Explore Asia’s National Parks – Natural Paradises in the East

in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand

When international travelers think of Asia they think of technological innovation, a bustling lifestyle, and all that delicious food.

While Asia’s cities buzz, its national parks are a real draw card for tourists looking to get back to nature. The following parks, many of which are UNESCO World and Natural Heritage sites, are amongst Asia’s best.

The Three Parallel Rivers Protected Areas in China’s Yunnan Province is somewhat of a lost paradise. Here 16 indigenous groups live simple lives, free of the stresses of the modern world. Many offer accommodation for visitors who come to the area to see the gorges, glaciers, and enormous rivers.

While much of Hong Kong is a thriving metropolis, one fifth of the nation belongs to the trails of Tai Tam Country Park. This area is steeped in history; tourists can explore ancient forts and towers while admiring the ocean views and diverse flora. There are also several areas for barbecues and picnics, so why not make a day of it?

Many ecological experts consider Shiretoko National Park to be Japan’s last surviving wilderness. It’s a haven for marine and land animals, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled for the brown bears, dolphins, and seals that live there.

Sightseeing boats regularly leave from the mainland to take tourists closer to the warm Kamui Wakka Falls. Or you could travel to the falls on foot and soak yourself in the hot springs.

You might not know it, but if you’re a James Bond fan you’re already acquainted with Thailand’s Ao Phang Nga National Park. This gorgeous natural oasis was featured in the spy flick The Man with the Golden Gun. You can hire small boats to explore the area and its natural rock formations and limestone pillars which emerge almost mythically from the ocean. It’s the kind of locale you’ll want to linger at, and with bungalows and camping sites available you can.

The buzzing cities of Asia are alluring, but if you’d like a change of pace the continent’s national parks can deliver it.

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