People who like shopping, they go to Milan. People who like partying, they go to Ibiza. People who love food, they go to Paris. People who love hiking, where do they go? We go everywhere. Here’s the 5 Must-see mountains. Climb mountains not for the world to see you, but so you can see the world.

# 1 The Annapurna Circuit, Nepal

Photo Credit: Jean-Marc Demers

Photo Credit: Jean-Marc Demers

Undefeated and undisputed Champion for as long as anyone can possibly remember, no one seems to be able to take the throne away from this majestic trail – The Annapurna Circuit. The Annapurna groupies gush lovingly at the beauty of this trail. One hike, one experience is all it takes to make you a groupie advocate.

So what’s so special? This 128 mile horse-shoe trail will take about 17 – 21 days. It is 3 weeks of absolute beauty and bliss. More importantly, in three weeks, you go from the tropics to the artic, from gorges to river valleys, from low foothills to high altitude mountain tops, from gigantic cliffs to waterfalls, and through little Nepalese villages. This is the holy grail of trekking. Challenging, but worth every step.

# 2 Mount Kinabalu, Malaysia

Photo from boreneodream.com

Photo from boreneodream.com

Standing at 4095m is the majestic Mount Kinabalu. Personally, I’ve been there 4 times, and each time I go back, I fall in love with our Queen all over again. A 2 day 1 night hike, and I wished it lasted longer. I can’t even pick my favourite moment. From the beginning, the hike offers stunning views of luscious greens. Come the second part of the hike, the mountain skyline absolutely takes your breath away. The blend of colours is just perfect. Some people say the highlight of the hike is conquering the naked granite rock (the final leg of the climb). Upon conquering this, you will feel like you are on top of the world, quite literally. Staring down at the white clouds, contrasted against the clear blue sky, the entire scene is just so picturesque. If you haven’t done this, you are missing out on one of the greatest experiences in life.

# 3 Son Doong Cave, Vietnam

Photo credit to: Carsten Peter

Photo credit to: Carsten Peter

A whole jungle inside a cave – this is a nature lover’s dream come true. One word – paradise. This jungle was discovered in 2009 and only recently opened to public in year 2014. This 7 day journey is sure to blow your mind. You trek a day through the National Park before descending 80m vertically to emerge through the cave passage. You will feel like you’ve been entirely transported to the land of the dinosaurs. However, in the name of conservation, only 224 permits are issued a year. So be sure to ready your USD 3000 dough and book your slot early.

# 4 Mount Rinjani, Indonesia

Photo credits to: Trekking Rinjani

Photo credits to: Trekking Rinjani

A 3 day strenuous hike is what it takes to take down Mount Rinjani. The highlight of the hike would probably be treading through the volcanic ashes and rubbles. You take a step forward, but slip two steps down. You will feel like the peak is never within reach. The heat does not help you either. The cold when approaching the summit does not help you either. The ascents are steep, narrow and slippery.  But, what awaits you at the end of it, is well worth the climb. You will get a clear view of the Crater Lake, all the way to the Island of Bali. It is a true postcard view of Indonesia.

# 5 Mount Kailash, China

Photo credits to: Wolfgang

Photo credits to: Wolfgang

People don’t hike to the summit, but go around it. This isn’t the typical thing you hear but this is no typical Mountain either. This mountain is believed by many to be holy and sacred. Every year, thousands flock here to make a pilgrimage. It is a walk on sacred ground passing by many sacred elements. The entire walk gives you power and peace. People walk 52km around the mountain which is also the perfect vantage point of the beautiful snowy mountains. This is a different kind of journey, but also one worth making.

Article by Melissa Lim
More about the writer: www.road2irongirl.blogspot.com