The 15 Best Hiking Destinations in Asia

Best Asia Hikes

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From the most famous hikes in the world — Everest Base Camp, Fuji, Tiger Leaping Gorge — to the more off-the-beaten-path hikes of Asia, everything here will offer you rewarding treks and views like nothing else on Earth. Discover the best hikes in Asia.

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Sapa, Vietnam

sapa, vietnam

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One of the greenest hiking destinations globally, this mountain settlement on the border of Vietnam and China takes you through rice paddy fields, bamboo forests, and small villages as you reach Vietnam’s highest peak, Fansipan, which can take several days. Sapa has a fascinating colonial history as the French built it as a mountain retreat from the heat. Sapa has a year-round cool climate that makes it very pleasant for hikers though summer is still best avoided, especially if you plan to climb Mount Fansipan. Sapa is suitable for novice hikers and easily accessible from Hanoi via a train and bus ride taking around eight hours. 

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Mount Qixing, Taiwan

Yanmingshan National Park

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Mount Qixing, also known as Seven Star Mountain, is a dormant volcano found in Yakushima National Park in Taiwan and easily accessed by bus from Taipei. It is the highest mountain in Taiwan and makes for one of the most popular trails due to the magnificent view of the park and the city of Taipei from the top. Taking around four hours and suitable for average fitness, this hike takes you through the forest and lush meadow and is scenic from start to end. It begins at the Miaopu Trailhead near the Visitor Center and takes around a half-day of walking; the hike is steep but suitable for anyone with average fitness. 

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Mount Fuji, Japan

Mount Fuji lake view

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The iconic Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest peak,  is, in fact, an active stratovolcano (last erupting in 1707) with three volcanoes on top of each other: the Komitake volcano, the Kofuji volcano, then Fuji at the top. This makes for a dynamic climb with four trails available, depending on how much of a challenge you’re up for and the opportunity to slide down the volcanic rocks on your descent. The most popular trail is the Yoshida Trail which offers a six-hour ascent up Fuji with easy access to mountain cabins for anyone hoping to stay overnight and catch the infamous sunrise. Fuji can only be ascended during the climbing period, which lasts from July through September and is considered too dangerous to hike outside of these times. The trail is well connected from surrounding cities such as Tokyo, with trains taking you directly to Fuji Subaru Line 5th station.

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Annapurna Circuit, Nepal

Annapurna Circuit

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This is considered one of the most incredible hikes globally—and deservedly so. Stretching for up to 145 miles through the snow-capped Himalaya, the trek starts in Besisahar and ends in Birethanti, taking up to 20 days to complete. The trail takes you through some of Nepal’s most outstanding scenery, including rice paddies, forests, and mountainous and glacial terrain as you circle the great Annapurna Massif, one of the tallest mountains in the world. To reach the trail, you will need to fly from Pokhara in central Nepal from Kathmandu or take a scenic journey on a seven-hour bus directly to Besisahar from Kathmandu. The hiking season occurs in the spring and fall, with April, May, October, and November being the ideal months for attempting the trail; as these are popular months on the Annapurna Circuit, finding accommodation can be more challenging.

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Mount Huangshan, China

Huangshan National Park

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Also known as Yellow Mountain, Huangshan is one of China’s most famous national parks and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This misty mountain range and surrounding scenic areas are famous for its four wonders: wind-carved pines, the picturesque sea of clouds, granite peaks, and relaxing hot springs. There are several paths up the mountain, with the eastern stairs and the western stair,  which are steeper but quieter, being the most popular options. Many people choose to camp at the top of the mountain or stay at a simple hotel near the summit to catch the sunrise. The mountain is easily accessed by bullet train from Shanghai or Hangzhou.

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Kawah Ijen, Indonesia

Kawah Ijen, Indonesia

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This hike takes you via a steep two-mile trail up to the ethereal blue-green crater lake of Kawah Ijen, taking two hours total. The trail is usually carried out just before dawn in hopes of catching the unique blue flame over the crater's sulfur deposits. This is suitable for anyone of moderate fitness but should only be carried out during peak months between April and October. It can be wet and slippery outside of this period. It's recommended that you go with a guide for this tour as you'll be hiking in the dark and will also need to wear a gas mask when close to the lake due to the sulphuric gas. To get there, you will need to fly to Denpasar Airport in Bali, then take a ferry over to Java Island, which drops you directly in Banyuwangi for pickup by your guide. There are also limited flights directly to Blimbingsari Airport.

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Mount Kurodake, Japan

Daisetsuzan National Park

One of the Daisetsuzan National Park hikes, which is easily accessible for novices but joins continuing trails for avid hikers, this climb takes one to two hours and is one of the best spots in Hokkaido for fall leaf-peeping. The Kurodake Ropeway and lift connects Sounkyo Onsen at the start of the trail with the fifth station halfway up the summit, where the hike to the "playground of the gods" begins. Reaching the summit grants views of the interior of the Daisetsuzan mountains with its interesting rock formations and expansive greenery in the warmer months. For longer, more advanced hikes, you can carry on from the summit to the peaks surrounding the Ohachidaira Caldera, including the two-day trail up to Mount Asahidake and onsen.

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Mount Kinabalu, Malaysia

Mount Kinabalu, Malaysia

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Mount Kinabalu National Park was Malaysia's first UNESCO World Heritage Site, with Southeast Asia's tallest mountain Mount Kinabalu at its heart. With over five thousand species of plant and three hundred species of bird, the hike to the top via several marked paths and trails through forest and across jagged rock formations is rich and lush with nature. The walk to the top will take between one to three days, but hardcore climbers, who fancy a challenge, can try and make it to the top in under three hours as people attempt the Kinabulu Climbathon. To get there, you will need to fly to Kota Kinabalu airport in Borneo and then take a minibus from Padang Merdeka to Kinabalu National Park.

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Mount Seoraksan, South Korea

Mount Seoraksan, South Korea

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The third highest peak in South Korea, hiking in Seoraksan National Park is always a treat and often has people revisiting because it changes so dramatically by the season. In fall, the entire landscape is a sea of reds, oranges, and yellow, and in summer, the lush green foliage takes over. It’s also a prime cherry and plum blossom viewing spot, and there are trails to suit anyone with a moderate level of fitness—even in the winter when the snow-capped peaks and trees create a winter wonderland ready for exploration. This is one of the most exciting and accessible year-round hiking places in Asia. Sweeping views aside, you will also enjoy waterfalls, temples, and shrines. To get there, take the bus from Seoul to Sockcho, which has plenty of places to stay, and then take the bus to Seroksan National Park.

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Markha Valley Trek, India

Markha Valley Trek, India

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This trail, nestled in the Himalayas, offers fantastic views of Mount Kang Yatse as you traverse the rocky landscape, which has been given the nickname "Little Tibet." It also allows you to stay in excellent village homestays and teahouses along the route, which takes about four to six days depending on what way you take. The Markha Valley is Ladakh's most celebrated trek and offers dramatic views of the mountain range and green landscapes; while popular, this is still not a busy trail, meaning you can lose yourself in your surroundings and enjoy nature. You can either start your journey from Spitok, the longer route, or Chilling, the shorter route.

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Tiger Leaping Gorge, China

Tiger Leaping Gorge, China

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Bordering Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, and Tibet, this is a truly ethnically and geographically diverse area known for its jagged peaks and spectacular waterfalls. The route was once part of the Tea Horse Road, an ancient network of trading routes connecting China with South Asia, and the upper part takes around two days to complete with tea houses to stay in along the way. The upper trail is for hikers, and the lower track is for tour buses. To get there, fly or take the bullet train to Kunming and take a train to Lijiang, then a bus (or taxi) to Hutiaoxia. The hike begins at the visitor center.

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The Snowman Trek, Bhutan

The Snowman Trek, Bhutan

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The hike explores the remote Lunana district of Bhutan and takes around a month to complete making it one of the most epic and most difficult trails on this list, crossing 14 mountain passes. Apart from the incredible mountain scenery and alpine forests, you will also see infamous locations like the cliff face Tiger's Nest monastery on your trek. You will need to complete this trek by September or October due to the hazardous snowy conditions on the mountains and the danger of avalanches. After getting your visa and permits, you will need to fly to Paro and make your way to Taktsang Monastery to begin your trek. It's highly advised to attempt this trek with a guide or trekking company.

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Jebel Shams, Oman

Jebel Shams, Oman

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Described as The Grand Canyon of Oman, the rugged Jebel Shams is part of the Al Hajar mountain range, meaning you’re treated to miles of mountainous scenery as you hike the tallest peak in Oman. The views deep into Wadi Ghul are most impressive once you reach the plateau. Just three hours’ drive from Muscat via bus, this is an easily accessible and highly rewarding trek that can be done on a day trip or as an overnight trip with wild camping or resorts as options.

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Everest Base Camp, Nepal

Everest Base Camp

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A once in a lifetime trek that is present on many people’s bucket lists. Hiking to Everest Base Camp is as far as most people go when it comes to hiking Everest as going the whole way requires an expensive permit, the right equipment, and training. Nonetheless, the Everest Base Camp is an incredibly rewarding and challenging trek with unrivaled Himalayan scenery. Best attempted with a guide (though it can be independently with other hikers) as this hike can be dangerous, especially if you don’t give your body time to adjust to the altitude and weather changes. You will be staying in teahouses and lodges in small villages right along the trail, and if you would like a quieter experience, then trekking during September and October is ideal.

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Batad Rice Terraces, Philippines

Batad Rice Terraces, Philippines

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One of only five rice terraces in the world with UNESCO World Heritage Status, taking a trek through Batad gives you the awe-inspiring experience of seeing the vast terraces and experiencing a relic of native Ifugao culture. The hike takes around three hours but is considered a challenging one due to the uneven ground and steepness of the terrain, so good shoes and a moderate level of fitness are a must. As the weather is unpredictable, it’s best to dress in light layers and bring a rain jacket. The terraces can be reached from Manilla via a nine-hour bus to Banaue. From there, the Banaue tourism office or your Banaue hotel can order a jeep to take you to the trailhead.

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