A holiday in Asia often brings tropical islands and buzzing cities to mind, but magnificent deserts remain some of the region's best-kept secrets. Here are seven deserts in Asia where you can ride on a camel’s back, stay at a traditional yurt, visit charming oasis towns along the historical Silk Road and more:
1. Gobi Desert, Mongolia
Best time to visit: June to August
Gobi Desert, the largest desert in Asia, promises stunning sand dunes, dinosaur fossils, warm hospitality from nomad families and friendly Bactrian camels.
Spanning across 1,295,000 square kilometres, the desert lies in the dry region of the Tibetian Plateau, extending from northern China to Mongolia and passing through several trading cities along the historical Silk Road including Turpan, Hami and Dunhuang.
When in the Gobi Desert, stay with one of the local families in a ger (traditional Mogolian yurt) to experience some of the age-old customs of the nomadic people.
Tatler tip: Try to align your visit with the Nadaam celebration, which happens every year on July 11. The whole country gets into the festive spirit with sports competitions, that range from Mongolian archery and horse racing to wrestling.