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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: May, 2017
May 29, 2017
Bako National Park on the island of Borneo is Sarawak, Malaysia’s oldest park established in 1957. It packs in a huge variety of landscape, vegetation and wildlife for it’s small size of 27 sq/km. Only accessible by boat, if you’re based in Kuching you’ll just need to make arrangements to get to Bako Bazaar and the boat launch dock. There’s a public bus, or you can hire a taxi or Uber. By the way, although I did have to wait 18 minutes I was very lucky to get an Uber ride back to Kuching. Unless you want to pay a premium boats don’t leave the dock unless there are 5 passengers, so as long as you arrive not too late in the morning, it shouldn’t be long before you’re on your way, especially if you’re by yourself. The boat ride out to Bako, which takes about 20 minutes is an adventure itself, passing by fishermen and remote beaches and seeing the Satubong Peninsula. Once you reach Teluk Assam beach that leads to park headquarters you disembark from the boat and wade into shore. You could easily spend a half day just here, looking at the peninsula in the distance and checking out the wildlife that hangs out around the beach, including proboscis monkeys we caught a glimpse of right in the trees as we approached headquarters. You must check in at park headquarters when you arrive and present your park pass you purchased at the boat launch. It’s also a good idea to register which trail you will be on at the desk. Once you’ve completed that then you’re off to enjoy the beauty of Bako National Park. One of the guides that I met at the boat launch suggested I walk the Pandan Besar trail which gives you wonderful views, a chance to see unique vegetation, like the carniverous pitcher plants, and should allow enough time to do some wildlife viewing around the beach before the last boat leaves for the day at 3pm. Once you’re out of the lower trail and the jungle canopy you are in the scrub like padang vegetation and exposed to the sun, so it’s a good idea to bring a hat and use sunscreen. It would have been really easy to miss these pitcher plants that I saw close to the ground while walking the trail. They are abundant in this area. You will dip back into Kerangas forest, kerangas is an Iban word, Iban are the indigenous people of Sarawak. It means “land which cannot grow rice”-you’ll come out of the kerangas in the final stretch of the Pandan Besar trail. This is the prize at the end of the trail. Lovely views looking out at this beach, which is unfortunately inaccessible by foot. Another beach close by Pandan Kecil can be hiked from here. One thing you need to be mindful of when hiking here is the possibility of tropical downpours, Bako is part rainforest and on my way back I headed right into a huge rainstorm, which pretty much finished my hiking and exploring for the day. But it was a truly amazing taste of wild Borneo. Thanks to:http://www.purple-planet.com for their awesome soundtrack music! Write A Podcast Review: Visit the Far East Adventure Travel Patreon page and become a sponsor!:
May 26, 2017
I'm often surprised by certain things about a new place I've visited or discovered. Never more than on my recent trip to Kuching, Sarawak in Malaysian Borneo where I found the local people were especially friendly and welcoming. Random greetings while crossing the street, "hello, welcome! Where you from?" Sometimes a hello from a group of students walking home from school or just people you cross paths with in the air conditioned modern shopping mall. Island people I've found, for the most part, are generally laid-back, easy-going and friendly. I've met and have had amazing hospitality on my most recent trip to Sabah on Borneo as well. And of course the people of Taiwan are known for being some of the friendliest people on the planet. I hope the Sarawak Tourism Bureau has a big party for their people because these are the kinds of things that most visitors will remember and tell their friends and others about when they're asked what their trip was like. No doubt you're going to have some pretty awesome memories if you visit Semenggoh, the orangu-tan sanctuary or spend a day or two in Bako National Park. Having Sarawak's famous Laksa, noodle soup for breakfast, gorging on some of the cheapest and best seafood in Southeast Asia at the UTC Top Spot Food Court will certainly be big takeaways from a visit to Kuching. I can guarantee you though that provided you didn't spend your whole time in your hotel or guesthouse room, it's the kind-hearted and friendly people of Kuching that will be one of your strongest impressions of a visit to Sarawak. In this episode of the podcast I'm experimenting with a different format including more travel advice and tips that's specific to the place featured. Of course I will continue to bring you the best experiences the area has to offer. In upcoming episodes watch out for my visit to the Semenggoh Orangu-tan Reserve, Bako National Park as well as other not to be missed sites around Kuching. I was really impressed with Kuching, the range of guesthouses and hotels, the exceptional food and overall value, Old Chinatown, India Street, and of course the wonderful boardwalk along the Sarawak River. There are amazing adventure activities that can be day trips while you maintain your base in Kuching. I'm thinking if you are coming from a Western country try to devote 5-7 days around the area which could include one or two nights in Bako National Park. If you're an Asian based traveller Kuching could be a great long weekend getaway. Many Asian cities have direct flights to Kuching and Air Asia has several everyday from Kuala Lumpur. I've started a Patreon account so for as little as $1/ month you can be a sponsor of Far East Adventure Travel and have access to exclusive content. Check out the page and help support travel and production costs of Far East Adventure Travel. Help others discover Far East Adventure in the iTunes Store by writing a review. Follow the link here:
May 17, 2017
Yehliu Geo Park is one of Northern Taiwan’s top tourist sites attracting on average over 3 million visitors yearly. It’s a fun place and interesting spot with numerous natural rock formations including their most famous, “Queen’s head”, named so for it’s resemblance to the profile of Queen Elizabeth I, some even comparing it to Nefertiti. It’s a Disneyland for rock lovers and as you can imagine it’s usually crowded almost anytime during the day. Sitting right next to the park is the fishing village of Yehliu, which is usually quiet except for meal times when some of the tourists stray away from the geo park and food stalls and souvenir stands that surround it and head to one of the many seafood restaurants that serve the amazing bounty of the North China sea. Other than the density of seafood restaurants, that perhaps could not sustain themselves without the massive tourist attraction next door it’s a pretty typical Northern Taiwanese fishing village, with lots of men fishing off of the docks, boats in the harbour equipped with watermelon sized lanterns, numerous temples and shrines, and beautiful views towards the park and sea. I know that many will miss the charm of places like this especially if they are ferried in by tourist buses with guides that are in a hurry to meet the promises of a day spent seeing all of the sites of Northern Taiwan. Most are simply looking to rack up tourist spots visited with selfies to share back home, the traveller that judges a good trip based on the volume of places they've seen. There's nothing wrong with that if in the end you're satisfied with your vacation. However if you want to experience the real Taiwan perhaps even engaging a little with locals, like the man who showed me the squid eggs in one of his tanks, then spend more time exploring and worry less about the number of things you see. I've found lots of interesting places literally on the fringes of tourist spots. Always my biggest take aways are those moments of interaction with locals that are far more endearing than a checked off list of sites. But do see Yehliu Geo Park next door, it’s worth the visit! Become a sponsor of Far East Adventure Travel for as little as $1/month. Visit my Patreon page to find out more and see the rewards on offer: Write A Podcast Review For Far East Adventure Travel:
May 12, 2017
The last few days I spent in Nepal during the earthquakes of 2015 were a whirlwind of visiting villages in the Kathmandu Valley and the remote hard hit Sindhupalchowk District. At least two thirds of all of the houses in Sindhupalchowk were destroyed. It was shocking as we rode up the windy road to one of the most remote villages, Thangpalkot I to see twisted buildings and piles of stones that were once homes. I met one young man that lost his guesthouse and had no idea how he would support his wife and daughter in the short term. Many of the younger people in the families around Sindhupalchowk were contemplating leaving the country to find work in order to save the money it would take to rebuild. In the Kathmandu Valley some villages lost historic buildings and temples, like Bungamati's Rato Machhendranath Temple, where the patron God of Patan deity usually presides. When I returned later in the year many of the villages and sites I saw in May had been cleaned up and there were more temporary shelters in place but the work had not yet begun at almost all locations. Nepal was also in the middle of a fuel crisis, spurred on by a constitution that wasn't favorable to villages in the Terai region. It was believed India was also in disfavor of the new constitution and held back deliveries of fuel giving the reason that drivers and trucks did not feel secure crossing the border. Most tourists were still able to move around the country by bus and with internal flights but Nepalis were preparing less vegetables in order to conserve cooking fuel. Less fuel also meant less goods available in stores and higher prices at the markets. The country and it's people could not think about rebuilding in this unfavorable environment. Today the work still remains painfully slow, especially in the remote regions like Sindhupalchowk but the country's state of panic has passed. When I visited Nepal in May of 2015 my intention was to support tourism and get the message out that although it wasn't the best time to visit during the aftermath, the country and it's people were still counting on tourism to help sustain the economy and families. It wasn't a surprise that many people cancelled their plans for a fall visit and a fuel crisis was not exactly a sign that things were stable. Today among other projects including two podcasts and a YouTube Channel I find myself a partner in a trekking and tour company based in Nepal with a personal stake in bringing tourism back to the country. I visited Nepal at my own expense during the earthquakes, no trekking adventures or relaxing days around Phewa Lake in Pokhara. I was there to document the damage, speak to people that were deeply affected by the destruction and share on social media that immediate help was needed and long term support of tourism was necessary. Most of the great trails of Nepal saw little or no damage as a result of the earthquakes and the south, the birthplace of the Buddha and some of the best wildlife viewing in the world were completely unaffected. Only 15% of the world heritage sites were damaged or destroyed. For every trekker or tourist that visits Nepal at least seven Nepalis benefit during that time spent in the country. Visiting Nepal whether you use my company or someone else's will have a huge impact on the recovery from one of South Asia's worst natural disasters. Beyond the knowledge and awareness of how valuable your tourist dollars are to the country I believe you will feel like you've had one of the most memorable and meaningful vacations of your life. For more information on travel and trekking in Nepal visit our website:https://explorehimalayan.com Please support Far East Adventure Travel with your donation:paypal.me/JohnASaboe Write a podcast review and help others discover the Far East Adventure Travel:https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/adventure-travel-far-east-inspired-by-rick-steves-lonely/id890305531?mt=2
May 4, 2017
Part IV of Earthquake Diaries From Nepal begins in historic Sankhu Village, approximately 45 minutes by car from Thamel-Kathmandu it is located in the northwest corner of the Kathmandu Valley. It is where many religious festivals take place and was a stop on the original salt trade route from Tibet. I visited Sankhu a few times during my stay in May 2015. Outside of the Sindhupalchowk region this was one of the most devastated villages I witnessed in the Kathmandu Valley. Many locals were willing to share their experience and loss and it was not only heartbreaking but extremely overwhelming to hear the stories of losing brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers, along with friends and relatives as a result of the earthquakes. There was also a miracle rescue when the sister of a man who had lost two other sisters, his father, and two domestic workers of the family, was pulled from the rubble of their house 5 hours after the initial earthquake. The site of people living in terrible conditions along the Bisnumati River was shocking. There were tented camps in Kathmandu with much better conditions but locals did not want to be far from their homes fearing looting or theft. There were aftershocks almost everyday sending more fear of yet another big earthquake on the way. Please send me any feedback on this documentary series to john@fareastadventuretravel.com. 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
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