Info

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.
RSS Feed Subscribe in Apple Podcasts
Adventure Travel, Far East: Inspired by Rick Steves, Lonely Planet, National Geographic
2017
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2015
December


Categories

All Episodes
Archives
Categories
Now displaying: September, 2016
Sep 27, 2016
In this episode of The Best Of Far East Adventure Travel "Live" highlights from two great spots to visit in Southern Vietnam. The hill station town of Dalat and Vietnam's largest beach resort, Nha Trang. Two completely different experiences both filled with adventure activities and beautiful scenery. Dalat is a wonderful break from the tropics, especially on an extended stay in the country. At 1500 meters elevation Dalat offers relief from the heat and humidity, but you'll need a sweater or jacket for the evening. It's Vietnam's honeymoon capital with lots of French colonial buildings and even a replica of the Eiffel Tower. I found the local people extremely outgoing and friendly. Dalat's streets reminded me of Nepal and hill stations in India. Nha Trang has a beautiful 6km beach overlooking picturesque outer islands, lots of restaurants, cafes, and day outing options including a huge amusement park with the world's longest over the ocean gondola. Nha Trang attracts Russian tour groups, evident with the language on many restaurant menus, and the speedo bathing suits patrolling the beach. It's obviously touristy but the mood of being "on vacation" is infectious. I hope you enjoy these highlights of what I believe are some must see destinations in Southern Vietnam.
Sep 12, 2016
[caption id="attachment_3917" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Views of the Saigon River and District 1 in the rapidly changing Ho Chi Minh City from the 49th floor of the city's tallest building, the Bitexco Financial Tower Views of the Saigon River and District 1 in the rapidly changing Ho Chi Minh City from the 49th floor of the city's tallest building, the Bitexco Financial Tower[/caption] Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam is a rapidly changing urban landscape. On my recent visit I was surprised to still find some iconic sites left over from the Vietnam war days despite all of the new construction including a underground metro system. The roof of the Pittman building located at 22 Ly Tu Trong was the scene of a helicopter evacuation of U.S. nationals including C.I.A. personnel on April 29, 1975, the day before the fall of Saigon. It was captured by a Dutch photographer Hubert Van Es and for years was mistaken for the U.S. Embassy, another evacuation site. Across the street from the historic building is the Vincom Shopping Center. A few blocks away the newly opened Saigon Shopping Center. It was amazing to still find the Pittman building and one of the locations of a burning image from the fall of Saigon amidst a changing city. There were still many traditional neighborhoods to discover including Cholon in District 5. This is considered the largest Chinatown in the world and it's massive Binh Tay Market is worth a trip to experience the trade and tradition of this mostly wholesale market. Visiting the rooftop bars that were once frequented by the international press, military and C.I.A. was another fantastic experience-for the history and the wonderful views over the heart of Saigon-District 1. The Saigon Deck located on the 49th floor of the Bitexco Financial Tower, Ho Chi Minh City's tallest building was also a wonderful experience, even with cloudy skies and heavy rains. I hope you enjoy these highlights from live broadcasts during my recent visit to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Watch out from brand new podcasts featuring exclusive footage from my recent 6 week visit to Vietnam on Far East Adventure Travel. I'm always live streaming from Asia on Periscope and Facebook. You can watch live broadcasts right from the Far East Adventure Travel website or Follow me at:https://www.periscope.tv/fareastadvtravl Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/FarEastAdventureTravel
Sep 5, 2016
The ancient Unesco World Heritage site of Hoi An, Vietnam is high on almost everyone's list of places to visit during their stay. So it goes that the place is crowded, actually over run with tourists, especially in the summer months! So how does one enjoy the quieter charms of this beautifully preserved town filled with wonderfully mixed architectural styles of Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, British and French colonial? Wake up early like I did, on my recent visit. At 6am it's still possible to feel like you are truly in an ancient port town with merchant houses and quiet streets. The t-shirt stalls and tailor shops are boarded up so it's easy to imagine a different time with gorgeous facades and historic buildings that can be viewed with a ancient town book of tickets starting as early as 7am. The temples are some of my favorite sites to visit this early in the morning with usually only local people worshipping before their work day begins. It's also wonderfully pleasurable to just stroll up and down the streets, without the calls of "please come in and buy something from me". You can visit the morning market where you'll find the most activity in town, with usually only local people shopping, including restaurants and cafes buying their supplies of herbs, vegetables, fruit, meat and fish for the day. By 8:30 the tour groups start to arrive to begin their cooking school class and introduction to the vast array of fresh produce and other ingredients that go into some of the best dishes of Vietnam. Please join me for an early morning walk in the wonderfully atmospheric town of Hoi An, Vietnam-the latest Far East Adventure Travel Best of "Live" Podcast.
Sep 5, 2016
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, or Saigon a name still used by many of it's residents is full of history, culture, amazing nightlife, and a city that's modernizing rapidly. On my most recent visit the skyline was noticeably filled with cranes atop new buildings and an underground subway under construction. With shopping malls everywhere including a brand new "Saigon Center" and a flagship Japanese department store as it's main tenant, you might conclude that the city is losing some of it's historic charm. Not the case at all. There are still plenty of beautiful French colonial buildings, palaces and historic sites to satisfy the fiercest culture vulture. Cholon in District 5, the largest "Chinatown" in the world is full of atmospheric pagodas, outdoor markets and old streets selling traditional Chinese medicine remedies. District 1 is where most of the historic and iconic landmarks and buildings that Ho Chi Minh City is famous for, including the General Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Opera House. In disrict 1 bordering District 3 you'll find one of the city's most treasured temples, The Jade Emperor Pagoda. In Taoism, the Jade Emperor is the God of Gods, the King of Heaven, or Ngoc Hoang. The pagoda is set on some very humble grounds, with a pool filled with carp or koi and a turtle pond. I made a trip to the Jade Emperor Pagoda on my most recent visit to Ho Chi Minh City and was thoroughly taken in by it's wonderful interior with sun rays casting beautiful light onto the many dieties worshipped by followers. Join me for a tour through HCMC's Jade Emperor Pagoda from a previous Far East Adventure Travel "live" broadcast. Getting there:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jade_Emperor_Pagoda
Sep 4, 2016
[caption id="attachment_3609" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Once the home to the kings of Siam and Thailand The Grand Palace is the number one tourist attraction in Bangkok Once the home to the kings of Siam and Thailand The Grand Palace is the number one tourist attraction in Bangkok[/caption] The Grand Palace is the busiest tourist attraction in Bangkok. It has been home to the Kings of Siam and Thailand since 1782. It is not one building as the name implies but a series of buildings, halls, and pavilions set around courtyards, open lawns, and gardens. On first approach to the complex you are literally assaulted by it’s stunning array of colors, shapes, textures and symmetry, overwhelming in it’s sense of beauty. The gold statues and chedis gleam in the intense sun and are almost a distraction from the massive crowds. Arrive early to see the top sight of the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew, the Chapel of the Emerald Buddha. Carved from a single piece of jade the Emerald Buddha has been on an interesting adventure in the past few centuries. Said to have been discovered by the Abbot of a monastery in Chiang Rai Northern Thailand in the 15 century, the emerald buddha has spend time in Chiang Mai, Thailand, Luang Prabang, Laos before moving to a shrine near Wat Arun in Thonburi before it’s final home at the Grand Palace. The Emerald Buddha is considered the palladium of the Kingdom of Thailand. Perhaps it’s for this reason that photographs are not allowed inside the chapel. The building is considered a personal chapel of the royal family and not a temple as monks do not reside there. The emerald Buddha statue is 19 inches wide and 26 inches high and is adorned with 3 gold seasonal costumes, one for the rainy season, summer, and cool season. They are exchanged by the King in a ceremony at the change of each season. A duplicate of the emerald Buddha can be seen a photographed in Chiang Rai. The Grand Palace is filled with adornments including the gold mythical Aponsi, half-woman, half lion, demon guardians supporting the gilded chedi and the Kinnon, half-human, half-bird. Phra Mondop, at the base of which sit stone carved Buddhas in the Javanese style. Sixteen twelve corner columns support the multi-tiered roof that houses the Buddhist Canon, or sacred texts. The gold gilded chedis are among the most striking structures of the Grand Palace especially on a bright day with a blue sky. The star creatures of the grounds are the giant Yaksha of the Thai Ramakian , Thailand’s version of the Ramayana, an epic Hindu poem. Many murals inside the walls of the Grand Palace feature images of the Thai Ramakian, the story of Rama, whose wife, Sita is abducted by Ravana, the King of Lanka, or Sri Lanka. The Ramayana or Thai Ramakan explores human values and the concept of dharma. On most days the Grand Palace will seem like the hottest place on the planet. So pace yourself. The extra clothing you will have to wear to cover your shoulders and legs as part of the dress code will add to the discomfort. Drink lots of water, wear a wide brimmed hat and do as the Asians do, use an umbrella as a barrier to the intense sun. At the east wall of the Wat Phra Kaew sits eight Phra Atsada Maha Chedis. Each chedi is decorated with a different shade of Chinese porcelain representing the eight elements of Buddhism, Right Understanding, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Concentration and Right Mindfulness. The porcelain creates a glowing effect fitting for their significance. There are still many buildings to admire and visit outside the walls of the Chapel of the Emerald Buddha including the Central Court. Here is where the king resided and where all state business was conducted. The Phra Maha Monthien Group are a series of buildings near the eastern edge of the central court that were the main residence and audience hall for the king. During the week you can visit inside and see the gilded thrones used by the kings. Next to the Dusit Group is the Chakra Maha Prasat, nicknamed the westerner with the Thai hat due to it’s mixed styles of architecture. Today Chakra Maha Prasat is mainly used for state banquets and receptions for foreign ambassadors. It’s closed to the public but there is a weapons collection on the ground level that can be viewed on weekdays. The base of the Chakra Maha Prasat houses the royal guards who you can see standing at attention throughout the day in front of it’s VIP main entrance. And yes you can take pictures with them, just don’t expect any conversation or engagement as they are on duty. Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall is the only building that is open to the public within it’s group. No photographs are permitted inside but you can enjoy the features including a mother of pearl throne and a large mother of pearl throne bed which was used by the king for relaxing between audiences. Today the throne hall is used for lying in state for kings, queens, and favored members of the royal family. Thai kings stopped living in the palace full time at around the beginning of the 20th century but the Grand Palace is still considered the spiritual center of the Thai Kingdom. The inner court where the Thai kings resided and their royal consorts and daughters lived is no longer used but is still closed off to the public. Most of the important sites of the Grand Palace can be seen in one visit. This is probably not a full day trip as the heat and crowds can be overwhelming to most and the exhibits that can be viewed and open to the public are easily seen during a morning or afternoon . If you arrive at the main entrance gate by the 8:30 opening you have plenty of time to see The Chapel of The Emerald Buddha and the buildings of the Central Court with time for breaks in the shade and be finished before lunch. You might be able to squeeze in a visit to one of the on sight museums as well. Like the Taj Mahal and Angkor Wat the Grand Palace is a tourist bus magnet. Though worth every bit of patience to quickly immerse yourself in the history of Siam and Thailand and understand the importance of the King, the royal family, and Buddhism to the Thai people.
Sep 4, 2016
Bangkok, Thailand is full of history, exciting street life, notorious red-light districts, fantastic food and enough stimulation to call it one of the most exciting cities to visit on the planet! It's actually the second most visited city in the world following by London as the top spot and preceding Paris in third place. On my most recent whirlwind visit through the city I took in the top sites including The Grand Palace where Thailand's palladium, the Emerald Buddha, can be found as well as Wat Arun, and Wat Pho, two other top temples that shouldn't be missed on a stay in Bangkok. Because I'm a travel broadcaster it's hard to overlook a backpacking center like the legendary Khao San Road, even if just for watching the street entertainment of joyous travellers pushing the partying limit. Check out the latest Far East Adventure Travel Podcast for highlights of live streams this year from Bangkok, Thailand.
1