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January 20, 2017 3 min to read

5 Stunning Natural Wonders in Asia

Category : Guides

Home to an astounding variety of cultures, Asia offers an almost endless barrage of exciting foods and unique cultures. But the continent is also packed with plenty of dramatic natural sights, some of which are readily accessible while others require invoking the explorer within you …. We picked the best of the lot so dive in and enjoy!

Gokyo Lakes Trek, Nepal

Gokyo

A good alternative to the Everest Base Camp trek, Gokyo Ri (17,576 feet) offers equally spectacular views of majestic Himalayan mountains like Lhotse, Nuptse, Cho Oyu, and Gyachung Kang. The area is fed by the Ngozumpa Glacier and the six miles of land comprising of six lakes is currently the highest freshwater lake system in the world. Several tour companies in Kathmandu conduct trekking expeditions to this beautiful locale.

Chocolate Hills, Philippines

Chocolate Hills

These hills are covered in lush green vegetation during the rainy season but they transform into a delicious shade of chocolate brown once summer sets in. The 1,776 mounds in the island of Bohol have been declared as a national geological monument. Geologists theorize that these hills were formed when large karst rocks eroded in unison, leaving behind a beautiful landscape that looks straight out of a fairytale.  To reach the place, take a bus from Tagbilaran to Carmen; the hills are located around 700 meters from the Carmen main road.

Mount Kelimutu, Indonesia

Kelimutu
Kelimutu is a small but popular volcano located in central Flores Island of Indonesia. The mountain attracted lot of attention thanks to the three lakes located on its summit. Despite sharing the same volcanic crest and being almost side-by-side, they exhibit strange colour shifts  – from red to brown to turquoise to green – independent of each other. The summit is fairly high and it will take a considerable effort to reach the top. But the first rays of sun reflecting off the three lakes (each one in a different colour) is certainly worth the arduous climb. The easiest way to reach the mountain is by taking a flight from Flores to Ende. You can also get closer to the mountain by taking a bus to the small town of Monieasiest.

Jigokudani, Japan

Jigku

Often referred to as Hell Valley, this outlandish terrain is located near the town of Noboribetsu on Hokkaido island. The entire area is basically a massive outdoor spa thanks to the presence of multiple hot steam vents, mud pots, sulphurous streams and various other geothermal features. Follow any of the beautiful walking trails from the main valley and you will reach Oyunuma – a sulphurous pond which is naturally maintained at a relaxing 50 degrees Celsius. The steaming hot river flowing through the dense foliage makes for a truly surreal landscape. Most visitors follow the river for several distances to enjoy a relaxing foot bath (ashiyu). There are frequent trains from all Japanese cities to the Noboribetsu station; the hot springs are a quick bus ride away from the station.

Ban Gioc-Detian Falls, Vietnam-China Border

Ban Gioc

Similar to the Niagara Falls that straddles the United States and Canada border, Ban Gioc-Detian Falls is located on the Vietnam-China border. It is the largest waterfall in Asia and occupies the Daxin County on the Chinese side, and Trung Khanh district on the Vietnamese side. This twin waterfall’s vertical drop is not high but the it’s the impressive width (200 meters) that makes it a truly spectacular sight. Swimming is forbidden in the waters but you can hire bamboo rafts and visit the very edge of the waterfall to capture this raging natural wonder in all its glory.  To reach the place, you can take a public bus from My Dinh bus station to Cao Bang and then take a private bus to Trung Khanh. From Trung Khanh, you can hire a motorbike taxi to cover the 20 km to reach  Ban Gioc. If you have surplus time, you can also check out the Nguom Ngao cave which is located around 3 km from Ban Gioc.

Dominic Machado