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John Saboe's

Far East Adventure Travel

 

 

 

Audio Podcasts

I’m John Saboe, your host and publisher of Far East Adventure Travel and I’m excited to be bringing you many years of podcasts featuring my favourite places in the world. Podcasts are available on iTunes.

Video Podcasts

Far East Adventure Travel Video podcast offers images, video and stories of the amazing experiences to be enjoyed in Asia and I hope they'll inspire you to visit some of my favourite places on the planet.

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Traveling to the far east? Let Far East Adventure Travel inspire you with images, video, stories and travel advice for Asia and beyond.

Japan Blog Posts

Tokyo’s First Cherry Blossoms-Hanami Party 2015 – Far East Adventure Travel
Far East Adventure Travel The Podcast is brought to you buy Far East Adventure Travel Magazine. Get inspired for your[...]
Kyoto, Japan-Expert Travel Tips For Asia’s Top Destination
Kyoto is located in the central part of Honshu Island, Japan and was the imperial capital of the country for[...]
World’s Greatest Fish Auction-Tsukiji Fish Market-Tokyo, Japan
The waiting room for the most exclusive tuna auction in the world-At Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, Japan Tsukiji Market-Tokyo,[...]

Nepal Blog Posts

Thamel-Surviving Kathmandu’s Tourist District
Far East Adventure Travel-The Podcast is brought to you be Far East Adventure Travel Magazine. Stories, images and video-inspiration for[...]
Kanchenchunga Trekking Nepal
On November 14th in Nepal we made it to the north base camp of Kanchenchunga, the third highest mountain in[...]
Tracking Tigers and Rhinos-Chitwan, Nepal
Tiger And Rhino Safari-Chitwan, Nepal Hello and welcome to another edition of Far East Adventure Travel The Podcast, brought to[...]

Cambodia Blog Posts

Kampong Phluk-Cambodia’s Floating Village
Hello and welcome to another edition of Far East Adventure Travel The Podcast. I’m John Saboe your host traveling through[...]
Angkor, Cambodia’s Movie Star Temple-Ta Prohm
It was founded by the great Khmer King Jayavarman Vll in the late 12th century. It is one of the[...]

Taiwan Blog Posts

World’s Most Beautiful Metro Stations-Kaohsiung, Southern Taiwan
Considered one of the most beautiful metro stations in the whole world Formosa Boulevard Station in Taiwan's second largest city,[...]
Traditional Market-Shopping For Chinese New Year’s Eve Dinner-Taipei, Taiwan
This is one of the biggest traditional morning or wet markets in Taipei, Taiwan. It's close to the fruit/vegetable wholesale[...]
Taiwan-World’s Top Food Destination
Keelung’s Miaokou Night Market has a reputation of being one of the most popular night market’s in Taiwan. The Main[...]

India Blog Posts

Cochin-Kerala, India-Global Masala Mix Of Cultures
Cochin, or Kochi is the second largest Westcoast Indian city after Mumbai with a total population of just over 2[...]
Temples, Gods, And A Whisky Drinking Goat-Kolkata, India
The Khali Temple in the Khalighat section of Kolkata, India. I was here with my friend Subroto who was showing[...]
The Elephants Of Amber
The first time you approach Amber, in the morning, you're transported to another time. To the Amber India when maharajas[...]

A Pyrotechnic War Zone

The Beehive Fireworks Festival Yanshui, Taiwan

February 17, 2014 By John Saboe

Far East Adventure Travel Magazine. Download the app in the iTunes Store and Subscribe!

I had heard about the Beehive Fireworks Festival from some of my Taiwanese friends. It is one of the biggest events on the island that helps bring to an end The Lunar New Year festivities. The other one is the world famous Sky Lantern Festival held in Pingxi, Northern Taiwan. Having seen both now I would describe them as the complete polar opposites of each other. The Sky Lantern Festival, although crowded, is a ballet in the sky. The sky lanterns glowing and dancing as they fly away with the dreams of the releasers written on their four sides.

The Beehive Fireworks Festival held in Yanshui, Taiwan could be described as a war zone with no enemy. Hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions of firecrackers and or bottle rockets lit simultaneously. It’s called the “beehive” because when the firecrackers(rockets) are lit they stream out like bees leaving their hive. Wildly flying off in all directions. Spectators geared up with motorbike helmets, towels draped over the necks and heavy coats. Some wearing an extra pair of pants. It’s dangerous in the war zone of firecrackers.

I’m not exaggerating. I ignored advice from my friends and decided not to gear up. I thought if I was far enough away from the “beehive” I wouldn’t need any protection. I was lucky. That mistake could have cost me an eye, ear, or possibly even a finger. I was, I thought, far enough away from the action. But the force of the blast is so powerful firecrackers fly for hundreds of meters. I was in the street when the center of the beehive was about 200 meters away. Once I saw the firecrackers flying and heard them whizzing past me I ran for shelter.

I met a teacher from Tainan earlier in the evening who was showing me around the area. He was supposed to wait for me in this shelter. He too had no protection. But he was nowhere to be found. Missing in action. I think he was really scared. I hardly blame him. He took off never to be found.

The festival started in 1885. According to the official website for the event there was a cholera epidemic sweeping through Yanshui with little in the way of medicine to help. Locals prayed to the god of war Gaun Di for assistance. With the Gods help and the faithful lighting firecrackers throughout the streets the plague was wiped out overnight. The ritual has taken place ever since.

The video I hope captures some of the spirit of the evening. I know it helps me recall some pretty scary moments. If you see me there next year I’ll be the one dressed as a medieval knight.

A stop on the rugged north coast of Taiwan while cycling the island. Taiwan is a cycling paradise!

Reviews

John's a former radio announcer so the audio on these is great - smooth pipes! The content is great if you're into traveling to exotic places, exploring other cultures, delving into your spiritual side and getting far off the beaten track. John climbs mountains, treks to far out places, explores rat palaces, caves, monkeys, gibbons, tigers, camel safaris and disappearing cultures. Highly recommended!

- Mark Bossert

John's podcasts are both fascinating and entertaining. Having travelled to India, Nepal, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Japan and Taiwan amongst others, his insights are based on first hand personal experience. I would advise anyone travelling to the far east to check these out first.

- Jergig