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John Saboe's

Far East 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

Visiting Tokyo’s Number One Attraction-Senso-Ji Temple
Senso ji is a Buddhist temple located in the Asakusa District of Tokyo. It is the oldest temple in Tokyo[...]
An Eclectic Selection Of Tokyo’s Top Neighborhoods
It’s called shitamachi, the old town ambience of Tokyo’s past that has survived and in fact flourishes today in the[...]
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

Kanchenchunga Trekking Nepal
On November 14th in Nepal we made it to the north base camp of Kanchenchunga, the third highest mountain in[...]
On The Road-Kathmandu, Nepal-Tihar-The Festival of Lights
Tihar is one of my favorite festivals to see in Nepal. Each day of the festival either an animal, a[...]
Morning Prayers At The Monkey Temple Kathmandu Nepal
I left my hotel in the Thamel section of Kathmandu to see the city once again from high atop Swayambunath[...]

Cambodia Blog Posts

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[...]
Sambok Mountain-Kratie, Cambodia – Far East Adventure Travel
I recently visited a beautiful temple in Cambodia that not only is a quiet spiritual retreat but affords some pretty[...]

Taiwan Blog Posts

Taiwan’s Controversial “Pigs Of God” Festival
[podcast src="https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/5736311/height/450/width/450/theme/custom/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/autoplay/no/preload/no/no_addthis/no/direction/forward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/88AA3C/" height="450" width="450"]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[...]
The Hungry Ghost Festival in Taiwan-What Exactly Is It?
[podcast src="https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/5736213/height/450/width/450/theme/custom/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/autoplay/no/preload/no/no_addthis/no/direction/forward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/88AA3C/" height="450" width="450"]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[...]
Taipei, Taiwan-Five Things You Should Know Before You Visit
[podcast src="https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/5435746/height/450/width/450/theme/custom/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/autoplay/no/preload/no/no_addthis/no/direction/forward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/88AA3C/" height="450" width="450"]Taipei, Taiwan is a super modern city with a deep-rooted culture that is becoming more and more[...]

India Blog Posts

Chaos, Bargaining, Beauty – The Mullik Ghat Flower Market – Kolkata
This is the largest wholesale flower market in all of Asia. The Mullik Ghat Flower Market, near the great Howrah[...]
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[...]
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[...]

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