The Essential Backpackers Guide to Asia – Part 5

Published: 10/17/2014

We have come to the final part of this series on backpacking throughout Asia. Although there is far too much for us to cover in just five blog posts, we hope you have gleaned some important information. This last leg of our journey will concentrate mainly on China, but we will also talk about Mongolia and Japan.

We left off in southern Asia last time. If you remember, we suggested you would need to decide whether to visit Malaysia, Indonesia, and Philippines as opposed to staying on the mainland. Whatever you decide on your journey, the point is to begin the last leg in southern China.


The People's Republic of China is one of the most exotic and mysterious countries in the world. It is a huge draw for Western Europeans, particularly travellers from the UK. Fortunately, the Chinese government has made great strides in developing the tourist trade over the last several decades. You should not have any trouble finding comfortable accommodations and reliable transport in and around the country's major cities.

The Yangshuo district of southern China is known as a backpacker’s paradise. It is also considered one of the most beautiful places on earth. The combination of majestic mountains and still waters is breathtaking. As you travel north from the region, make a point of seeing some of the towns along the Yangtze River.

While in China, make sure to see the capital city of Beijing. There is so much history here that it is hard to fathom. One of the most important sites in the city region is the Great Wall of China, the ancient land defence used to protect the Chinese from the Mongols. Beijing is also the national centre of politics, shopping, culture, and theatre.

Mongolia and Japan

Beijing is in the North East corner of China, so it is a perfect launching spot to either Japan or Mongolia. If you select Japan, you will be able to take flights directly from Beijing to Tokyo. Japan itself is another intriguing country that you could literally spend months exploring. You will most likely want to see a few major cities if you only have a short time to spare.

Should you choose to head to Mongolia, you are in for a treat. Mongolia is home to the beautiful Ugii Lake (at 1337 metres above sea level) and the 20m high Ulaan waterfall. There are also several impressive national parks, many monasteries, and all whole host of ancient historical sites to see. However, perhaps you will be most impressed by the friendliness of the Mongolian people. Europeans are usually surprised to find Mongols are not what we perceive them to be.

From Mongolia, we suggest crossing into southern Russia before heading westward back to Europe. You will find good rail transportation or bus service most of the way.


This concludes our five part series on backpacking through Asia. Now it is time for you to get out there and explore this wonderful continent.

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