When we think of the great national parks of the world our minds will probably migrate to the famous African Wildlife parks or the large open spaces of North America. But if you have never visited Asia then you are missing out on some of the most beautiful landscapes on the planet, with exotic animals and vegetation. Asia’s national parks are among the most diverse terrain that exists on Earth, and because they are so wildly different it is hard to select the best of the best, but our list attempts to try.
Gunung Leuser National Park – Sumatra
Indonesia is a massive country with nearly a two hundred million population. The islands spread over a considerable distance and are home to one of the greatest national parks in Asia. If you have ever seen the film Gorillas in the Mist then you can experience the Sumatran version of it, Orangutan’s in the Mist. The Gunung Leuser Park is stupendous, swathes of large trees reach upwards as far as the eye can see, almost creating a land that time forgot, and it is here that the rare Sumatran orangutan lives in its natural habitat. Take a trip into the forest jungle and you just may be lucky to see a flash of bright orange fur above you swinging in the trees.
Wilpattu National Park – Sri Lanka
The Wilpattu National Park is the largest in Sri Lanka and is quite remarkable as it is situated in the area known locally as the dry zone. It is also remarkable as it is a wetlands that act as a sort of oasis from all the dry land that encircles them. The park has its own unique habitat, there are small shallow lakes that attracts all manner of life. Birds especially love to make their nests in this fertile environment such as herons, egrets, owls, kites, eagles and white ibis. Larger animals such as leopards, elephants, deer, and sloth bears regularly wander about quite freely.
Phnom Kulen National Park – Cambodia
There is something quite awesome about waterfalls, but in a way peaceful too. The way the water cascades over the rocks in a never-ending torrent reminds us of time ticking by. And because of the Cambodian Government’s recent policy of opening up more of its fantastic country now means places like Phnom Kulen are now accessible. The best thing about this national park is that you get all the benefits of a wild jungle but do not have to have specialized trekking kit. This park is magical, it has everything from vast undulating hills, sheltered glades hosting majestic waterfalls and the occasional ancient Buddha cave and statues. Phnom Kulen is also littered with highly significant architectural examples which gives the whole park a sort of ethereal and spiritual feeling to it. These three national parks are about as different as they get, from amazing wetlands, to cascading waterfalls. Amazing creatures and birdlife to landscapes that are almost unique in the world. If you want to visit a truly amazing national park then think of Asia and you will not be disappointed.