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stdClass Object ( [ID] => 33197 [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2014-05-10 04:10:26 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-05-10 04:10:26 [post_content] => IF you're seeking an adrenaline charged travel experience in the Asia-Pacific region, just tackling the roads themselves can be enough to get your blood pumping. From Australia's challenging off piste and remote options to the winding and twisted roads of the Himalayas, there's plenty of action for those that seek 4-wheel or 2-wheel excitement of the nail-biting variety.
Langtang valley, Nepal
Langtang is Nepal's third most popular trekking area after Everest and Annapurna. While the trek up to over 4,000m is challenging enough, many travellers rate the journey to the start of the trek as the scariest section of the adventure. The winding mountain roads are enough to give your stomach a work out, particularly if you've just eaten, but when combined with blaring Hindi/Nepali music, an oversized horn, death defying speeds, hair pin corners, and crushing drops at every turn, everyone is glad when the journey finally comes to an end. If you buy a "deluxe" ticket you're at least spared the crush on the cheaper buses, but most people opt for private jeeps on the return trip to Kathmandu for a slightly more sedate experience. The distance from Kathmandu to Syrabubesi is only 130km but it takes about seven hours to cover it. If you want to find out why, you'll have to undertake the nail biting journey yourself. [caption id="attachment_33093" align="aligncenter" width="585" caption="Langtang mountains. Pic: Joanne Lane, www.visitedplanet.com"][/caption]
Gun barrel highway, Australia
This one ain't for the faint hearted. If you don't mind isolation, notorious washouts, corrugations and high risk of flood if it rains, then you'll love the chance of tackling the Gunbarrel Highway. So named for its rigid corrugations and gunbarrel straight roads, this track runs for 1,350km through the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia. Part of the challenge of the drive is the need to be self sufficient with water, food and fuel. You also need permits to pass through Aboriginal reserves along the way. Plan well for this one. [caption id="attachment_33200" align="alignnone" width="640" caption="Gunbarrel Highway. Pic: Gazjo, Creative Commons"][/caption]
Zoji Pass, India
Depending on recent landslides,  bad weather, crowded transport or simply other drivers, any road  in the Indian Himalayas can become an extreme experience. But the Zoji Pass is the highest in the country and therefore takes line honours in this list. Located in the far north of the country on the Tibetan plateau, it reaches 11,575 feet (3,528m) and connects the Leh district and Kashgar. It is often closed throughout winter and has been important in conflicts such as the Indo-Pakistan war of 1947. Indeed military vehicles are sometimes part of the heavy traffic on the pass. Traffic isn't your only worry on the narrow and treacherous roads - landslides, wind, snow and other obnoxious weather are all hazards if your travels take you this way. [caption id="attachment_33203" align="aligncenter" width="585" caption="Public transport can be a challenge in India's remote region of Ladakh, particularly when it's this crowded. Pic: Joanne Lane, www.visitedplanet.com"][/caption]
Skippers Canyon, New Zealand
There's a sign at the start of Skippers Canyon warning motorists of the road ahead. It's not meant to be taken lightly, particularly if you don't have a high clearance vehicle, and are driving a rental (like the author did once). The road to the canyon is a very narrow, dusty, rocky track with steep drop offs and little to no turning bays, at least for the first 6km, meaning once you head down on it, you're committed and it is pretty hairy. But if you do undertake the journey it's really one of the best kept secrets in the area. The canyon houses the famed Shotover River and has some gold mining settlements of yesteryear to explore. The road was first built in 1863 but was considered too dangerous for cars until 1900. Today it still requires a bit of gumption to undertake the road, particularly the swing bridge that passes 100m above the river. [caption id="attachment_33201" align="aligncenter" width="585" caption="The narrow road through Skippers Canyon. Pic: Joanne Lane, www.visitedplanet.com"][/caption]
Dili to Hautobilico, East Timor
After rain any road in East Timor can become impassable or a challenge. But even in the dry it's not plain sailing. The route from Dili to Hato Builico is only about 100 kilometres but takes eight to 10 hours in good weather. The last stretch from Maubisse (75km from Dili) can be arduous as the road is far less maintained and many people opt to break the journey there and continue the next day. This is definitely 4wd territory only but it's worth it for the alpine like climate of Hato Builico and the chance to climb East Timor's highest and beautiful peak, Mt Ramelau. The final drive Hato Builico to the start of the climb up the mountain is the final adventure of this driving trip and possibly worth an entry of its own. [caption id="attachment_33202" align="alignnone" width="585" caption="The rugged terrain around Mt Ramelau makes for some hairy driving in East Timor. Pic: Joanne Lane, www.visitedplanet.com"][/caption]   [post_title] => 5 extreme road trips in the Asia-Pacific region [post_excerpt] => IF you're seeking an adrenaline charged travel experience in the Asia-Pacific region, just tackling the roads themselves can be enough to get your blood pumping. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => 5extreme-road-trips-in-the-asia-pacific-region [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2014-05-10 04:10:27 [post_modified_gmt] => 2014-05-10 04:10:27 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.travelwireasia.com/?p=33197 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 1 [filter] => raw )

5 extreme road trips in the Asia-Pacific region

5 extreme road trips in the Asia-Pacific region
May 10, 2014 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

IF you’re seeking an adrenaline charged travel experience in the Asia-Pacific region, just tackling the roads themselves can be enough to get your blood pumping.

On location: 5 Asian hotels on the silver screen

On location: 5 Asian hotels on the silver screen
October 17, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

FROM lake based palaces to neon-lit high rise or colonial elegance, Asia’s hotels have featured prominently on the silver screen. Featuring Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, India and Thailand, these five hotels might be next on your accommodation list. Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur, India The former royal summer palace of the Mewar dynasty has developed a…>

The Chedi Chiang Mai: Urban bliss in Northern Thailand

The Chedi Chiang Mai: Urban bliss in Northern Thailand
September 9, 2013 - 0 Comments - Travel Wire Asia

IF you ask any Chiang Mai resident what is the best hotel in town, you’re only likely to get one answer: The Chedi. Combining outstanding service, cutting edge design and an ideal location, this hotel’s stellar reputation is richly deserved. Chiang Mai has no shortage of top-class hotels, but many of the best ones are…>

In pictures: India’s beautiful forts, palaces and havelis

In pictures: India’s beautiful forts, palaces and havelis
September 4, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE forts, palaces and havelis of India are like something out of Arabian Nights. Complete with camels wandering nearby, the encroaching desert sands, women in brilliant saris and the smell of spices in the bazaars, they are a huge attraction for tourists visiting states such as Rajasthan and Gujurat. Jaisalmer fort, Rajasthan The Jaisalmer fort…>

Langkawi’s five most luxurious resorts

Langkawi’s five most luxurious resorts
August 27, 2013 - 0 Comments - Travel Wire Asia

A NATURALLY beautiful island environment and judicious development efforts have helped make Langkawi one of Malaysia’s most popular beach destinations. The resorts listed here represent some of Langkawi’s finest accommodations: luxurious places with a unique sense of character. The Danna Langkawi The Danna Langkawi’s overall feel harkens back to British colonial days despite the addition…>

China turns heads with luxurious ‘doughnut hotel’

China turns heads with luxurious ‘doughnut hotel’
August 9, 2013 - 0 Comments - Travel Wire Asia

WHEN it comes to construction, China doesn’t just like to do it big, it likes to do it weird. The latest in a long line of architectural oddities is this doughnut-shaped Sheraton hotel in Huzhou, about 100 miles west of Shanghai. Indeed, Shanghai’s soon-to-be-completed tallest building in China, Shanghai Tower, will also be home to…>

Shanghai Tower: China’s tallest building to house luxury hotel

Shanghai Tower: China’s tallest building to house luxury hotel
August 5, 2013 - 0 Comments - Travel Wire Asia

VISITORS  to Shanghai can look forward to unrivaled views from a luxury hotel planned for China’s tallest building – Shanghai Tower – which is due for completion next year. A topping-out ceremony was held Saturday for China’s tallest building in the financial hub of Shanghai when the final beam was hoisted to the top of…>

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