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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[...]
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[...]
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[...]

Nepal Blog Posts

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[...]
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[...]
Worst Teahouse – Best Memory-Kanchenjunga, Nepal
The Worst Teahouse In Nepal Without any hesitation I would say this was the worst teahouse I've ever slept in.[...]

Cambodia Blog Posts

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[...]
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

Giant Ghost Feast Ritual in Taipei, Taiwan
https://www.patreon.com/FarEastAdventureTravel Check out the offers on my Patreon page to become a sponsor and patron of Far East Adventure Travel!Follow[...]
River Tracing – A Far East Only Adventure
I'm hooked on the latest adventure sport I tried recently in Taiwan. River tracing. A combination of hiking, rock climbing,[...]
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[...]

India Blog Posts

A Hundred Memories, A Simple Image From Kolkata – Far East Adventure Travel
It's amazing how the simplest images we capture while traveling can conjure up a few or even a dozen memories.[...]
Shoot To Kill Orders For Tigress In Northern India
A man-eating tigress has a death warrant in Uttar Pradesh, India. Since December the tigress has killed 10 people and[...]
The Cigarette Smoking, Whisky Drinking Goat Of Kolkata
The Kali Temple, in the Kalighat section of Kolkata India. I was here with the my friend Subroto who was[...]

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