Road trips call out to thrill seekers for their paradoxical promise of change and continuity. Every mile covered is a journey toward a new landscape representing change. And when the journey is across a landmass as varied as Asia, there is no limit to the number and nature of adventures that can be yours to take home. From snow-covered mountains to clear-water lakes and from some of the finest roads to some of the most dangerous motorable terrains; Asia has it all for the adventure junkies who dare to explore it by road.
We bring you four highways in Asia that promise thrill on your next road trip:
Leh-Manali Highway, India
Leh-Manali Highway in India tests you, teases you, surprises you but in the end rewards you with an experience that you will narrate for a long time after. The 490 kilometres of distance travelled on this road is marked by many heart-in-the-mouth moments such as crossing the mountain passes located as high as 5400 metres above the sea level and meandering through narrow passages prone to landslides and glacier melts. But every passing landscape formed by snow-capped mountains, half-frozen lakes and unseen vegetation lures the adventure-seekers to explore further. With not a single soul in sight for many kilometres, the highway doesn’t promise to be easy on you but it ensures that you get what you came for i.e. adventure.
The Tibetan Highlands, China
Reducing the travel time between Yecheng County in southern Xinjiang and Ngari Prefecture in Tibet from 15 days to 1, the highway is a surreal midway to the exploration of not only astonishing landscapes but also rich cultures of the region. Other than the awe-inspiring views of the glacial lakes which will enchant all your senses, the yak butter found in this region could be a treat for your taste buds. Giving you company on the road will be crowds of traders operating between the two regions as well as pilgrims heading toward the Jokhang Temple, a popular Buddhist spiritual center in Tibet.
The Karokoram Highway, Pakistan and China
The Karokoram highway between Pakistan and China is the collaborative effort of these two countries, originally for the purpose of trade. Built after altering the natural landscape constituted by nearby rivers, mountains and valleys, the highway is one of the most brilliant examples of modern architecture. A journey through this highway makes you feel like an intruder deep within the nature’s very own paradise. Karokoram Highway marvels by taking you through many places of historical significance such as the vibrant bazaars of Kashgar, the beautiful valley of Hunza, Baltit Fort and the Buddhist Ruins.
The Phuket Northeast Loop, Thailand
Phuket is thronged by tourists in large numbers; a staggering majority of these never get to see the place beyond resorts and nearby attractions on the south and western shores. Lying east of the island, along the highway 4027 is an adventure that will lead you to explore Phuket like never before. The Northeast Loop is Phuket’s well-preserved secret, one that tells the stories of fishing villages and local life, limestone cliffs of Phang Nga Bay and the ‘James Bond Island’, an island featured in James Bond movie called ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’. The views you will see on this highway will give you a taste of the local life sitting right in your car.