Forbes Magazine has picked “5 natural wonders” across Southeast Asia that must not be missed.
Main picture Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, Palawan, Philippines, credit Paweesit on flickr
Here is their list.
Komodo and its neighbouring islands form Komodo National Park and is stunning for its natural beauty both on land and under the sea.
Of course the islands are best known for the Komodo Dragons,the world’s largest lizard, who inhabit the area.
The Komodo Dragon, are certainly not the only attraction though.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site is also one of the New7Wonders of Nature which are famous for the their wildlife, scenery and magnificent marine life and scuba diving. Komodo is also well known for the beautiful “Pink” beach.
Mount Kinabalu, Malaysia
The highest mountain on Borneo stands at 4,095 metres / 13,4365 feet and is the third-highest island mountain on earth.
As part of Kinabulu Park, it is another UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The mountain and its surrounds are deemed to be among the most important biological sites in the world. There are estimated to be between 5,000 and 6,000 species of plants, 326 species of birds, and more than 100 mammal species, including orangutans.
The mountain and surrounding area can be enjoyed by all, numbers of climbers on the mountain itself are restricted and have to receive a permit with only 130 people allowed each day. All climbers must be accompanied by an accredited guide and although the trip can be done in a day, it is usually spread over two days with an overnight stay in a mountain rest house.
Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, Philippines
The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is a protected area in the Philippines. Located on the western coast of Palawan, it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999, voted as a New7Wonders of Nature in 2012 and became a Ramsar Wetland Site in 2012.
The park contains a full mountain-to-the-sea ecosystem and has some of the most important forests in Asia, and is an important habitat for biodiversity conservation. The park includes Karst towers and has recorded 165 species of birds, 30 mammal species, including long-tailed macaque and 19 species of reptiles, including python and monitor lizards.
The park is best known however for the incredible underground river, much of which has become a popular tourist destination for day-trippers.
A true paradise for nature lovers, this iconic preserve is a Ramsar Wetland, UNESCO World Heritage Site, and New7Wonder of Nature all rolled into one. While the Filipino province of Palawan is no stranger to natural beauty, this park is especially renowned for its five-mile underground river, which serves as a popular day trip destination for locals and tourists alike. In addition to the subterranean waterway, the park is also home to massive old-growth forests that are rife with indigenous Filipino species, as well as towering limestone karsts, a striking geological feature that’s formed through steady rainwater erosion.
Red Lotus Lake, Thailand
Situated many miles away from the tourist hordes means that you are unlikely to have many people spoiling your photo opportunities.
During the cooler winter months from December to February the stunning pink blooms flower and turn the surface of the lake into an incredible spectacle.
Head to Nong Han Lake in Udon Thani, ideally during the early morning, climb on one of the local boats and get ready for the short trip to Talay Bua Daeng or the Red Lotus Lake.
Lào Cai, Vietnam
On the border with China in the far northwest of Vietnam lies Lào Cai Province.
The northern mountainous province is home to the resort town Sa Pa as well as Vietnam’s tallest mountain, Fansipan.
Sa Pa boasts a cool climate, and welcome relief to the heat further south, has wonderful green scenery and rice terraces and is home to ethnic minority groups.
Mount Fansipan has been nicknamed “the roof of Indochina” and is hugely popular with Vietnamese trekkers as well as more intrepid foreign tourists. It stands at 3,145 metres /10,311 feet.
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