If I had to pick a favorite continent to travel it would undoubtedly be Asia. The most populous continent yet Asia is still full of hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path experiences.
There is an immense variety of ecosystems to explore, animals to spot, and cities to get to know. Not to mention the food, culture, architecture, and experiences the country has to offer.
Here is part one in my latest collaboration with my fellow travel bloggers! Bringing you some travel inspiration from my favorite continent.
Hike Mt. Batur in Bali, Indonesia
One of the best hikes we did in Asia was a hike up Batur Volcano in Bali, Indonesia. The hike typically starts before the sun is up, so you can watch the sunrise at the very top, which is definitely worth it. It’s a more experienced hike, but one that is definitely doable if you aren’t much of a hiker. The most awesome thing about this hike is that it is still a somewhat active volcano. We saw and felt lots of steam coming from the ground, and a few holes with steam coming out as well. It’s pretty cool to be standing on a volcano that has a bit of life going on way under the surface. If you’re heading to Bali, we recommend adding this hike to your list
This was one of the most magical experiences I had in Bali. Climbing through the night up the steep rocky side of the volcano. Rewarded with the red glowing sunrise over the valley below.
For tips on budgeting your backpacking trip to Bali check out my blog post-Bali on a Budget.
Igidae Park Coastal Walk, South Korea
Igidae Park is a nature park with a multitude of hiking trails along the coast in Busan, South Korea. Many locals frequent the park when they want to go for a hike. The trails are well maintained and offer spectacular views of downtown Busan as well as the cliffs surrounding the ocean. I recommend taking the seaside trail which follows the coastline throughout the park. Allow 2-3 hours to complete this moderate hike.
We woke up really early the next day for our tour in Ninh Binh, known as the ancient capital of Vietnam, and Trang An. Our first stop was Bai Dinh Pagoda. Bai Dinh Pagoda is located on the western slope of Dinh mountain and nestled in the quiet forest. It’s also the largest Buddhist complex in Southeast Asia. When entering this place, you should be modestly dressed since it is a religious site.
Our second activity of the trip was a boat ride in Trang An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a spectacular landscape of limestone karst peaks, situated near the southern margin of the Red River Delta. Doing a boat tour in Trang An is the best way to explore as you get to see amazing sceneries. Trang An was also the filming location of King Kong Skull Island. Visiting Ninh Binh & Trang An was the perfect day trip from Hanoi. I definitely think it’s one of the hidden gems of northern Vietnam.
Enjoy Panoramic Views at Tab Kak Hang Nak, Thailand
Krabi Province is not only about overcrowded beautiful beaches and islands. There is also the Tab Kak Hang Nak natural trail that is a must-visit in this area. It’s a less touristic and remote place. Climbing to the top is not an easy stroll in the jungle, but as a reward, you get the best panoramic view of Krabi province, which is well worth the effort. The mountain is 542 meters above the sea and the return hike is around 8 km. It’s better to grab some water and a comfortable pair of shoes. Great place to enjoy a breathtaking view, nature, and animals on the way.
I remember one of the first travel experiences that have stuck with me. Swimming with elephants in a waterfall in Laos. The elephant sanctuary was really well done and the animals clearly well taken care of. I thought they were just going to walk us around in the shallow water but no- they took us right in the deep section of the water. It was a pretty thrilling experience when the elephant ducked down and I was there treading water knowing there was an elephant underneath me! They were loving it as much as I was. It was such a beautiful experience swimming with and sharing this moment with these incredible animals. Laos is such a magical country that more people should explore.
The Canopy Walk is a must do experience when you visit Sabah, in Malaysian Borneo. Located in Poring Hot Springs & Nature Reserve, it is very close to Kinabalu Park, the home of the highest peak in Malaysia. After a moderate trail through the rainforest, you’ll reach the first platform; there are 4 bridges in total with a length of 175 m. 43 meters up in the canopy. The suspension bridges between Menggaris trees are built only from ropes and planks and are not for the faint-hearted. It’s an awesome view up there, which gives you great feelings, but proceed with care if you have any fear of heights.