Everyone knows how much we love to keep fit while traveling! We found that hikes were one of the best ways to not only work out but a great way to explore a new city, national park or area.
These are our top hikes in Asia
TV Tower in Yangshuo, China
TV Tower was a favorite hike in all of Asia. Yangshuo is known for being a massive tourist trap in China so we wanted to find something that was more off the beaten path. We asked a few locals what they do to get away from all things touristy and they all said it was this TV Tower Hike. It is a hidden path wedged in between apartment buildings that go from stairs to wedged stone stairs within the mountain. The higher you go, the more impressive the view is (as most hikes are). However, the final view was breathtaking. It’s this tiny village crammed between these limestone karst and the Li River. Apparently, one guy lives at the very top and no one is allowed in!
Lions Back in Hong Kong
Although there are plenty of great hikes in Hong Kong (like climbing up to see the Big Buddha on Lantau Island), we only got to do this one together. Jack did plenty of hikes in Hong Kong while he lived there! The Lions Back was a great hike, it was a big work out, we got to see monkeys, there weren’t many on the hike, and the view was truly spectacular. Watch out because Hong Kong is quite humid so there are heaps of mosquitoes! Wear tons of repellent because those bites are no fun!
The Great Wall of China in Beijing, China
The Great Wall of China isn’t really a “true” hike, but it was definitely a good work out and there were many stairs going up, so we will call it was a hike. Climbing up a ton stairs and having an awesome view counts as hike sometimes, right? Nonetheless, The Great Wall of China is one of the coolest experiences we had in Southeast Asia. A UNESCO Heritage Site, the wall goes on for over 8,000 km, and if the weather permits, you can see the wall go for ages. It definitely should not be missed if you happen to go to China!
Koh Phi Phi View Point in Koh Phi Phi, Thailand
Hiking in Thailand was definitely less strenuous than some of the other hikes mentioned in this post, but this hike ended with really beautiful view overlooking Koh Phi Phi conjoined islands! After a few twists and turns and a couple of rocks to jump over, you’ve made it to the viewpoint! The best time to see the view is either at sunrise or sunset to see the sun along the connecting islands!
Canyoning Mountains in Da Lat, Vietnam
This wasn’t a specific type of hike per say, but there was a lot of hiking involved. In Southern Vietnam, Da Lat has some amazing adventure sports with some super luscious rain forests. We went canyoning through Enjoy Da Lat Hostel and loved it! Canyoning is when you hike, boulder, repel waterfalls, and swim down lazy rivers. It was a full days worth with all the equipment, guides, and lunch for just $25! There aren’t many views, but you are surrounded by the rainforest, rivers, and waterfalls and it’s pretty awesome.
Long Beach Hike in Koh Rong, Cambodia
We’ve spoken pretty highly about hiking in Cambodia in the past, mainly because it was an unexpected adventure. What started as climbing a few stairs turned into a wild trek in the jungle in midst of Koh Rong island! We had to jump over rivers, fallen trees, and climb up rocks, all to end up on a desolate white sand beach (called Long Beach Island) that goes for miles. Just beware, wear sneakers and the sandflies are brutal so put on coconut oil and lots of it! The hike didn’t lead to a view point, but it gave us one of the nicest and most relaxing beaches we have experienced in Asia!
Places we wished we had hiked
Lets be real, 3.5 months to travel 8 countries is super ambitious so we missed out on a few things. We loved our hikes and wish we got to do more since it was an awesome way to see the country! But with little time, things get in the way of doing everything (like holidays, rain, or even too many other activities!). Here are some of the other hikes in Asia we wish we had done!
Mt. Rinjani in Lombok, Indonesia
Hiking in Indonesia is extremely exciting due to it having so many active volcanoes, climbing one would definitely be an experience for the adventurous. Climbing Rinjani requires a guide, a porter, tent equipment, food, and a lot of motivation! This hike would be such a rewarding challenge with the best views of the islands and crater lakes. We nearly had a chance to do the three day hike but unfortunately couldn’t due to Ramadan.
Sapa in Northern Vietnam
We have only heard amazing things about Sapa. It’s a shame we didn’t have time to get to trek the rice paddies and see the weekly mountain markets, especially the Love Market. Most places in Hanoi offer two to three day trek tours to Sapa with a guide, transportation, and hostel included. You can even do the trek in a day and take an over night bus back to Hanoi. Just beware of the scams from the Sapa Ladies, they’ll try and get you with those “free friendship” bracelets!
Banaue Rice Paddies in the Philippines
Although a bit of a challenge to get to Banaue, many say this was a big highlight of their trip from the Philippines. These are just a 300km drive from Manila and by the looks of it, seems well worth it! It would be best to go with a guide just to make you sure you don’t get lost. These rice paddies are known as the 8th wonder of the world!