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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…>

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…>

Ashrams, temples and tranquility: Religious tourism in Asia

Ashrams, temples and tranquility: Religious tourism in Asia
June 4, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

RELIGIOUS tourism, or faith tourism, is a growing travel market. Holy cities like Mecca, Jerusalem and Varanasi attract huge numbers every year that travel to see various religious sites, while others travel to places for reasons of pilgrimage, as missionaries, for fellowship, to relax, receive teaching or undertake study. According to the World Tourism Organization…>

Nilaya Hermitage: Boutique luxury in Goa

Nilaya Hermitage: Boutique luxury in Goa
April 22, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

GOA’S leading boutique hotel needs little introduction for those in the know, and it really is second to none. From the moment you enter the 20 acre parkland in which the hotel lies, you leave the rest of Goa and the known world far behind. Nilaya, meaning abode in blue heaven, is a real oasis…>

5 great yoga resorts and retreats in Asia

5 great yoga resorts and retreats in Asia
April 20, 2013 - 0 Comments - Casey Hynes

THERE are a few different types of people who come to Asia: backpackers on their Gap Year or spring break, NGO workers, retirees, digital nomads, people searching for serenity in a mad world. Nearly all of them, at one point or another, get caught up in visions of Thailand as a sanctuary, a place to…>

Padmini Niwas: A homely hill station retreat in Mussoorie

Padmini Niwas: A homely hill station retreat in Mussoorie
April 16, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THIS regal 1920s bungalow is one of the oldest buildings in Mussoorie, a scenic hill station nestled in the Himalayan foothills of Northern India. It once belonged to the Maharaja of Rajpipla and today the luxurious furnishings such as Raj era fireplaces and magnificent chandeliers do much to uphold this lofty heritage. Padmini Niwas enjoys…>

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