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

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[...]
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[...]
Tsukiji Market’s Tuna Auction-Tokyo’s Hot Ticket
Far East Adventure Travel The Podcast is brought to you by Far East Adventure Travel Magazine. Get your free subscription[...]

Nepal Blog Posts

Walking Adventure To The Monkey Temple-Kathmandu, Nepal
Swayambunath, otherwise known as The Monkey Temple is one of my favorite places to visit when I'm staying in Kathmandu.[...]
Trek Kanchenjunga, Nepal – Podcast
The music you are listening to is from a Laos wedding I attended a few days ago in Houay Xay,[...]
Best Of Far East Adventure Travel “Live”-Nepal 2015
[podcast src="https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/4583640/height/90/width/450/theme/custom/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/autoplay/no/preload/no/no_addthis/no/direction/forward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/88AA3C/" height="90" width="450"] 2015 will go down as one of the most challenging if not the most disastrous year[...]

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,[...]
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[...]
World’s Greatest Religious Monument-Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Hello, Namaste and welcome to another episode of Far East Adventure Travel The Podcast. I’m your host John Saboe seen[...]

Taiwan Blog Posts

Mastering Taipei, Taiwan’s MRT(Mass Rapid Transit)System
[podcast src="https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/5453854/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 has one of the most efficient and reliable MRT or public rapid transit systems in[...]
Lantern towns Pingxi and Shifin Taiwan
I had set out with some friends for the fabled lantern town of Pingxi, Taiwan. A train ride from Taipei[...]
Snow Mountain – Climbing Taiwan’s Second Highest Peak
View Larger Map Taiwanese call the best 100 of the 3000 meter high mountains on their island Bai Yue. The[...]

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[...]
Far East Adventure Travel-Best Of “Live”-Kerala, India
[podcast src="https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/4554270/height/90/width/450/theme/custom/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/autoplay/no/preload/no/no_addthis/no/direction/forward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/88AA3C/" height="90" width="450"] Kerala is one of my favorite states to travel through in India. It has an interesting[...]
Gypsies on The Dunes
View Larger Map Heading For The Sam Dunes I had arrived in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan with a plan to hire a[...]

A Pyrotechnic War Zone

The Beehive Fireworks Festival Yanshui, Taiwan

February 17, 2014 By John Saboe

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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