Legendary National Parks in Asia

Asia: the world’s largest con­ti­nent, vast in adven­ture oppor­tu­ni­ties, and inter­laced with hun­dreds of dif­fer­ent cul­tures. This is what makes the coun­tries of Asia a prime trav­el des­ti­na­tion for back­pack­ers and hik­ers. The list below high­lights some of the finest nation­al park hot spots that Asia has to offer.

Fuji-san (Japan)

Fuji-san (Japan)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Japan’s tallest moun­tain is a per­fect­ly shaped cone that is attrac­tive for both artis­tic and ath­let­ic rea­sons. You can sit on the shores of one of the Fuji Five Lakes and take pho­tographs, or sum­mit the 12,388-foot peak. Either way, you won’t be dis­ap­point­ed — Mt. Fuji’s close prox­im­i­ty to Tokyo makes this trip the per­fect get­away for the adven­tur­er who wants to spend a night in the city.

Gobi Gur­van­saikhan- Mongolia

Gobi Gurvansaikhan- Mongolia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Gobi is a cold desert (yes, they exist). Snow falls on sand dunes and the Bac­tri­an camels eat the snow for hydra­tion. A great way to see the Gobi is to ride a Bac­tri­an camel and stay in a yurt. The Yolyn Am, a giant ice field, lies in a nar­row val­ley and the ice is sev­er­al meters thick for most of the year. The snow-capped Gur­van Saikhan Moun­tains on the inte­ri­or of the park ris­es near­ly 10,000 feet. Dri­ving a car out into the Gobi will trans­port you to a near-life­less place that looks more like anoth­er planet.

Ang Thong-Thai­land

Ang Thong-Thailand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Locat­ed in the Gulf of Thai­land, Ang Thong is an arch­i­pel­ago of trop­i­cal islands that offer white sand beach­es and stun­ning views. Because the islands are sur­round­ed by coral reefs, the snor­kel­ing is fan­tas­tic. There are a few places to stay on the main island as well as oppor­tu­ni­ties for explor­ing the islands by sea kayak. The most com­mon way to trav­el between the main island to the oth­ers is by cram­ming into a large boat with hun­dreds of oth­er tourists, but if you can secure a spot on a small­er boat, you may find your­self alone with your fam­i­ly or friends on some of the most beau­ti­ful beach­es on earth.

Sagar­matha- Nepal

Sagarmatha- Nepal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sagar­matha, Nepalese for Mt. Ever­est, encom­pass­es a huge chunk of the Himalayas as well as the south side of Ever­est. While the main attrac­tion is reach­ing the sum­mit of Mt. Ever­est, many folks don’t find this to be an ide­al vaca­tion. There are oth­er peaks and trails that will take you through the rugged moun­tains and glac­i­ers of the Himalaya.

Goreme – Turkey

Goreme – Turkey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over tens of thou­sands of years, wind ero­sion has shaped Goreme into a land of strange stone tow­ers shoot­ing 130-feet into the air. This area is one of the largest cave-dwelling sites in the world, dat­ing back to the 4th Cen­tu­ry. Byzan­tine church­es, art, and homes can be found carved into the pil­lars, cliff-sides, and under­ground. And while a nice hike through the park is a great way to see what humans and nature have cre­at­ed over the mil­len­nia, hot air bal­loon is anoth­er pop­u­lar way to expe­ri­ence Goreme.

Guilin-Lijiang Riv­er –Chi­na

Guilin-Lijiang River –China

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Con­sid­ered by some to be the most beau­ti­ful place in Chi­na, the Guillen Lijiang Riv­er has inspired artists for cen­turies. The riv­er is flanked by steep stone hills topped with green veg­e­ta­tion and ancient vil­lages. There are many cruis­es that can take you up the riv­er as well as bam­boo rafts for adven­tur­ers look­ing to escape the touristy crowds.

Jiuzhai Val­ley Huan­g­long China

Jiuzhai Valley Huanglong China

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This may the best back­pack­ing loca­tion in Chi­na as it was only recent­ly opened by Chi­nese offi­cials to hik­ers. Locat­ed on the edge of Tibet, this park is char­ac­ter­ized by stun­ning fall foliage, pris­tine-turquoise lakes, sweep­ing water­falls, and snowy moun­tains. There is plen­ty of exot­ic flo­ra and fau­na to be seen as well as Tibetan vil­lages that have been around for hun­dreds of years.