To travel the world is to live a life of awe and adventure. There are many reasons why you should save up and spend every free moment trotting across the globe, from experiencing true luxury somewhere in the urban gems of Vietnam and Southeast Asia, to exploring the expansive natural wonders that seem as though they belong to another world, another time.
Yes, Asia is a place of timeless beauty and ancient cultures, a continent that never fails to appeal to every type of traveler, and wildlife adventurers in particular. Here are the top five destinations every wildlife traveler should visit on their grand Asian adventure.
Meet the elephants in Thailand
There is no denying the catastrophic impact humanity is having on the planet, nor the fact that countless animal species are being eradicated from the face of the earth every year, along with their natural habitats. Unfortunately, Asia is no different from the rest of the world in this regard, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t conservation areas, national parks, and sanctuaries that aim to preserve the well-being of animals and their eco-systems.
Thailand is one of those countries that has made great strides in an attempt to minimize and even eliminate illegal poaching. So if you want to meet and pet some friendly elephants who have been rescued from poachers over the years, head over to the Chiang Mai region of northern Thailand. You can also apply for a volunteer’s permit if you want to take up an active role in the conservation and preservation of the local flora and fauna.
Encountering the marine life in the Philippines
If you are looking to explore the wonders of the deep blue sea and fraternize with all kinds of vibrant marine life that inhabits the Pacific Ocean, then the paradise island of Palawan in the Philippines might be the place for you. As if the entire Philippine archipelago was not an enthralling setting to begin with, Palawan is a unique marine life sanctuary where you can experience the wildlife up close and personal.
You can take a diving class here to learn how to behave under water and around various sea critters, and then embark on guided tours where you will get the chance to encounter hundreds of colorful fish species, and of course, bigger game such as whale sharks and giant mantas!
Vietnam – the perfect mix of adventures
Vietnam is a unique place on the globe. Over the past few decades, the country has become one of the most highly sought-after travel destinations in the world simply because it offers that perfect mix of outdoor fun coupled with urban exploration, fused with a rich cultural heritage and world-renowned cuisine.
There is no shortage of exciting activities here, and some of the best adventurous tours in Vietnam aim to take you through the country’s most pristine natural settings such as the fabled Mekong Delta and its floating markets, as well as its iconic photography, cycling, and walking tours around its most prominent cities, reserves, and exploration routes. This is truly an unforgettable experience; it requires minimal packing, so you could travel across the country with just one bag. A jacket or a sweater, comfy shoes (on your feet), a toothbrush, a deodorant, one extra outfit and a couple of drink bottles could be enough if you are ready for a real wildlife adventure.
Gunung Leuser National Park in Indonesia
Home to the iconic Sumatran Tiger and over five hundred other animal species that roam across its expansive landscape, the Gunung Leuser National Park located on the northern fringe of Sumatra in Indonesia is every wildlife traveler’s paradise.
Famed for its iconic, breathtaking natural scenery coupled with rich flora and fauna, this national park is a place where you want to stop, and take a moment to soak in the mesmerizing natural world around you. Definitely one of the top destinations that should rank high on your wildlife travel bucket list.
The Giant Pandas of Chengdu, China
Lastly, it wouldn’t be a real Asian adventure if you were to skip a visit to the city of Chendu residing in southwestern China – home to the iconic Giant Panda. Pandas are some of the most popular furry creatures in the world, adored by travelers from all over the world, but they are also one of the most endangered species on the planet.
You can do your part to aid the battle against their extinction by volunteering at the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, putting any skills you might have towards their safe breeding and caring in order to improve their chances of survival.
To travel the world is to experience true freedom. Let Asia be your next grand escapade and make sure that these top destinations find their way into your itinerary if you want to live out the most memorable wildlife adventure of your life.