Photo: Tappasan Phurisamrit/Shutterstock

7 Classic Adventure Spots in Asia

Bhutan Japan Nepal Philippines Thailand Vietnam Outdoor
by Nellie Huang Dec 29, 2008
Asia is the world’s largest continent, with 17,139,445 square miles (44,391,162 square km) of land mass, and every type of terrain you can imagine.

From the early mountaineers who came to the Himalayas, travelers and adventurers have always sought out new places to explore in Asia. The following roundup outlines some of the recent Asian “classics” for ideas and inspiration on your next trip.

1. Paddling / Rafting on the Pai River, Thailand

The Pai River flows 62 miles through various class IV gorges and long stretches of flatwater through a remote, wilderness section of the Mae Hong Son province in Thailand. Season runs June – January. Mulit-day trips are run out of Pai.

2. Kite-surfing on the Filipino Island of Boracay

Bulabog Lagoon stretching over three bays, with an extended shallow and consistent cross-shore winds perfect for both kite-surfing. Various kite-surfing schools offer courses.

3. Mountain Trekking in Nepal

Among the numerous trekking routes in Nepal, the most popular is the Annapurna Base Camp Trail. Like most popular routes in Nepal, the Annapurna Sanctuary is a “teahouse trek.” Trails pass through villages, each with its own lodging.

4. Caving and Wildlife Viewing in Borneo

The site of continued international caving expeditions, Gunung Mulu National Park contains over 300 km of mapped caves system, including the largest single cave chamber in the world. It has a well established infrastructure and daily tours.

5. Surfing in Okinawa, Japan

Okinawa is well-known among surfers. The ‘Hawaii of the East’ is blessed with white sandy beaches, huge waves, and an established surf culture. You get to enjoy Japanese culture without the hectic rush of Tokyo or other big cities.

The best waves are found at the North of Nago, but beware of the southern end of the harbor, but this is a hollow reef break, not for novice surfers.

6. Sandboarding at Mui Ne, Vietnam

Sunrise is a good time to head up into the White Sand dunes. One of the most fun ways to spend a couple hours exploring the dunes: sandboarding. You can rent a board for 100,000 Dong.

7. Trekking and Climbing in Bhutan

With some of the world’s most spectacular landscapes and trekking routes, and a government that measures the country’s progress in GNH, or Gross National Happiness, Bhutan is good to go. Remember that independent traveling is not allowed by the Bhutanese government; you need to arrange your trip through a local travel agency.


Looking for more in depth guides on the places mentioned above?

Check out this Comprehensive guide to trekking Bhutan. Want to check out surf in Japan Hit up our crew here.

If you’re just getting started in adventure sports, check out David Miller’s guide to paddling or N. Chrystine Olson’s beginner’s guide to telemark skiing.

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