Southeast Asia Trekking Guide

Mar 27, 2019 | Asia, Escape, Escape.Asia, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore

Breaking Asia | Editor

by BA

Southeast Asia’s best trekking spots go from green and friendly to fiery and sulfuric. Are you ready for the thrill?

Are you absolutely pumped to visit Southeast Asia specifically to go hiking? Well we’ve got you covered – you’ve chosen the sweet spots for hiking if you’re choosing the SEA region.

The Sweet Spots

1. Banaue Rice Terraces, Philippines

Built by the Ifugao tribe half a millennia ago, the Banaue Rice Terraces in the Mountain Province provides just the right amount of challenge to hikers with some experience in muddy terrains.

The scenic views are well worth it, and there are villages at the base of the terraces. You can choose to visit the Banaue Rice terraces during the planting season if you want to see the land in action or late in the year, in December, when the rice harvest is done. 

2. Kawah Ijen, Indonesia

Known also as the Ijen Crater, the Kawah Iljen trek is just three kilometers long but presents one of the more challenging trails you will encounter in this region. The trail snakes along a mountain side, all the way to the main attraction – a blue-green crater lake.


Sulfur Mining_ Kawah Ijen_-_Indonesia | Semhur

The blue-green light from the crater is not from the lava directly, but actually comes from the interaction of heat, regular air, and sulfuric gases. This would also account for the funky smell when you are finally close enough to Kawa Iljen. Trek starts at the base camp at Paltuding.

3. MacRitchie Reservoir, Singapore

The MacRitchie Reservoir Park is one of the last few swathes of green in this bustlingly busy city-state, and is a perfect getaway for trekkers who want to see how Singapore looked before it transformed itself into an Asian power in its own right.

What you will see when you visit is a largely unspoiled rainforest and a reserve that is easy to access, and largely open to tourists and serious trekkers alike. Go here if you just want an easy trek, and you’d like for food kiosks to be nearby. You can go as short as two miles, or walk the entire seven miles – that would be completely up to you.

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