Hiking in Asia: 10 Places With Stunning Trails

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Asia is home to breathtaking nature, lush vegetation, exotic cultures and delicious cuisines. One of the best ways to explore and discover the various destinations in Asia is on foot – by taking a hike. Some hikes in Asia offer hikers a chance to spot rare wildlife species and meet indigenous tribes living in charming villages along the way. In many of the trails listed below, the journey itself is the destination.

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1. Sapa, Vietnam

Travel the northern highland town of Sapa in Vietnam for breathtaking views of rice terraces and stunning mountain peaks with mists hovering over them. Sapa rests in the Hoang Lien Son mountain range, close to the Tonkinese Alps at the Chinese borders. Sapa is an increasingly popular destination among hikers, all keen to experience the hillside treks which passes through lush landscapes and charming villages. The best time to visit is from March to May.

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2. Ladakh Range, India

India’s highest and largest district is the Ladakh Range. Comfortably nestled between two vast mountains (the Karakoram to the north and the Himalayas to the south), the Ladakh range has more sheep and yaks than monkeys and cows. In Ladakh Range, the culture of the people lean towards Tibetan rather than Indian. Travellers can take on trails in the Ladakh Range which ranges from easy (Ripchar Valley Trek and Lamayuru Alchi Trek) to difficult (Kang Yatse Trek, Hemis to Tsomoriri Trek). Some of the most gorgeous trails in the Ladakh Range are those that take hikers through the Zanskar range, such as the Lamayuru to Darcha Trek.

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3. Ratanakiri, Cambodia

Ratanakiri (Ban Lung), located in northeast Cambodia, is known for fantastic jungle trekking and hiking. It is also known as “dey krahorm” (red earth), as the area is covered in reddish dust during the dry season. Impressive hills, rivers and mountain ranges grace Ratanakiri, and the area is dotted with crater lakes and waterfalls.

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4. The Snowman Trek, Bhutan

Bhutan’s Snowman Trek covers over 200 miles, crossing 11 passes over 16,000 feet. To undertake the Snowman Trek, which takes about 25 days to complete, it is compulsory to be part of a guided tour. Each year, only a handful of people challenge themselves to take on this hike. The trail passes through Laya, home of the indigenous Layap people. Guides usually drop by the Thanza village to exchange horses for yaks, which are used to traverse difficult terrains. The highlights of this trail include the sceneries of remote valleys, visiting Buddhist monasteries, experiencing Bhutan’s authentic culture and spotting interesting wildlife such as the Himalayan blue sheep. Timing is essential for this trek, and it is best to go in April to avoid the snow and rain that closes the high passes. The Snowman Trek is ideal for the hardcore hikers.

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5. Maluan Mountain, China

The trail that leads up to Maluan Mountain is easy and safe, and it passes through clear streams, verdant woods, and captivating waterfalls. It is no surprise that this trail is popular among hiking enthusiasts. Mount Maulan is also known for its plum blossoms in red, white and sea blue, which can be seen in January from the Plum Blossom Pavilion.

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6. Gunung Tahan, Malaysia

To have a taste of the jungle, climb one of the most challenging mountains in Malaysia, Gunung Tahan. Tigers, elephants, leopards and the Sumatran rhino will greet hikers in this 130 million years old virgin rainforest, located in Taman Negara in the state of Pahang. The most scenic route is the Kuala Tahan classic train, which usually takes about seven days. Just be warned: this trek requires you to be mentally and physically fit.

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7. Mount Everest, Nepal

Climbing Everest is the dream of many mountaineers, but for those who are not capable of undertaking that intense, arduous and potentially-fatal journey, just hiking to the Everest Base Camp will do. Hikers heading to the Everest Base Camp can drop by museums and monasteries, enjoy amazing views and also experience the Sherpa culture. The warmth of Nepalese hospitality and breathtaking scenery makes the Everest Base Camp Trek an amazing trip, one that is possible even for those with average fitness.

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8. Annapurna Mountain Range, Nepal

The lofty peaks of the Annapurna are only for the trained and determined, and one of the best trails in the Annapurna Mountain Range is the famous Annapurna Circuit. This horseshoe-shaped route that runs for more than 200 kilometre is considered one of the best hikes in the world. Completing this rather challenging trek will take between 15 to 20 days. Rugged trails, sacred pilgrimage sites, exotic wildlife and awesome views of nature’s bounty will make your trip a memorable one.

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9. Mount Kailash Pilgrimage, Tibet

Mount Kailash stands out as a holy site to Buddhists, Jains, the Ayyavazhi branch of Hinduism, and the ancient Bon religion of Tibet. However, it is not often visited due to the mountain’s remote location in far western Tibet. Some religions regarded Kailash as the mythical Mt. Meru – the center and birthplace of the entire world. Myths and legends surround Mount Kailash, such as the Hindu belief that the place is the abode of god Shiva. Transportation to Mount Kailash via rugged over-land vehicles can be booked through various tour companies. Once you get there, hiking the 50 kilometres around it alongside pilgrims is the ritual to complete. Do note that the weather there can be always harsh and trekkers and pilgrims must carry all the supplies and provisions they need for the entire trip. April through September is the best months for this trek.

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10. Great Himalaya Trail, Nepal

The Great Himalaya Trail covers over 4500 kilometres and it connects the highest routes across the Himalaya with existing trekking trails and pilgrimage paths. The trail can be completed in a whopping four to six months if the weather permits. The challenging part of the Great Himalaya Trail is during the ascents and descents of the high passes, including Sherpani Pass (20,128 feet), West Col (20,154 feet), and Amphu Laptsa Pass (19,193 feet) sandwiched between Everest and Makalu. Wildlife such as the endangered snow leopard, yaks, red pandas and herds of blue sheep can be spotted along the trails, and there are also monasteries, tea houses and guest huts along the way.

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Source: Tripzilla Magazine
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Asean set for tourism push

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As grouping turns 50 next year, campaign will promote 600 destinations in the region.

IN ORDER to build a real sense of community, Asean will for the first time launch a regional tourism campaign to promote 600 destinations to boost arrivals and income when the regional grouping turns 50 next year.

Pongpanu Svetarundra, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, said officials of national tourism organisations from the 10 nations had agreed at a meeting in the Philippines to introduce “Asean at 50” as the new regional tourism campaign.

The campaign will be announced tomorrow at the Asean Tourism Forum in Manila and there will be a grand opening at the International Tourism Berse (ITB) in Germany in the first quarter of this year.

“Asean promotes itself as a single-market tourist destination as all members were integrated into an economic community at the end of last year. The campaign will be part of Asean’s 50th anniversary celebrations,” Pongpanu said.

Asean will be promoting 600 attractions located across the region, which will be divided into 12 different categories under the theme of “50 Best…”.

The dozen categories will be the 50 best of cities, hotels, restaurants, food, festivals and celebrations, beaches, shopping, historical sites, adventure tourism, small towns and villages, markets, as well as unforgettable experiences.

Pongpanu said each Asean member would propose their attractions and products to a central committee, which should complete the selection procedure before the grand opening in Germany.

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Thailand is assigned to lead the selection of two categories: festivals and celebrations, as well as unforgettable experiences, he said.

“The new campaign should boost tourism income and total arrivals in the region by 15 per cent from 100 million to 115 million,” he added.

Officials from national tourism organisations also approved another 10-year Asean Tourism Strategic Plan (ATSP) set for 2016-25, while Asean tourism ministers adopted the ATSP 2011-15 that focused on 19 measures.

Plan for tourism professIonals

The 10-year plan is also expected to boost tourism earnings for the entire region from 10 to 15 per cent in 2025, while employment in the sector should rise from 3 to 7 per cent, travellers’ length of stay will climb from 6.3 days to eight days and average spending per trip per visitor will rise from $900 to $1,500 or Bt 27,000 to Bt45,000.

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, the total number of international arrivals in Asean is expected to rise to 123 million by 2020, 152 million by 2025 and 187 million by 2030.

Pongpanu said Asean will be also focusing on other developments such as improving infrastructure, enhancing competency, labour transfer, a single visa for all nations in the grouping as well as maintaining major tourism markets such as China, India and Russia.

Myan Mar

On January 19, all 10 Asean tourism ministers signed an agreement on the establishment of the Regional Secretariat to support the implementation of Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Tourism Professional (MRA-TP.) The secretariat will be based in Jakarta and will commence operations this year.

Signed by Asean Tourism Ministers in November 2012, MRA-TP was developed to facilitate mobility of tourism professionals in the region.

Dr Ong Hong Peng, secretary-general of Malaysia’s Tourism and Culture Ministry, said the MRA-TP marked a significant milestone for tourism development in Asean.

“Moving forward, Malaysia, as chairman of the Asean Tourism Professional Monitoring Committee, will fully support and contribute towards the realisation of the objectives and targets of the Asean MRA-TP,” he said.

Source: The Nation

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You looking for safe holiday destinations in Asia.

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You looking for a safe holiday destinations in Asia.

We have so many questions about safety in different Asian countries.
We advice you to visit safe countries as Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines, Laos, ……

People ask me is Thailand safe ?
We must answer, but we must be careful what we write on the web.
The military coup government use to easily article 44.

But you can ask us this on email or skype.

Our personal advice is to visit for your next holiday in Cambodia.
Rich on culture and very gentle people. (and cheap)

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Asean countries bid to draw tourists from India

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Asean countries bid to draw tourists from India

AN ECONOMIC SURGE in the growing ranks of the educated middle class in India has turned the spotlight on more outbound travel to Asian destinations that are nearer home than those in the West and are just as exciting.

China and Asean countries including Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia are making a determined bid to woo tourist traffic from India with focus on adventure, weddings, honeymoons, health and wellness, and family and single-woman travel.

Indonesia has decided to do away with visas for 93 countries including India before the end of this year. In addition, emphasis is being given to green tourism along with shopping and golf to woo the new breed of Indian traveller who wants to try everything including different cuisines.

In keeping with this objective, tourism boards and authorities from Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia made detailed presentations at the “Pacific Asia Travel Association Mart” in the Indian city of Bangalore on Tuesday, the concluding day of the three-day event.

More than 1,000 delegates from 61 countries participated in the meet, the third such event to be held in India after New Delhi and Hyderabad.

The international meet decided to hold the 39th PATA Travel Mart in Jakarta from September 7-9 next year. Before this, Thailand will host the “PATA Adventure Travel” event, and a responsible-tourism conference and mart next year. The three-day event in Thailand will run |from February 17 in Chiang Rai with the theme of “Creating Experiences, Sharing Opportuni-ties”.

Indonesia’s deputy minister of tourism, Igde Patana, said Jakarta had been chosen for next year’s PATA travel mart considering the huge potential for tourism that the archipelago of nearly 13,000 islands presents with 150 international-standard golf courses in addition to the ethnic diversity of the country and its cuisine.

Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said the PATA Travel Mart would help connect buyers and sellers, giving a major boost to tourism in general.

He said Indonesia wanted to target nearly 10 million tourists this year, with the traffic from India alone accounting for about 240,000. The country now hopes to raise this number to more than 270,000, focusing also on further promotion by allowing Indians to celebrate and hold their weddings in exotic locations such as Bali.

Meanwhile the Tourism Authority of Thailand said that notwithstanding the recent issues in the country, tourist inflows had shot up 31 per cent year on year to 17.5 million in the first six months of 2015, generating revenue of more than US$23 billion (Bt829 billion). TAT deputy governor for marketing Sugree Sithivanich added that Indian tourists were among the major revenue generators.

Tourism Malaysia deputy director-general Azizan Noordin announced that special tourist packages had been developed to boost traffic from India during the Malaysian Year of Festivals. In addition, special packages had been developed to coincide with the Malaysia year-end sale from November 14 to January 3.

India is a significant contributor to Malaysian tourism, he added. In fact, it was the No 6 tourist market. Last year, more than 770,108 Indian visitors flocked to Malaysia, up 18 per cent over 2013. Shopping, leisure and luxury holidays were being promoted to woo Indians.

As far as China was concerned, it was also making a bid to boost traffic from India, with the country already receiving more than 710,000 Indian tourists in 2014, up by 5 per cent from 2013. In the first six months of the current year, the tourist traffic from India to mainland China, according to Li Qianguo, director of the China National Tourist Office in New Delhi, touched the 410,000 mark, up by 4.2 per cent over the corresponding period last year.

He said the trend was very encouraging and the tourism links between the two countries were continuously strengthening.

The Chinese National Tourism Office is promoting China as an attractive destination in such Indian cities as Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Pune, Amritsar and Ludhiana.

Besides, 2015 is the “Visit India” year in China. It was launched in February in Beijing. Next year, India has to reciprocate with a “Visit China” campaign. Under the programme, the two sides carry out a series of promotional activities to boost two-way tourist traffic and people-to-people contact.

Source: The Nation

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