Take a hike: Unleash the explorer in you in these ‘adventure’ cities around Asia
ADVENTURE tourism is growing at a rapid pace, and will continue to escalate as more travelers like to immerse in activities such as mountain climbing, caving, hiking, and skydiving.
According to Travel Daily Media, the beachside vacations or regular sight-seeing holidays are losing market to activities such as skydiving, surfing, rock or mountain climbing, caving, and deep-sea diving, all which involve high risk.
For those who like a diet of adventure along with their travels, these five places should be on your travel bucket list.
Queenstown, New Zealand
New Zealand’s adventure capital needs little introduction. Whatever time of year you come to this beautiful town nestled beside Lake Wakatipu, you will have prime, right-on-your-doorstep type access to adventure. In the winter it’s all about the powder with skiing and snowboarding opportunities abounding at any number of the ski resorts around town.
In the summer, the mountains are filled with hikers and mountain bikers, while on the water there is jet boating and rafting to be enjoyed. Whatever activity takes your fancy, rest assured it will be set against a magnificent backdrop of rugged mountains, green hills or woods, and beautiful blue lakes. It’s a real adventure paradise.
Located in central Java, Indonesia’s main island, Yogyakarta is often considered the cultural capital of the country. While there’s certainly enough adventure on the cultural scale including royal palaces and ancient temple sites, simply battling local traffic may give you enough of an adrenaline rush.
There are also some fantastic conical peaks and volcanoes to familiarize yourself with outside of town. Mount Merapi is the most obvious one that springs to mind which is often climbed at night. Most trekkers drive to New Selo late in the evening so they can undertake the four kilometer trek to the summit in the cool of the night and enjoy the sunrise in the morning.
The beautiful karst landscapes of Guangxi province around Guilin have long attracted both Chinese and foreign tourists. Apart from these beautiful limestone formations, the gorgeous rice paddies, the winding rivers and excellent tourist services have long created the ideal location for those with a more adventurous bent.
There are plenty of trails outside of town great for hiking and cycling and maps and bikes are available for self exploration. There are also plenty of rock faces that attract those wishing to get vertical with more than 200 bolted routes. Kayaking, rafting and caving on and around the Li River is also popular. Eat your heart out, it all happens here.
Nepal has long been the ultimate in a hiking holiday and Pokhara is an excellent base for setting out into the Annapurna range.
The famed Annapurna circuit or the trek to Annapurna Base Camp are two of the longer options available to more serious walkers, while those looking for a 3-4 day adventure often opt for the scenic climb to Poon Hill where excellent views of the Annapurna range can be enjoyed.
Beside hiking, Pokhara is also renowned for its paragliding where flights take in the high reaches of mountains such as Machhapuchchhre at a whopping 6,993 meters and glide down over the gorgeous Phewa Lake below. Mountain biking and village stays are also other adventure options. Bikes are available for rent all over town.
READ MORE: Paragliding over paradise in western Nepal
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Jungle trekking in Thailand is synonymous with Chiang Mai, full stop, thanks to the jungles, mountains and hill tribes found around the town.
Trekking in this region often combines other activities like elephant riding, white water rafting, mountain biking or bamboo rafting so it’s not just about putting hoof to pavement. Any overnight stays are often taken in local Karen or Lahu villages.
And when the adventure is over you can kick back in a comfortable hotel or bar, or both, back in Chiang Mai.