai or Hangzhou, the mountain is easily accessible by bullet train.

6. Kawah Ijen, Indonesia

This two-hour journey leads you up a steep two-mile trail to the otherworldly blue-green crater lake of Kawah Ijen. The hike is frequently done soon before dawn in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the crater’s sulfur deposits’ characteristic blue flame. This is acceptable for anyone with a decent level of fitness, but it should only be done during the peak months of April to October. Outside of this time, it can be wet and slick. This excursion is best done with a guide because you’ll be hiking in the dark and will need to wear a gas mask when near the lake because of the sulfuric gas. To get there, fly to Bali’s Denpasar Airport and then take a ferry to Java Island, where you will be met by your guide and taken to Banyuwangi. There are a few direct flights to Blimbingsari Airport as well.

7. Mount Kurodake, Japan

This climb takes one to two hours and is one of the top sites in Hokkaido for fall leaf peeping. It is one of the Daisetsuzan National Park climbs that is easy to reach for novices but connects to additional paths for experienced hikers. The Kurodake Ropeway and Lift link Sounkyo Onsen at the trail’s commencement to the fifth station halfway up the mountain when the journey to the “playground of the gods” begins. The interior of the Daisetsuzan mountains, with its fascinating rock formations and expansive vegetation in the warmer months, can be seen from the peak. You can continue hiking from the pinnacle to the peaks around the Ohachidaira Caldera, including the two-day trek up to Mount Asahidake and onsen, for longer, more demanding hikes.

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Oladotun Olayemi

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