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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: February, 2017
Feb 25, 2017
Considered one of the most beautiful metro stations in the whole world Formosa Boulevard Station in Taiwan's second largest city, Kaohsiung is a stunning art exhibit that doubles as a metro station that connects two MRT lines. Named after the "Formosa Incident," pro-democracy demonstrations that lead to an observance of Human Rights Day December 10th, 1979. It's regarded as one of the key events that eventually lead to democracy in Taiwan. The Formosa Boulevard Station's Dome of Light as it's known was created by Italian artist Narcissus Quagliata who also oversaw the installation of it's 4500 glass panels. It's the largest glass art exhibit in the world. The Dome of Light's four themes tell the story of human light Water: The Womb of Life; Earth: Prosperity and Growth; Light: The Creative Spirit; and Fire: Destruction and Rebirth. The exhibit is also a metaphor for the development and movement towards democracy in Taiwan. Even the outside entrances and exits of Formosa Station Boulevard are striking. Designed by Japanese architect Shin Takamatsu. The four main glass entrances evoke a sense of redemption or prayer as they orientation suggests folded hands. This is a wonderful little diversion from a stay in Southern Taiwan that can be incorporated while you're on the move to many sites of the city that can be visited via the Kaohsiung MRT. It's a wonderful peaceful spot, even with the beeping of metro gates. You may even catch a piano recital with the baby grand piano that's always on site. Thumbnail photo by Gerard Laubscher Donate now and help support the Far East Adventure Travel Podcast. A gift of $5, $10, $20, or $30 goes along way to help with production and travel costs. Whenever possible I stay in guesthouses, employ local guides and drivers, and support local business. The money I spend goes directly back into the community and so can yours. Support Far East Adventure Travel with a donation now!Donate paypal.me/JohnASaboe Donate Write a Review:https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/adventure-travel-far-east/id890305531?mt=2
Feb 18, 2017
On my recent swing through Southern Taiwan to take in the annual Beehive Fireworks Festival in Yanshui/Tainan I managed to visit Taiwan's second biggest city, Kaohsiung. For the first time I was able to see the city's wonderful lantern festival next to the atmospheric Love River. I'm always asked when is the best time of year to visit Taiwan. Almost anytime of the year can be interesting but one of my favorite times to recommend is during the Chinese New Year,(Lunar New Year) festivities. The first day itself is always inspiring and full of good spirit as many Taiwanese visit temples to start the year off with prayers of good fortune, luck, and health. Then of course there are the many festivals that are centered around the New Year including the Beehive Fireworks Festival, if you're daring and looking for extreme adventure. See the podcast featured on this channel. For a more serene experience the Lantern Festivals of Taiwan are wonderfully beautiful and completely safe, but you will have to endure huge crowds. Most major cities on the island host a lantern festival. Internationally the most famous one is the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival of Northern Taiwan. This festival features mass releases of sky lanterns that dance in the skies of Northern Taiwan sending out wishes of good fortune, health, luck, and even marriage! Having had the opportunity to see a few I can say that although some themes will be the same, mainly lanterns featuring the year's zodiac character, this year the rooster, there will be variations based on the location of the city. As Kaohsiung is the largest port city of Taiwan there are many marine themes. Artistically I noticed there were many interesting variations of the rooster theme compared with the Taipei Lantern Festival and the Love River setting is absolutely magical. Join me for part one of this two part series on the 2017 Kaohsiung Lantern Festival on Far East Adventure Travel. Donate now and help support the Far East Adventure Travel Podcast. A gift of $5, $10, $20, or $30 goes along way to help with production and travel costs. Whenever possible I stay in guesthouses, employ local guides and drivers, and support local business. The money I spend goes directly back into the community and so can yours. Support Far East Adventure Travel with a donation now!Donate paypal.me/JohnASaboe Donate Write a Review:https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/adventure-travel-far-east/id890305531?mt=2
Feb 15, 2017
The Yanshui Beehive Fireworks Festival is held every year in Yanshui District in Southern Taiwan. Locally known as the Feng Pao it is considered one of the most dangerous festivals in the world as well as being the third largest folk celebration. Why do they blow off millions of bottle rockets and firecrackers you ask? It all started with a cholera epidemic in the late 19th century. Due to the underdeveloped state of medicine victims multiplied daily and the people of the district lived in fear. On the day of the Lantern Festival, 15 days after the 1st day of the Lunar New Year, town folk paraded Gaun Di, the God of War on a palanquin around the streets. Firecrackers were lit until dawn. In one night the people of Yanshui rid their district of the plague and the festival has been carried on ever since. This year along with taking in one of the most notorious events of the festival, the actual beehives that are metal racks lined with bottle rockets that are exploded in the streets of Yanshui I also attended the daytime events on the last day. There were processions of Gods paraded on palanquins, pole dancers on jeeps dancing for the crowds, sometimes also seen at Taiwanese funerals, and plenty of deafening firecrackers and fireworks exploding on the streets. Join me for highlights of one of the most vibrant, exhilarating, and dangerous festivals in the world, the Yanshui Beehive Fireworks Festival 2017 on Far East Adventure Travel. Donate now and help support the Far East Adventure Travel Podcast. A gift of $5, $10, $20, or $30 goes along way to help with production and travel costs. Whenever possible I stay in guesthouses, employ local guides and drivers, and support local business. The money I spend goes directly back into the community and so can yours. Support Far East Adventure Travel with a donation now!Donate paypal.me/JohnASaboe Donate Write a Review:https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/adventure-travel-far-east/id890305531?mt=2
Feb 9, 2017
In Chinese and Asian culture The Lantern Festival marks the end of Lunar New Year or Chinese New Year celebrations. Always falling 15 days after the first day of the year the date varies according to each new Lunar Year. The tradition started more than 2000 years ago with the emperor and noblemen having the most elaborate lanterns. Today, especially in Taiwan, Lantern festivals are huge commercial productions, with many corporations and educational institutions sponsoring lanterns. The festival usually begins at least one week before the Lantern Festival day with some cities and counties carrying their event a few days past the 15 day mark. This year's Lantern Festival's theme was "Westside Story, Taipei Glory" honoring the historic Ximending and Beimen neighborhoods on the westside of the city. Join me for a tour of some of Taipei's 2017 Lantern Festival highlights in this edition of Far East Adventure Travel.
Feb 3, 2017
I woke up to blasts and blasts of firecrackers echoing through the streets and alleyways in the Zhongshan District of Taipei, Taiwan. The crackling and explosions marked the first day of business in the Lunar New Year, 2017. In Taiwan and Chinese culture, ceremonies and rituals take place on the first day of business to bring good luck and prosperity for the new year. Offerings for the Gods are laid out on folding tables in front of businesses throughout Taipei and the rest of the island of Taiwan as shops, banks, offices, and most other commercial operations mark the start of their business year. Firecrackers are lit to chase away any bad spirits and kick off a prosperous year. Some larger businesses or associations will hire a Lion Dance troupe to help start the year off with good luck and fortune. This year after I heard the sounds of firecrackers I immediately got ready and headed for Dihua Street, the site of an annual New Year's food and snacks market and a commercial district the rest of the year. Dihua was once a bustling site of trading and export houses from around the world. Tea, fabrics, rice and other goods were loaded on ships docked at the nearby Danshui River. Today Dihua, a neighborhood of historic Qing Dynasty era buildings is home to traditional Chinese medicine shops, bulk foods and speciality items, cafes, and the Yongle Fabric Market. It was here where I eventually found myself ready to capture one of the most traditional and exciting ways to start the business year in Taiwan, a Lion Dance performance, prayer ceremony and a powerful firecracker blast. Xīnnián kuàilè, Happy New Year from Taipei, Taiwan!
Feb 2, 2017
Taipei, Taiwan becomes unusually quiet for most of the Chinese New Year holiday as many who work and live in the capital visit family in their hometowns around the island. You'd never believe it though when you visit some of the city's most prominent temples. Overflowing with visitors getting in their good luck prayers to ensure a healthy and prosperous year for themselves and their family. Longshan Temple is by far the most visited with the temple so crowded it's not unusual to get a little poke from someone's incense stick as you make your way through the throngs of people. Guandu Temple near the old fishing village river port town of Danshui is another favorite with many making their yearly visit to the big complex and oldest in Northern Taiwan. Another one of my favorite's to visit, especially on a sunny day, is Zhinan Temple on Monkey Mountain near the Taipei Zoo. Accessible by stairs that start at National Chengchi University, it's an approximate 30-40 hike through the forest and jungle to the temple. If you're not up for the hike the temple can be accessed via the Maokong Gondola near the zoo. The views are wonderful and the temple complex as one visitor shared with me has perfect Feng Shui, the Chinese belief of harmony with surroundings. The main Zhinan complex faces south over a beautiful terrace with views of Taipei City and lots of sunny exposure. The back of the temple is on the mountain side, sheltering it from the inclimate weather of the rainy season and winter. Next to the main Zhinan Temple is the Daxiong Buddhist Chapel, on many days offering a free vegetarian lunch in it's bottom level-a delicious selection of tofu, vegetables, rice, and soup. After lunch I sat in the courtyard of the Daxiong Chapel, listening to the recorded traditional music playing as I gazed out at the hills checkered with small vegetable/produce farms, little tea plantations and the Maokong Gondola transporting people through the hills. Later watching groups paying respects at the temple with offerings and prayers. Feeling refreshed, alive, and full of chi,(good energy), I made my way down the stairs to complete a perfect way to spend a day in Taipei during the Lunar New Year(Chinese New Year), holiday. Getting there:Take the MRT "brown line" to Taipei Zoo. Cross the road from the MRT station and take bus 236 and get off at National Chengchi University. There are signs to the trails at the plaza entrance. Donate now and help support the Far East Adventure Travel Podcast. A gift of $5, $10, $20, or $30 goes along way to help with production and travel costs. Whenever possible I stay in guesthouses, employ local guides and drivers, and support local business. The money I spend goes directly back into the community and so can yours. Support Far East Adventure Travel with a donation now!Donate paypal.me/JohnASaboe Donate Write a Review:https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/adventure-travel-far-east/id890305531?mt=2
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