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Adventure Travel, Far East: Inspired by Rick Steves, Lonely Planet, National Geographic

Far East Adventure Travel. Inspiring, entertaining. Let John Saboe take you on journeys filled with spiritual celebrations and rituals, ancient festivals, wildlife safaris, trekking and climbing quests and vast array of food cultures. Learn about village life, cultural differences, urban exploration, street food, history and architecture. Visit Cambodia, Laos, Nepal, India, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, and Korea. Stories and advice from one of the most exciting destinations on the planet-Asia.
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Adventure Travel, Far East: Inspired by Rick Steves, Lonely Planet, National Geographic
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Now displaying: August, 2016
Aug 26, 2016
Chiang Rai, Thailand is one of the those places you end up staying longer than planned. Even though it's the largest city in the most northern part of the country there is a wonderful "chill vibe", evident in the slow place, the numerous cafes, wonderful Buddhist temples, including the original home of the Emerald Buddha. It's so easy to settle in to the slow place over coffees, beers, and lazy walks to the day market, the "Gold Clock Tower", and the walking streets that take place on Saturday and Sunday. There's lots of tasty local dishes to try, you may even sample your first cricket like I did at one of the "walking street" markets. If you get the urge to venture a little ways out of town you can visit Chiang Rai's two top attractions, The "White Temple" and "Black Temple", more art exhibits and artistic interpretations of Buddhism, then true temples, they are usually swarmed by tourist buses loaded with travellers and their selfie sticks. Go early in the day and you'll have more room to wander and enjoy the settings, especially at the "Black Temple". I definitely plan to spend more time in Chiang Rai on my next visit, and like my last stay, I'll probably end up extending it by a few more days. Check out the latest Far East Adventure Travel "Live" and highlights of my recent trip to Chiang Rai, Thailand.
Aug 20, 2016
Kathmandu is at it's most colorful with the lead up to Tihar, the festival of lights-marigold garlands are available everywhere for worship and celebration. 2015 will go down as one of the most challenging if not the most disastrous year ever for Nepal. From the worst earthquakes in over 80 years to a fuel crisis that literally turned the country upside down with line-ups at the pump that lasted for days to a lack of basic cooking and heating fuel for the majority of the population. I visited the country twice in 2015. The first time was just after the devastating earthquakes and tremors that started April 25th. My flight was actually denied clearance for landing for over 90 minutes on May 12 while crews checked the runway for safety after the second biggest earthquake struck the country that day. My second visit was in October and November when I returned to trek the Annapurna Circuit and check up on the conditions of recovery from the earthquakes. As I had heard reports before I arrived that virtually no reconstruction had begun I was not shocked to see things, especially in the Kathmandu Valley, had not changed other then some rubble had been cleared away. The fuel crisis had created food shortages and delayed plans for rebuilding. From a tourist's point of view this could be easily seen by shortened menus in popular restaurants to some establishments even closing their doors frustrated by the lack of ingredients available and the extreme costs and shortages of cooking fuel. As well as some landmarks and monument still noticeably in need of repair or reconstruction. Nepalis were frustrated with their festival plans either from the lack of reliable transportation getting to a from their home village to the shortage of special food for celebrations cooking fuel. Still despite the politics that created the fuel crisis, an unofficial Indian embargo as a result from a new constitution which did not favour ethnic groups in the south, Nepalis seemed to carry on as they usually do through adversity. After spending a few days in Pokhara following my trek of the Annapurna Circuit I returned to Nepal in time for the Tihar Festival, otherwise called "the festival of lights". In other South Asian countries and communities around the world it's known as Diwali. It's one of the most exciting times to visit Kathmandu. Marigold garlands are available everywhere to help celebrate the festival and everyone is in a joyous mood. It's also a unique introduction for many into the Hindu religion and culture. To see the various days celebrated in the festival including Kukhar Tihar, the day of the dog, when dogs are decorated with garlands and tikas is enlightening. It's part of the lead up to the most important day of the festival Lakshmi Puja. Lakshmi is the Goddess of wealth and prosperity and it's believed she will visit your home or business on this night and you will be blessed with a prosperous year-if it's cleaned and decorated with flowers, lights, and rangoli art, the street or courtyard designs made of colored sand, flower petals and dry flour. I hope you enjoy the latest episode of Far East Adventure Travel "Live" Best of Nepal 2015 and the exciting days of Kathmandu's Tihar Festival.
Aug 11, 2016
[caption id="attachment_3820" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Kathmandu is at it's most colorful with the lead up to Tihar, the festival of lights-marigold garlands are available everywhere for worship and celebration.[/caption] 2015 will go down as one of the most challenging if not the most disastrous year ever for Nepal. From the worst earthquakes in over 80 years to a fuel crisis that literally turned the country upside down with line-ups at the pump that lasted for days to a lack of basic cooking and heating fuel for the majority of the population. I visited the country twice in 2015. The first time was just after the devastating earthquakes and tremors that started April 25th. My flight was actually denied clearance for landing for over 90 minutes on May 12 while crews checked the runway for safety after the second biggest earthquake struck the country that day. My second visit was in October and November when I returned to trek the Annapurna Circuit and check up on the conditions of recovery from the earthquakes. As I had heard reports before I arrived that virtually no reconstruction had begun I was not shocked to see things, especially in the Kathmandu Valley, had not changed other then some rubble had been cleared away. The fuel crisis had created food shortages and delayed plans for rebuilding. From a tourist's point of view this could be easily seen by shortened menus in popular restaurants to some establishments even closing their doors frustrated by the lack of ingredients available and the extreme costs and shortages of cooking fuel. As well as some landmarks and monument still noticeably in need of repair or reconstruction. Nepalis were frustrated with their festival plans either from the lack of reliable transportation getting to a from their home village to the shortage of special food for celebrations cooking fuel. Still despite the politics that created the fuel crisis, an unofficial Indian embargo as a result from a new constitution which did not favour ethnic groups in the south, Nepalis seemed to carry on as they usually do through adversity. I spent time in Pokhara after my trek through Annapurna visiting the beautiful World Peace Pagoda as well as enjoying the celebrations of Tihar, the festival of lights in Kathmandu. In the latest episode of Far East Adventure Travel join me for "live" highlights from last November in Nepal.
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