150 Asian adventures: City hikes

Insubong Peak, Bukhansan NP

Some of Asia’s biggest metropolises have trails almost within the city limits while others offer stellar experiences within sight of the urban area

Insubong Peak, Bukhansan NP

Our January/February 2015 issue is our 150th so we’ve gone all out to serve up 150 of the best adventure experiences Asia has to offer. The list is split into categories, each with 10 unmissable sights. Space on the page was at a premium so we’ve put the practicalities for each spread here.

To get a copy of the original article, email us at aa@bluincmedia.com or why not try out our digital edition?

You can also come back in May when we’ll be putting up the full text of the article.

Wilson Trail, Hong Kong

When to go

The autumn is the best time for fine, but not too hot, conditions. Mid-summer the heat and humidity are aggressive and there is also the possibility of heavy rain.

Gunung Parang, Jakarta, Indonesia

When to go

April to September is the optimum time to go: the months when rainfall is lowest. Try to start out as early as possible to maximise the chance of clear weather and less haze.

How to get there

A bus or car to Purwakurta is the first stage, then make for Plered.

What to take

Above all, water. The climb is not long but it is steep and there’s no water sources or convenient stores along the way. Wear shoes are able to handle the short rock scrambles you need to make.

Further info

www.gunungbagging.com/parang/ 

Batulao, Manila, Philippines

When to go

Avoid weekends and holidays as this is a popular spot for groups of local hikers.

How to get there

Take a three-hour bus ride south to the Batangas region and alight soon after entering Nasugbu, by the turnoff to Evercrest.

Further info

www.pinoymountaineer.com/2007/08/mt-batulao-811.html

The Four Beasts, Taipei, Taiwan

When to go

The hikes are short so could be fitted in at most times of year. Watch the summer rains though which would make some sections difficult and even dangerous.

How to get there

It’s possible to walk from Taipei 101 itself and there are also buses and trains to this southeastern corner of the city that get you closer to the trailheads.

Further info

http://taiwan-photography-blog.com/2009/05/07/hiking-the-four-beasts-mountains-9-5-peak/

Bukhansan National Park, Seoul, South Korea

When to go

Avoid weekends and holidays if at all possible. Otherwise start out very early, or simply embrace the local spirit and join the noisy throng.

How to get there

Take bus 109, 130 or 170 to the end of the line at Ui-dong.

Further info

http://hikinghubkorea.com/seouls-mountains/bukhansan.html 

Nagarkot, Kathmandu Valley, Nepal

When to go

Potentially any time of year. Monsoon rains (May-August) may close the views down at times but also bring contrasting lushness to the vegetation. Ideally stay one night so you get a chance at sunrise and sunset.

How to get there

Most hotels can arrange a car, there are hundreds of agents in Thamel who can do the same, or else go for a specialist operator for a bike or hike down the valley rim back towards the city.

Coloane, Macau

When to go

Anytime there’s an hour or two of clear weather and the call of the casino palls.

How to get there

You can walk from the Cotaipa casinos though the area is hardly friendly to foot traffic. Otherwise any Coloane bus will talk you past trailheads.

Further info

www.iacm.gov.mo/e/facility/introduction/trails has some basic info.

Great Wall, Beijing, China

When to go

Beijing’s continental climate means wide variations in temperature: winter is bitter while summer is sweltering. Still the Wall is a symbol of great constancy so ideally you should see it not once but at different times of year.

How to get there

Several public buses run from the city to towns where you can change to another bus out to this section of wall. Alternatively any local tour operator can organise a day trip.

Further info

www.tour-beijing.com/blog/beijing-travel/walk-from-jiankou-to-mutianyu-great-wall/

Kurama-Kibune, Kyoto, Japan

When to go

Connecting with the rhythms of nature is central to the experience so there is no ideal season: it’s very much about going with the flow.

How to get there

Both towns are connected to central Kyoto by the Eizan Railway.

Further info

www.japanvisitor.com/kyoto/kurama-kibune

Mt Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

When to go

Any time of year works but as you need to book the trip and accommodation on the mountain in advance, plan with major annual holidays in mind.

How to get there

Sabah’s capital, Kota Kinabalu, has international connections to many Asian cities and numerous daily flights to Kuala Lumpur.

Further info

www.mountkinabalu.com

 

We’d love to hear about your own top ten of adventures in Asia. Or maybe you went through our list counting up how many you have done? Go on, brag a little. How many did you tick off?