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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: Category: taiwan
Oct 26, 2017
https://www.patreon.com/FarEastAdventureTravel Please support my continuing efforts to bring you exciting travel inspiration from Asia! Become patron of Far East Adventure Travel! Visit my Patreon page to find out more! Dream Parade is a unique event in East Asia held every October in Taipei, Taiwan. A celebration of life, freedom of expression, and creativity the parade mixes world culture with Hakka, aboriginal, and Chinese traditions plus a little essence of Burning Man. I have covered many festivals and traditional celebrations in Taiwan but this was my first time covering the Dream Parade. I've always so for a few years now that if you really want to see some amazing rituals, festivals, and traditions no one puts on a celebration quite like the Taiwanese do and Dream Parade is no exception. A mix of Mardi Gras, and Brazil's Carnival in spirit the parade itself features aboriginal groups in drumming and dance sessions, stilt walkers, fire-eaters, giant floats and mascots, and of course samba dancers! Hope you enjoy these highlights from Dream Parade 2017 from Taipei, Taiwan.
Oct 17, 2017
https://www.patreon.com/FarEastAdventureTravel Become a patron of Far East Adventure Travel and support travel inspiration from Asia. Get access to exclusive content and follow the link now! A visit to Kanyakumari, India is certainly a buck list item for anyone who loves the subcontinent. Being at the very southern tip it’s a popular destination mostly for Indians seeking a pilgrimage although with the emerging middle class in the country it is becoming just as much a vacation destination combined with a spiritual journey. Having spent a few weeks traveling through Kerala it was hard to resist an extra 3 hour bumpy bus ride from Kovalam Beach to the southern tip of India. With limited time I had to literally jump off the bus, find a place to stay, and make my way for the ferry line-up to visit the small little islands, or rock outcrops that were home to shrines. The first stop on the ferry ride is at Vivekananda Rock Memorial where a shrine was built in 1970 honoring Swami Vivekananda who was believed to have attained enlightenment on the rock. The second stop was at The Thiruvalluvar Statue. The statue that rises 29 meters symbolizes wealth and pleasures. After I finished my trip to the monuments I explored the small town that must swell daily with tourists and pilgrims that arrive by bus, car, and train. It’s definitely a circus atmosphere, with carnival acts, horse rides, and a little amusement park for kids. Of course besides the other temples that pilgrims and followers make their way to including The Kanya Kumari Temple and The Gandhi Memorial Mandapam, the site where the great Mahatma’s ashes were kept before their final immersion. Just to see and meet Indians, many that had travelled hundreds of kilometers was absolutely fascinating. Of course the top attraction for most are the incredible sunrises and sunsets, provided the weather is cooperative. We had an amazing sunset, the next day unfortunately overcast skies and light rains prevailed. Nevertheless it was one of the memorable adventures I’d ever experienced in India.
Oct 4, 2017
https://www.patreon.com/FarEastAdventureTravel Get access to exclusive content and insider info on my travels! Become a patron now! Visit my Patreon page and check out the offers! I was so glad to see the Taoyuan International Airport MRT line open earlier this year. This finally brings Taipei in line as far as convenience and access goes, to it’s international airport, with other major cities in East Asia including Seoul, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Southeast Asian centers like Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Like most airport trains across Asia they do not operate 24 hours a day so if your flight arrives outside of the 6am to 23:00 train schedule then you’ll have to use a bus, still fairly convenient or catch a taxi. At NT$160 for a one way ticket the Taoyuan Airport MRT is the bargain of East Asia for airport rail fares. As I mentioned in the video Taipei Metro offers a number of unlimited passes ranging from 24 hours to 72 hours. These passes are not valid for the airport MRT. If you’d like an unlimited pass that includes a return trip on the airport MRT then purchase the “Joint Ticket” at the airport MRT counter. At the airport and at Taipei Main Station you can purchase an Easy Card or iPass which you can load up and use on the airport MRT, Taipei Metro, many bus lines and convenience stores. This video should cover most of your questions regarding travel between the international airport and Taipei Main Station. For more information visit their website:https://www.tymetro.com.tw/eng/index.php
Sep 19, 2017
https://www.patreon.com/FarEastAdventureTravel Check out the offers on my Patreon page to become a sponsor and patron of Far East Adventure Travel!Follow me on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/johnsaboeofficial/ Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/fareastadventuretravel/ What a thrill it was to watch the giant feast offering for the hungry ghosts at the recent “Pudu” ritual at Taipei, Taiwan’s Provincial City God Temple. During the 7th month of every lunar calendar year ghosts or “good brothers”, as they are politely referred to by Taiwanese, walk the earth potentially causing trouble for the living. Food, drink, other offerings, and prayers are offered to appease the wandering ghosts. Taiwan Provincial City God Temple in Taipei City, Taiwan holds one of the biggest “Pudus” on the 25th day of the lunar calendar month. The Taipei City mayor is invited every year to help initiate the event and thousands show up throughout the day to bring offerings of food, drink, and other items and watch the rites performed with help of Taoist and Buddhist monks. The local media was out in full force to cover the event and would probably out number any North American city of the same size. I was impressed with the amount and variety food that was brought to the Taiwan Provincial City God Temple and my friend Wayne Chen shared with me that many of the items are donated to charity as well as local aboriginal tribes in Central and Southern Taiwan once the rites have been completed at the Pudu. I want to thank the director of the temple Chan Ling Chuan and Wayne Chen for inviting me to the Pudu along with all of the wonderful volunteers that work very hard to put together this event. Taiwan is an amazing place filled with a fascinating rich vibrant culture. I hope on your visit you are exposed to these great festivals and rituals and the hospitality of the Taiwanese. fundly.com/far-east-adventure-travel-video-production-improvements I am in desperate need of upgrades to my video equipment. Please visit my crowdfunding page. If you enjoy these videos I create a donation will help me to bring you better quality content from Taiwan and across Asia. Thank you! John
Sep 13, 2017
https://fundly.com/far-east-adventure-travel-video-production-improvements/dash Please support my crowdfunding efforts to raise money for new video equipment to bring you better videos and podcasts from Asia. $5, $10, $20 or more is most gratefully appreciated! This was truly an interesting experience visiting the Yimin Festival in Hsinchu County. My friend MJ and I set out to see one of the most unique cultural events in Taiwan, The Pigs Of God that are offered every year for the Yimin Festival held during the 7th month of the lunar calendar in Hsinchu County and other communities where Hakka people reside. The Hakka are the second largest ethnic group of Taiwan with a population of approximately 4.6 million in total, with the majority of the population residing in Hsinchu, Taoyuan, and Miaoli Counties in Taiwan. The Yimin Festival has become a controversial cultural event, mostly for the pigs that are purposely force-fed to extreme weights of over 800kg. This tradition actually does not go back to the beginning of the event but only began a few decades ago. Some influencial people in the Hakka community have called for the end of the force-feeding practise but it still continues today in many communities around Taiwan including Hsinchu county. After discovering the Pigs of God are not on display at the Yimin Temple in Hsinpu, one of the most significant temples and cultural centers of Hsinchu County we got directions to the closest site where we could see some of the pigs on display. To my surprise the event, held at one spot in Zhubei City this year, was not entirely made up of the force-fed pigs, but also included regularly raised pigs that were slaughtered for the festival. People also bring goats, chickens, and ducks, to offer Yimin. In Hakka culture Yimin are actually men that lost their lives defending the Qing Dynasty from rebels in the 18th century. You can read more about them here:https://festival.hakka.gov.tw/Festival-Content.aspx?a=816&l=2 https://www.patreon.com/FarEastAdventureTravel Become a patron of Far East Adventure Travel and gain access to exclusive content! Check out my Patreon page to see the offers! Thanks so much for watching the video! Subscribe to my channel for more videos on Taiwan, East Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia.
Sep 13, 2017
https://fundly.com/far-east-adventure-travel-video-production-improvements/dash Please support my crowdfunding efforts to raise money for new video equipment to bring you better videos and podcasts from Asia. $5, $10, $20 or more is most gratefully appreciated! Ghost Month or The Hungry Ghost Festival takes place every year during the 7th month of the lunar calendar in Taiwan and other parts of Asia. This is the 15th day of the month which is also called Ghost Day. During Ghost month it’s believed the gates of the underworld are opened for the spirits to wander the earth, many without descendants. Offerings of food and drink are set out and ghost money is burned for the ghosts, or good brothers, a more respectful term the Taiwanese use. So why do they treat the ghosts this way? Because of the potential for disruption by the wandering ghosts during the month many people in Taiwan avoid travel, swimming, holding weddings, and putting off major purchases like a car or house. https://www.patreon.com/FarEastAdventureTravel Become a patron of Far East Adventure Travel and gain access to exclusive travel content from Asia. Visit my page to see the offers!
Aug 19, 2017
patreon.com/FarEastAdventureTravel - Please visit my Patreon page to see the latest offers. For as little as $1/month you can get access to exclusive content. It's always challenging when you visit any city for the first time to decide on where exactly you want to stay. This video highlights my 5 favorite districts to stay in Taipei. The characteristics of each district are highlighted to make it easier to decide which one suits you best. Technically Taipei Main Station is not a district but falls in Zhongzheng but I think it's better to use Taipei Main Station when you're searching for hotels and other retail or services. The districts fall in order of transportation convenience with number 1 Taipei Main Station being the best and Xinyi District the area furthest away. Taipei City is not that expansive so if you stay in Xinyi it will take you approximately 20 minutes to get to Taipei Main Station by MRT. Zhongshan is convenient and has a some nice sites to visit including the Ningxia Night Market, Dihua Old Street, The Museum of Contemporary Art. Daan is great for shoppers, foodies, bar hoppers, and some nice parks and neighborhoods to explore. Ximending is the most energetic district with lots of choices for food, cafes, entertainment, street performers, and is completely safe even with the crowds that inhabit the place every night. Xinyi is the most luxurious of all the districts with the best selection of 5 star hotels, international restaurants, Chinese/Taiwanese fine dining, and the best Japanese food. Bars, hot nightclubs and one of the best selections of luxury goods stores in East Asia. Thanks so much for watching the video! Please subscribe to the channel for the latest videos from East Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia! Music: http://www.purple-planet.com
Jul 13, 2017
Taipei, Taiwan is a vibrant city that is rich in culture, history, street food, and religion. It’s safe, super-friendly, convenient and probably undervalued compared to the super Asian city destinations of Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore, Seoul. Ironically many residents of those cities choose Taipei as a destination, enjoying some of those qualities that their city once had or simply lacks. Why the title 8+3 Awesome Sights To See/Do? Well most in Asia would be clued in to the significance of the number 8 and 3. In Chinese,(Mandarin), the word eight sounds similar to the word for prosper or wealth. It’s also similar sounding in Cantonese. The number 8 is an auspicious number. The number three sounds similar to the character for birth and is also considered a lucky number. There are three stages to a person’s life-birth, marriage, and death. So my wish is for prosperity and good luck for all those that visit Taipei, Taiwan and for the people of the city that have treated me with such great kindness and hospitality for the past 4 years. Would love to get your feedback on the video and ideas for future content. Also what other countries do you like to visit in Asia? Thanks again with many blessings to you! John Here is the list of the 8+3 sights with links for more details on transportation and extra background for your preparation. 8.Dihua Street:http://eng.taiwan.net.tw/m1.aspx?sNo=0002090&id=418 7.Dongmen:https://guidetotaipei.com/visit/yongkang-street-永康街 6.National Palace Museum:https://www.npm.gov.tw/en/ 5.Ximending:https://guidetotaipei.com/visit/ximending-youth-shopping-district-西門町 4.C.K.S. Memorial Hall:http://www.cksmh.gov.tw/eng/index.php?code=list&ids=21 3.Longshan Temple:http://lungshan.org.tw/en/index.php 2.Shilin Night Market:http://www.shilin-night-market.com/how-to-get-to.html#.WWMSz1KB10s 1.Taipei 101:http://www.taipei-101.com.tw/en/index.aspx Din Tai Fung:http://www.dintaifung.com.tw/tw/default.htm Kao Chi:http://www.kao-chi.com King Mango:http://www.kingmango.com.tw/index.html +3 3.Beitou Hot Springs:https://guidetotaipei.com/visit/beitou-hot-springs-北投溫泉-xinbeitou 2.Songshan Cultural And Creative Park:http://www.songshanculturalpark.org/en/ 1.Elephant Mountain(Xiangshan):https://guidetotaipei.com/visit/elephant-mountain-象山-xiangshan Please check out my Patreon page for exclusive content and offers:https://www.patreon.com/user?u=4035923
Jul 10, 2017
Wine And Gourmet Taipei was one of the most challenging wine shows I’ve ever been invited to in the world. With a tasting selection ranging from Shochu, a Japanese distilled beverage, vodka like, to Australian Shiraz. Typically I would start at a traditional wine tasting with sparkling wine, moving on to light then more full bodied whites like Chardonnay, then the reds from Pinot Noir to Cabs then maybe if I’ve got anything left in me, ports and sherries. But there’s no way I could handle a diverse range of Japanese sake, shochu, craft beers, many fruit flavored ones, then an assortment of wines. The palate just can’t absorb all those flavors and intensities over a 3-4 hour period. So being in Asia I decided to focus on Asian alcohol and craft beers, including the emerging craft beer segment in Taiwan. Managing to finally pull myself away from the dazzling selection of Japanese Shochu and sake I made my way to the many Belgian beers that are available around Taiwan and the island’s homegrown craft beers including Bazu and Taiwan Head Brewers. I am really impressed with the range of beers, the quality and taste, and the actual infusions and flavors from Litchi, very refreshing and thirst quenching, to sour beers, tea infused beers, chocolate and more from the homegrown market. Craft brews are still relatively new compared with the North American market but interest, particularly with the younger generation is growing in Taiwan. Some purists might be put off by some of the fruit beers but I personally think they suite not only local food, but the climate, especially in Northern Taiwan with it’s extremely hot and humid summers. Nothing like quenching your thirst with a refreshing light litchi beer with maybe a plate of spicy squid on the side. Get exclusive travel content! Visit Patreon and become a sponsor of Far East Adventure Travel: http://www.purple-planet.com
Jun 25, 2017
I will confess right up front! I am not a meat-eater so that’s why you don’t see me trying anything that has meat in it at this year’s Food Taipei. I do eat fish and seafood but for many years now I have not eaten, beef, chicken, pork, or any other animal. That may sound like a challenging diet to uphold especially in East Asia but that’s not the case at all. In fact, Taiwan and specifically Taipei is a fantastic city to be a complete vegetarian or even vegan for that matter. Recently PETA Asia voted Taipei the number vegan-friendly city in Asia followed by Singapore. There are lots of modern or contemporary vegan style restaurants in the city but it’s also the traditional vegetarian buffet style restaurants that are popular with the Buddhist community that help to make it a convenient place for vegans. So of course my tasting of some of the snacks and food at this year’s Food Taipei show, one of the biggest of it’s kind in East Asia, leaned towards vegetarian with a few seafood treats throw in. All of this food is delicious and I believe even if you are a meat eater you would still enjoy these snacks at or in between regular meals. This was a great show held over three days at two sites, the Taipei World Trade Center and Nangang Exhibition Center. Food exhibitors from all over the world come to this Food Taipei every year to showcase their products but I was more interested in sharing Asian food, particularly some of the products and specialities of Taiwan. Hope you enjoy the video and subscribe to the channel! Please feel free to leave comments. I would love to get your feedback on what else you would like to see as I continue to explore Asia and the Far East. For as little as $1/month you can become a sponsor of my channel and the Far East Adventure Travel Podcasts and have access to exclusive content along with other offers. Visit my Patreon page to find out more:https://www.patreon.com/user?u=4035923 Support Far East Adventure Travel-Write a Review in iTunes-https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/adventure-travel-far-east-inspired-by-rick-steves-lonely/id890305531?mt=2 Music courtesy of:http://www.purple-planet.com
Jun 16, 2017
Taipei, Taiwan has one of the most efficient and reliable MRT or public rapid transit systems in the world. Locals are used to the convenience but if you are visiting either for a short or extended time to Taipei you are in store for a comfortable, safe, and easy way to get around the city. There are 5 main lines of the Taipei Metro which consists of a mix of underground and above ground infrastructure with a total of 108 stations. This does not include the airport service as this is a separate entity called Taoyuan MRT. I highly recommend downloading either the IOS or android Taipei MRT app available in The App Store and Google Play. This will help you plan your day while you’re having a coffee in your hotel room or at breakfast. All of the stations are also searchable online with full descriptions including in most cases major sites that are close by. You can purchase single journey tokens but you’ll save alot of time, especially if you’re traveling during rush hour, to pick up either a TaipeiPass card or an Easycard. You can purchase TaipeiPass cards at any MRT station and at most convenient stores including 7-Eleven. They are available in 1,2,3, and 5 day unlimited use cards. There is also an additional 1 day + card that can be used on the Maokong Gondola next to the Taipei Zoo. These passes are for unlimited use on the Taipei Metro, not including bus routes with four digit buses for their time frame so there’s no lead to load or reload them. TaipeiPass Cards: If you’re planning on taking some bus trips or train rides to Northern Taiwan besides using the MRT then you may want to purchase an Easycard instead for NT$100. You’ll have to load money onto it but the EasyCard is more flexible than the TaipeiPass. EasyCards can be purchased at all MRT stations. Using the Easycard gives you a 20% discount on single journey fares on the MRT and 10% on local trains to Keelung and Ruifang. Keelung has one of the most famous night markets on the island, Keelung Miaokou Night Market. Ruifang is your connection to Pingxi, home of the world-famous Sky Lantern Festival. The Taipei MRT system operates between 6am-12am but service ends earlier at some stations. Here is a link that gives the last train time for each station:http://english.metro.taipei/ct.asp?xItem=1056375&CtNode=70242&mp=122036 Music courtesy of:http://www.purple-planet.com Become a sponsor of Far East Adventure Travel! Visit my Patreon page now!: Help others discover Far East Adventure Travel! Write a Review:
Jun 10, 2017
Taipei, Taiwan is a super modern city with a deep-rooted culture that is becoming more and more popular as a gateway to East Asia and Southeast Asia. It’s new express MRT service from Taoyuan International Airport, a 36 minute ride, will make it even more convenient for travellers, especially those on a short layover. This short but important list of essential things you should know will help keep you on track with a smooth stay. Although taxis are plentiful and relatively inexpensive compared with other big cities in East Asia the MRT is one of the best ways to get to most of the main sites and business centers of Taipei City. The Nangang Exhibition Center where many conventions and shows are held is accessible by the blue and brown MRT lines. Neihou, where many tech industry businesses have their head office is also on the brown line, Xihu is one of the most convenient stops for quick and easy access. Taipei 101 for the last 3.5 years has had it’s own MRT stop on the red line. This is where you’ll also find The International Convention Center next to the Taipei 101 Shopping Mall. It’s also in close proximity to Taipei City Hall and is apart of the Xinyi Shopping District, where you’ll find one of the largest selections of luxury goods stores in East Asia. If you want to get more of a local perspective pick up an Easycard available at most MRT stations and register it online with Ubike, https://taipei.youbike.com.tw/en/index.php so you can have access to the city bikes that have stations across Taipei City and New Taipei City. Simply swipe your card next to the bike you want to rent and you’re ready to go. You can drop the bike off at any Ubike station. They’re almost always located near an MRT station. In the video I mention briefly that the Taiwanese people are very friendly and helpful. It’s true! If you ever appear to be lost or confused while looking at a map you will in most cases immediately attract the attention of a local who will be pleased to help you find your way. That’s wny I said “get lost”, literally you can get lost while exploring this amazing city with it’s maze of alleyways, quiet cafes, food stalls and shops and not worry that you won’t have help getting back to your hotel. Taipei and the rest of Taiwan is an extremely safe place to travel. There is literally no or very rare violent crime against tourists. Personal ownership of guns is banned. There has been reports of pick pocketing and petty theft, particularly in night markets and crowded places, but I think this is even rare now. Enjoy your stay in Taipei and please feel free to leave any comments or questions. You can also message me on the Far East Adventure Travel Facebook page! Become a sponsor of Far East Adventure Travel for as little as $1/month. Check my Patreon page for the latest sponsorship offers! https://www.patreon.com/user?u=4035923 Help others discover the Far East Adventure Travel Podcast! Write a Review:
Jun 7, 2017
I rarely if ever eat at McDonald’s but there is a curiosity that people, particularly from the west, have about what their regular fast food chains are like in Asia compared to their native country’s. It’s also a fall back when on the road dying for the tastes from home. It’s also a safe bet especially for some people who are a little shy to leave their comfort zone too long while on vacation and for parents traveling with children. So I thought I would check out McDonald’s Taipei as their special tropical burger currently on the menu is made from shrimp, something I still do eat. It’s pretty much what I expected, on the bland side, not horrible tasting but not very satisfying. Basically just a quick way to fill your stomach. I’m not a food snob but I do enjoy and appreciate good food, something there’s no lack of in Taiwan. Taiwan just may be the most convenient place to eat out in the world. I’ve heard estimates of over 300,000 food stalls on the island. Plus numerous restaurants that serve several styles of Chinese cooking, the most Japanese restaurants per capita outside of Japan, along with Korean, Vietnamese, and many Western cuisines. McDonald’s faces huge competition and it’s stores are not as successful in East Asia, particularly Taiwan and China then in other regions. It’s really not a surprise considering that Taiwan has a reputation in the east for being a food mecca. In recent years CNN viewers voted Taiwan the number one food destination in the world! Hopefully this episode will encourage those that fall back on the familiar to get out of their comfort zone more while traveling. Walk up to a food stall, order something new and different, and take away an unforgettable food memory and experience. Thanks for watching! Please support Far East Adventure Travel! You can become a sponsor for as little as $1/month. Check out my Patreon page:https://www.patreon.com/user?u=4035923 Help others discover the Far East Adventure Travel Podcast! Write a review in the iTunes Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/adventure-travel-far-east-inspired-by-rick-steves-lonely/id890305531?mt=2
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:
Mar 25, 2017
The Sanzhi UFO houses was a famous beach house development in New Taipei City, Taiwan featuring futuristic "space pod" living spaces that were abandoned and never completed. Eventually they were demolished in 2008. Who knows if Sanzhi, or this other "beach house" development I discovered in Northern Taiwan through research and first-hand accounts were "beach developments" or simply a cover up and ultimately destruction of evidence that extraterrestrial life at one time was present in Taiwan. One story behind this development involves a soda pop tycoon's investment in a beach house community in the 70's made up of futuro and venturo homes that failed and subsequently were also abandoned. Like the main character in the novel and movie adaptation filmed on location in Taiwan, "Life Of Pi", I ask you which story would you prefer? The failed attempts at real estate development by Taiwanese millionaires, or aliens seeking to establish beach front communities while enjoying the rich culture, amazing food, night markets, hot springs, great health care, and a "new hope" on Ila Formosa, "the beautiful island". You decide! 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
Mar 17, 2017
It was New Year's Day 2017, unusually warm at 26 celsius, making it perfectly pleasant to walk around interesting neighborhoods in Taipei, Taiwan including Dongmen and it's Yongkang Food Street. Anchoring this street that has been published in almost every travel and food magazine and guidebook, is the world-famous Din Tai Fung, purveyors of xiaolongbao, delicious soup dumplings. Crowds, as seen on this day, will line-up for over an hour in the midday just to get a table. Even though this restaurant is a big draw there are plenty of other restaurant in Dongmen serving the delicious specialities of Taiwan. The history of this neighborhood goes way back to the Japanese occupation when high government officials and the affluent started taking up residence here. Qingtian Street is a lovely place to stroll while enjoying a classic Taiwanese snack purchased from Yongkang Street like green onion pancake. There are still Japanese style homes left over from the time of occupation that have been converted to art galleries and teahouses. You can also visit the Taipei Grand Mosque that's close by. It's no wonder this is a top destination for tourists visiting Taipei. Great restaurants, interesting sites, and friendly locals make for a memorable time in Dongmen. Don't hesitate to just wander. Getting lost in the little alleys that are dotted with interesting cafes and shops is part of the fun of visiting Taipei. Join me in the Dongmen neighborhood sharing some of my favorite places to eat while giving you a taste of what it's like to walk in one of the tastiest and friendliest places in Asia! 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 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
Jan 30, 2017
Guandu Temple is one of the oldest temples in Northern Taiwan. Established in 1661 the temple is dedicated to Matsu, Goddess of the sea. The temple complex also contains a Buddhist shrine or chapel where Guanyin, the Goddess of compassion is also honored. It's also one of the most popular temples to visit during the Lunar New Year or Chinese New Year holidays in Northern Taiwan. This year the temple is featuring two mechanical roosters in honor of the zodiac animal. 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
Jan 27, 2017
This is one of the biggest traditional morning or wet markets in Taipei, Taiwan. It's close to the fruit/vegetable wholesale market, and the wholesale fish and seafood market so there's an amazing selection of fresh food. It is one of the top spots to buy food to prepare dinner for Chinese(Lunar) New Year's Eve. I visited the market the day for the big night when families gather together for their reunion dinner. 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
Jan 18, 2017
Taipei often gets quiet during the first days of the Lunar New Year's celebration, Taiwan's most important holiday. Many who work in the capital will leave for their hometown to visit with family during the holidays. Especially important is returning for the family reunion dinner which takes place on New Year's Eve. Train tickets get booked weeks in advance. There is one place you will find busy in Taipei leading up to The Lunar New Year and that's Dihua Street, home to the city's biggest New Year's market. For two weeks every year prior to the Lunar New Year, this street, which normally sells speciality foods, traditional Chinese medicine, tea, and other goods becomes a pedestrian only market loaded with sellers of tasty foods and snacks that are consumed in great quantities during the holidays. Crowds descend on Dihua Street where aggressive sellers ply you free samples of peanuts, dried squid, candies, and other treats in order to get your business. It's a beautifully preserved relic from Taipei's past. It's one of the city's most atmospheric neighborhoods. It was first established in the 1850's as an important trade center. Many of the Qing Dynasty buildings have been meticulously preserved along with Japanese and Westerner buildings on the narrow one way street. In it's heyday tea, Chinese medicine, fabrics, and incense were all exported here with goods loaded right onto boats close by on the Danshui River. With roads and railway extensions built by the Japanese colonists in the late 1800's Dihua Street became less important as a trade center. Today it's still a commercial district specializing in Chinese medicine, speciality groceries, it's nickname is "Grocery Street", and other household goods as well as upscale cafes and restaurants. The fun begins everyday on Dihua Street in the morning and continues throughout the day wrapping up late at night. If you happen to be in Taipei within two weeks of the Lunar New Year it's worth paying a visit, just for the sheer array of free food you'll get to sample. Join me for a tour of one of the great markets of Taiwan, in this episode of 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
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