Getting Active in Asia: Outdoor Adventure

Sandboarding in Vietnam

One of the most exciting activities to undertake in Mui Ne, Phan Thiet, is sand boarding. The Red Sand Dunes and the White Sand dunes of Mui Ne are not just attractive natural sand formations, but also an excellent for some blood-pumping surfing! In the early morning just as the sunlight casts its rays across the landscape, local teenagers and tourists gather at the dunes for some sand-based fun and games. It’s common practice (and simply great fun), to climb to the top of the hill before taking a seated position on a thin plank and sliding all the way down to the bottom. You will often see local teenagers turn up the heat as they compete against each other. The best time to sandboard is early morning or late afternoon when the sand is not too hot. Another fun activity to try in the area is quad biking – a great way to experience these majestic dunes.

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Rock Climbing in Vang Vieng

Destination Asia Laos can arrange rock climbing in Vang Vieng for participants of all skill levels. Rock climbing is extremely popular here and is easily accessible following arrival into the border capital of Vientiane. At one time Vang Vieng was simply a rest-stop on the way up north, but has grown to become one of Southeast Asia’s premier adventure hotspots.

Hiding in the mist that covers the mountainous landscape, this river side town has blossomed into an exceptional activity-led destination where visitors can engage in plenty of activities such as trekking, kayaking, mountain biking and of course, climbing. In the morning following a pick-up from the hotel, guests head to one of these following rock climbing spots: Pha Deang, known for its towering mountain that sits over the river; Phatang, offering a more challenging climb; or Sleeping Wall, with a good variety of rock to explore for all abilities.

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Going Wild in Hong Kong

Hong Kong presents some great opportunities to head off-road and into the wild. In this experience guests step off the bus and into an area that’s home to exotic plants and monkeys instead of skyscrapers and people. The macaques you see here were actually re-introduced to Hong Kong in the 1910’s to eat the poisonous fruits of a plant found around the Kowloon Water Reservoir.

The hike follows a path through lush forests with panoramic vistas unexpectedly showing themselves now and again. The first view overlooks stonecutter’s Island, the container harbor and huge volumes of industrial buildings. The next reveals Nathan Road, the railway and more residential and office districts. On clear days it is possible to see the skyline of Hong Kong Island. Later we overlook the former Kai Tak Airport, now fitted with a cruise terminal. Then at the foot of Lion Rock we have the choice of either climbing over it or to bypass on an easier path. Our journey winds to an end as the trail leads us into the road at Sha Tin Pass, from which we stroll down and exit the overgrowth, leading us into the busyness of Wong Tai Sin district below.

In the cooler winter months we can hike up to Lion Rock on a shorter but steeper path, coming up from the northern side, shortening the hike by one hour.

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Pedal Power in Singapore

Singapore has grown into a nation of cyclists, leading the way in Asia for not just exceptional cycling routes through the city, but also rugged mountain biking options. The Singapore government has encouraged cycling throughout the city by connecting many of its open green parks with bike paths. The plan is to link all these paths, creating a complete circuit that circumnavigates the island’s perimeter. There are a number of set cycling routes that take in Singapore’s iconic landscapes and connect with its unique heritage, here are some of our favorites:

Punggol’s Northern Eastern Riverine Loop – Excellent for riverside views and includes four different parks.
Eastern Coastal Loop (Pasir Ris to Changi) – Perfect for those who like to combine cycling with great local food.
Eastern Coastal Loop (East Coast Park to the city) – Great for seeing the city’s most famous landmarks.
Pulau Ubin – A route for aspiring mountain bikers that passes through old Singapore.
Coney Island – The best to connect with Singapore’s untouched natural areas.

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Tai Chi in the Open

Thousands of people in China flock to parks and gardens early each morning to practice the ancient form of Tai Chi. Tai Chi is a form of martial-art created in the 12th century, and is still one of the most popular means of keeping fit in China. Tai Chi movements are performed slowly and deliberately to achieve a sense of liquidity similar to meditation. These slow graceful movements help to develop balance, improve muscle tone, breathing and aid digestion.

Connect with the great outdoors by practicing this art form in the open landscape. Your Tai Chi Master will guide you through introductory poses and breathing exercises in some of China’s most remarkable settings, such as in Beijing’s Temple of Heaven Park, Shanghai’s Fuxing Park in the former French Concession, or even on the Great Wall!

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