This mountain is one of the most active and dangerous volcanoes in Indonesia. A large eruption in 1919 killed approximately 5,000 people and a more recent eruption in 2007-8 resulted in the crater’s pleasant blue lake being replaced with a vast lava dome. In February 2014, a huge eruption occurred two days after local people reported animals fleeing from the surrounding forests. By 2015 or so, the lake had returned, but who knows how long it will be before the next lava dome emerges to displace it once more?

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Mount Murud is the highest peak in the Kelabit Highlands and, indeed, the highest peak in Sarawak. It is part of the recently-created Pulong Tau National Park although at present there are no significant Park facilities or anywhere near as many travellers as you would encounter in Mulu National Park. However, with incredible flora and fauna, stunning rock formations, unbelievable panoramic views, and ample shelters to make carrying a tent with you quite unnecessary if you hike from Ba’kelalan, this is one of the finest hikes in Borneo, if not the entire Malay archipelago.

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Mount Penrissen is on the Indonesia-Malaysia border (West Kalimantan and Sarawak) and is the highest peak of a large mountainous area south and south-west of Kuching. It is most commonly accessed via the Borneo Highlands Resort and golf course on the Malaysian side. As the hike takes around 6 hours to complete, it makes a great day out from Kuching (2 hours away by car) and there are some excellent views down into Indonesia.

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Pulau Weh (Cot Kulam)

PULAU WEH (Cot Kulam)

Weh island, also known simply as Sabang (the main town), is a small volcanic island to the northwest of Sumatra. It is a wildlife protection area and is attracting more and more visitors – especially foreigners who come for the snorkelling and incredibly relaxed atmosphere. On the edge of the Andaman Sea it is the beginning or end of Indonesia, and is famous for its Kilometer Nol monument (Kilometre Zero) and is immortalised in the nationalist song “From Sabang to Merauke”. A hike to the highest point remains a tough proposition and is rarely done, but perhaps this will change in time.

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Gunung Gawalise is Palu’s iconic mountain and gives its name to a local sports stadium. Given that it is only about 20 minutes from a major airport with direct flights to Jakarta, you would expect that Gawalise must be one of Indonesia’s most accessible mountains. The views over Palu valley, bay and city are magnificent from its slopes, but considerable access issues remain at the foot of the mountain.

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Gunung Colo on Pulau Una-una is Central Sulawesi’s only active volcano. It is perhaps the most isolated of the Togean Islands group in the Gulf of Tomini, but access is fairly easy given how popular the islands are with divers. The volcano has only erupted three times in recent history, but the most recent one in 1983 devastated the island, permanently altered the shape of its rivers, and forced all residents to evacuate.

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Less a single mountain and more a large, low range, Gunung Sebatung dominates the northern half of Pulau Laut (‘Sea Island’). Despite the name, Pulau Laut is certainly not an ‘island of louts’ – the local people are very friendly and there are plenty of activities to do here to make it worth your while visiting a large island off Borneo that sees few tourists at present.

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Dieng (Prau)

DIENG (Prau)

The Dieng Plateau is a huge volcanic complex near the pleasant town of Wonosobo. It is quite rightly one of Central Java’s leading tourist attractions and there are so many fascinating sites, both geological and historical, that it definitely makes sense to stay in Dieng village itself and properly explore the place. Colourful lakes, hissing and bubbling craters and numerous temples are dotted all over the landscape.

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