Podcast Episode Guide 2017
It's alway exciting when you first arrive in a destination like Kuching, the capital of Sarawak in Malaysian Borneo. The sights, food, people, the environment as a whole. I have so many great memories of Kuching in particular because I was able to easily explore the town by foot. Meeting local people, being invited into the Sikh Gurdwara for lunch and a tour. Walking in the old Kampongs, traveling by riverboat on the Sarawak River, and meeting the warm, friendly, and hospitable people of the region. I hope this episode gives you a taste of what this amazing place on the exotic island of Borneo has to offer!
Oct 28, 2017
Dream Parade is a unique event in East Asia held every October in Taipei, Taiwan. A celebration of life, freedom of expression, and creativity the parade mixes world culture with Hakka, aboriginal, and Chinese traditions plus a little essence of Burning Man. I have covered many festivals and traditional celebrations in Taiwan but this was my first time covering the Dream Parade.
Oct 26, 2017
A visit to Kanyakumari, India is certainly a buck list item for anyone who loves the subcontinent. Being at the very southern tip it’s a popular destination mostly for Indians seeking a pilgrimage although with the emerging middle class in the country it is becoming just as much a vacation destination combined with a spiritual journey.
Oct 17, 2017
I was so glad to see the Taoyuan International Airport MRT line open earlier this year. This finally brings Taipei in line as far as convenience and access goes, to it’s international airport, with other major cities in East Asia including Seoul, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Southeast Asian centers like Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.
Oct 4, 2017
There has been much talk lately about the elimination of food stalls and carts on many of the streets in Bangkok, Thailand. On my most recent visit this was very evident in places like Pratunam where there used to me non-stop food carts on the streets of this mega shopping district. While exploring Chinatown it seemed like there were still many food carts on the streets and alleys but it’s possible there are not as many as there once was.
Sept 26, 2017
Bangkok is one of my favourite cities in Southeast Asia. A modern city that's retained much of it's cultural heritage, it's fast-paced, vast, naughty, and filled with temples, markets, amazing food, entertainment and world-class shopping.
Sept 26, 2017
What a thrill it was to watch the giant feast offering for the hungry ghosts at the recent “Pudu” ritual at Taipei, Taiwan’s Provincial City God Temple. During the 7th month of every lunar calendar year ghosts or “good brothers”, as they are politely referred to by Taiwanese, walk the earth potentially causing trouble for the living. Food, drink, other offerings, and prayers are offered to appease the wandering ghosts.
Sept 19, 2017
This was truly an interesting experience visiting the Yimin Festival in Hsinchu County. My friend MJ and I set out to see one of the most unique cultural events in Taiwan, The Pigs Of God that are offered every year for the Yimin Festival held during the 7th month of the lunar calendar in Hsinchu County and other communities where Hakka people reside.
Sept 13, 2017
Ghost Month or The Hungry Ghost Festival takes place every year during the 7th month of the lunar calendar in Taiwan and other parts of Asia. This is the 15th day of the month which is also called Ghost Day.
Sept 13, 2017
Bangkok, Thailand has been one of the top 3 cities visited in the world for some time now. It’s no surprise when you start discovering what Bangkok is all about. History, tradition, culture, shopping, food, and notorious red light districts. It’s also of course a hub for Southeast Asia and a bridge to the middle east and Europe.
August 31, 2017
For me a visit to Bangkok is not complete without a trip to see the Erawan Shrine, in the heart of Pratunam and the shopping district. The contrast between modern shopping, elevated trains, and the 4 headed Brahma shrine is sharp and unlike any city in the west.
August 29, 2017
It's always challenging when you visit any city for the first time to decide on where exactly you want to stay. This video highlights my 5 favorite districts to stay in Taipei. The characteristics of each district are highlighted to make it easier to decide which one suits you best.
August 19, 2017
I thought it might be interesting for those who subscribe to the podcast and are curious about life in a place that faces typhoons regularly and might be traveling to Taiwan in the future see what it’s like to go through the hours leading up to a typhoon. I get many followers asking me about safety and what to do before and during a typhoon in Taiwan. I’m also thinking that Taiwanese who follow the channel will find it humorous to watch a foreigner talk about a typhoon and how we perhaps perceive it as more of an event than just an actual weather occurrence.
August 7, 2017
Kyoto is located in the central part of Honshu Island, Japan and was the imperial capital of the country for over a thousand years. It is also known as the City of Ten Thousand Shrines. It is an absolute must see on a visit to Japan. To get some expert advice on how best to spend your time and get the most out of your stay in the city I spoke with Niall Gibson expert guide, travel planner and managing director of kyotofun.com and myjapanadventure.com. from his home Kyoto.
August 3, 2017
Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park is made up of 5 small islands between 5-8 kilometers off of Kota Kinabalu in Sabah Malaysian Borneo. In this episode I’m heading for one of the smallest, Pulau Sapi, or Cow Island. It’s one of the least developed areas of the park. Great beaches, diving and snorkeling with a bonus chance of seeing some monitor lizards up close in the wild.
August 1, 2017
In Zhongshan District, a vibrant area of Taipei where many luxury hotels are located sits an iconic building of the neighbourhood with a past life deep rooted in American history.
July 29, 2017
Mumbai is a fantastic city to visit with plenty of sites, heritage buildings, amazing street and restaurants. There are some things you need to be prepared for before you arrive.
July 24, 2017
Mumbai is one of my favourite cities to visit in India. Not only is it loaded with atmosphere and amazing heritage buildings from the British raj, it’s also where you can find some of the best street food and restaurants in the country.
July 18, 2017
Taipei, Taiwan is a vibrant city that is rich in culture, history, street food, and religion. It’s safe, super-friendly, convenient and probably undervalued compared to the super Asian city destinations of Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore, Seoul. Ironically many residents of those cities choose Taipei as a destination, enjoying some of those qualities that their city once had or simply lacks.
July 13, 2017
Wine And Gourmet Taipei was one of the most challenging wine shows I’ve ever been invited to in the world. With a tasting selection ranging from Shochu, a Japanese distilled beverage, vodka like, to Australian Shiraz.
July 10, 2017
Bukhansan National Park is almost 80 sq/km in size and is located so close to the urban area of Seoul, South Korea that it’s possible to take the subway here, like I did on this visit. I started out in Insadong and transferred to line number 1 and rode the train until the very last stop of Dobongsan, which is actually the name of the mountain I’m going to hike up today. I think it’s important wherever you are hiking to stake out a place to have a beer or coffee and something to eat afterwards,. Some motivation or a reward to think about as you’re making your way to the top and of course something to contemplate as you safely get back down.
June 30, 2017
Namsan mountain is the most well-known of the four guardian mountains of Seoul with the famous landmark, Seoul N Tower topping the 262m peak. It’s not a challenging or particularly strenuous hike but it’s a nice break from the chaotic megalopolis below. It’s also a great way to join locals in their everyday activities and experience the fitness and hiking culture of the city.
June 29, 2017
I will confess right up front! I am not a meat-eater so that’s why you don’t see me trying anything that has meat in it at this year’s Food Taipei. I do eat fish and seafood but for many years now I have not eaten, beef, chicken, pork, or any other animal. That may sound like a challenging diet to uphold especially in East Asia but that’s not the case at all. In fact, Taiwan and specifically Taipei is a fantastic city to be a complete vegetarian or even vegan for that matter.
June 25, 2017
How do you figure out which temples to see in Bangkok when there are over 400 of them? Here are the top 3 that should be on anyone’s list. I’ll explore more in another episode but here’s where to start. This may be enough for your first trip to Bangkok, Thailand.
June 21, 2017
Taipei, Taiwan has one of the most efficient and reliable MRT or public rapid transit systems in the world. Locals are used to the convenience but if you are visiting either for a short or extended time to Taipei you are in store for a comfortable, safe, and easy way to get around the city. There are 5 main lines of the Taipei Metro which consists of a mix of underground and above ground infrastructure with a total of 108 stations. This does not include the airport service as this is a separate entity called Taoyuan MRT.
June 16, 2017
Taipei, Taiwan is a super modern city with a deep-rooted culture that is becoming more and more popular as a gateway to East Asia and Southeast Asia.It’s new express MRT service from Taoyuan International Airport, a 36 minute ride, will make it even more convenient for travellers, especially those on a short layover. This short but important list of essential things you should know will help keep you on track with a smooth stay.
June 10, 2017
I rarely if ever eat at McDonald’s but there is a curiosity that people, particularly from the west, have about what their regular fast food chains are like in Asia compared to their native country’s. It’s also a fall back when on the road dying for the tastes from home. It’s also a safe bet especially for some people who are a little shy to leave their comfort zone too long while on vacation and for parents traveling with children.
June 7, 2017
In part II of my walk through Jalan Alor Food Street in Kuala Lumpur I stop to talk with a Durian seller, check out some of the street musicians performing in the surrounding area and chat more about the culture and food of Malaysia.
June 5, 2017
Jalan Alor is a tourist attraction but where some would find that perhaps not “authentic” I think it only adds to the experience with the possibility of sharing your dining experience with people from around the world, but mainly visitors from Asia. On my latest return I met a friendly group from Cambodia and some wonderful people from Iran.
June 1, 2017
Bako National Park on the island of Borneo is Sarawak, Malaysia’s oldest park established in 1957. It packs in a huge variety of landscape, vegetation and wildlife for it’s small size of 27 sq/km. Only accessible by boat, if you’re based in Kuching you’ll just need to make arrangements to get to Bako Bazaar and the boat launch dock. There’s a public bus, or you can hire a taxi or Uber.
May 30, 2017
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I'm often surprised by certain things about a new place I've visited or discovered. Never more than on my recent trip to Kuching, Sarawak in Malaysian Borneo where I found the local people were especially friendly and welcoming.
May 26, 2017
Yehliu Geo Park is one of Northern Taiwan’s top tourist sites attracting on average over 3 million visitors yearly. It’s a fun place and interesting spot with numerous natural rock formations including their most famous, “Queen’s head”, named so for it’s resemblance to the profile of Queen Elizabeth I, some even comparing it to Nefertiti. It’s a Disneyland for rock lovers and as you can imagine it’s usually crowded almost anytime during the day.
May 17, 2017
The last few days I spent in Nepal during the earthquakes of 2015 were a whirlwind of visiting villages in the Kathmandu Valley and the remote hard hit Sindhupalchowk District. At least two thirds of all of the houses in Sindhupalchowk were destroyed. It was shocking as we rode up the windy road to one of the most remote villages, Thangpalkot I to see twisted buildings and piles of stones that were once homes. I met one young man that lost his guesthouse and had no idea how he would support his wife and daughter in the short term. Many of the younger people in the families around Sindhupalchowk were contemplating leaving the country to find work in order to save the money it would take to rebuild.
May 12, 2017
Part IV of Earthquake Diaries From Nepal begins in historic Sankhu Village, approximately 45 minutes by car from Thamel-Kathmandu it is located in the northwest corner of the Kathmandu Valley. It is where many religious festivals take place and was a stop on the original salt trade route from Tibet.
May 4, 2017
My Earthquake Diaries Nepal documentary series continues with part 2 and a “cry for tourism”. This episode follows my first few days of walking through the streets and alleyways of Kathmandu, visiting many sites that had suffered damage, destruction and terrible loss. I met tour guides and taxi drivers that saw a future of little or no work. And one afternoon I came across a group in Kathmandu’s Durbar Square conducting a desperate rally for unity within the tourism industry.
April 30, 2017
As I assemble this series from my days in Nepal during the earthquakes of 2015 the memories of fear, shock, and helplessness are painfully resurrected. People from all walks of life, sleeping outdoors for fear of another earthquake that could collapse their house, if they still had one. The site of shocking destruction, streets where buildings were folded like an accordion. Apartment blocks levelled to the ground with the remains of personal and household items scattered amongst the debris. And the helplessness of watching people struggle to find food and shelter and listening to the stories of relatives that fell to death.
April 26, 2017
It’s been 2 years since the first of several earthquakes and tremors terrorized the Himalayan nation of Nepal. It was April 25th, 2015 at 11:56am local time when a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck the country. It was followed by several hundred aftershocks and another 7.3 tremor on May 12 that in total killed nearly 9,000 people and injured over 22,000 leaving many homeless. To this day thousands are still not living in a permanent home.
April 25, 2017
This is part II of my live broadcast from Can Tho, Vietnam. I spent my first night exploring the city near riverside and the night market. When I arrive in an unfamiliar place I’m always excited to get out and walk the streets, check out what restaurants and food stalls or night markets are serving and get to know where people gather.
April 18, 2017
Can Tho, Vietnam is the largest city in the Mekong River Delta region, famous as a destination for Mekong River Floating Market tours. It was one of the highlights of my most recent visit to Vietnam.
April 14, 2017
Can Tho is the fourth largest city in Vietnam and the largest in the Mekong River Delta region. People that visit are here primarily for the boat cruises that take you to the world-famous floating markets. A confluence of boats that merge in various locations of the river for trade of mostly fresh fruit and produce.
April 4, 2017
The Sanzhi UFO houses was a famous beach house development in New Taipei City, Taiwan featuring futuristic “space pod” living spaces that were abandoned and never completed. Eventually they were demolished in 2008.
March 25, 2017
It was New Year’s Day 2017, unusually warm at 26 celsius, making it perfectly pleasant to walk around interesting neighborhoods in Taipei, Taiwan including Dongmen and it’s Yongkang Food Street. Anchoring this street that has been published in almost every travel and food magazine and guidebook, is the world-famous Din Tai Fung, purveyors of xiaolongbao, delicious soup dumplings. Crowds, as seen on this day, will line-up for over an hour in the midday just to get a table.
March 17, 2017
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam is on the move! It’s one of the fastest changing and growing cities of Southeast Asia with modern shopping complexes springing up everywhere, a skyline filled with construction cranes, and a joint venture between Japan and Vietnam to build the city’s first subway/rapid transit system.
March 6, 2017
I truly enjoy cities that are pedestrian friendly. That is, sites, parks, entertainment districts, hotels, restaurants, that are within easy walking distance of each other.
March 4, 2017
Considered one of the most beautiful metro stations in the whole world Formosa Boulevard Station in Taiwan’s second largest city, Kaohsiung is a stunning art exhibit that doubles as a metro station that connects two MRT lines.
Feb 25, 2017
On my recent swing through Southern Taiwan to take in the annual Beehive Fireworks Festival in Yanshui/Tainan I managed to visit Taiwan’s second biggest city, Kaohsiung. For the first time I was able to see the city’s wonderful lantern festival next to the atmospheric Love River.
Feb 18, 2017
The Yanshui Beehive Fireworks Festival is held every year in Yanshui District in Southern Taiwan. Locally known as the Feng Pao it is considered one of the most dangerous festivals in the world as well as being the third largest folk celebration. Why do they blow off millions of bottle rockets and firecrackers you ask?
Feb 15, 2017
In Chinese and Asian culture The Lantern Festival marks the end of Lunar New Year or Chinese New Year celebrations. Always falling 15 days after the first day of the year the date varies according to each new Lunar Year.
Feb 9, 2017
I woke up to blasts and blasts of firecrackers echoing through the streets and alleyways in the Zhongshan District of Taipei, Taiwan. The crackling and explosions marked the first day of business in the Lunar New Year, 2017.
Feb 3, 2017
Taipei, Taiwan becomes unusually quiet for most of the Chinese New Year holiday as many who work and live in the capital visit family in their hometowns around the island.
Feb 2, 2017
To experience what life would have been like for a Nguyen Emperor of Vietnam one must only visit their tomb. Like a reflection of their life each tomb leaves one with a sense of how the Emperor viewed his place in the world.
Feb 1, 2017
Guandu Temple is one of the oldest temples in Northern Taiwan. Established in 1661 the temple is dedicated to Matsu, Goddess of the sea. The temple complex also contains a Buddhist shrine or chapel where Guanyin, the Goddess of compassion is also honored. It’s also one of the most popular temples to visit during the Lunar New Year or Chinese New Year holidays in Northern Taiwan. This year the temple is featuring two mechanical roosters in honor of the zodiac animal.
Jan 30, 2017
This is one of the biggest traditional morning or wet markets in Taipei, Taiwan. It’s close to the fruit/vegetable wholesale market, and the wholesale fish and seafood market so there’s an amazing selection of fresh food. It is one of the top spots to buy food to prepare dinner for Chinese(Lunar) New Year’s Eve. I visited the market the day for the big night when families gather together for their reunion dinner.
Jan 27, 2017
To appreciate Hue, the former Imperial capital of Vietnam, one needs time. Unlike other historic towns like, Hoi an or even larger cities like Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon, where many sites are within walking distance Hue’s important landmarks and buildings are spread out. It’s a large canvas with incredible beauty, tradition and culture.
Jan 25, 2017
Taipei often gets quiet during the first days of the Lunar New Year's celebration, Taiwan's most important holiday. Many who work in the capital will leave for their hometown to visit with family during the holidays.
Jan 18, 2017
Vietnam is a multi-ethnic country with a total of 54 ethnic groups making up 14% or 13-14 million of the total population of 90 million.
Jan 16, 2017
Sapa, Vietnam is one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in Vietnam. At the time of this original live broadcast guesthouses and hotels were being constructed in a frenzy to accommodate the demand, especially from Vietnamese for lodgings.
Jan 14, 2017
One of the most interesting sites I’ve ever come across in Southeast Asia, let alone Vietnam, is Ho Quyen or the Tiger/Elephant fight arena in the former Imperial capital of Hue. It's not on the same grand scale as Rome's Coliseum, but it's an unusual and rare peak into a time in Southeast Asia when fights staged between tigers and elephants took place.
Jan 8, 2017
The Temple of Literature or Van Meiu, Quoc Tu Giam was Vietnam’s first university. This temple is dedicated to Confucius as well as past scholars and sages, so significant it’s even featured on the back of the 100,000 dong note.
Jan 4, 2017