Some travelers yearn to get well and truly lost. They want an open sky and an empty terrain, a place to feel small and let go. From the high peaks of the Himalayas to the singing sand dunes of the Gobi Desert, there is nowhere quite like Asia to lose oneself.
In Kazakhstan, brave mountaineers can trek up to the rocky ridge of Kazygurt, the holy site said to be the the final port of call for Noah’s Ark. Visitors can fly for hours to Bayan Olgii in Mongolia’s westernmost Altai region without being able to spot a single village. In the lively forests of North Sumatra, there is an isolated lake in the caldera of a dead supervolcano 18 miles wide. Asia abounds with secluded spots with history, tranquility, and solitude.
Getting off the grid isn’t just about being alone; it’s about being far from the noise of the modern world and replacing it with an older, more tangible world – the world of the Baining fire dancers of Papua New Guinea or the Phongsali in the mountains of Laos. It’s not about getting off the beaten path for its own sake. It’s about making your own.
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Baikal is the deepest and purest lake on the planet, a frozen sea in the heart of Siberia and an adventurer’s icy paradise of driving, helicopters, and dog sleds. From the Old Believers to the Buryat bone crushers, its shores and islands are sacred to those who call Baikal home.
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