Would you dare to scale up a mountain that’s so treacherous it’s only been conquered once? Or would you attempt a hike that still has UXO lying around? Okayy, here’s an easier one, how ’bout one that’s 163m tall? Have I “peaked” your interest? 😉
Get to know SEA’s most unique, fascinating, and tallest mountains… or hills.
The breathtaking and highest peak in Indonesia goes to Carstenz Pyramid aka Puncak Jaya. It is one of the Seven Summits, and the only one in the Seven which is a rock-climbing peak. Those considering on taking on this mountain should have a suitable experience dealing with ropework and abilities to rock-climb.
The mountain got its name after it was first discovered by Cartenz in 1623. It was renamed by Indonesia’s first President, Ir.Sukarno to Jaya Wijaya. Later, it was changed to Puncak Jaya. ‘Puncak’ meaning mountain, and ‘Jaya’ meaning victory.
At 3,143m, Mount Fansipan stands majestically and is often referred to as the “roof of Indochina” (includes Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam). Locals call this peak Hua Si Pan, which means ‘Huge Rock’. For those who’s not into hiking, recent developments have opened a cable car that brings you to the peak in a mere 20minutes.
Doi Inthanon is Thailand’s tallest mountain located in Chiang Mai. It was previously named Doi Luang, which means ‘Big Mountain’. The park was renamed in honour of the late King Inthawichayanon, one of the last kings of Chiang Mai who was often concerned about preserving the forests in north of Thailand. After his death, his remains were placed in the park.
Mount Kinabalu is located at Kinabalu Park, a renowned World Heritage Site. Mount Kinabalu’s name originated from the Kadazan word, ‘Aki Nabalu’ which means ‘the revered place of the dead’. Rich in flora, a recent botanical survey proved that Mount Kinabalu is home to 5,000 to 6,000 plant species.
Source: Mount Kinabalu
Singapore’s tallest peak may not be a mountain, but it is still beloved by all. Standing at 163.63m, people young and old go to Bukit Timah for hiking activities. Surrounded by a forest reserve, the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is open from 7am to 7pm daily.
Source: Little Day Out
Mount Apo stands majestically between the city of Davao and the province of Davao del Sur. Now a dormant volcano, Mount Apo consists of three major summits and a crater where Lake Venado lies. Bird watchers can observe over 272 species of birds of which 111 are native to the mountain. Mount Apo is also given the name ‘grandfather’ by the Bagobo tribes of Mindanao.
Phnom Aural is located in Phnom Aural Wildlife Sanctuary – a conservation effort to protect the wildlife surrounding Phnom Aural which is now home to more than 10 large species of mammals including tigers, elephants and leopards. The summit of Phnom Aural houses a Buddha shrine placed there by the local pilgrims as the mountain is believed to be a holy mountain to worship Buddha.
Situated at the southern limit of Xiangkhoang Plateau in Xiangkhouang Province, Phou Bia is the highest mountain in Laos. Historians documented that in the early 20th century, the summit was covered in snow. Unfortunately, people rarely visit the mountain as it is deemed unsafe due to military activities in the jungle and large volumes of unexploded mines.
Source: World Atlas
The biggest and baddest mountain probably goes to Myanmar’s Hkakabo Razi (pronounced Kaka-bo rah-zee), it’s so treacherous that it’s been only conquered once. The two other attempts ended up in failure. The first incident was when a local Myanmar team never returned, and a rescue helicopter sent out crashed, killing one pilot. The next failed attempt was from a team from National Geographic. You can read about their ordeal here.
Source: The Straits Times
Brunei’s tallest mountain is Bukit Pagon, coming in at 1,850m. It stands on the border of Malaysia, situated at Temburong District of Brunei. Hikers can look forward to spotting the pitcher plant, Nepenthes Iowii on the slopes of this mountain.
Mount Ramelau is more than just a mountain for the people of Timor-Leste, it is a site of religious and cultural significance. A statue of Virgin Mary rests at the peak of Mount Ramelau. In fact, an annual Christian pilgrimage takes place here. Also known as “Tatamailau’ in Tetun language, Mount Ramelau stands at 2,986m.
Source: Lonely Planet