Hikes and Climbs in Asia

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Hikes and Climbs in Asia: The Bucket List

The Beautiful Blue Coast of Heybeliada

Ferrying to the Princes’ Islands in Istanbul

On the ferries to Princes’ Islands, I would always drink copious amounts of tea. Waiters with dangling trays roamed up and down the decks touting chai for less than a dollar, delivering a tear-drop Turkish tea cup on a little glass saucer, complete with spoon and paper-wrapped sugar cube. Usually, ...
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View of the Tiger Leaping Gorge in Yunnan, China (©photocoen)

Hiking the Tiger Leaping Gorge in Yunnan, China

There isn't just one stone – there are two. Which one did the tiger jump on when crossing this gorge? With some 600,000 visitors per year, tourism is booming in the Tiger Leaping Gorge, which makes me wonder why there isn't a panel pointing out which stone is linked to ...
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Sunrise Prayers at the Jinding Temple of Mount Jizu in Yunnan, China (©photocoen)

Hiking up the Holy Mountain of Mount Jizu in Yunnan, China

It's 2am and we're up and about to climb a 3248-meter-high mountain: the Chicken Foot Mountain, which is the translation of Jizu Shan. By leaving at this time we will be ahead of the crowd of visitors that will start climbing in an hour or so, and we'll have the ...
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Harvesting tea leaves with pruning shears. (©Coen Wubbels)

Hiking Through Munnar’s Tea Plantations in Kerala, India

The world is an ocean of green. We're surrounded by undulating hills blanketed with dark green and soft green tea plants. So many tea plants, all immaculately pruned without an inch sticking out anywhere, is no less than overwhelming. It's a work of art. My partner and I put on our sandals, ...
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The living root bridge feels incredibly strong and stable (©Coen Wubbels)

Crossing Living Root Bridges in the Wettest Place on Earth, India

Bridges made of roots? Bridges made of natural materials that last hundreds of years? Yes, they exist, and only in one place on earth: India's northeastern state of Meghalaya, and more specifically around the village of Cherrapunjee – which also happens to be the wettest place on earth. Not surprisingly, climate ...
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Birds like to use the dead trunks and branches as lookout points (©Coen Wubbels)

Bamboo Rafting in Kerala’s Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, India

Tiger footprints. We stop in our tracks. Excitement rises. Our guide kneels and studies them, and concludes they are old ones. Disillusion comes with a hidden sense of relief. There is a gun-carrying guard with us, but still. We set off once more along trails through a forest so hot and ...
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