You truly are spoilt for choice when trekking in Southeast Asia. The numerous forest trails in China, Bhutan, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand, together with the ancient forests of Malaysia offer everything from picnic walks in local beauty spots to deep jungle encounters with the animals of the region.

Littered with national parks teeming with wildlife, magnificent caves and waterfalls, the choices for trekking are virtually endless and are also a great way to discover the many diverse peoples who inhabit their landscapes and preserve their unique ways of life among the hills, waterways and under the forest canopies, far from the thrum of the modern Asian cities.

Some of Southeast Asia’s most iconic treks are found in its most spectacular scenery such as the extraordinary high altitude trails of Bhutan, Northern Myanmar, Northern Yunnan, Eastern Sichuan and Tibet, including the iconic north face Everest base camp.

Away from the inspirational snow-bound pinnacles of the Himalayas, much of the rest of Southeast Asia is highlighted by some of the most amazing geomorphic topography to be found on earth, particularly the otherworldly karst limestone landscapes, such as those found at Wulingyuan, Guilin, Huangshan Mountain and the Stone Forest in China; Ha Long Bay and Tam Coc in Vietnam; Vang Vieng in Laos; Krabi, Phang Nha Bay and the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand; Gunung Mulu in Malaysia; and Bacuit Bay in the Philippines, all of which offer some of the world’s most scenic visions through which to take the time to explore on foot.

Almost equally dramatic is some of the creative ways the indigenous peoples have shaped the landscapes, which can be explored along beautifully fulfilling scenic journeys to discover the highly sculptural rice terraces of the Dragons Backbone in China; Sapa in Vietnam; the Cordillera in the Philippines; and the gentler peaceful Jatiluwih rice fields in Bali.

Some of Southeast Asia’s mountains provide for very interesting treks to their summits, including Mount Fansipan in Vietnam, Myanmar’s northern peaks, Malaysia’s Mount Kinabalu and the superb volcanos of the Philippines and Bali.

There are a few select locations where you can enjoy a truly luxurious experience whilst trekking the wilds, but many of the trekking routes, particularly in more remote regions will inevitably involve overnight stays in modest accommodation such as tents, ethnic villages or forest cabins and visitors should be prepared for basic facilities.