Best hiking routes in Northeast Asia

Planning a hiking trip can be difficult when there are so many fantastic destinations to choose from. However, if you’ve got your heart – and your walking boots – set on Northeast Asia, you may find that our guide to the region’s best hiking routes could help you to make those tough decisions..

We’ve put together a selection of our favorite hiking destinations in Northeast Asia. Though there are many more we would have liked to include, we believe that the following offer some of the best walking opportunities in the world.

Korea is a hiker’s paradise and has routes to satisfy even the most ambitious of walkers. Around three quarters of the Korean landscape is mountainous: so whether you prefer relaxed hiking in the sloping peaks surrounding Seoul or you see yourself tackling the nation’s highest mountain, Daecheongbong, there’s something for you.

If you’re lucky enough to be traveling in the next few weeks, you’ll catch the Korean landscape at its most beautiful - when the forest foliage is a riot of color. Visit Songnisan National Park to admire the unusual rock formations and the famous Beopjusa Buddhist temple, home to the world’s largest bronze Buddha.

Kamikochi, in the west of Japan, is regarded by some as one of the most beautiful areas of the country, if not the world. So much so, that’s it been designated as a National Cultural Asset of Japan.
When European travellers first discovered the area, they referred to the region as the ‘Japan Alps’ - and it’s not difficult to see why.

The area boasts snow-capped mountains, clear blue skies and sparkling rivers – there are countless riverside routes to take, or more strenuous trails up through the mountains. The hiking season officially opens on the first Sunday in June and is marked by a festival celebrating the occasion.

Planning a hiking trip in China? You’d be mad not to include a least a section of nation’s most famous landmark in your itinerary! As well as being an essential bucket list item, trekking along the Great Wall of China affords some of the most spectacular views in the world.

Popular tourist parts of the wall can feel overrun, so if you want to escape the crowds and soak up the tranquillity of the mountains, head for more remote parts of the wall such as Jinshanling. This section of the wall is the least developed, so it’s less popular with tourists, although the views are nothing less than breath taking.

You may not have considered Mongolia as a hiking destination; but with the likes of the Altai Mountains and the Khangai mountain range as part of the offering, you could be persuaded to reconsider.

The Altai mountain range, or the ‘Golden Mountains’ in Mongolic language, is a natural UNESCO World Heritage Site and amazing scenery is a given. The region is dotted with enormous, turquoise lakes and wooded valleys: perfect for exploring on foot at whatever pace you decide.

The beauty of a hiking holiday is that you can pack lightly. All you need is a passion for exploring new places and an enthusiasm to push your body that little bit further. That and a decent pair of walking shoes! Check out the range of hiking shoes from Millet sports, which includes footwear suitable for every type of walking route. So whether you plan to tackle China’s gargantuan Baekdu Mountain or you’re happier strolling the gentle routes of Japan’s Kamikochi, you’ll find something to meet your needs.

If you’re planning on exploring different parts of Asia and are in need of some down time after your intensive hiking experience, check out our essential guide to partying in Southeast Asia.

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