Traveling to Southeast Asia may already seem like the trip of a lifetime but to 'taste' the air from a summit in the region could be one of many unaccomplished dreams yet for many travellers.
You don’t have to be a mountaineer and attempt Everest to feel accomplished and get your heads in the cloud.
Thus, to all mountaineers out there, if you're aiming high, it will be interesting to aim to climb each of the highest mountains in every Southeast Asian country!
The following are the top 10 mountains you would want to give a try:
1. HKAKABO RAZI (5,881 m) - MYANMAR
Hkakabo Razi (pronounced KA-kuh-bo RAH-zee) is said to be the highest peak in Southeast Asia. Cut with jagged massif of black rock and white glaciers, it rises out of the jungles of northern Myanmar (formerly known as Burma).
The mountain, located beyond the eastern edge of the Himalayas on the border with Tibet, was first measured back in 1925 at 19,296 feet high. It is a peak so remote that just getting to the mountain requires a two-week hike through dense jungle with plunging gorges — and inhabited by venomous snakes.
2. PUNCAK JAYA (4,884 m) - PAPUA ISLAND, INDONESIA
Puncak Jaya is the highest point of the huge Sudirman Range, the highest mountain in Indonesia, the highest peak on an island and one of the famous Seven Summits world peaks.
It was named after the Dutch explorer, Jan Carstensz who, in 1623, observed glaciers on the higher slopes of the mountain. Satellite imagery suggests that these glaciers have been retreating rapidly over the last few decades.
3. MOUNT KINABALU (4,093m) - MALAYSIA
On the small island of Borneo, a state of Malaysia, you will find Kinabalu National Park. The mountain is one of the highest peaks in Southeast Asia with its summit sitting at 13,435 feet (4,095 meters). Over 40,000 people climb the mountain every year for the terrific views it provides.
The climb takes two days to complete, spending a night under the stars near the top before summiting and returning back to the lodge. The mountain is not a difficult climb and can be achieved by any reasonably fit person. The highlight of the trip? Borneo is home to over 500 different species of orchids that speckle the entire length of the trail.
4. MOUNT FANSIPAN (3,143 m) - VIETNAM
Fansipan is a mountain in Vietnam, the highest in Indochina (comprising Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia), at 3,143 metres (10,312 ft). It is located in the Lào Cai Province of the Northwest region of Vietnam, 9 km southwest of Sa Pa Township in the Hoang Lien Son mountain range.
Fansipan is dubbed "the Roof of Indochina" and has about 2,024 floral varieties and 327 faunal species.
5. MOUNT RAMELAU (2,963 m) - TIMOR LESTE
At the center of the mountainous interior of Timor-Leste, Mt Ramelau (or Tatamailau in the local Tetun language) is not only the nation’s highest peak but also a site of deep religious and cultural significance.
Adorned with a statue of the Virgin Mary at its peak, Ramelau is the site of an annual Christian pilgrimage. For non-religious visitors, it presents an opportunity for a pilgrimage of a different kind.
6. MOUNT APO (2,956 m) - THE PHILIPPINES
Mount Apo is the highest mountain in the country and is located between Davao City, Davao del Sur province and Cotabato province.
The peak overlooks Davao City 45 kilometres (25 mi) to the northeast, Digos City 25 kilometres (16 mi) to the southeast and Kidapawan City 20 kilometres (12 mi) to the west.
7. PHOU BIA (2,819 m) - LAOS
Phou Bia is the highest mountain in Laos and located in the Xiangkhouang province. Owing to its altitude, the climate is cold and the area around the mountain is mostly cloudy
Although no snow has been reported for decades, it is documented that as late as the first years of the 20th century, snow fell occasionally on its top.
8. DOI INTHANON (2,565 m) - THAILAND
Doi Inthanon is the highest mountain in Thailand, located in the Chom Thong district of Chiang Mai Province.
This mountain is an ultra prominent peak, known in the past as Doi Luang (meaning "big mountain") or Doi Ang Ka, meaning the "crow's pond top".
The name Doi Inthanon was given in honour of King Inthawichayanon, one of the last kings of Chiang Mai who was concerned about the forests in the north and tried to preserve them. He ordered that after his death his remains be interred at Doi Luang, which was then renamed in his honour.
Today, the summit of Doi Inthanon is a popular tourist destination for both foreign and Thai tourists, with a peak of 12,000 visitors visiting the summit on New Year's Day. In addition to a range of tourist facilities on the summit, there is also a Royal Thai Air Force weather radar station at the summit and the Thai National Observatory (TNO)
9. PHNOM AURAL (1,813 m) - CAMBODIA
This tallest peak is located in the eastern part of the Cardamom Mountains. To protect the biodiversity of the mountains, Phnom Aural Wildlife Sanctuary was established.
10. BUKIT PAGON (1,850 m) - BRUNEI
Bukit Pagon situated on the border with Malaysia on the island of Borneo. Located in the Temburong District, which is separated from the rest of Brunei by part of the east Malaysian state Sarawak.
The pitcher plant species Nepenthes lowii can be found on the slopes of this mountain.