Travel on your own terms – drive through the most beautiful places in the region. If you’re the ‘don’t-tie-me-down-with-an-itinerary’ kind of traveller, road trips are the answer! Set the wheel of your favourite vehicle and zip around on these beautiful stretches of road.
1. Hai Van Pass, Vietnam
Described as one of the best coastal roads in the world, the Hai Van Pass is a mountainous stretch of road in Central Vietnam. One of the most scenic roads in the country, this pass is a favourite when looking for a safe, short and relatively easy biking road trip. It connects the two popular tourist destinations, Hoi An and Da Nang, to the south and Hue to the north, adding points to its already brimming counter.
2. Bangkok to Singapore
We’re talking about 1,250 miles and several weeks of indulgence for this one! Bangkok is a delight with its nightlife and sight-seeing. Jump the border and head to Penang in Malaysia before you get on the road again for a superb drive to Kuala Lumpur to check out the world famous Petronas Twin Towers. Head to Malacca for a quick sightseeing number – there are some beautiful temples and mosques here – before you head to Singapore.
3. Guoliang Tunnel, China
This one should excite anyone interested in a road trip different from all others. China’s Guoliang Tunnel is by far one of the most dangerous and exciting roads to travel on. The window like structures that help locate the road were actually holes made to let some light in and throw the rubble out of the 19 foot wide and 13 foot high tunnel road. The road is uneven, dingy and scary – but the experience is as thrilling as they come, plus you get access to viewpoints you’d give your right arm for!
4. Karakoram Highway
The Karakoram Highway is the highest paved road in the world. It connects China and Pakistan across a mountain range that marks the border between the two countries. The route is stunning for the fact that your drive will take you around snowy mountains, glaciers, lakes, rocky gorges, rivers and ages old works of stone art.
5. The Golden Road to Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Historic cities and breathtaking landscapes – if this is what rings your bell, hire a 4WD and get on the Golden Road. A longish trip, at least a week to ten days, the Golden Road to Samarkand traces ancient traders’ footsteps on the historic Silk Route in Uzbekistan.
6. Jebel Hafeet, United Arab Emirates
This is a road to practically nowhere, except to a palace and a fancy hotel. Built exclusively for your driving pleasure, the Jebel Hafeet road in the UAE is about 12 kilometres of smooth surfaces and racetrack-worthy corners built in the desert around the Hafeet mountain.