Famous Annapurna is a section of the Himalaya mountain range, located in central Nepal. The name “Annapurna” is a Sanskrit name meaning “Goddess of the Harvests”. The massive 22,970+ foot (7,000+ meter) peaks of the Annapurna section are some of the most dangerous to climb in the world. The south face of Annapurna I has the highest fatality rate of all the world’s 8,000 meter or higher peaks. Though the peaks themselves are off-limits to most people, the surrounding scenery can be access by undertaking one of many popular multi-day treks, including the impressive Annapurna Circuit trek, the Kaligandaki River Valley trek, and the Annapurna Sanctuary trek which reaches the Annapurna Base Camp. Annapurna is located within the Annapurna Conservation Area Project, and a permit is required to visit. Permits can be obtained in the Nepalese cities of Pokhara and Kathmandu. Bus service from Pokhara is available, as are many guided tours for trekking.
China’s Hua Shan is one of the Five Sacred Daoist Mountains located in the country. Hua Shan has five main peaks, with the 2160m (7086ft) tall South Peak being the highest. Hua Shan, literally Splendid Mountain, has been home to Daoist temples as far back as the second century BCE. Today, it is popular with monks and tourists alike, though tourists have only been visiting the mountain for a few decades. Traditionally, a journey up Hua Shan’s dangerous steep and narrow pathways was reserved only for the most determined monks. But in the 1990s cable cars, pictured above, and handrails were installed to allow easier access for tourists. Hua Shan is located roughly 100km East of the city of Xi’an in China’s Shaanxi Province.