The continents of Asia and Africa are of massive scale which means that there is a ton of activities for adventure lovers of all levels. It’s true that Asia is known for exotic cultures and food and stunning, untouched beaches but it’s also a great place for rock climbing, spelunking and of course deep sea diving and fishing. Africa brings visions of wildlife safaris and ancient historical and biblical sites but there is also surfing, mountain climbing and incredible trekking. Read on to see why you should travel to Asia and Africa if adventure is your goal.
When thinking of the Philippines many people picture tropical islands, white sand beaches, world-class diving and smiling faces. Although these are enough of a reason to visit this beautiful country there is so much more, especially for the nature and adventure seekers.
The Cordillera region of the Philippines is an incredible place of outstanding natural beauty and an example of ancient man’s incredible ingenuity. First there are the remarkable rice terraces of Banaue and Batad where you will be in awe of the Ifuego people as you trek through the stunning and miraculous terraced fields of rice. The hikes range from moderate to difficult and all require a bit of focus and balance so as not to fall off the sometimes narrow ledges. Don’t worry though, it’s usually not a far drop. Be sure to stop along the way to dip in a waterfall or hot spring.
Then make the journey to the little mountain town of Sagada. This charming alpen-like town has plenty to offer the adventurous. Choose from hiking to the hanging coffins, rock climbing, horseback riding, waterfall swimming or spelunking in the incredible limestone Lumiang-Sumaguing cave system.
Besides its biblical significance, the amazing desert of Wadi Rum, and of course Petra, Jordan has plenty to offer the adventure traveller. Avid hikers visit Jordan each year to explore Petra’s hidden rose city, wade through canyons at Wadi Gweir, hike Dana Biosphere reserve, travel across the desert by camel and are now able to trek the entire length of the country thanks to the newly opened Jordan Trail.
While most people think of Jordan as a desert, it actually enjoys 3 major climates: Mediterranean, African and desert. Each region offers a different trekking experience for visitors and its landscape, which varies from over 1700m above seal level to the lowest point on earth, the Dead Sea at 416m below sea level, makes for challenging treks, many spanning multiple days. Jordan is a world leader in eco-tourism and has seven nature reserves protecting the native plants and animals and preserving the important eco-systems of its small country. While the Middle East may not be on the top of your list of places to visit, Jordan exists as a safe oasis amidst the unstable region.
From the northern Pamirs, the third highest mountain range in the world, to the famous Tien Shan mountains, the Alay Valley and many other striking places, Kyrgyzstan is, slowly, being discovered by intrepid travelers who want to experience more authentic and remote mountain adventures. More so after realizing that those Central Asian mountain ranges could easily rival the Patagonia and the Himalayas.
From 7,000-meter high snow-covered peaks, dreamy valleys covered with thousands of wild flowers, green rolling hills and high altitude alpine lakes, the mountains in Krygyzstan are not only absolutely gorgeous but also, they can offer a wide range of trekking opportunities, adaptable to any kind of trekker. Whether you are an absolute beginner who wants to chill-out around a lake or you are a serious hiker who is willing to climb the Lenin Peak (7,300m), trekking in Kyrgyzstan is an adventure for everyone.
Big Perhentian Island
The Big Perhentian Island is packed with activities for the adventure traveller in you. Though it’s a tropical paradise with unbelievable beautiful beaches it has much more to offer. Here the sea offers an array of water adventures such as snorkeling, diving and kayaking and the land provides perfect conditions for hiking through the tropical forest.
As a Marine Reserve, the Perhentian islands are one of the best places to go scuba diving and offers both experienced and newbies great conditions to dive. The Big Perhentian island is full of diving shops that offer snorkel and diving tours, or scuba diving lessons. Snorkel gear can be rented everywhere and it’s possible to snorkel right from the beach. It’s also easy to rent a kayak and paddle from one beach to the next.
The inside of the big Perhentian Islands is still quite untouched. There are no villages or even path trails but it is possible and extremely fun to hike through. You are literally walking through dense tropical forest. The land adventure will include a great 4 to 5 hours circular hike through the island with stops for a swim in some amazing beaches.
Pokhara is a unique destination that combines fantastic landscapes, trekking getaways, cultural experiences and a wide range of adventurous activities for active travelers. This includes trekking, skydiving, paragliding, bungee jumping, kayaking, and much more. The city is situated near the Annapurna Conservation area which offers a wide variety of treks and adventures of all different levels and lengths.
Despite being the second largest city in Nepal, the rhythm of life there is pretty relaxed. The overall atmosphere makes you fall in love with the place: those cute themed cafes serving cuisines from different corners of the globe, the bicycles for rent almost at every corner of the city center, the crisp air and mesmerizing nature.
In my opinion, if you like adventurous activities, but at the same time you are looking for a balanced trip, Pokhara is a right choice. You can start your day with paragliding in Sarangkot, then relax for a few hours watching a beautiful scenery at the Phewa lake. This city gives you a possibility to plan as intense or as relaxed trip as you want!
Siargao Island, Philippines
Siargao Island is the ultimate adventure island in the Philippines. First of all, it’s considered the surfing capital in the country and holds prestigious surfing competitions annually. Aside from surfing, you can also do kayaking in Sugba Lagoon and nearby Sohoton Cove; fishing; diving; island hopping in some quiet and untouristy islands in del Carmen and the popular trio Daku, Guyam and Naked islands; snorkelling and cliff diving in Magpupungko Rock pools; and kite surfing in General Luna.
More than its array of water activities, you can also explore caves and lagoons in Siargao. Even today, more caves for spelunking are being discovered by the locals. There’s also the option of hiking in the mountain in Corregidor or riding a mountain bike through villages, rice fields and across mangroves. Lastly, you can join a day or night guided tour into the jungles to see local wildlife or do bird watching.
There’s so many things to do in Siargao that it’s not uncommon for visitors to stay here for a few weeks, sometimes even months.
Visit Khao Thong in Krabi if you are into off beat destinations. This quaint little village by the sea can satiate the adventure junkie in you. Go kayaking into the open sea and discover some islands for yourself. This not a tourist destination, so there will be no speed boats or other kayaking groups in this area. So it is recommended not to go alone unless you are a good swimmer. There are many islands and clusters of limestone cliffs in this area for you to explore. You will also find many spots for rock climbing and cliff jumping here.
Also do not forget to try out the bicycle trail in this area. I came across this trail by chance when I was cycling through the village. It is not a long one but it takes you through a dense jungle full of monkeys and lizards before the dead end of the trail opens up into the sea giving you a great view of the open waters.
Please note that you will not find any tour guides operating in this region but you can get kayaks and bicycles for rent. This village is a ‘self-explore’ zone and you are pretty much on your own. Isn’t that what we call an adventure?
While many people are aware of Japan as a winter sports destination, they may not have considered how that translates into other adventurous activities in the other seasons. We recently visited the Japanese Alps near Nagano and were delighted to explore the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. The Route is also known as the Roof of Japan and traverses the Japanese Alps between Toyama and Shinano Omachi. One of our highlights was visiting Murodo and doing the short hike around Mikurigaike Pond and also seeing from a distance the sulphuric smelling Jigokudani or Hell Valley volcanic area.
Along the 90km/56 mi route you use a variety of vehicles, including cable cars, ropeways and electric buses to progressively climb to the peak at Murodo which is at an elevation of 2450m/8040 ft. At each station along the route there are great opportunities to do both shorter and longer hikes, as well as mountaineering to places like Mt Tateyama at 3015m/9890 ft elevation. Oh, and make sure to stop in at Onsen hot springs along the way!