10 Amazing Treks in Asia: Explore our Magnificent Earth

10 Amazing Treks in Asia: Explore our Magnificent Earth

By Claire WhittersDestinations

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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 unrivaled experiences. From the famed Himalayas to Mount Fuji and Mount Kinabalu, this mountainous oasis beckons seasoned hikers and intrepid spirits to explore.

Below you will find a list of our favourite trekking routes on the continent, and it is to no one’s surprise that the majority of these amazing multi-day hikes are concentrated in the Himalayan region—including Nepal, Bhutan, and India. Indulge in the grandeur of the highest and most majestic mountain range on earth as you explore the unspoiled wilderness. Challenging both mentally and physically, 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!

Here are the top 10 Treks in Asia:

1. Mount Everest Base Camp Trek

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 and a lifetime experience.

Demanding some serious stamina and preparation, this two-week trek up to Base Camp is no easy feat. While the hiking infrastructure is abundant and Everest Tours are readily available, altitude sickness, stomach bugs, and injuries are out of anyone’s hands. The safest way to complete this route is to hire a guide or book a tour, spend a few days acclimatizing, and listen to your body every step of the way. When staying in tea houses, we highly suggest making sure the water is boiled and staying away from meat, as these are common causes of the stomach flu. For more tips and tricks check out our extensive guide to the Everest Base Camp Trek—happy trekking!

Mount Everest Base Camp Trek

Mount Everest Base Camp Trek

Location: Nepal
Distance: Approx. 130.0 km
Days Recommended: 10-15 days
When to do: February-May/September-November

2. Mount Fuji

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 12,389 ft, 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.

Due to this trek’s adoration, there are plenty of mountain huts and amenities to support hikers—no matter the chosen pathway. Although this expedition is one of the more manageable ascents, it does demand stamina, preparation, and acclimatization. Altitude sickness is a common Achilles heel for unsuspecting hikers. Stay hydrated and listen to your body—taking breaks and turning around if required. Note that the mountain huts book well in advance—reserve your spot online through the official site for climbing Mount Fuji.

Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji

Location: Japan
Distance: Vary depending on the route chosen
Days Recommended: 1-3 days
When to do: July-September

3. Annapurna Base Camp Trek

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 reconnection, this climb is a life-altering experience.

Whether you hike with or without a guide is up to you—though we suggest climbing with a knowledgeable mountaineer and porter to help navigate the technical terrain at such extreme altitudes. Although guides are optional, the ABC Trek requires a TIMS card and Annapurna Conservation Area Permit. Our Annapurna Base Camp Trek includes these fees, in addition to accommodations, guides, meals, a porter, transportation, and more. If you aren’t sure whether the hike up to Annapurna I Base Camp is for you, check out our extensive repertoire of Annapurna Tours to find an adventure best suited to you, your time restraints, and your preferences.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Location: Nepal
Distance: Approx. 115.0 km
Days Recommended: 10-15 days
When to do: March-May/October-November

4. Mount Rinjani Summit Trek

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.

The soft terrain, altitude, exposure, and relentless climb demand a high level of fitness—so a good level of conditioning is strongly suggested. Those seeking a more manageable adventure up the famed volcano are encouraged to hike the Crater Rim Trek which warrants less elevation change and less of a time commitment. While guides are not required to complete this magical expedition, they are helpful. Booking the Mount Rinjani Trekking Tour includes a guide, a porter, Rinjani National Park Entrance Fee, and necessary camping equipment.

Mount Rinjani Summit Trek

Mount Rinjani Summit Trek

Location: Indonesia
Distance: Approx. 35.0 km
Days Recommended: 2-5 days
When to do: April-December

5. Mount Kinabalu Trek

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 13,451 ft. 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.

Note: a guide is compulsory to hike this trek, and reservations are tricky. The permits are in high demand due to the popularity of the climb and the daily quota of approximately 165 adventurers per day, although one guide can lead up to 6 hikers—which helps to cut costs. While tours are easy and highly suggested, you can organize your own trek by booking your overnight stays in the mountain hits independently and securing your permit and guide at the Kinabalu Park Headquarters the day before your climb—though permits may be reserved. While we have yet to secure a Mount Kinabalu Trekking Tour, we have Borneo adventure tours—some of which visit the base camp.

Mount Kinabalu Trek

Top of Mount Kinabalu, Mike W., CC BY-SA 2.0

Location: Malaysia
Distance: 18.0 km
Days Recommended: 2-4 days
When to do: March-August

6. Ak-Suu Transverse Trek

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 favorite 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 unrivaled in its natural beauty and deserves to be added to your adventure bucket list.

Stretching 110.0 km from the small eco-tourism hub of Jyrgalan village to Jeti-Oguz, this demanding expedition checks all the boxes as it progresses through the remote and rugged Ak-Suu region. The primitive nature of this trek means that facilities are scant, so be prepared to be self-sufficient and carry all necessary camping gear, as accommodations along the route are limited to dispersed camping. Note that water sources are plentiful, but hikers will need to filter before consumption.

Ak-Suu Transverse Trek

Ak-Suu Transverse Trek

Location: Kyrgyzstan
Distance: 110.0 km
Days Recommended: 7-10days
When to do: June-September

7. Kashmir Great Lakes Trek

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.

The Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is dynamic and challenging, as the route navigates high mountain passes. Due to the elevation of the track, altitude sickness is a common downfall for many hikers. If you are visiting from an area of low altitude, it is recommended you spend a few days acclimatizing before tackling this trail. Note that trekking infrastructure is limited, so hikers must be self-sufficient with necessary food, filters, and camping gear in addition to obtaining a wildlife permit from Sonamarg or Naranag.

Kashmir Great Lakes Trek

Kashmir Great Lakes Trek

Location: India
Distance: 72.0 km
Days Recommended: 5-10days
When to do: July-September

8. Limi Valley Trek

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, of wildlife for that matter, along this route.

While the Limi Valley Trek travels through villages, the majority of your nights on the track will be spent beneath the stars—so bring your camping gear! Hiking at high altitudes demands endurance, proper conditioning, and preparation—so a one or two day acclimatization period in Kathmandu is recommended. As a means to safeguard this pristine natural sanctuary, a hiking permit is needed to explore the Humla district. The trek permit is US$90 per person for 10 days with a minimum group size of two hikers—these can be acquired by a tour company or through a government-registered agency.

Limi Valley Trek

Simikot Nepal Ariel, Karmraj Chudasama, CC-BY 2.0

Location: Nepal
Days Recommended: 15-20days
When to do: April-May/September-November

9. Chadar Trek

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. Being at such high elevations in the winter season it is important to be properly equipped with warm clothing, plenty of dry socks, ice trekking gear, and camping apparatuses for your riverside slumber. While a guide is not compulsory, they are highly recommended as the terrain and weather are anything but predictable. Due to the hike’s altitude, we suggest spending 2-3 days in Leh prior to your adventure. Note that there are mandatory environmental and ALTOA fees—these permits can be purchased at the forest department in Uttarkashi.

Chadar Trek

The Chadar, Alosh Bennett, CC-BY 2.0

Location: India
Distance: 65.0 km
Days Recommended: 5-10days
When to do: January-February

10. Laya Gasa Trek

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.

While this route travels through some remote mountain villages, you’ll kick back after a long day of hiking in a tent—sleeping beneath the stars. While most touring companies supply gear, accommodations, food, and required supplies, those intrepid explorers who chose to brave this challenging trek will have to be self-sufficient. Note: a guide and permits are needed and can be acquired through a Bhutanese agency. Several army outposts line the route, and you are required to stop here to get your permit checked. Last thing—those seeking a more arduous trek are encouraged to brave the extension, the famed Snowman Trek.

Paro, Bhutan

Paro, Bhutan, Richard Mortel, CC-BY 2.0

Location: Bhutan
Distance: 220.0 km
Days Recommended: 10-15days
When to do: May-June/September-November

Other Best Treks Lists Around the World

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 some of our other articles that provide an in-depth look at several other regions and the amazing long-distance trails that can be found within them:

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