Are you an outdoor enthusiast who’s up for an epic and adventurous trekking expedition? Then, you’ll surely have a blast and an unforgettable getaway in the Asia Pacific region! From the icy summits of New Zealand to Southeast Asia’s tropical forest and wild jungles, APAC boasts an eclectic medley of trekking trails that would bring bliss to both trekking newbies and seasoned adventurists. Not only do these trails give you a heavy dose of fun and adventure, but they also let you take in sights that will take your breath away.
For an exciting and remarkable outdoor trip in APAC, make sure to include these trekking trails to your travel plans:
Incredible and scenic trekking trails in Asia
1. Sapa – Vietnam
Sapa, a laid-back highland town in Vietnam, is truly a godsend for photographers, campers and trekkers. Here, you get to snap photographs of its majestic mountain peaks and rice terraces that are covered beautifully with mists. What’s more, Sapa has awesome hillside treks that pass through charming villages and verdant landscapes.
2. Everest Base Camp – Nepal
With a lofty height of 18, 193 feet, reaching the iconic Everest Base Camp is truly an amazing accomplishment that you can brag to your fellow mountaineers and trekking enthusiasts. After all, it is a thrilling journey that will take you to the base of the highest mountain in the world – Mount Everest. Not to mention, this celebrated hike will pass through undeniably awe-inspiring scenery, and is dotted by Solu Khumbu’s Sherpa people.
But, make no mistake about it – the Everest Base Camp is not an ideal trek for beginners and unfit travelers. The heights you will reach in this trekking trail are literally dizzying, until you get acclimatized to the altitude.
3. Annapurna Circuit – Nepal
Every serious trekker or hiker dreams of traveling to Nepal, to journey through the highest and most dramatic mountain landscapes in the world. While most trekkers fantasize of conquering Everest and Kathmandu whenever they think of Nepal, the Annapurna Circuit is definitely a trail every hiking junkie must try and experience. Not only does it boast a spectacular backdrop of rugged and snow-capped peaks, but this trekking trail offers hikers great opportunities to see a wide range of cultural and natural diversity as well.
4. The Snowman Trek – Bhutan
Bhutan’s Snowman Trek is a challenging, heart-pumping and rewarding high altitude hiking adventure that lets you cross nine passes as well as pass beneath six mountains. Highlights of this hike include small quaint villages like Laya, stunning Buddhist monasteries and one-of-a-kind wildlife, such as the Himalayan Blue sheep.
5. Mount Pulag – Philippines
Heralded as one of the most popular adventure destinations in the Philippines, Mount Pulag is a high altitude trekking paradise with an impressive peak of 2,922 meters above sea level. Fittingly nicknamed as “The Playground of Gods”, this trekking destination is also famous all over the country for its magnificent scenery and breathtaking views.
6. Gunung Tahan – Malaysia
Want to get up close and personal with Asia’s fauna? Hike the lush Gunung Tahan in West Malaysia, and get a chance to share your trekking trail with the Sumatra rhino, elephants, leopards and tigers. Of course, this nine-day fun-filled jungle adventure also includes a climb to Peninsular Malaysia’s highest pinnacle – Gunung Tahan.
7. Tiger Leaping Gorge – China
Tiger Leaping Gorge is, without a doubt, one of the finest and most beautiful trekking trails in Asia. Blessed with diverse and naturally beautiful landscapes, this photographic path will lead you to the snow covered peaks of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, as well as take you through green terraced farmlands, shady forests and quaint villages.
8. Kintamani – Bali, Indonesia
Tired of partying in Bali? When the energetic vibe of Kuta and Ubud takes its toll, travelers and tourists in Bali would usually make their way to Kintamani, to experience a soothing respite and a photographic trekking trip. With a trek to this lush highland area, you’ll get to enjoy dramatic and postcard worthy views of the serene Lake Batur and the active volcano, Mount Batur.
If, however, you want something more adventurous, then climb and conquer the 1,700-meter Mount Batur. Although the volcano is pretty steep, there have been a lot of hikers who have reached its summit in a just few hours.
Planning on taking this trekking route? A word of advice, try to reach the summit as early as four in the morning, so that you can catch sight of its glorious sunrise.
9. Great Wall of China – China
There are over a dozen of spots where you can take a beautiful hike in the famed of wall of China, but many consider the stretch between Simatia and Jinshaning to be the best. This 12-kilometer hike will let you soak in the most gorgeous and dramatic wall in the Great Wall of China.
10. Bukhansan – South Korea
Seoul, in spite of its rapid urban development and skyrocketing economy, has seven mountains where mountaineers can experience a gleeful and unforgettable trekking escapade. But, the greatest of these mountains is arguably Bukhansan, or also referred as the ‘”lungs of Seoul”. One of the most popular trails in South Korea, this 3-hour hike is perfectly doable for any casual hiker. With a peak of 836 meters, Bukhansan is also a terrific trail for those who want to get an excellent and clear bird’s eye view of Seoul.
Note: By now, you might be wondering why on earth is Mount Kinabalu not on this list. The truth is, Mount Kinabalu was supposed to be on this list, but sadly a devastating earthquake in June 2015 ruined the trail leading the mountain’s pinnacle.
Must-experience trekking trails in Oceania
11. Great Ocean Walk – Australia
The Great Ocean Walk is a slightly challenging 60-mile trek that allows you to take in mesmerizing views of nature’s masterpieces. Billed as one of the finest and most scenic trekking trails in Australia, Great Ocean Walk also flaunts jaw-dropping sights of shipwrecks as well as the celebrated and highly photographed Twelve Apostles. As an added bonus, taking this trekking trail will give you a close look of the native flora and fauna in Australia.
12. Milford Track – New Zealand
Milford Track is, hands down, New Zealand’s most celebrated and sought-after trekking trail. For more than a hundred years, trekkers in New Zealand have been bragging about this internationally famous trekking route, and for a number of good reasons. Not only does it feature picture-perfect backdrops of alpine and glacier summits, but it also lets enjoy magnificent panoramas of the valleys and rivers. What’s more, a trekking escapade in Milford Track offers you a chance to see and experience Sutherland – the tallest waterfall in New Zealand.
13. Tongariro Northern Circuit – New Zealand
With the Tongariro Northern Circuit, you get to delve into the volcanic heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site – the Tongariro National Park – a scenic landscape of alpine views stark icy contrasts. Winding its way past Mount Ngauruhoe and Mount Tangariro, this tramping route lets you journey through dramatic emerald colored lakes, alpine meadows, native beech forest, glacial valleys and volcanic landscapes.
14. The Overland Track – Australia
The Overland Track, located in Tasmania, is a moderately challenging 50-mile trail that will take you around a week to complete. With the Overland Track, trekkers will have the pleasure of tramping between Cradle Mountain and Lake Saint Clair – the deepest natural freshwater lake in Australia. Likewise, they will get to treat their eyes with awesome vistas of waterfalls, forests, moors, lake, mountains and Mount Ossa.
15. Kokoda Trail – Papua New Guinea
Kokoda Trail is absolutely grueling, mentally challenging and a bit scary, even for seasoned trekking aficionados. Surprisingly, though, it remains a well-loved trekking trail that beckons thousands of trekkers and travelers from all corners of the world. The trail stretches over 50 miles, and may take four to 12 days for you to conquer this challenge, depending on your fitness level. In addition to the thrill of hiking, Kokoda Trail offers great views of the stunning landscapes in Papua New Guinea as well as gives you a deeper scope of the Second World War battles between the Japanese and Australian forces.
16. Routeburn Track – New Zealand
Looking for a less demanding multi-day trekking track? Located at the base of NZ’s Southern Alps, the Routeburn Track is an easy and picturesque 3-day trekking adventure that stretches over 20 miles. As far as I’m concerned, the most challenging part of this popular hike is securing a spot on the team since the number of trekkers allowed in this route is pretty limited.
What makes this track special? Linking Mount Aspiring with Fiordland, this Routeburn Track lets you pass through crystal clear lakes, waterfalls, huge valleys, and soaring mountain peaks.
17. Tawharanui Ridge Walk – New Zealand
Auckland’s Tawharanui Ridge Walk is an easy yet long trek across a flourishing farmland with scenic sights of the Maori Bay and Anchor Bay. And though the route is a little bit rocky, trekkers, or also called as trampers in New Zealand, love this route for its amazing coastal views.
18. Kings Canyon Rim – Australia
With a total length of six kilometers, Kings Canyon Rim is by no means as long and difficult as the other trekking trails mentioned in this list. Nonetheless, it’s a fabulous walk filled with mesmerizing views of its towering cliffs natural dome-like structures, which they fondly call as the “Lost City” and “Garden of Eden”.