Asia’s Hidden Gems: Top Horse-Riding Destinations for Adventurers

Exploring the great outdoors on horseback is a pleasure like no other. It combines the serenity of nature with the thrill of adventure, creating a unique bond between rider and horse. The rhythmic clatter of hooves on the ground, the fresh air, and the breathtaking views make horseback riding an exhilarating way to experience the world.

For horse lovers, there’s no greater joy than touring unique landscapes while riding locally bred horses aside from visiting the most romantic island destinations. Asia, with its diverse terrains and rich cultures, offers some of the most remarkable horseback riding tours. Here are some of the best places in Asia to saddle up and explore.

Naiman Lake and Kharkhorin, Mongolia

Photo: Notes of Nomads

Mongolia, often called the “Land of the Blue Sky,” is a paradise for horseback riding enthusiasts. The vast steppes, rolling hills, and pristine lakes provide a perfect backdrop for a memorable ride. Naiman Lake, located in the Kharkhorin region, is one of the most stunning places to explore on horseback. The area is renowned for its natural beauty, with the lake itself nestled among lush greenery and surrounded by rugged mountains. Riding through the open plains and alongside the shimmering waters of Naiman Lake offers a sense of freedom and connection with nature that is hard to match.

Kharkhorin, the ancient capital of the Mongol Empire, is another must-visit for riders. The historical significance of the area, combined with the scenic landscapes, makes for a captivating horseback riding experience. Travelers can explore the ruins of ancient monasteries, experience the traditional nomadic lifestyle, and even participate in local festivals, all while riding the sturdy and sure-footed Mongolian horses.

Hokkaido, Japan


Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island and 251 km away from Niseko, is a haven for nature lovers and adventurers. Its diverse landscapes, from lush forests to expansive plains and rugged coastlines, make it an ideal destination for horseback riding. The island’s mild climate and well-maintained trails ensure a pleasant and safe riding experience.

In Hokkaido, riders can explore the picturesque countryside, ride through serene forests, and even gallop along the beach. The locally bred horses, known for their strength and gentle nature, make the journey even more enjoyable. One of the highlights of horseback riding in Hokkaido is visiting the Shikotsu-Toya National Park, where riders can witness the stunning volcanic landscapes, crystal-clear lakes, and abundant wildlife.

Jeju Island, South Korea

Photo: Oneday Korea Tour

Jeju Island, a popular tourist destination in South Korea, offers a unique and enchanting setting for horseback riding tours. The island’s volcanic landscapes, lush greenery, and dramatic coastline create a picturesque environment that is perfect for exploration on horseback.

Jeju is home to the native Jeju horse, a small but resilient breed known for its endurance and gentle temperament. Riders can traverse the island’s diverse terrains, from the scenic Hallasan National Park, with its towering volcanic peaks and dense forests, to the beautiful coastal trails that offer panoramic views of the ocean. A horseback riding tour on Jeju Island is not only an adventure but also an opportunity to immerse oneself in the island’s rich culture and history.

Sumba, Indonesia

Photo: Travel Asia Now

Sumba, an island in Indonesia’s East Nusa Tenggara province, is a hidden gem that offers an unparalleled horseback riding experience. And aside from Bali, the island is renowned for its rugged landscapes, traditional villages, and stunning beaches. Horseback riding is deeply ingrained in the culture of Sumba, and visitors can enjoy riding the island’s native Sumbanese horses, known for their agility and strength.

One of the most popular horseback riding routes in Sumba is through the savannah-like landscapes and along the pristine beaches. Riders can also visit traditional villages, where they can learn about the island’s unique customs and witness traditional ceremonies. The Pasola festival, a traditional war ritual involving horseback riders, is a spectacular event that showcases the island’s rich equestrian heritage.

Horse Etiquette and What to Bring

When embarking on a horseback riding tour, it’s important to follow proper horse etiquette to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for both the rider and the horse. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

1. Respect the Horse

Photo: Horse Rookie

Always approach the horse calmly and confidently. Avoid sudden movements or loud noises that could startle the animal.

2. Follow the Guide’s Instructions

Photo: Peek

Listen to your guide and follow their instructions carefully. They are experienced and knowledgeable about the horses and the terrain.

3. Wear Appropriate Gear

Photo: Japan RAIL & TRAVEL

Wear comfortable clothing and sturdy footwear. A helmet is essential for safety, and gloves can provide extra grip and protection.

4. Pack Essentials

Photo: Visit Sunshine Coast

Bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and insect repellent. A small first aid kit and a map of the area can also be useful.

5. Treat the Environment with Care

Photo: Central Asia Guide

Stay on designated trails and respect the natural environment. Avoid littering and disturbing wildlife.


Exploring places on horseback is a unique way to appreciate the beauty and diversity of the world. Whether it’s the vast steppes of Mongolia, the picturesque landscapes of Hokkaido, the enchanting trails of Jeju Island, or the rugged beauty of Sumba, each destination offers a special experience that is far from the ordinary. Riding locally bred horses through these stunning landscapes not only builds a deeper appreciation for these majestic animals but also allows travelers to connect with the local culture and history in a meaningful way.


So, why not saddle up and embark on a horseback riding adventure? It’s a fantastic way to explore new places, experience the thrill of riding, and create unforgettable memories. The world looks different from the back of a horse, and there’s no better way to discover its hidden gems than by riding through its most beautiful landscapes.

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