The best adventure activities to do in Asia: Kayaking trekking, cycling and rocking climbing

KAYAK ON HALONG BAY, VIETNAM

In Asia, Halong Bay rises both from the sea and the collective imagination. Each day, tourist boats fan out into the bay, some carrying kayaks. Paddle even for an hour or two from your boat and you'll get Halong Bay's most intimate experience, drifting through sea arches and into caves punched into the limestone islands. See worldexpeditions.com.

See also: Is Halong Bay being loved to death?

KAYAK RAJA AMPAT, INDONESIA

Barely noted on the tourist map, the 1500 islands of the Raja Ampat archipelago, off the north-west tip of West Papua, are the tropical dream personified: teeming reefs, empty palm-fringed white beaches. Kayaking here is in its infancy, but there are few more spectacular places to paddle. See southernseaventures.com.

See also: Raja Ampat - 'the last paradise on earth'

ROCK CLIMB AT RAILAY, THAILAND

Step from the warm Andaman Sea onto a gorgeous beach before scaling a limestone cliff – such is life at Railay. Learn the climbing basics on 123 Wall, or dangle from a cliff above the sunbathers on Tonsai Beach. Experienced local operator King Climbers offers courses and guides. See railay.com.

See also: Asia's tropical stand-out wonder

CYCLE MANALI TO LEH, INDIA

This 500-kilometre ride along one of India's most challenging highways crosses five Himalayan passes, climbing up to 5300 metres above sea level. Sublime and challenging mountain scenery, and simply the most memorable Asian adventure I've done. See exodustravels.com.

See also: The world's nine most epic cycling trips

NEPAL'S TREKKING PEAKS

Occupying a middle ground between trekking and high-altitude mountaineering are Nepal's "trekking peaks" – more than two dozen mountains above 5800 metres that can be climbed (with permits) without the rigours of full-scale mountaineering. Mera Peak and Island Peak are among the most popular. See nepalmountaineering.org.

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See also: The best-kept trekking secret in Nepal

MOTORCYCLING THE HO CHI MINH HIGHWAY, VIETNAM

Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh Highway roughly mirrors the path of the wartime Ho Chi Minh Trail, providing a gorgeous mountain-lined journey along much of the length of the country. It's a classic motorcycle trip, popularised by its appearance in a memorable 2008 Top Gear episode. See offroadvietnam.com.

See: 20 reasons to visit Ho Chi Minh City

DIVING SIPADAN ISLAND MALAYSIA

Jacques Cousteau once described Sipadan as an "untouched piece of art", and it's rightly considered among the world's great dives sites. Located off the Sabah coast, it has steep drop-offs that provide both rich coral reefs and impressive pelagics. The premier site is Barracuda Point, promising reef sharks, turtles and swirling vortexes of the namesake barracudas. See sipadan.com.

See also: Why you should visit Borneo, right now

TREKKING TO EVEREST BASE CAMP, NEPAL

The world's highest mountain is also one of its loftiest trekking goals. After a nail-biting flight into Lukla, the trek ascends through the Khumbu region to Everest Base Camp, sprawled among glacial rubble 5300 metres above sea level. It's typically about a two-week trek into mountain magnificence. See worldexpeditions.com.

See also: The world's 10 most-climbed mountains

SNOWMAN TREK, BHUTAN

If Everest is the highest, the Snowman Trek is arguably the toughest. This 25-day epic across the Himalayan heights of Bhutan, crossing 11 passes above 4500 metres, has regularly been called the toughest trek in the world. It begins in Paro, the location of Bhutan's international airport, and provides a remote look at the Himalayas far from the Base Camp crowds. See tourism.gov.bt/trek/snowman-trek-ii.

See also: Bhutan - Asia's most exclusive destination

CYCLING IN GUANGXI, CHINA

The area around Yangshuo in the Chinese province of Guangxi might easily by the quintessential Asian landscape – karst peaks rising from luminous green rice terraces. It's best appreciated on a bike (the classic Asian vehicle, after all), pedalling across from neighbouring Guizhou province. See spiceroads.com.

See also: On your bike - cycling China's mystical mountains

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