Top 10 Best Hiking Spots Across Asia
The Asian continent is an adventure traveller’s paradise—boasting boundless trekking, hiking, and climbing pursuits. The dramatic topographic range, diversity of flora and fauna, and rich cultural and traditional heritage engender unrivalled experiences. From the famed Himalayas to Mount Fuji and Mount Kinabalu, this mountainous oasis beckons seasoned hikers and intrepid spirits to explore.
Both mentally and physically taxing, trekking is one of the greatest and most rewarding accomplishments for those who love the outdoors, and we hope you can find your next big adventure below. Happy hiking!
1. Mount Everest Base Camp Trek, Nepal
This trek is found at the top of many bucket lists. The Mount Everest Base Camp Trek (EBC) is a world-famous adventure that attracts nearly 40,000 people per year. Departing from the Lukla Airport, this scenic trek travels 130.0 km out and back surrounded by the highest mountains in the world. This sublime hike in the Himalayas zigzags through the Sagarmatha National Park, exploring woodlands and glaciers, passing through charming villages where you can indulge in local cuisine and tour around monasteries. Steeped in tradition and culture, this arduous ascent to EBC is a once-in-a lifetime experience.
2. Mount Fuji, Japan
With over 200,000 annual climbers, the Mount Fuji Trek is one of the most popular multi-day hikes on the continent. While the volcano stands at an elevation of 3,776 m, this trek is widely considered to be a novice-friendly adventure—perfect for dipping your toes into the high-altitude hiking waters. There are four routes up to the summit, the most favoured climbing route, and coincidentally easiest, is the Yoshida Trail. The Yoshida Trail is the ideal overnight adventure as it faces the sunrise—offering an otherworldly way to start your morning.
3. Annapurna Base Camp Trek, Nepal
Hike up the slopes of the 10th highest peak on the globe on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek (ABC). This well-revered adventure beckons intrepid spirits, who will travel through rhododendron forests, meadows, terraced fields, and magical villages hidden amongst the soaring crests of the Himalayan range. Setting out from the city of Pokhara, the ABC Trek is approximately 115.0 km out-and-back, demanding about a two-week commitment—but it’s worth it, and anyone who has hiked this incredible route will agree. Providing ample time for self-reflection and re-connection, this climb is a life-altering experience.
4. Mount Rinjani Summit Trek, Indonesia
Well-loved amongst the peak bagger community, the Mount Rinjani Trek is technically a trekking route and does not require any climbing, rope-assisted ascents, or scrambling. This multi-day hike ascends the flanks of the active volcano on the island of Lombok, exploring lush tropical forests abundant with a diversity of flora and fauna, including the rare black ebony leaf monkey. Being an active volcano, it is worth noting that the trails are subject to spontaneous closure. There are two departure points for the Mount Rinjani Summit Trek: from either the village of Sembalun or from Senaru. Whichever starting point you chose, you will descend down to the other—though most suggest setting out from Sembalun and finishing in Senaru due to the configuration of the trails.
5. Mount Kinabalu Trek, Malaysia
Mount Kinabalu Trek is a historically significant and environmentally rich area in Malaysian Borneo. Mount Kinabalu is one of the highest peaks in Southeast Asia, standing at an elevation of 4,100 m. While this summit is a sacred place amongst the Malay people, the mountain is renowned for its trekking opportunities. This demanding 2–4-day hike travels over 18.0 km from Timpohon Gate through tropical forests, over boulder fields and subalpine to the summit and back down the mountainside.
6. Ak-Suu Transverse Trek, Kyrgyzstan
Explore central Asia’s unspoiled wilderness on the Ak-Suu Transverse Trek. Boasting solitude and scenery, this 110.0 km thru-hike in Kyrgyzstan has somehow remained relatively undiscovered amongst the trekking community—so we thought we would share it with you, our favourite adventurers. Explore soaring crests, ascend high mountain passes, wander through dramatic valleys, navigate glaciers, take a swim in crystalline alpine lakes, and hike amongst wild horses. This route is unrivalled in its natural beauty and deserves to be added to your adventure bucket list.
7. Kashmir Great Lakes Trek, India
The serenity and seclusion on the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is unparalleled. Follow an ancient trade route used by nomadic shepherds and indulge in the majesty of the Pir Panjal Mountains. This magical multi-day hike showcases seven idyllic Himalayan lakes– Vishansar, Kishansar, Gadsar, Satsar, Gangabal, Nandkol, and Dal Lake. The undisputed beauty of this route is not limited to the glacial pools, but it includes sweeping mountain views, montane meadows blossoming with wildflowers, meandering streams, alpine valleys, and grasslands abundant with grazing cattle.
8. Limi Valley Trek, Nepal
Hidden behind the Himalayas in the district of Humla is the Limi Valley Trek. This scenic circuit through Limi Valley starts and ends in Simikot, following an ancient salt trading and pilgrimage route to the Nepal-China border. Immerse yourself in the Humla and Tibetan cultures as you explore welcoming villages and monasteries and indulge in local cuisine before escaping into the preserved wilderness. Featuring arrow gorges, scenic rivers, high mountain passes, dramatic valleys, hot springs, lush meadows, rhododendron forest, and much more—there is no shortage of scenery, or wildlife for that matter, along this route.
9. Chadar Trek, India
Hiking the Chadar Trek is an unforgettable experience. This epic adventure spends 5-10days navigating the frozen river Zanskar. Immerse yourself in the remote Ladakh region as you wander over the icefield past caves and glaciers, making your way through the scenic river valley framed by the famed Himalayas. While this trek is manageable for most, it is best suited for determined enthusiasts with a good fitness level and experience trekking. This life-altering adventure is one of the few treks that is ventured in the Himalayas’ high winter.
10. Laya Gasa Trek, Bhutan
The Laya Gasa Trek, otherwise known as the Half Snowman, is perhaps the most scenic trek this country has to offer. Travelling approximately 220.0 km from Drugyel in Paro to Damji in Tashithang, this epic expedition exhibits the beauty and diversity of Bhutan. Tracing the Tibetan border, this trek explores the unspoiled wilderness—ascending high mountain passes, wandering through montane meadows and subalpine jungles. Along the way, you will be rewarded with sights of Mount Jumolhari, Jichu Drake, Tsherim Gang, and a diversity of flora and fauna.
Can’t get enough of the best treks in Asia? If you want to explore the most epic trekking adventures from around the globe, be sure to check out more of these articles. We look forward to your suggestions in the comments below.