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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] => 2014-10-15 08:48:17 [post_modified_gmt] => 2014-10-15 08:48:17 [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.

Trekking in Nepal: Poon Hill – Ghandruk

Trekking in Nepal: Poon Hill – Ghandruk
May 15, 2012 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

THOSE with little time on their hands but still want superb views of the Annapurna regularly embark on the Poon Hill – Ghandruk circuit. This four-day route is a popular one and something of a tourist treadmill these days with increasing numbers heading to Nepal each year for trekking, but when you see the villages…>

5 travel spots for an Easter vacation in Asia

5 travel spots for an Easter vacation in Asia
April 2, 2012 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

EASTER is a beautiful time to travel in Asia. It’s a fantastic season when the winter has begun to ease in northern parts of the region and Spring breaks through with flowers and melting ice. While in the south the full brunt of the summer and monsoon season have not yet begun either, making for…>

A night in… Kathmandu, Nepal

A night in… Kathmandu, Nepal
January 9, 2012 - 0 Comments - Shalini Iyengar

THE capital of the Himalayan country of Nepal, Kathmandu has a long and storied history replete with adventures and misadventures of all sorts. Nepal has had a fascinating albeit turbulent time for the past few years replete with tales of palace intrigue, former outlaws taking over the reins of governance, Constitution framing and a focus…>

Review: Roomorama

Review: Roomorama
August 18, 2011 - 0 Comments - Chris Backe

With 425 destinations covered (including several destinations in Korea) and counting, Roomorama is a website offering short-term rentals, hotels, etc. Much like Couchsurfing and craigslist matches up traveler and host, Roomorama brings security, transparency, feedback, and a sense of professionalism to the ‘rent-someone-else’s-place’ world. From Roomorama’s home page, watch a video that explains the service…>

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