Best Under-the-Radar Hiking Destinations in Asia Pacific
There’s just something about hiking that provides you a sense of satisfaction. The satisfaction of being outdoors and bonding with nature, the satisfaction of achieving your goal when you reach the top. It comes as a form of therapy too as hiking leads to inner peace when you spend more time out in the wilderness. Nothing beats the sounds of breeze blowing the trees and birds chirping as you climb up to the peak.
It’s no wonder hiking has become an increasingly popular weekend or holiday activity, especially among travelers looking to escape the hectic city life.
If you’re an avid hiker or want to try hiking in other countries, some of the world’s most scenic hiking spots are situated in the Asia Pacific.
One of the best ways to go hiking is with a group of friends or with your loved ones. But another option is to explore the hiking destination with knowledgeable locals who can show you around. Luckily with the Airbnb Experiences function under Airbnb, we can now book hiking ‘experiences’ with hosts who are mostly registered hiking guides.
Here are some of the best under-the-radar hiking destinations as suggested by Airbnb.
Jeju Island, South Korea
Besides its beauty products, K-pop scene, dramas, and delicious cuisine, South Korea is also home to great outdoor attractions. Jeju Island is home to the Olle Trail which offers a series of walking trails around the perimeter of the island. If you want amazing photos captured against a picturesque view, take an early morning trek up the Darangsi Oreum with a professional photographer and Airbnb host, named He. At the same time, you can also explore the volcanic formation named after the full moon-looking crater at its peak.
Malaysia is not only known for its food, but also its stunning tropical scenery. Explore the flora and fauna with a hike in the jungle around Kerachut Beach. Airbnb host Roslant who has traversed many of the island’s iconic trails in the past decade can show you around. After that you can visit a local turtle sanctuary, and cap the day with a short boat ride back to where you started.
Embark on a hike in the mountains of Nasogi through quaint villages, local temples and beautiful orchards. Stop by host Radha’s home for a Himachali meal overseeing the mountain valley, then continue with a post-lunch hike to an ancient pine forest nearby, which hides relic locals believe to be the protector of the forest. Host Radha worked as a television producer for 35 years in Mumbai before seeking a break from hectic city life in the quiet village of Kanyal, and now aims to provide her guests the same transformational experience. Stay the evening in her boutique cottage and enjoy mesmerizing views of the valley from your private balcony.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
If you fancy a hike up Chiang Mai’s highest mountain and national park known as ‘The Roof of Thailand’, this is the perfect experience for you. Here, you can enjoy scenic views of waterfalls, coffee plantations with an Airbnb host, Bird. On your way back you can stop by the paddy fields and have a quick lunch and even drop by a community market if you wish.
Hong Kong may be famous for its towering skyscrapers and shopping districts, but it has also gained popularity amongst the hiking community for its Dragon’s Back Trail. This is apparently easy to access and complete. It provides a very scenic view too. Another option if you want to explore nature away from crowds is the Kam Shan Country Park. This experience is hosted by an Airbnb host Hayley. This activity is suitable for the entire family – strollers included. Parents and children alike will be captivated by the monkeys, squirrels, and birds aplenty; crystal clear reservoirs and World War II bunker ruins.
Take a 3-hour bushwalk in a beautiful forest land near Perth with Bob, an Airbnb host who is an avid hiker and has taken multiple tour guiding courses. The guided walk will show you incredible flora, offering different species of eucalyptus and wildflowers among them.
Source and photos by: Archetype Agency