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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

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[...]
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,[...]

Nepal Blog Posts

Kathmandu’s Durbar Square-Aftermath 2015 – Far East Adventure Travel
Kathmandu’s Durbar Square is one of three royal squares in the Kathmandu Valley. The other two are located in Patan,[...]
Earthquakes Of Nepal Shift Patan’s Cultural Heritage – Far East Adventure Travel
One of three former kingdoms in Nepal’s Kathmandu Valley Patan’s Unesco World Heritage Site Durbar Square closed to the public[...]
Earthquake Fears-Sleeping Outdoors in Kathmandu – Far East Adventure Travel
A tent set up in the middle of Durbar Square in Kathmandu where people continue to spend the night outdoors[...]

Cambodia Blog Posts

World-Class Ride Cambodia’s Bamboo Train
Far East Adventure Travel The Podcast is brought to you by Far East Adventure Travel Magazine. Get your free copy[...]
The Morning Alms-Battambang, Cambodia – Far East Adventure Travel
My first morning wondering around the second largest city in Cambodia, Battambang was filled with French colonial architecture, friendly Khmer[...]
“Pearl Of Asia”-Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s Top Sites
Phnom Penh has been the capital of Cambodia since French colonization. It is the country’s largest city with a population[...]

Taiwan Blog Posts

Baoan Temple A Lunar New Year Celebration
You can walk into the Baoan Temple in Taipei anytime and easily fall under it's spell. It's one of the[...]
Danshui District, Taiwan – Sunsets, Breezes and Food!
The Danshui, or Tamsui district of Taipei is a lovely little retreat that's a convenient stop at the end of[...]
Taipei, Taiwan-8+3 Awesome Things To See/Do
Taipei, Taiwan is a vibrant city that is rich in culture, history, street food, and religion. It’s safe, super-friendly, convenient[...]

India Blog Posts

Singalila, India-Sunrise Over Four Giant Himalayan Peaks – A Video
Sunrise-Lhotse, Makalu, Kanchenjunga, Everest This is Singalila National Park in India. It’s located in West Bengal bordering Nepal in the[...]
The World Famous Pushkar Camel Fair India
This the Hindu pilgrimage town of Pushkar in Rajasthan India. I came here for the annual Pushkar Camel Fair when[...]
The Taj Mahal’s Little Sister – Agra Fort
This of course is the most visited site in Agra. Seeing the Taj Mahal should be your main objective on[...]

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