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

Cats Outshine Cherry Blossoms-Ueno Park, Tokyo – Far East Adventure Travel
Sakura season in Japan. It traditionally marks the start of Spring. Hanami is the appreciation of flower viewing, in particular,[...]
Kyoto-City of 10,000 Shrines-Where To Start?
  Kyoto is located in the central part of Honshu Island, Japan and was the imperial capital of the country[...]
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[...]

Nepal Blog Posts

Trekking The Great Annapurna Circuit, Nepal Part V-Final Episode
[podcast src="https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/4884107/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"]Kagbeni is one of the most interesting villages in all of Nepal with it’s ancient Bonn Animist[...]
My Beloved Nepal-Part 5-Worship Amidst Ruins
When I visited Nepal in May of 2015 the country was in the middle of one of the worst natural[...]
My Beloved Nepal-Earthquake Stories-Part 3-Fear And Homelessness
Soon after I arrived in Kathmandu on May 12, 2015, the day the 7.3 earthquake struck the country fear, like[...]

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[...]

Taiwan Blog Posts

Tour A Taipei, Taiwan Classic Food Street-Featuring World-Famous Restaurants
[podcast src="https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/5178295/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"]It was New Year's Day 2017, unusually warm at 26 celsius, making it perfectly pleasant to walk[...]
Taipei, Taiwan’s Food Paradise-Shilin Night Market
No discussion on the food of Taiwan would be complete without a visit to Taipei’s Shilin Night Market. This is[...]
Matsu’s Explosive Birthday Bash Video – Taipei
Matsu, Goddess Of The Sea Matsu, the goddess of the sea is worshipped all over Taiwan. It’s her birthday and[...]

India Blog Posts

My Boat Ride On The Great Ganges Varanasi, India
A morning or afternoon boat ride on The Ganges River in Varanasi is a spectacular way to take in the[...]
“The Toy Train” Darjeeling’s World Treasure
Hello, Namaste and welcome to another edition of Far East Adventure Travel The Podcast brought to you by Far East[...]
Camel Trek, Thar Desert Pt 1- Podcast
Camel Trekking in The Thar Desert My guide Gunput singing by the fire one night on my camel trek through[...]

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