• Exploring Phang Nga Bay (Thailand): From the island of Phuket, sea-canoe operators guide visitors through the caves hidden deep inside the craggy island rocks of Phang-Nga Bay. Outside, the islands thrust up to the sky, their jagged edges laced with scattered trees. Lie flat in your canoe to slip through the small cave openings, inside which you'll find magnificent chambers believed to have once hidden pirate operations.

  • Caving & Kayaking in Vang Vieng (Laos): Countless caves and caverns are hidden in the magnificent mountains surrounding Vang Vieng, a small village along the Nam Song River. Some of them are well known and some are barely on the map. Kayak tours on the Nam Song include some fun caves that you'll swim into; you can test your mettle on natural mud slides. Spend your days exploring and evenings talking about it over drinks in this laid-back little backpacker town.

  • Sea Kayaking in Halong Bay (Vietnam): The more than 3,000 arresting limestone karst formations rising out of Halong Bay's peaceful blue-green waters provide a natural obstacle course for paddling. Moving among them, you'll pass in and among intriguing grottoes and caverns. Nights are spent camping out in natural parks or on the deck of a mother ship.

  • Trekking to Hill-Tribe Villages in Sapa (Vietnam): Dressed in elaborate costumes of leggings, tunics, and headdresses, Hmong and Yao people (among other groups) gather to sell their weavings, fine dyed clothing, or crude but intricate metalwork in the central market. In fact, the town of Sapa is famed for an ephemeral "love market," where people from surrounding villages converge to find that special someone. A trip to Sapa means that the hill tribes come to you, but don't limit your trip to the town; be sure to get off into the countryside and trek in the shadow of Fansipan, the highest mountain in the region. Among lush terraced rice fields, you can visit many villages on even the shortest trek and experience different hill-tribe traditions and cultures.

  • Jungle Trekking in Taman Negara (Malaysia): With suitable options for all budgets, levels of comfort, and desired adventure, Malaysia's largest national park opens the wonders of primary rainforest and the creatures that dwell in it to everyone. From the canopy, walk high atop the forest on night watches for nocturnal life. This adventure is as stunning as it is informative.

  • Hiking Gunung Agung (Bali): Bali's highest mountain/volcano, Gunung Agung (3,014m/9,886 ft.), is sacred to the Balinese, whose traditions call it "the center of the world." Climbing the steaming peak is a serious trek that calls for a guide and proper supplies. Most hotels can arrange for it, but you will have to start out in the middle of the night or very early in the morning to make the top by sunrise. Nearby Gunung Batur is a less strenuous and no less rewarding half-day climb.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.