Hiking in Asia offers the perfect blend of adventure and cultural experiences. Whether you’re new to the trails on this fascinating continent or are searching for the next great expedition in the remote corners of the Himalaya, here is a quick list of some of our favorite hiking trips in Bhutan, India, Japan, and Nepal.
Everest Lodge to Lodge | View Itinerary
Imagine trekking amid the most famous peaks of the Himalaya by day and staying in a cozy lodge each night! This classic hiking trip follows trails through lush rhododendron forest and up to Pangboche, the oldest monastery in Nepal’s Khumbu region—with stunning views of the ice-coated pyramid of Ama Dablam. The return trail circles down by way of tranquil Phortse, a well-preserved Sherpa village off the main Everest route. The overnights in Sherpa lodges are one of the main highlights, giving you extra comfort after a long day’s hike and an authentic respite during your time in Nepal’s high Himalaya. As one of our adventurers put it, “I have nothing but raves for the trip—the design, the people, the accommodations, the logistics.” This is the quintessential hiking in Asia adventure.
Hiker’s Journey to Shikoku | View Itinerary
Shikoku may be the smallest of Japan’s main islands, but it is home to one of the most beautiful pilgrimages in all of Asia—the sacred route of 8th century Buddhist saint Kobo Daishi—the founder of Shingon Buddhism. In true pilgrimage fashion, this trip begins in the World Heritage-listed city of Koyasan, where Daishi is buried, and where you’ll overnight in a working monastery. After making your way to Shikoku Island by boat, the way pilgrims did in centuries past, you’ll follow paths between venerated temples, climb one of the region’s highest peaks, and relax in the thousand-year-old Dogo Onsen (hot spring).
Journey to Ladakh | View Itinerary
In Ladakh’s striking moonscape of 20,000-foot peaks, you’ll set out on hikes to oasis-like mountain villages that reveal a vibrant, intact Tibetan culture. Unforgettable moments here include crossing the world’s highest motorable road, witnessing a golden sunset from atop a massive statue of the Maitreya Buddha, and experiencing the Lamayuru Festival (June) or Leh Festival (September).
Hiker’s Journey to Bhutan | View Itinerary
In Bhutan, where the country’s GNP (Gross National Happiness) is more important than its GDP, you’ll explore a rare Himalayan world full of awe-inspiring places. Witness intricate dance-dramas depicting age-old tales of demons and deities, and hike through riverside villages to Chimi Lhakhang, a fertility temple dedicated to the Tibetan Buddhist saint known as “the divine madman.” We end with a hike up the famous pilgrim trail to centuries-old Taktsang Monastery (the “Tiger’s Nest”), clinging to a cliff 3,000 feet above the Paro Valley.