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: April, 2017
Apr 30, 2017
My Earthquake Diaries Nepal documentary series continues with part 2 and a “cry for tourism”. This episode follows my first few days of walking through the streets and alleyways of Kathmandu, visiting many sites that had suffered damage, destruction and terrible loss. I met tour guides and taxi drivers that saw a future of little or no work. And one afternoon I came across a group in Kathmandu’s Durbar Square conducting a desperate rally for unity within the tourism industry. I also traveled around the Kathmandu Valley visiting some of the most popular landmarks and Unesco World Heritage sites including Boudhanath, the Tibetan Village, the great Pashupatinath Hindu Temple complex, and the medieval village of Bhaktapur to see first-hand the damage to these sites that in the past have attracted travellers from around the world. This podcast can’t happen without public support, help me continue to produce this series that I hope helps you either plan your next big adventure or allows you to imagine travelling at a time when it’s maybe not possible. A donation of $10, $20, $30 or more helps meet production costs and travel expenses. Support Far East Adventure Travel with your donation today: paypal.me/JohnASaboe Nepal Travel and Trek Planning: explorehimalayan.com Write a Podcast Review:https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/adventure-travel-far-east-inspired-by-rick-steves-lonely/id890305531?mt=2
Apr 29, 2017
[caption id="attachment_2264" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Cambodia's bamboo train-essential transportation for rural living doubles as a tourist ride Cambodia's bamboo train-essential transportation for rural living doubles as a tourist ride[/caption] Far East Adventure Travel The Podcast is brought to you by Far East Adventure Travel Magazine. Get your free copy now! Go to the iTunes App Store, download the app then download your copies of Far East Adventure Travel Magazine. I was staying in Battambang, Cambodia. While I was there I had to visit one of the area’s most famous attractions, the bamboo train. The bamboo train gets it’s name from the bamboo deck or floorboard used that rests on top of the wheels that can transport anything from chickens and rice to people. In Khmer it’s called a Lorry and has been used since the Khmer Rouge shutdown of most regular train service in the country. The Bamboo Train Station. Now where is the first class lounge? I could use a bloody mary about right now! Waiter? Actually the place is quite charming and surprisingly not touristy feeling at all. At least not at the starting point in O Dambong, about 4 km from Battambang. The bamboo train solves the biggest problem of a single track train line. What do you do when two trains meet from opposite directions? In the case of the bamboo train? Simple-move one off the track. This experience alone makes this one of the world’s all time great train rides. A little heavy on the photo gear I know but I’m a one man show right now. Farewells from the departure crew and we’re off. The bamboo train was not the first flatbed type service in Cambodia. During the civil war of the 80’s and 90’s flatbed trains were used as mine sweepers ahead of the rest of the train. Service was free, risky but popular. [caption id="attachment_2266" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Bamboo train station at O Dambong-approximately 4 km from Battambang, Cambodia Bamboo train station at O Dambong-approximately 4 km from Battambang, Cambodia[/caption] And here we go about 3 minutes into the ride and our first stop. Wow, now that’s taking service station to the next level. The first lorries or bamboo trains were actually hand driven with a pole, kind of like an Italian gondola. Small motorcycle or tractor engines, like this one were added later. The wheels? They’re actually from abandoned tanks! Yes get your ass off the deck so I can do my job, thank you! Once again we are rolling on the tracks. The ride lasts almost a half-hour each way starting in O Dambong with a short stop in O Sra Lav before returning. The tracks are not in the best of shape with little or no maintenance for decades making them warped and misaligned. Occasionally you’ll get a strong bump from a really weak section, but hey it’s all part of the charm. It is just after 7am and I think this is a perfect time to come-with the sun just rising and cool comfortable temperatures. The atmosphere is amazing and feels like you’ve been dropped into an Indochina themed adventure movie. Cambodia’s first rail line was built by the French in the 1930’s. By 1969 the rail system was still in good shape but the civil war of the 1970’s soon saw some of the line destroyed. By 2008 passenger service was completely discontinued. Private interests currently hold the concession to the railway with only freight operation running between Phnom Penh and the coastal town of Sihanoukville. We are slowing down because another train is coming our way. The rule is the car with fewer passengers gives way to the other car. So if you want priority service bring a group or give some locals a free ride. Finally after a ride with stops that lasts just under 30 minutes we arrive at O Sra Lav. Here’s where it gets a little touristy, with the usual t-shirts, scarves, and kids selling bracelets. But that’s OK, they’re just trying to make a living and the people are always friendly here even if you don’t buy. Like this man kindly showing me the way. Ten minutes later we are back on the tracks and heading back to O Dambong. Sometimes so-called tourist attractions are spoiled by being over commercialized eventually losing the charm that originally made them attractive. For me the bamboo train is an absolutely original experience. Pieced together with leftover tank wheels, tractor motors, and eco-friendly bamboo, it’s the ultimate transportation mutt making it one of the world’s most original travel experiences. Subscribe to the audio podcast:https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/adventure-travel-far-east-inspired-by-rick-steves-lonely/id1079513943?mt=2
Apr 26, 2017
As I assemble this series from my days in Nepal during the earthquakes of 2015 the memories of fear, shock, and helplessness are painfully resurrected. People from all walks of life, sleeping outdoors for fear of another earthquake that could collapse their house, if they still had one. The site of shocking destruction, streets where buildings were folded like an accordian. Apartment blocks levelled to the ground with the remains of personal and household items scattered amongst the debris. And the helplessness of watching people struggle to find food and shelter and listening to the stories of relatives that fell to death. There was much talk of more earthquakes and rumors that another one was inevitable, perhaps larger than any of the previous tremors that shook the country. Even if you wore a mask the dust that floated around the Kathmandu Valley from the thousands of buildings that collapsed seemed to find a way deep into your lungs. There was also a light and warmth that you felt from the hundreds of volunteers from around the world that were there to serve their fellow humankind. A nurse from The Netherlands working in one of the local hospitals, a young Taiwanese backpacker that decided to postpone the rest of her trip to help out. A Japanese medical team whom when I asked how long they would stay, they simply responded, "as long as necessary". And Nepalis themselves organizing shelters, and meals for the homeless. The country's tourism industry is beginning to rebound which is one of the best ways to lend support to the rebuilding of Nepal. For every tourist that visits the country at least seven people are affected in a positive way directly. Planning a trekking or cultural trip, and even a safari is not only an enriching personal experience, it's a step towards helping one of the most deserving people anywhere on the planet. You're welcome to check out trip ideas with our travel company in Nepal, just follow the link below. Nepal Trekking and Tours:https://explorehimalayan.com If you enjoy watching the Far East Adventure Travel Podcast please help others discover travel inspiration for East, Southeast, and South Asia. Follow the link below, click Ratings and Reviews, rate the podcast out of 5 stars, then write a review. Write A Podcast Review:https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/adventure-travel-far-east-inspired-by-rick-steves-lonely/id890305531?mt=2 Subscribe to the Far East Adventure Travel Audio Podcast:https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/adventure-travel-far-east-inspired-by-rick-steves-lonely/id1079513943?mt=2
Apr 24, 2017
It’s been 2 years since the first of several earthquakes and tremors terrorized the Himalayan nation of Nepal. It was April 25th, 2015 at 11:56am local time when a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck the country. It was followed by several hundred aftershocks and another 7.3 tremor on May 12 that in total killed nearly 9,000 people and injured over 22,000 leaving many homeless. To this day thousands are still not living in a permanent home. Having visited the country on several occasions over the years when I first heard the news of the devastation I thought I should plan a trip to see first-hand how severely damaged the country was and it’s tourism infrastructure. I knew that the media reports of a ruined tourism industry would have a huge impact on the nation and it’s people that desperately rely on tourists to earn a living. I also wanted to encourage other people to visit the country either through volunteering to help with the recovery or once the situation had stabilized, make their own travel plans to Nepal, as this is one of the most effective ways to help the country rebuild. My flight was due to arrive at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan Airport May the 12th at 2pm. Approximately 1 hour before we were due to land the pilot announced another earthquake had struck Nepal and our descent would be delayed until crews finished a runway safety check. The plane went completely silent, passengers mostly all Nepalis returning home for the first time since the devastation, fearing more loss. This documentary series, comprised of recorded live streams, apologies for the inferior quality, along with regular footage I captured is my diary of the 20 days I spent in Nepal during some of the most desperate moments in the country’s history. After 90 minutes of circling the Kathmandu Valley on May 12, 2015 we were finally cleared for landing. This is where my story begins. I would love to get your feedback on the podcast either by email to john@fareastadventuretravel.com or just message me on the Far East Adventure Travel Facebook page. In China you can contact me on Weibo as fareastadventure. If you want to find out more about visiting Nepal you can check out our travel page Explore Himalayan. The link is in the show notes of this podcast. I’ll also leave a link in the show notes to my photo essay “Voices Of Nepal” published last year in the Impossible Project Magazine. Write A Podcast Review:https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/adventure-travel-far-east-inspired-by-rick-steves-lonely/id890305531?mt=2 Travel Information For Nepal:https://explorehimalayan.com John Saboe "Voices Of Nepal"-https://magazine.the-impossible-project.com/voices-of-nepal/?utm_source=Impossible+Magazine&utm_campaign=4ecd6c44b0-Magazine_Monthly_Newsletter_July_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_3aa46766f1-4ecd6c44b0-91484753&mc_cid=4ecd6c44b0&mc_eid=af7b26c1ba
Apr 18, 2017
This is part II of my live broadcast from Can Tho, Vietnam. I spent my first night exploring the city near riverside and the night market. When I arrive in an unfamiliar place I'm always excited to get out and walk the streets, check out what restaurants and food stalls or night markets are serving and get to know where people gather. Can Tho, like many cities in Vietnam and Southeast Asia has a few areas where you'll find activity at night-it usually revolves around eating. Near the waterfront and night market featured in this episode and around De Tham Street, nicknamed "food street" by locals where a series of restaurants serve everything from hot pot to seafood, and vegetarian. Your hotel can give you directions, just ask them where's food street? I stumbled onto Com Chay An Lac, a hole in the wall vegetarian restaurant that serves ultra fresh and cheap Vietnamese vegetarian food. Big bowls of noodles with imitation bbq pork,(bean curd), springs rolls and other tasty guilt free food for less than a buck. Join me in Can Tho as I explore and chat with some of the live viewers on varying topics from street food safety to trekking in Nepal and an impromptu interview with a friendly French tourist. Also in this podcast a thank you goes out to everyone who subscribes to Far East Adventure Travel, especially those that have followed my travels since 2014. As well as gratitude for the lovely reviews written in the iTunes Store. Below you'll find a link to the podcast page where you to can rate the podcast and submit and write a review. Leaving a review helps others discover Far East Adventure Travel. Also for a wide variety of videos on East Asia, Southeast Asia and South Asia please subscribe to my YouTube Channel:http://www.youtube.com/c/JohnSaboefareastadventuretravel I'm also very interested in your feedback on the podcast. Where are you from and what would you like to see in the future. You can message me on Facebook(Far East Adventure Travel) or send me an email-john@fareastadventuretravel.com. For those of you in China I'm also on Weibo as fareastadventure. Please feel free to follow me and send a message(English). Write A Review:https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/adventure-travel-far-east-inspired-by-rick-steves-lonely/id890305531?mt=2
Apr 14, 2017
Can Tho, Vietnam is the largest city in the Mekong River Delta region, famous as a destination for Mekong River Floating Market tours. It was one of the highlights of my most recent visit to Vietnam. Upon arrival in Can Tho, approximately 3.5 hours by bus from Ho Chi Minh City, I decided to immediately head for riverside, naturally where most travellers gravitate and explore the streets, night market, temples, and shops in the area. I also wanted to investigate hiring a boat for a tour the next morning. Some of my best and fondest memories of traveling are seeing a place for the first time. It's always exciting getting familiar with unknown territory. Night markets, cafes, fruit stands and Ho Chi Minh statues are not much different from one end of the country to the other but the settings are as well as the people and local culture. Throughout Vietnam you will find a mostly friendly attitude towards foreigners, from outgoing to reserved but friendly. In Can Tho and I believe much of the Mekong River Delta region locals are very hospitable. I was setting up my camera crouched on the side of a street one afternoon when behind me a friendly older man had brought out a plastic chair for me to sit on. Vietnam has a plethora of famous cities and destinations that are highly recommended by guide books and travel experts from the centers of commerce, arts, and politics like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, to the picturesque and historic cities of Hoi An and Hue. Can Tho is certainly a favorite of mine now. It doesn't have the same charming and historic atmosphere of Hoi An but it also doesn't draw excessive crowds and with the exception of the "boat ladies" who aggressively sell boat tours, is not hyper-focused on tourist wallets. Two or three days of hanging out in Can Tho, taking in some river excursions and visiting local temples and sites would be a wonderful diversion from the big cities and tourist towns. Tasty cheap local food, like 60 cents for a big bowl of noodles, a fantastic selection of tropical fruit, and simple street side cafes in a wonderfully laid back environment will have you contemplating retirement if not here, somewhere in Southeast Asia.
Apr 4, 2017
Can Tho is the fourth largest city in Vietnam and the largest in the Mekong River Delta region. People that visit are here primarily for the boat cruises that take you to the world-famous floating markets. A confluence of boats that merge in various locations of the river for trade of mostly fresh fruit and produce. For this trip I hired a boat for about $14 dollars that will take me on an approximate 3.5 hour tour on the Hua River, a tributary of the Mekong where I’ll see a wholesale floating market in action and visit a rice paper making village. After 45 minutes of passing by colorful vessels and regular river activity, including tourist boats heading in the opposite direction on their way to other floating markets we arrived at the Cai Rang wholesale market. Cruising at a slower speed by boats almost spilling over with pineapples and other fresh fruit and produce. Local buyers arrive to purchase goods from the farmers that bring their fruit and produce to Cai Rang and take it to the cities to sell to shops and other wholesalers. It’s important to hire a boat and leave the dock at Can Tho before 7am otherwise you’ll mostly just run in to other tour boats by the time you arrive. You can either book your boat in advance at your hotel or make a deal with one of the boat ladies hanging out at the dock on Hai Ba Trung. Typically a boat here will have a sample of whatever they’re selling attached to a long pole, so it’s easy to spot what you’re looking for from a distance on the water. This also saves the farmers or sellers from having to yell out what they’re selling like in a typical market. You’ll also have a chance to interact with boats pulling up and offering drinks and snacks. Can Tho was once part of the Khmer kingdom. There’s still a significant Khmer community noticable by the numerous Cambodian style Buddhist temples in the city. If you’ve just arrived from Ho Chi Minh City you’ll appreciate a slighter slower pace with a mix of wide streets and narrow lanes. The city has enough interesting sites and places to stroll to keep you engaged for at least a few days. I found it effortless to settle in and enjoy the even friendlier environment and the inexpensive delicious food and fruit of the region. The Khmer style temples of the region are Theraveda Buddhist unlike the Vietnamese type that are filled with Taoist Gods and Buddhist deities. A visit to Munirensay Pagoda will either immediately take you back to your days in Cambodia or inspire you to cross the border. There are plenty of lovely restaurants along the waterfront on Hai Ba Trung as well as a nightly market with plenty of cheap food stalls but don’t miss out on the great spots on De Tham, the street of food located on Hue Vien close by the Munirensay pagoda. Here you can find a huge selection of dishes whether you favor meat, fish, or vegetarian. Plus there’s bake shops that sell slabs of cake for less than 50 cents, and fruit stalls with jackfruit that’s as sweet as candy. There are lots of friendly streets to stroll and if you decide you want to take a rest and have a caphe da, or vietnamese iced coffee, just grab a plastic chair and have a seat. I like the fresh fruit juices cafes serve here as well. Head back to Hai Ba Trung walk along the river’s edge, check off another Ho Chi Minh statue you’ve seen on your trip and make your way to the prettiest temple in Can Tho, Ong Temple inside the Guangzhou Assembly Hall. Under all of the huge incense coils that lends to the temples magical atmosphere you’ll find Kuang Kung or Guan Yu, right in the center. The God of war Kuang Kung symbolizes truth, justice, and courage among other qualities. Kuang Kung is the main deity worshipped at the temple. Development and modernization is spreading across Vietnam including Can Tho but there’s still remnants from the past including the Ninh Kieu Pier Tourist Market and it’s Market Hall dating back to 1913. Inside you’ll find trinkets and clothes, souvenirs, and a restaurant/cafe with lovely river views. Meanwhile back on the floating market tour we traveled up one of the quieter pretty canals to visit a rice paper making village. As touristy as some of this activity may seem you’d kick yourself if you didn’t hire a boat and visit a floating market while staying in Can Tho or the Mekong Delta region. The feeling of cruising up and down the river amidst this unique way of trade is an extremely rewarding adventure. There are longer river trips and more temples and sites to see around Can Tho. However it’s the slower pace, obvious relaxed feel of the city and it’s people as well as the transcendental experience of the Mekong River system that is the bigger take away. It’s a reminder that as much as the country is changing it’s the old ways and pace of life that reflects the true beauty of Vietnam. 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
1