Do you love and adore the animal kingdom? If yes, you need to visit Asia to see many Asian animals. Why, you may ask? Well, that’s because Asia is where some of the most incredible animals in the animal kingdom are. The large and diverse content is home to rare and fascinating animals, including the Indian Bengali tiger, cute and fluffy giant pandas, and fierce Asian lions.
And that’s just the start—there’s lots more to discover and marvel at as you wander around the many landscapes in Asia. So we’ll be walking you through the most incredible animals that you need to catch a glimpse of during your tour around Asia.
The best animals in Asia
1. Bengal Tiger, A.K.A. Indian Tiger
The Bengal tiger, often known as the Indian tiger, is both India and Bangladesh’s national animal. The most unique feature of this incredible animal is the shape of its stripes. Sadly, Indian tigers are under threat due to humans destroying their natural habitats.
Where to witness Bengal tigers: The three best places to watch the Bengal tiger in India are Bandhavgarh National Park, Kanha National Park, and Pench National Park. In Bandhavgarh Park, there are over 60 tigers roaming around. Visit Kanha National Park, which has roughly 125 tigers and offers safaris deep into the forest. Another nice spot to watch tigers is Pench National Park. Ranthambore National Park is a popular destination for tiger safaris due to its closeness to Jaipur and the Golden Triangle.
2. Giant Panda – One of the most populer Asian animals.
Who doesn’t love pandas? And we can guarantee you that no one can resist adoring the giant panda. Other than being a fluffy and furry cutie, the giant panda is an important animal in China. If you are planning to take a tour of China, make sure to visit Chengdu, where you’ll see giant pandas. As with most pandas, giant pandas were once considered ‘endangered.’
But with breeding programs, the population has risen quite a bit, and they are no longer endangered. Although the panda population has increased, it’s not easy to spot them in the wild.
Where to find giant pandas: The best option is to go to the Giant Panda Research and Breeding Center in Chengdu. The place attracts many visitors, so make sure you reserve your entry ticket well in advance.
The center was designed to resemble pandas’ natural environment. So you’ll get to see their natural behaviors. There is also a one-of-a-kind opportunity to hold a panda cub for US$275. However, keep in mind that human contact would lead to germs getting contaminated with these newly born panda babies.
3. Blood Python
If you are fascinated by reptiles, especially snakes, you need to catch a glimpse of the infamous blood python. You may instantly guess that this snake is fierce and hunts for blood. However, that’s not true. The fascinating reptile is not as scary as its name suggests. The Blood python is a medium-sized snake that measures about 140cm long and weighs 13 kg. It is not venomous. These snakes are still among the favorites of reptile lovers. Blood pythons prefer to be in forested areas, marshes, and tropical swamps.
Binturong is infamously known as ‘bearcat’. These beautiful animals gained this nickname because they resemble a strange hybrid between a bear and a cat. You’ll see this resemblance for yourself once you see them. The Binturong is endemic to Asia. Binturong can be found in Khao Sok National Park in southern Thailand. Look for them in the evergreen rainforest, lowland forest, and grassland forest, which have towering trees. Because they sleep high in the trees, you’ll have to search hard if you want to spot one.
Where to witness Binturong: Southeast Asian destinations, including the Philippines’ Palawan and Thailand.
5. Japanese Macaque
The Japanese macaque, also infamously known as the snow monkey, is native to Japan. You may wonder why they’re called snow monkeys. Well, that’s because these cute monkeys prefer to live in snowy areas.
Where to witness Japanese macaques: Japanese macaques are found on three of the four main Japanese islands: Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu. Jigokudani Monkey Park in Yamanouchi is one of the best places to see Japanese macaques.
6. Green Peafowl
Green peafowl, sometimes known as Indonesian peafowl, are native to Southeast Asia’s tropical jungles. Fun fact: It is the national bird of Myanmar.
Where to witness Green peafowl: Other than Myanmar, you can spot these incredible animals in India, Thailand, and Java, Indonesia. If you are visiting Indonesia, you should visit East Java. This bird is only found on Java, and you may see it at Baluran National Park.
7. Borneo Elephant
If you adore the ever-majestic elephants, you need to witness the Borneo elephant. Also known as the Borneo pygmy elephant, these gentle giants are a subspecies of the Asian elephant. They are not as giant as the Asian elephants. They are called pygmy elephants as they are comparatively smaller than the Asian elephant.
These small giants’ are endemic to Borneo Island. So if you wish to catch a glimpse of them, make sure to visit northeast Borneo in Sabah and Kinabatangan.
There are around 2,040 pygmy elephants left in the wild, with 95% being found in the Malaysian state of Sabah.
Where to witness Borneo elephants: the Kinabatangan River, the Tabin Wildlife Reserve, the Deramakot Forest Reserve, and the Danum Valley
8. Green Turtle
Do you love animals under the sea? Well, take a chance to witness part of their world on the Gili Islands of Indonesia. There you’ll find the one-of-a-kind green turtle. Fun fact about green turtles: They are larger than the Hawksbill turtle and can grow up to 1.5 m in length. Green turtles are able to stay underwater for about two hours without needing to breathe.
Where to witness green turtles: The Gili Islands have some of the best beaches in Indonesia and are made up of Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air. You can go to the honeymoon island of Gili Meno and dive into the water to get a close glimpse of sea turtles. You can expect to spot a lot of turtles per dive around Gilli.
9. Komodo Dragons
The Komodo dragon of Indonesia is a fascinating animal that you need to witness. Before you get excited, no, they are not real dragons, but they are fascinating. Komodo dragons are the world’s largest reptiles, growing to be three meters long and weighing up to 135 kg. They are venomous and, like snakes, have a terrifying hunting strike. Sadly, these fascinating creatures are fragile because their habitat has been destroyed over many decades due to developmental projects and natural calamities.
Where to witness Komodo dragons: Komodo National Park is the best place to catch a glimpse of Komodo dragons.
This national park is located in Indonesia’s Lesser Sunda Islands and consists of three big islands: Komodo, Rinca, and Padar.
10. Eastern Black-Crested Gibbon
The Eastern black-crested gibbon is one of the most rare animals that you may get the chance to witness in Asia. The summit of this gibbon’s head is covered with a unique black fur. Unfortunately, the IUCN lists the Eastern black-crested gibbon as severely endangered. The population of this gibbon has dropped by 80% in 45 years. It is now considered one of the most critically endangered primates. This animal was thought to be extinct until a small population was discovered in northeastern Vietnam near the Chinese border in 2002.
In 2005, it was estimated that there were only 35 to 37 of these gibbons in Vietnam. Thanks to many conservation efforts, the adult gibbon population has increased a bit. Where to witness Eastern black-crested gibbons: Southern China, Northern Vietnam.
11. Indian Rhinoceros
The Indian rhino is another unique and fascinating animal that finds a home in India. The Indian rhino weighs between 1,800 and 2,700 kilograms and is about two meters tall. Sadly, the Indian rhino’s habitat has been severely degraded. Rhinos can now be found in 11 reserves across India and Nepal.
Where to witness Indian rhinos: Kaziranga National Park in Assam, northeastern India, boasts the world’s biggest population of Indian rhinos, estimated to be approximately 2,400.
12. Sumatran Orangutan
Another incredible species that you must visit is the Sumatran orangutan. Sumatran orangutans are less common than Bornean orangutans. According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List, Sumatran orangutans are “critically endangered.” Sadly, only around 13,800 of them are alive now.
Where to witness Sumatran orangutans: Gunung Leuser National Park in northern Sumatra, Indonesia. You must be accompanied by a licensed guide to enter this park. The park entrance fee is approximately 150,000 Indonesian Rupiah (US$9.60), and there are various day and overnight tours available to observe these magnificent orange creatures.
13. Clouded Leopard
The clouded leopard, also called the mainland clouded leopard, is one of the most fascinating animals you’ll ever come across.
There are less than 10,000 of these leopards in the wild, and sadly, their numbers are declining. They are most commonly seen in Southeast Asia’s rainforests. It gets its name from its cloud-like patches, which are regarded as a different genus of cat rather than just a variation of leopard. They have a stockier build than a typical African leopard, and males can be twice the size of females.
Where to witness the clouded leopard: locations on Borneo, including Deramakot Forest Reserve, Tabin Wildlife Reserve, and the Kinabatangan River.
14. Asiatic Lion
The Asiatic lion, also known as the Persian lion, is something you can only find in India. These lions may appear to be from southern Africa, yet they differ from their African cousins. Asiatic lions are quite small compared to African lions. Although the Asiatic lion is considered endangered, its number fortunately seems to be growing.
Where to witness Asiatic lions: the Sasan Gir National Park, one of India’s many beautiful national parks where you can go on a safari.
15. Asian Black Bear, Aka the Moon Bear
Sadly, though, the black bear is recognized as ‘vulnerable’ due to the unfortunate impacts of forest destruction.
Where to witness Asian black bears: Khao Yai National Park, Mu Ko Chang National Park, and Nam Nao National Park in Nepal.
The caracal is cute, fierce, and striking at the same time. They are undoubtedly an unusually beautiful medium-sized cat that you need to see. These cats live in Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia. The Asian caracal weighs about 25 kg and is distinguished by unusually large ears and tufty hair.
Where to witness caracals: in three protected places in India: Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan, Kailadevi Wildlife Sanctuary in Rajasthan, and Narayan Sarovar Wildlife Sanctuary in Kachchh.
17. Crab-Eating Macaque
The crab-eating macaque, a.k.a. a long-tailed macaque, is another fascinating Asian mammal. This variety of macaque is considered an invasive species that threatens biodiversity in a number of locations, including Hong Kong. You may wonder how these animals got this one-of-a-kind nickname, ‘crab-eating monkeys.’ Well, it’s pretty self-explanatory. They got this name because they are frequently spotted foraging for crabs on beaches.
Where to witness crab-eating macaques: You’ll see a handful of these monkeys if you trek up Lion Rock in Hong Kong’s ShaTin area.
18. Bactrian Camel
The fascinating and unique Bactrian camel, sometimes known as the Mongolian camel, domestic Bactrian camel, or two-humped camel, lives in Northwest China and Mongolia. You will be able to find a lot of these camels. These 800-kg herbivores are more than 7 feet tall and have two humps. Their humps function similarly to those of Arabians, accumulating fat that can be turned into water. Where to witness Bactrian camels: Mongolia’s Gobi Desert
19. Draco Lizard
The Draco lizard, often known as the gliding lizard, has the ability to fly. They have a membrane that spreads outward to form wings, which allow them to glide through the air. This fascinating species can grow to be about 8 inches long (including the lengthy tail).
Where to witness Draco lizards: the Philippines or Borneo These lizards are mostly found in the Philippines’ rainforests, but they may also be found in locations like Malinao and even in people’s backyards.
20. Red Panda
Red pandas—once you see them, you won’t be able to stop gushing over their cuteness. These pandas are distinctly different from giant pandas in terms of appearance. But they are equally adorable. The red panda is the size of a domestic cat and has thick, reddish-brown fur. They spend most of their time in trees, and their diet mostly consists of bamboo.
Where to find red pandas: in the Eastern Himalayas of China, Nepal, and in the Jigme Khesar Strict Nature Reserve in Bhutan.
There you have it! Now you know all about Asia’s most amazing animals. Asia is home to some of the most endangered animals, and you won’t be able to witness them elsewhere. Asia’s amazing animals are as diverse as the continent itself. During your visit to each country in Asia, you’ll be amazed at the fascinating animals. It would be a dream come true for any nature or animal lover.
So why not take a trip to Asia? You’d love the experience of discovering and meeting these animals for sure! We recommend opting for conservation tours whenever possible. That way, you’re also helping these vulnerable animals.