Al-Hasa Oasis is the largest natural oasis in Saudi Arabia and all of Asia. The oasis is located just over 40 miles west of the Arabian Gulf. Statistically speaking, the oasis accounts for 30,000 acres. Al-Hasa is one of the largest oasis in the world, and it is the largest in all of Asia. There are over 60 artesian springs that feed the oasis along with a large underground aquifer as well. Collectively, these provide water and irrigation to over 3 million date palms as well as the million residents of the area.
The Sundarbans Forest is the largest collection of tidal halophytic mangroves in the world. The Sundarbans Forest is home to the Royal Bengal Tiger. The Sundarbans provide a unique ecosystem and series of habitats for a wide variety of wildlife. In addition to the tiger, 42 species of mammals, 35 reptiles and amphibians, 270 species of birds, and over 120 species of fish. Many of these are endangered.
Cox’s Bazar Beach
Cox’s Bazar Beach is the longest natural unbroken beach in the world. The tide varies slightly creating a good place for sun bathing. The name Cox’s Bazar Beach comes from Captain Cox who died in 1799. He was a British officer that was compassionate towards the local people and had gain much favor in their eyes. The beach is also referred to as Palongkee and Panowa which means “yellow flower.”
The Chocolate Hills are consistent in their cone shape and size and estimates show that the number of hills reaches at least 1,260 but may be as many as 1,776. The Chocolate Hills encompasse a 20 square mile area creating a sea or rolling terrain of these haycock hills. The height of the hills varies from 98 to 160 feet with the largest hill reaching a peak of 390 feet. The Chocolate Hills are actually grass covered limestone, but during the dry season the grass dries up turning brown which is where the name is derived from. The dried up brown hills look like a sea of “chocolate kisses.”
The Dead Sea is a hypersaline, or salt, lake that is over 8 times more salty than the ocean. It lies between Israel and the West Bank and Jordan. The Dead Sea is also referred to as “Sea of Salt.” The shores of the lake are 1,378 feet below sea level making it the lowest place on the earth’s surface. The Dead Sea is 1,247 feet deep making it the deepest hypersaline lake in the world. The Dead Sea is 42 miles long and 11 miles wide. The Jordan River is the primary tributary for the Dead Sea.
The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River is the longest underground river in Asia and the second longest underground river in the world. It features a navigable underground river that travels through the cave before flowing into the South China Sea. The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River travels through a cave that features stalactites, stalagmites, and many large chambers. The park area encompasses a complete sea to mountain ecosystem and features 8 of the 13 different forest types found in Asia. Collectively there are over 800 different plant species.
Tubbataha Reef is a two atoll coral reef system. The name is derived from two words which collectively mean “long reef exposed at low tide.” The atolls and reef system are located in the Sulu Sea off the coast of the Philippines. The smaller of the Tubbataha Reef atolls is 3 miles long with the larger measuring 10 miles long and 3 miles wide. The atolls and Tubbataha Reef are a sanctuary for more than 1,000 species. Visitors will find manta rays, lionfish, tortoises, clownfish and sharks. There are 300 coral species, 400 fish species, and numerous bird life. The Tubbataha Reef is part of the Tubbataha National Marine Park which encompasses 239,000 acres. The reefs and atolls are guarded 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Ha Long Bay
Ha Long Bay is located in the Quang Ninh province of Vietnam. The bay features a dense collection of 1,969 limestone monolithic islands that are covered with jungle vegetation. Many of these monolithic islands feature caves, grotto, lakes and secluded beaches. Two of the larger islands are home to permanent residents and even tourism services. Many of the islands feature wildlife that includes birds, bantams, antelopes, monkeys, and lizards.
Mount Fuji is the tallest mountain in Japan with the peak reaching an elevation of 12,388 feet. The mountain is located on the west of Tokyo near the boundary of Shizuoka and Yamanashi. Mount Fuji can be seen from Tokyo on clear days. Mount Fuji is most known for the symmetrical cone shape that is often snow covered creating a spectacular scene across Lake Kawaguchi. Mount Fuji is actually surrounded by five lakes that include: Lake Kawaguchi, Lake Yamanaka, Lake Sai, Lake Motosu and Lake Shoji. The mountain is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park.
Cedars of Lebanon
The Cedars of Lebanon is a conservancy park in Lebanon protect the Cedar of Lebanon or Lebanon Cedar trees which are native to the area. The Cedar of Lebanon tree may also be found in parts of Turkey, Syria, and the in the Atlas Mountains of Algeria and Morocco. The Cedar of Lebanon is an evergreen tree which reaches heights of 130 feet and can develop a trunk that is over 8 feet in diameter. The tree is most proliferate at elevations of 3,300 to 6,500 feet. Some groups divide the Cedars of Lebanon into four different species with the Cedars of Lebanon being found in Lebanon, western Syria and southwest Turkey. The second, Turkish Cedar, species is native to the southwest Turkey region. The third species, Cyprus Cedar, is native to the Cyprus area. The final species, or Atlas Cedar, is native to the Atlas Mountains in Morocco and Algeria.
Jeita Grotto is a set of interconnected limestone caves located in Lebanon. A river runs through the two caves referred to as the lower cave and the upper galleries. The Jeita Grotto is the longest cave complex in the Middle East with a height difference of 1,000 feet. The Jeita Grotto sits at 980 feet above sea level. Explorers have made there way 22,700 feet from the front entry way of the lower grotto to the deepest end of the underground river, and about 7,000 feet of the upper galleries. The upper galleries features stalactites, stalagmites, columngs, mushrooms, ponds, curtains and draperies. The effects and views of the cave have been enhanced with a good lighting system. The longest stalactite in the world is found in the White Chamber of the Jeita Grotto.
K2 is the second highest mountain on earth located in Pakistan as part of the Himalayan mountain range. The summit reaches a peak of 28,251 feet second to Mount Everest, but it is considered a much more challenging ascent than Everest. K2 is often called the Savage Mountain because for every four people that reach the peak one dies trying.
The Huangshan Mountains are renowned for rock formations, hot springs, uniquely shaped pines, and the misty clouds. The area also features lakes, waterfalls, streams, and plenty of wildlife. Huangshan Mountain itself has been called the best of all mountains in China. The Huangshan Mountain area has a well-preserved ecosystem with plant life covering over 82 percent and the forest covering 56 percent of the area. The area is home to approximately 1,450 different plant species with 10 of the species on the verge of extinction.
The Guilin Mountains and surrounding area is one of the most inspirational spots for poets and artists in the world. Limestone mountains and incredible rock formations spring up in various shapes and sizes all along the Li River. Seven-star Park, which covers an area of 100 hectares, features rivers, caves, the Seven Star Peaks, “Morning of Camel Hill,” “Crescent Rainbow Shadow,” and Putuo Stone Forest.” The Guilin Mountains and Seven-Star Park area also features scenic features like Flower Bridge, Longyin Cave, Zenggong Stong, Crescent Stone, Camel Hill, Longyin Stone, and Flower Bridge.
Mount Damavand is a dormant volcano located in Iran. With the summit reaching 18,406 feet, it is the highest peak in Iran and the Middle East and it is the highest volcano in all of Asia. Mount Damavand is part of the Alborz mountain range. it is located near the southern coast of the Caspian Sea As a dormant stratovolcano, Mount Damavand features fumaroles towards the peak which have spewed sulfur as recently as 2007. Additionally, Mount Damavand features thermal springs. Combined with the fumaroles, the hot springs give evidence that hot magma is still present beneath the volcano.