Asia is a definitely a fascinating continent. Intriguing and mysterious, its different landscapes, cultures and traditions turn it into a travel destination exclusive for experienced travellers. While Thailand and Bali have become more popular over the last years due to their wonderful beaches and resorts, India is a magnet for travellers looking for some kind of spiritual enlightenment and Japan, is a top travel location for technology lovers, there are many other countries and cities that are usually off the radar for the average traveller.
Road trips are exciting and scary at the same time. They imply serious planning while, at the same time, you need to be ready to face the unexpected. From a flat tyre or a mechanical problem in your car to a commute that takes longer than planned, there are many things that can turn the trip into an adventure or a stressful situation.
Road Trip In Asia?
A road trip in Asia can seem quite a scary experience for many as driving standards and the quality of the roads usually vary from country to country. However, Asia has some spectacular roads that offer scenic views and that are fun to drive.
If you are open to an adventurous experience, here are a few tips to get you started before you even arrive in Asia!
Take your time to get used to driving in Asia. Road customs can be different to those in the west so make sure you learn them. Knowing what to expect when you’re driving will definitely contribute to a more relaxing experience.
Rent a car you are comfortable with. If possible, choose one that you have driven before in the past so that you don’t have to add getting used to a new car to the mix. Make sure you purchase a car rental damage insurance policy from a reliable and trustworthy provider. Explore your different options and choose the one that is the best fit for your budget. Needless to say, invest in great road maps from the areas you plan to visit. There are very interesting digital maps that you can easily download to your smartphone, tablet, laptop computer or GPS so that you can have them at hand whenever you need them. It is advisable that you pack some old-fashioned maps in paper just in case the Internet connection gets sloppy or is MIA and you need to know which way to go.
Now you’re ready to enjoy any of these stunning road trip ideas in Asia!
The Karakoram Highway
Adventure-seeking travellers or those in need of an extra dose of adrenalin will definitely enjoy this road trip. Driving over the Himalayas on the Karakoram Highway that connects China and Pakistan is definitely an amazing experience.
This highway is both a tourist attraction and a marvel of engineering as well. It offers drivers some stunning scenic views that you’ll definitely enjoy, with beautiful lakes and breathtaking mountain views.
Quite paradoxically, this road is not too challenging to drive. It’s paved from beginning to end and it’s plenty of straightaway with turns that are not too tight. Get ready to enjoy spotting the colourful Pakistani trucks along the road! Bear in mind that, as the road rises to 15000 feet you may be affected by altitude sickness!
Touge Roads on Mount Fuji
Mount Fuji is one of the most beautiful natural scenic views that Japan has to offer. The Touge roads on Mount Fuji offer breathtaking views and hairpin turns that will put your driving skills to the test.
The Mountain Tunnels of Guoliang and Xiyagou
China is an immense country with impressive, long roads that are definitely an invitation to a road trip of a lifetime. Some areas are highly populated and have an interesting road system funded by the public around them while others, more remote, don’t enjoy that benefit. The Taihang mountains are one of those areas.
As they are located in a remote area, locals had to blast off roads off the cliffs themselves. The Mountain Tunnels of Guoliang and Xiyagou provide drivers with an outstanding experience as the roads are literally inside the cliffs. Driving through these tunnel roads invites drivers and passengers alike to enjoy a magnificent mountainous view. There’s a road that links these two tunnels through the Taihang mountains. The city of Xinxiang is a good starting point for this interesting trip!
Ilju Road, South Korea
Ilju Road is situated in the gorgeous volcanic island of Jeju, in South Korea. It’s considered one of the road trips in Asia that you can’t miss. Jeju Island itself deserves a visit. It’s an elegant and comfortable resort destination, with lovely beaches and attractive volcanic features.
Springtime is probably the best season of the year to go on a road trip along Ilju Road as it is when locals tourists can less be found on the island.
The Patapat Viaduct, The Philippines
The Philippines is probably one of the most exciting destinations in the Asian continent. Locals are friendly and most of them speak English quite fluently. It’s starting to get noticed for its pristine white-sand beaches and luscious vegetation. Luzon is the largest island of the Philippines archipelago.
Manila, the capital city, is a great start for your road trip as you head on NE to Pagudpud via the Patapat Viaduct.
It’s a scenic mountain road with breathtaking views. You won’t be able to take your eyes off the mountains covered with tropical vegetation and the amazing view of Pasaleng Bay. And, as you arrive in Pagudpud, get ready to surf some of the best waves in SE Asia!