Asia is home to some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the world. From the forests and hills to some of the most wonderful natural viewpoints, day hikes can be spectacular. One can take on solo or family hikes for experiencing nature from close. Hiking is healthy too. Great way to exercise your body, it gives a peaceful break to your mind as well. Many destinations are there for popular day hikes in Asia.
So why choose a Day hike over other activities in Asia? The answer is simple. It is worth more than you would’ve ever expected. The connection with the trail, locals, and the fulfillment of reaching your destination is tremendous for anyone. Similarly, the fact that you’ll complete it in a day allows you to slip these into your regular itinerary. It doesn’t have to be your prime selection of a vacation but doing it is something you won’t regret.
Day hikes are an ideal way of warming your body if you are planning for longer treks. Hiking gets your body going and gets you better prepared for other different adventures. With diverse geography here are some majestic hidden gems yet to be discovered. Day hikes in Asia are something you must try while you are here. In this article, we discuss 12 popular day hikes in Asia.
1. Mount Bromo, Indonesia
Mount Bromo is a magical volcanic mountain providing a beautiful trail for a sublime day hike. It is one of the major mountains around treating hikers with a breathtaking landscape view. Mount Bromo hike is moderately difficult. For the best experiences, we suggest you do this hike in the morning. Above the sea of clouds, you can enjoy an unreal sunrise view. Similarly, the trail is packed with wildflowers from the start. Nearing the top you have a slightly rocky terrain leading to the summit.
You will start the hike at the lovely Cemoro Lawang village. People often stay overnight here. Else it is a short drive from the nearest major town. A couple of hours in a relaxed trail will take you to the viewpoints. You can then return and try local cuisine at the base here. If you are in Indonesia, the Mount Bromo day hike is simply unmissable. It is one of the popular hikes in Asia.
2. Sapa Valley, Vietnam
Sapa Valley Day hike in Northwest Vietnam is more like a relaxed stroll. Passing by the terraced farmlands and tribal villages, hiking in Sapa is a rewarding journey towards true Vietnam. It might look a bit grueling going up and down the ridges but the trail condition is ideal for a day hike. The markets and village visit shows you the local way of life here. Sapa Valley is an interesting place for learning more about the history of early Vietnam.
Due to the unique geographical location of Sapa, hikers can witness interesting plants and animals. This region is home to many endemic species. On a clear day, the views of Fan Si pan is fantastic from the trail. Although there are multiple starting points for the trail it is best to start from the Cat Cat hotel. You can aim for one of the beautiful waterfalls for the first part of the day hike. After that add a primary destination to finish it. Even with minimal preparation one can enjoy a fantastic day hike in Sapa Valley.
3. Nagarkot Hike, Nepal
Nagarkot day hike or also known as the Nagarkot Nature trail is a relaxed trail around Nagarkot. At the hilltop, it is a popular domestic day hike feasible for everyone. Ideal for a family getaway into nature, it is packed with wonderful sceneries. The views of the Himalayas and the fantastic landscape makes Nagarkot Hike special. A quick tour of the village markets will showcase to you the art and handicrafts of Nagarkot.
For the pre-hike warm-up, you can enjoy a wonderful sunrise view from a nearby view tower. You can stay here before or drive early to Nagarkot for it. A light breakfast then will prepare you for the hike ahead. Visit the nearby villages and few other attractions leading you to Changunarayan. A beautiful Hindu temple, Changunarayan is full of ancient inscriptions and Petroglyphs. Try some Newari delicacies here and end your Nagarkot day hike in Style.
4. Kurama to Kibune hike, Japan
Kurama to Kibune is one of the most picturesque trails in Japan. More of a half-day hike, it can be a perfect trip including some major destinations in between. These beautiful villages in the KitayamaMountains are a great break option from the urban regions of Japan. Between the two Hills is the Kurama-Dera Temple. Next, you will pass a couple of beautiful waterfalls and reach the Yuki-Jinja Shrine. Some vibrant steps then take you past the Reihoden Fossil Museum. From here you will head down and complete the hike reaching Kibune.
To reach Kurama, you can take a quick 30-minute train ride from Kyoto. Once you reach the village of Kurama, warm-up a bit and start the Hike. The best part of the Kurama-Kibune Day hike is that the distance is not very much to walk. it gives you the freedom to enjoy each place without any hurry. This hike is especially beautiful during the Spring Sakura (cherry blossom).
5. Paro Taktsang Hike, Bhutan
Paro Taktsang Hike is one of the best day-hiking destinations in the world. It takes you to the majestic Taktsang Monastery. One of the most iconic landmarks in Bhutan. The hike is not easy but with a little preparation and a local guide, you can enjoy it. Starting from Paro the uphill is steep in some segments. You can choose different trails to overcome these difficult segments. The monastery displays a wonderful mere of Tibetan and Bhutanese Architecture.
The sceneries get amazing here straight from the beginning of the ParoTaktsang hike. Multiple natural viewpoints provide you with resting options with bonus views of the surroundings. Similarly, the picturesque background will make you take breaks for pictures now and then. The spiritual and natural experiences that the ParoTaktsang Day hike offers is one of the finest in Asia.
6. Mount Pinatubo, the Philippines
Mount Pinatubo is an underrated Day Hike trail in the Philippines. it is famous among off-road adventures as well. There are three major trails leading to the top of Mount Pinatubo. The ride to the trailhead of Mount Pinatubo is an adventure-packed and bumpy journey too. The view of Lake Pinatubo is majestic from the top.
Mount Pinatubo came into the limelight after its eruption in June 1991. Now categorized as an active strato-volcano it sees hundreds of trekkers each day. There are a couple of resting viewpoints and plenty of stores to buy snacks and water here. A moderately-difficult day hike, Mount Pinatubo is a brilliant experience to have.
7. Penang Hill via Moon Gate, Malaysia
Penang Hill hike is a popular retreat Day hike option in Malaysia. It is moderately trafficked with multiple starting points for the hikers. The trail goes through a chain of hills and to the Penang Hill at 883 meters. Being the highest point of the island, the hike provides some wonderful views to enjoy.
Penang hill day-hike might look like just another leisure type. However, it connects hikers to nature perfectly during the hike. Not a long trail but you can customize and enjoy it best in the morning. You can rest in the Youth Park and even use the outdoor gym during the hike. Take a picture or two at the moon gate and continue on the trail to finish the hike. Amazing views, the flora, and the fauna here make the Penang hill hike a must do in Malaysia.
8. Western Ghats, India
Western Ghats are home to some of the best hiking trails in Asia. It has many destinations reachable through a fantastic walking trail. The Kodaikanal hike from Munnar is a picturesque segment of roughly 18 miles to cover. Kodaikanal is a beautiful hill station famous for the views and pleasant climate. The sunset view in particular with Anamundi Peak in the background is breathtaking. Similarly, hikes to Meesapulimala and Periyar National Park is also sublime in the Western Ghats.
9. Hike to Pidurangala and Sigiriya, Sri Lanka
The hike to Pidurangala and nearby Sigiriya is a picturesque section to enjoy walking in Sri Lanka. It is a perfect combination of nature and history here. Starting at Sigiriya you can view and explore the formations and historical artifacts. It is now an important archeological site with multiple structures and gardens to enjoy.
On the adjacent end is the brilliant Pidurangala rock. Climbing it is amazing with the ultimate view promised from the top. Sigiriya and surrounding views are sublime from Pidurangala. If possible stay for the sunset and you won’t regret it during the PidurangalaSigiriya hike.
10. Cardamom Mountains Hike, Cambodia
The cardamom Mountains showcase the unspoiled wilderness of southwest Cambodia. It is popular for short treks exploring the past civilizations and natural destinations here. However, there are a couple of brilliant day hike routes that one can do here. Hikers usually like to make a circuit starting from a village and aiming for the next. The wildlife encountering opportunities and fantastic views of surrounding mountains complete your hike.
11. Khokana Bungmati Flat Hike, Kathmandu, Nepal
Khokana Bungamati Flat hike is a unique cultural experience. The trail goes in the outskirts of Kathmandu valley passing through its traditional settlements. The trail starts at the beautiful Taudaha Lake. Hikers then visit the cultural town of Khokana and Bungamati. The temples and monuments alongside the slice of local lifestyle are great to witness. Similarly, some traditional activities and farming techniques here are new and brilliant for outsiders. This flat day-hike is perfect for a quick cultural holiday near Kathmandu Valley.
12. Lion Rock Hike, Hong Kong
Lion Rock hike is the most popular day-hikes in Hong Kong. A moderate trail takes you to the top here. The bird’s eye view of the city from the rock is magnificent. Hikers can spot the Lion Rock from miles away. From the trailhead, at Wong Tai Sin you can easily complete the hike in 2-4 hours. A slight hike to Fat Jong Temple is also beautiful. The final 500 meters is pretty steep but the views from the top make it all worth it. As there are three summits here you can have a different angle view of the city from every one of these.
Popular Hikes in Asia Honorable Mentions
* Shakadang Trail, Taiwan– a beautiful day-hike trail in the Taroko National park. It is known for picturesque segments of alluring natural sites.
* Oudomxay Hike, Lao- This trail takes you to the largest Cve complex of Laos, Chom Ong cave. Other attractions include Nam Kat waterfall and Nature Park.
* Ella Rock and Little Adams Peak Hike: – Two underrated trails in Sri Lanka. Both are popular for rugged trails leading to fantastic viewpoints for hikers.
* Champadevi Hike, Kathmandu Nepal- A natural hike with religious significance. The trail takes hikers to one of the highest hills (2285 m) surrounding the Kathmandu valley.
* Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint Hike, Thailand– Beautiful island trail with amazing ocean views. It is perfect for luxury holidays in Thailand.
* Mount Batur Hike, Indonesia– One of the best hiking trails in Indonesia. This scenic volcanic mountain promises amazing views and sceneries for hikers.