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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

Japanese Toilets-A True Travel Experience
Japan’s knack for innovation is unprecedented in all areas throughout the world but especially when it comes to technology. This[...]
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,[...]
Imperial Palace-Sanctuary In The Heart Of Tokyo – Far East Adventure Travel
Tokyo is the convenience capital of the world. It's so easy to get something to eat, shop for exactly what[...]

Nepal Blog Posts

Nepal – The Himalaya And Beyond – 2014 Overview
Hello Namaste from Kathmandu, Nepal and welcome to another edition of Far East Adventure Travel-The Podcast, brought to you by[...]
Far East Adventure Travel Best of “Live”-Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
I've have been very fortunate to have trekked some of the greatest trails in the world. Everest Base Camp in[...]
Upper Mustang, Nepal The Horseman – Far East Adventure Travel
The Upper Mustang region is one of the most fascinating treks in Nepal. I have had the privilege of traveling[...]

Cambodia Blog Posts

Siem Reap-Gateway to Angkor Wat Ruins
Happy to inform you that Far East Adventure Travel Magazine is now free on the iTunes Newsstand. Lots of images,[...]
Siem Reap-Angkor Wat Travel Advice Video Series – Far East Adventure Travel
This series of talks will discuss the town of Siem Reap, Cambodia and it's close by world-famous Angkor Wat ruins.[...]

Taiwan Blog Posts

Taipei’s Outdoor Grocery Store-Dihua New Year’s Market
Dihua market, for most of the year is Dihua Street-a center in Taipei for traditional Chinese medicinal herbs, fabrics, incense,[...]
Gods, Rockets, And Warriors-Yanshui Beehive Fireworks Festival, Taiwan Part 1
The Yanshui Beehive Fireworks Festival is held every year in Yanshui District in Southern Taiwan. Locally known as the Feng[...]
Dihua Street – Shopping For Chinese New Year
They call it grocery street. Dihua Street or the Dihua market. When I first came to Taipei, Taiwan and visited[...]

India Blog Posts

Heritage Mumbai-Landmark Walk In India’s Largest City
It's easy to fall under India's spell of history, spirituality, culture and amazing food. I'm currently on the road and[...]
On The Road -Exploring Exotic Fort Cochin-Kerala, India
I am now 50 plus days on the road in South Asia. It honestly has felt like I've lived several[...]
The Monkey Attack Kolkata India
I recently posted a video on the some of the run-ins I've had with monkeys across Asia. One of the[...]

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