Bizarre Natural Wonders of Asia: 7 Weird Attractions to Visit


When you think about Asia’s natural wonders, the Salt Flats of Uyuni and the Himalayas may come to mind. But you may not have heard much about some of the most bizarre natural wonders of Asia.

These are among the weirdest spots on the continent, places that you have to see at least once in your lifetime. Some of these are so strange and unique that people have tried to recreate them for aesthetics or education purposes. However, none of the recreations can capture the full beauty and complexity of the originals.

Visiting any of these locations promises an incredibly unique and memorable adventure for every vacationer. It is an opportunity to challenge your understanding of how nature works and to appreciate its diversity.

Without further ado, here are the weirdest places in Asia to explore while you are here:

Singalila Ridge, Nepal/India


One of the most bizarre natural wonders of Asia is a natural border that separates India and Nepal. It is a long, narrow ridge that winds through an incredibly scenic terrain. Take a hike to the top of this ridge for the most breathtaking view of the eastern Himalayas. It rises to an altitude of more that 3,000 meters, offering a great mountaineering adventure.

From here, you can see four of the five tallest mountain peaks in the world in a single view. These are Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse and Makalu. Keep an eye out for the rare panda, which inhabits this mountainous terrain. Other rare animals you might come across include the barking deer, boar and bears.

Loktak Lake Floating Islands, India

Africa is not the only continent that is home to mysterious lake islands. In India’s largest freshwater lake, Loktak, a mesmerizing sight awaits. The lake is home to floating islands that make up the only floating national park in the world. These are not your everyday islands; they are phumdis – made up of soil, decomposing matter and vegetation.

When the water level drops, these phumids sink to the bottom of the lake and accumulate nutrients from the rich soil. As water levels rise, they rise too and use these accumulated nutrients for sustenance. Adventurous locals build their homes on these little islands and enjoy a front-row view of this marvel of nature.

Unfortunately, the construction of a dam in the 1980s has resulted in high water levels throughout the year. The phumdis cannot therefore get to the bottom of the lake for nutrients, and some are breaking apart.

Danxia Landforms, China


This is certainly one of the most bizarre natural wonders of Asia, an unusual geological formation that seems surreal. The area known as China Danxia showcases an unusually dramatic landscape that erosion has turned into a work of art. It consists of cliffs, ravines, valleys, towers, natural pillars and stunning waterfalls. But the most enchanting thing about it is that the entire landscape is painted in the colours of the rainbow.

How did it all come about? Centuries back, rivers deposited red sandstone as well as other minerals in the region. As they usually do, the minerals settled into different layers by colour. Tectonic movements then rocked the region exposing these beautiful layers. A rugged terrain of strange shapes then formed thanks to the effects of erosion and weathering. Popularly known as the Rainbow Mountains, this area is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It spans a whopping 510 square kilometers (197 square miles).

Check out the seven coloured earths of Mauritius, one of the weirdest natural wonders of Africa.

Badain Jaran Desert, Mongolia/China

As the second largest desert in China, Badain Jaran is a world of wonders spanning nearly 50,000 square kilometers (31,000 square miles). It sits at an altitude of between 1,000 and 1,600 meters (3,281 and 5,249ft) above sea level. The remarkable elevation places it anong highest altitude deserts in the world. Some of the most mysterious sand dunes and lakes call this desert home.

Some of its incredibly high sand dunes tower over 500 meters (1,640ft). One of these is Bilutu, the tallest stationery sand dune in the world. It rises to a peak of 1,611 meters (5,285 feet). For perspective, this is more than 50 meters (160ft+) higher than the Empire State Building. Some of the dunes here are stationery because their sands have compacted over thousands of years. Even more astounding is the fact that the dunes in this desert sometimes sing. This only happens under specific circumstances.

Another strange natural attraction here are the more than 140 lakes. Some are freshwater lakes while others are salty, but all draw their water from underground springs. They create vibrant oases of life around themselves, standing in stark contrast to the barren desert. Their source is still a subject of mystery.

Puerto Princesa Underground River, the Philippines


If your heart beats for cave adventures, you will love this bizarre natural wonder of Asia. It is a complex cave system with an 8.2-kilometer-long (5.1 miles) underground river. As part of the Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP), it sits in a spectacular landscape of limestone karst. This park has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999. Here’s why.

The underground river here is one of the longest, navigable underground river in the world. Notably, only about half of it is open for tours. It runs through an enchanting terrain with small waterfalls, several river channels and a deep water hole. Also amazing is the fact that it flows under mountainous terrain (St. Paul’s Mountain Range) and empties directly into the sea. Consequently, ocean tides affect a part of it.

The park has a complete mountain-to-sea ecosystem with stunning biodiversity. It has eight types of forests, out of the total of 13 found worldwide. In this beautiful paradise, there are 233 animal species and 800 species of plants.  Endangered dugongs and sea turtles inhabit the coastal areas. The caves on the other hand host nine species of bats. Some endemic mammals found here include the Palawan bearded pig and the Palawan pangolin among others. It is no surprise that this site is now considered one of the world’s seven new wonders.

Darvaza Gas Crater (Door to Hell), Turkmenistan

This geological wonder is to a great extent natural but is also a consequence of an unfortunate human accident. Also known as the ‘gates of hell’ and the ‘door to hell,’ Darvaza is a fiery crater that has been burning since 1971.

It came into existence when a Soviet drill accidentally bore a hole into an underground gas cave. The cavern began to leak poisonous gases and to minimize the negative impact, the team decided to light it up. At the time, they thought it would burn out in a week or two. In the 50+ years since this phenomenon began, the surrounding desert has become a popular camping ground. Here, visitors come to see the dancing flames and hear spooky sounds from the bowels of the earth. Since January 2022, research has been ongoing on how to put the fire out.

Tiankeng/Wulong Three Bridges, China

One of the lesser-known bizarre natural wonders of Asia is the site of the Three Natural Bridges. They are part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the South China Karst-Wulong Karst. The area is renowned for its unique karst formations including canyons, sinkholes, caves and fractures.

Before nature turned them into bridges, these three spots were a part of caves. However, the ground collapsed beneath them to form massive sinkholes. Spectacular limestone arches remained above the sinkholes to form the three bridges.

Its breathtaking allure has not escaped the notice of filmmakers. Some of the films shot here include Transformers 4 and Curse of the Golden Flower.

Escape from the Ordinary in Asia’s Unusual Destinations

The world’s natural landscape is full of surprises and nowhere is this more evident than in Asia. Some of the world’s most bizarre natural attractions call this continent home. They are incredibly fascinating vacation destinations with a combination of amazing things to do and see.

Make a point to visit these stunning places to escape from the ordinary and enjoy a dose of the unusual. If you happen to come to Asia for business, check out these hidden spots for bleisure trips. Indulge your love for the extraordinary in the weirdest places in Europe.

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