Head to the Asian continent this fall for some of the best hiking on the planet. From the world’s highest peaks in South Asia, to the volcanic islands of Indonesia to the arid landscapes of the Middle East, there are plenty of opportunities to hit the trails in Asia. Here is a handful of countries that are ideal for fall exploration in Asia:
The fall months are prime time to embark one of the many world-famous trekking routes on offer in Nepal. Choose from the well-known Annapurna Circuit, Everest Base Camp, Langtang Valley, or Gokyo Lakes trek. As well, you can hike in the lesser-known areas such as the Valley Fringe Circuit in the Mahabharat Range, Shey Phoksundo National Park or Khaptad National Park. Nepal now has new rules in place that solo trekking is prohibited in most regions of the country.
Northern India has some spectacular mountain landscapes to explore, and October is the perfect month for some of these places. The mountain kingdom of Sikkim features the beautiful Dzongri Trek and the Goecha La Trek; the West Bengal state, tucked between Nepal and Bhutan, offers lots of treks around Darjeeling, as well as the Singalila Ridge Trek; Uttarakhand is a state that has many hill stations (such as Rishikesh) from which to embark on treks, such as the Roopkund Trek, as well as jungle treks.
Pakistan has some of the most magnificent mountains in the world, and the fall can be a great time to hike them. Explore the Fairy Meadows National Park, a popular area, or around Islamabad, where there are trails in the Murree Hills or the Pipeline hike in Ayubia National Park.
There have been many headlines about the hiking traffic up Mount Fuji this past summer. Japan has so many other spectacular places to hike that are perfect in the fall. Try the Kumano Kodo Trail on the Kii Peninsula, Kuju National Park on Kyushu, or the enchanting southern island of Yakushima, with a mountainous interior that is one of the wettest places in Japan.
Hiking is a national pastime in South Korea, and it’s no surprise why as there are mountains throughout the southern part of the Korean peninsula. In the fall, the pleasant temperatures make this season a great time to hike these mountains. Head to Jeju Island where the highest peak, Hallasan, can be hiked; Jirisan National Park, the largest in South Korea, which contains the mainland’s highest peak; and Songnisan National Park; many others.
In a large country with huge geographical diversity such as in China, there is great hiking all year round. In fall, explore the Longji rice terraces, or the karst peaks of Yangshuo, the Flaming Mountains near China’s Death Valley or the many towering peaks in Tibet.
The fall months are the perfect time to hike along the Indonesian archipelago. Look for komodo dragons on the Komodo and Rinca Islands; hike in Kelimetu National Park (and see the beautiful multi-coloured lakes) on Flores island; the Ijen Crater in East Java; Gunung Merapi (Indonesia’s most active volcano) in Central Java; and so many more – there are more than 17,000 islands that make up Indonesia so there are plenty of places to hike.
There are many areas to hike in Iran, and autumn is a great time to head out on the trails. Tehran is a good base, and while it is too late to attempt Mount Damavand, other areas around the capital city include Lar National Park, Mount Tochal, and Khojir National Park. Alamut Valley, Oshtoran Kuh and the Iranian Kurdistan region are also areas to hike in at this time of year, among many others.
The Lebanon Mountain Trail spans the length of this beautiful country and the fall is the perfect time to explore parts of this trail. Head to the Qadisha Valley (Kadisha Valley) in the north of the country which is a popular place among hikers. Jezzine is also a great place to base yourself for hikes in the surrounding mountains.
The possibilities for hiking in Asia in the fall are endless. For more inspiration, check out Where to Hike When.