There are mountains and trails that are hard to climb. Then again, compared to a volcano, you’ve got a completely different mountain here. Technically it’s not a mountain; a volcano features things you’d never see on a mountain such as pathscreated by lava, steam plumes, and a landscape that’s constantly shaped and changed by each eruption.
If you’d like to experience the thrill of climbing a potentially active volcano, there are volcanoes in Asia—the Pacific Rim of Fire’s favorite stomping ground—that you can choose from.
Mount Ijen (Indonesia)
This volcano features vivid colors of sulfur and a picturesque caldera lake mixing together to form a breath-taking spectacle. The Ijen Volcano is a member of the exclusive Pacific Ring of Fire club. You’d have to book a flight and a stay in Indonesia, however, if you want to climb this volcano. Do not take a dip in the lake as well, if you value your skin and meat on your bones. The lake is acidic and sulphuric in nature.
The name pertains to the island and not the volcano. In the air, you’re treated to a view of the whole island, its surrounding communities, and the land bridge that eruption after eruption had managed to create. It’s a volcano that’s constantly active; climbing here is a real thrill-seeking experience. It still spews volcanic ash into the air; it has never stopped erupting though these are somewhat minor.
Mount Merapi (Indonesia)
The second volcano to be featured on this list from Indonesia is Mount Merapi, a rather active volcano. Its name is a tribute to how active it is—in local dialect its name translates into “Mountain of Fire.” If you’re a thrill-seeker, at the summit you’ll be able to view all the surroundings, including neighboring Mount Lawu, Merbabu, Sindoro, and Sumbing.
Mayon Volcano (Philippines)
If there ever was any volcano that was climbed just to appreciate the almost-perfect symmetry of ascent and crater shape, this was it. Mayon Volcano is also named after a princess of myth who was deemed beautiful by her people. It does deserve that name; it is hailed as most perfect among the volcanoes that dot the world. Be warned, though, that the volcano is still active and can show signs of activity at any given day.
Guishan Island (Taiwan)
Also known as Turtle Island for its shape, this volcanic island has a hidden secret—a natural hot spring under the island. It also has a story; allegedly, depending on the conditions, the island can ‘move’ and its ‘tail’ also moves. There are only a limited number of visitors that can visit at any time. If you’re interested in visiting, there’s quite the process of getting in. You need to get in contact with a government-controlled site 3 or 20 days before your trip.
With a lot of islands to visit, you can have your pick between any of these Asian destinations. Learn to choose wisely, though, so you can enjoy the most out of your hike.