There is plenty to tempt both the experienced trekker and the novice walker in Asia. From gentle trails beneath soaring mountain ranges, iconic treks and peaks to be bagged to hikes through rolling tea plantations and remote hilltribe villages, there are plenty of walks and treks to be explored.
Nepal is Asia’s premier trekking destination. Following trails through remote villages whilst feeling dwarfed by snow-encrusted mountains and jaw-dropping vistas in every direction, there are endless options to satisfy trekkers of all abilities. The Annapurna region offers hikes from the low level foothills to the top of the Thorong La Pass (5416m). In addition, the country’s rich culture is ever present; you’ll be followed by watchful eyes from stupas draped in prayer flags frayed by the ravages of the wind.
Located to the north of Nepal the high altitude Tibetan Plateau is perfect for combining remote treks with the cultural highlights of this fascinating country. With few visitors each year why not consider Bhutan for a taste of devout Buddhist culture and pristine trekking routes? In a country famed for its policy of ‘Gross National Happiness’ it’s an ideal escape from the daily rate race. There are many walks to choose from including the legendary Snowman Trek, a 25 day trek through the Lunana Valley. Alternatively trek to the base of Bhutan’s most sacred mountain, Chomolhari, or hike to the remote villages of Sakteng and Merak in the east of Bhutan.
The Indian subcontinent is the ideal alternative for those wishing to go a little more off the beaten track, with fantastic remote trekking in Ladakh following the mighty Zanskar River. Sikkim and Darjeeling in the north east of India combine the atmosphere of the days of the Raj with stunning views of the high Himalaya. For those wanting a more gentle option the Western Ghats in the south of Indian are perfect for day walks.
Away from the Himalaya the cultural melting pot delivers other delights; try following the zig-zagging path of China’s Great Wall or the rise and fall of the rice terraces in Yunnan province; or immerse yourself in local life during a hilltribe trek in Thailand or Vietnam or enjoy friendly welcomes from local people while trekking in Burma. Borneo offers a chance to combine an ascent of Mount Kinabalu, South East Asia’s highest mountain (4095m) with some coastal relaxation and time with the loveable orang-utans of Sepilok.
The variety of landscapes, culture, food, religion and walking trails make it quite possible to walk and trek your way across the continent and still feel the need to return for more.