Canopy walkway in Borneo

Vacations for active explorers

If you’re anything like us, you feel like a kid in a sweetshop when it comes to choosing an active Asia vacation.

Take Vietnam. We’re sure you’ve heard of its famous bays dotted with stunning karst scenery, but did you know you can explore vast caverns filled with underground lakes and towering rock formations? Over in Laos, a day trip from the sweeping golden roofs and colonial shophouses of Luang Prabang and you can swim in ice-blue, multi-level waterfalls in the jungle. From cycling the laid-back, low-lying villages of Cambodia to snorkeling Malaysia’s coral reefs, the hardest part is narrowing Asia’s wanderlust-inducing options.

But in the end, active exploration is about getting closer to the culture and landscape of a destination. So, whether you choose to travel by foot, wheels or water, rest assured we’ve handpicked each place and experience because it does just that: it gets you away from the tourist masses and connected to your surroundings.

Here are some of our favorite active trips, destinations and places across Asia. But let’s narrow it down together; we’d love to hear what you're looking for in an active vacation.

Our top itineraries for active travelers

A selection of itineraries packed with active tours and hands-on experiences

From $2,957
Classic
Activity
Adventure
Culture
Culture & History
Scenery

If you prefer country to city, we made this for you: packed with outdoors adventures in Vietnam’s most stunning scenery.

From $3,668
Classic
Activity
Adventure
Culture & History
Scenery
Wildlife

Covering both Sabah and Sarawak and balancing wildlife with culture, this itinerary proves Borneo is about much more than orangutans.

From $3,113
Classic
Activity
Culture & History
Food & Drink
Hands on

This action-packed itinerary is all about full immersion: getting to grips with Malaysian culture by experiencing it first-hand.

From $3,151
Family
Classic
Activity
Adventure
Culture
Scenery
Wildlife

Take the kids on a family adventure to Laos and discover a land of rivers, jungles and hidden caves.

From $3,595
Activity
Active
Adventure
On the water
Scenery

One for the adrenaline junkies, this itinerary is packed with adventure — against the backdrop of southern Thailand’s beaches and jungles.

From $2,967
Activity
Active
Adventure
Scenery

If you’re never happier than when hiking, biking, caving and exploring, this adrenaline-fueled itinerary was designed for you.

Top destinations for active travel

Our favorite places in Asia to get the blood pumping

Cambodia

The laid-back, low-rise town of Siem Reap is the gateway to one of the most spectacular man-made sights on the planet: the sprawling, root-strangled ruins of Angkor.

Borneo

Rising 4,095 meters over Borneo and surrounded by rainforest, Mount Kinabalu is the tallest mountain between the Himalayas and New Guinea, and the national park that surrounds it is among the most biodiverse regions on the planet.

Laos

Vang Vieng has shaken off its old party vibes and reinvented itself as Laos’s premier destination for outdoor adventuring – perfect for those who want to cave, climb and kayak in some of the world's most spectacular karst scenery.

Cambodia

World-famous for its tongue-tingling pepper, sleepy Kampot is the jumping-off point for adventures in Bokor National Park, and a wonderfully chilled-out place to relax for a few days.

Borneo

A wide variety of indigenous and immigrant cultures combine to form Kuching’s unmistakable cultural mélange, expressed not only in its historic architecture and ethnic diversity, but in its legendary laksa, multicolored cakes and freshly blended gourmet coffee.

Laos

Hooked in a bend of the Nam Ou River, with steep, forested slopes rising vertiginously all around it, the low-rise, red-roofed village of Nong Khiaw is a wonderful base from which to explore some of Laos’s most seductive scenery.

Central Vietnam

Covering nearly 3,000 square kilometers of jungle-covered mountains, beautiful and unspoiled Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park conceals some of the most spectacular caves in the world.

Thailand

Krabi’s coastline is the stuff travel dreams are made of. Emerald vegetation clings to dramatic, gravity-defying cliffs, towering limestone pinnacles teeter precariously over the sea, and hundreds of little islands lie waiting to be explored.

Action-packed guided tours and excursions

Our favorite experiences for active explorers

Phong Nha
Adventure
Scenery

If you think caving has to mean crawling on your hands and knees through damp, dark passageways – think again.

Kinabalu Park
Adventure
Scenery

Watching sunrise from the top of the highest mountain in Southeast Asia is an unforgettable experience.

Malacca
Active
Culture

This tour shows there’s plenty more to Malacca than colonial architecture. Covering a 20 km loop of easy cycling, it follows flat, shady paths through paddy fields, kampung villages and rubber plantations.

Hoi An
Active
Culture

Usually we don’t like telling people what to do, but we’ll make an exception here: you can’t visit Hoi An without exploring its rural outskirts – and this is one of our absolute favorite ways to do it.

Ko Samui
Active
On the water
Scenery

Encompassing 42 jewel-like islands in the Gulf of Thailand, Ang Thong National Marine Park is a wonderland of dense jungle, hidden waterfalls and sandy beaches so brilliant they almost hurt the eyes.

Chiang Mai
Active
Scenery

Hop on the back of a scooter, leave the crowds behind, and and discover Chiang Mai’s mountain scenery in style — on the back of a vintage Vespa!

Battambang
Active
Culture

Soksabike is one of our absolute favorite partners in Cambodia. A local company with a wholehearted commitment to forging real connections between travelers and local people.

Nong Khiaw
Active
Adventure
Scenery

Imagine kayaking to remote villages of silk-weaving workshops, picnicking by the river on the fringes of the jungle, swimming in pools created by thundering waterfalls, and then returning to your guesthouse to watch the sun set over some of the most otherworldly scenery Asia has to offer.

Champasak
Active
Adventure
Scenery

Not for the faint-hearted, this two-day guided jungle adventure will take you deep into the mountains of Doung Hua Sao National Park.

Siem Reap
Active

Take a monkey’s-eye view of the jungle as you fly, climb and swing though the treetops on a mixture of ziplines, hanging bridges and platforms.

Kota Kinabalu
Active
Adventure
On the water

Whitewater rafting is one of the most exhilarating ways to see the Bornean jungle, whether you want heart-pounding drops and tricky maneuvers, or a more relaxed ride through the forest.

Kuching
Active
On the water

On this tour, your guide will take you out of Kuching, through rice fields, rubber plantations and pepper farms, to the ancestral heartland of the Bidayuh: the second-largest minority group in Borneo.

Kayaks on the beach at Ang Thong Marine Park

Ready to plan?

Get in touch now and we will plan your perfect active holiday