Asia's amazing wonders: The 10 places you must see

HA LONG BAY, VIETNAM

The name means "the place where the dragon fell to earth", and you barely have to squint to transform this seascape into a dragon's spiked back. East of the port city of Haiphong, the sea is scattered with jagged limestone islands that erupt from the sea like grey icebergs.

KINABALU PARK, SABAH, MALAYSIA

A botanical treasure chest thick with orchids, pitcher plants and the Rafflesia plant, the world's largest flower. The vegetation ranges from rainforest giants to sub-alpine forest, scrub and lichens near the 4095 metre summit of Mount Kinabalu.

ROCK ISLANDS, PALAU

The crowning glory of this island nation, the Rock Islands are 200-plus jungly limestone knobs crowded into 20 kilometres of coral sea with some of the best diving on the planet, and heaven on earth for adventurous sea kayakers.

RAJA AMPAT, INDONESIA

Lavishly greened with rainforest and karst palms and garnished with orchids, this archipelago of 2500 islands and reefs off West Papua Province has blown all previous counts of marine life out of the water.

KAMCHATKA, RUSSIA

In Russia's far east, this Germany-sized wilderness of wild rivers, mountains and sub-arctic Siberian forest is home to wolverine, lynx, the Kamchatkan bear and the endangered Siberian tiger. Subtitled "the Land of Fire and Ice", Kamchatka is also one of the most spectacularly violent thermal zones on the planet.

GOLDEN MOUNTAINS, ALTAI, RUSSIA

Part of the border where China, Mongolia, Russia and Kazakhstan rub shoulders, the Golden Mountains includes cloud-piercing mountains, 7000 lakes, and an incredible diversity of terrain, habitats and wildlife.

TIEN SHAN MOUNTAINS, CHINA

Stretching for 2800 kilometres and forming the border between China and Kyrgyzstan, this range of glacier-capped peaks also incorporates pristine forests, luxuriant meadows, rivers and lakes, a violent contrast to the Taklamakan Desert, the "sea of death", immediately to the south.

JIGME DORJI NATIONAL PARK, BHUTAN

In north-western Bhutan, this region covers elevations from 1400 to over 7000 metres, representing all three of Bhutan's climate zones and the only place where the Royal Bengal tiger and snow leopard habitats overlap. It is also one of the few areas of the Himalayas where forests remain intact.

LAKE BAIKAL, RUSSIA

The world's deepest freshwater lake, Baikal lies in a rift valley where the earth's crust is splitting apart, a region of outstanding natural beauty as well as scientific curiosity, richly invested with flora and fauna found nowhere else.

Advertisement

SUNDARBANS, BANGLADESH

This vast wetland formed by the delta of the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers is a critical habitat for many wildlife species including the largest Royal Bengal tiger population.

Comments