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.

Far East Adventure Travel

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.

Far East Adventure Travel

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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

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[...]
World’s Greatest Fish Auction-Tsukiji Fish Market-Tokyo, Japan
Tsukiji Market-Tokyo, Japan. Home to the world famous tuna auction where wholesalers bid on blue fin tuna worth tens of[...]
Kyoto, Japan-Expert Travel Tips For Asia’s Top Destination
Kyoto is located in the central part of Honshu Island, Japan and was the imperial capital of the country for[...]

Nepal Blog Posts

My Beloved Nepal-Earthquake Stories Part 2-Patan’s Durbar Square
Patan is one of three royal cities in Nepal's Kathmandu Valley, the other two are Kathmandu and Bhaktapur. All three[...]
On The Road In Kathmandu, Nepal-Thamel Morning
Hello and Namaste from Kathmandu, Nepal! I am currently on a multi-week journey of South Asia with several cities on[...]
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[...]

Cambodia Blog Posts

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[...]
Siem Reap-Angkor Wat Travel Advice Video Series – Far East Adventure Travel
This series of talks will discuss the town of Siem Reap, Cambodia and it's close by world-famous Angkor Wat ruins.[...]

Taiwan Blog Posts

Taipei, Taiwan-Five Things You Should Know Before You Visit
Taipei, Taiwan is a super modern city with a deep-rooted culture that is becoming more and more popular as a[...]
Three Awesome Sites On Taipei’s Red Line
Taipei’s MRT System is super efficient and very easy to get around on with all stops and information in English.[...]
Greetings From Taipei
I arrived in Taipei yesterday with a seamless entry back into the country and a taxi ride to the Zhongshan[...]

India Blog Posts

Mumbai, India-Visiting Bollywood Star Mansions And Getting The Most From The “Maximum City”
Mumbai is a fantastic city to visit with plenty of sites, heritage buildings, amazing street and restaurants. There are some[...]
South India’s Backpacker Beach Pilgrimage-Varkala
I am really enjoying discovering the treasures of Kerala, one of five states that makes up the region of South[...]
New Market – Kolkata’s Crowded And Chaotic Shopping Experience
Crowded, Chaotic-New Market The stores, stalls, vendors, and food are so plentiful in the New Market shopping area of Kolkata[...]

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.

Far East Adventure Travel

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

Far East Adventure Travel

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

Far East Adventure Travel