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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

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

Nepal Blog Posts

Trekking The Upper Mustang, Nepal
On my last visit to Nepal I chose to walk the through The Upper Mustang region, not as popular or[...]
Boating, Hiking, Discovering Pokhara, Nepal’s World Peace Pagoda
Pokhara is the second largest city in Nepal. Situated on Phewa Lake it’s close proximity to the Annapurna range of[...]
Trekking The Great Annapurna Circuit, Nepal Part IV
We arrived at Thorung Phedi just before dark. An 8 hour day with an elevation gain of over 1000 meters.[...]

Cambodia Blog Posts

“Pearl Of Asia”-Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s Top Sites
Phnom Penh has been the capital of Cambodia since French colonization. It is the country’s largest city with a population[...]
Angkor Wat/Siem Reap Travel Advice Video Series-Dining – Far East Adventure Travel
Siem Reap has some of the best dining options in all of Cambodia. In this video I talk about the[...]

Taiwan Blog Posts

Midnight’s Mad Dash For Good Luck-Taiwan
Xingtian Temple Taipei, Taiwan. It’s the eve of the lunar new year and the ritual of striking the temple drums[...]
Dihua Street – Shopping For Chinese New Year
They call it grocery street. Dihua Street or the Dihua market. When I first came to Taipei, Taiwan and visited[...]
Kenting National Park – Taiwan – Fresh Destination
I've said it before. It's only a matter of time before Taiwan catches on as a great alternative vacation spot[...]

India Blog Posts

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[...]
Tiger Safari – Ranthambore Tiger Reserve – India
A Rajasthan Tiger Safari Hello, Namaste and welcome to Far East Adventure Travel The Podcast brought to you by Far[...]

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