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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

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[...]
World’s Greatest Fish Auction-Tsukiji Fish Market-Tokyo, Japan
The waiting room for the most exclusive tuna auction in the world-At Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, Japan Tsukiji Market-Tokyo,[...]
Imperial Palace-Sanctuary In The Heart Of Tokyo – Far East Adventure Travel
Tokyo is the convenience capital of the world. It's so easy to get something to eat, shop for exactly what[...]

Nepal Blog Posts

Gokyo Valley-Nepal’s Best Kept Trekking Secret – Far East Adventure Travel
I was pleasantly surprised by how different the Gokyo Valley was compared to the popular Khumbu Valley next door and[...]
Trek To Kanchenjunga Base Camp – The Series (Part 3)
Sekethum To Amjilossa-The Trek To Kanchenjunga Base Camp Our next stop was Sekethum. We seem to be adding a few[...]

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[...]
Gibbon Spotting Thrill Ride-Ratanakiri Province, Cambodia – Far East Adventure Travel
In this episode join me for one of the most exciting wildlife spotting adventures in Asia. I’m deep in the[...]

Taiwan Blog Posts

Far East Adventure Travel Best of “Live” Typhoon Alley-Taiwan
I always get asked when is the best time to visit Taiwan. I always respond with almost anytime if you[...]
Taipei’s Oldest Night Market – Raohe Street
The Raohe Street Night Market is one of my favourite night markets in Taipei, Taiwan. Located in East Taipei near[...]
Tainan, Taiwan-Heritage, History And Delicious Snacks!
Tainan, Taiwan. It’s sometimes referred to as the capital city, it was the capital of the country for 200 years.[...]

India Blog Posts

The Elephants Of Amber
The first time you approach Amber, in the morning, you're transported to another time. To the Amber India when maharajas[...]
Beaches To Street Food-The Maximum City-Mumbai, India
Experiencing the culture of Mumbai is as easy as hopping on a bus. Daily activities like riding the bus or[...]
Mumbai, India-Visiting Bollywood Star Mansions And Getting The Most From The “Maximum City”
Support Far East Adventure Travel by becoming a patron! Visit patreon.com/FarEastAdventureTravel to see exclusive offers starting at $1/month! Support Far[...]

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