Episode 100: 100 Things We Love About Asia

Wow – 100 episodes! When we started this podcast, with our first episode on June 11, 2014, we didn’t envision hitting 100 episodes nearly 5 years later. Asia’s been home to us for 37-collective years, we’ve had a ton of incredible experiences, from jobs to travel and even marriage. Join us as we celebrate hitting the big 1-0-0 by sharing 100 Things We Love About Asia.

Bangkok - Talad Noi

Bangkok’s Talad Noi

Trevor and Scott talk about where and how the idea for TTA came about, what we remember about those early episodes, and what we’ve enjoyed about doing the podcast and maybe touch on some of the challenges.

Thank you to everyone who supports the show. It helps us keep this going and also just makes us feel really great to know there’s people that enjoy what we do enough to show some financial love. Thank you to longtime sponsors: Austin Clinton, Criag Onslow, John Garvey, Patrick Alaspaa, Peta Smith, Phaedra Robinson, Stephanie Rowe and Terry Blackburn.

IF YOU ENJOY LISTENING, PLEASE DONATE TO THE SHOW

You can sponsor anywhere from $1/month upwards. These funds will help us cover costs of keeping the show going. Visit PATREON TO DONATE TO THE SHOW or the link from the left-side of our website, or search Talk Travel Asia Patreon. Thanks in advance for supporting the cost and helping to keep the travel talk happening.

Listen to Episode 100: 100 Things we Love About Asia

Scott: Potpourri –

1. Lack of organization: can set up here, sell this there, the free and easiness is very cool and convenient.

2. Dogs in t-shirts when the cool season hits in Thailand – hilarious and so cute.

3. Dogs that sit in front of 7-11 doorways to enjoy aircon and people just step over them, never pushing them out of the way.

4. Being able to get things done on the side of the road: keys cut, shoes repaired, clothing altered, buy nail clippers, clips, etc.

5. Motorcycle taxis in some countries – makes getting around quickly and deliveries really easy.

6. History: in general – all of it, such a diverse, rich, long-reaching history compared to where I am from in Canada. Especially when you consider that in the 1300s, somewhere like Siem Reap had a larger civilization that some cities in Europe.

7. Old & New bump up next to one another.

8. Animals: elephants, orangutans, monitor lizards, pythons – very exotic creatures.

9. Not owning a car for 19 years. Very cool to not need one and rely on public transport – boats, motorbikes, trains, etc.

10. Interesting People: authors, directors, rock stars, ambassadors – I’ve met people here I never would have living in Canada.

Listen to Episode 100: 100 Things we Love About Asia

Trevor:

Dog in Shirt - Nepal

Kathmandu dog in winter

11. Drinking beer with ice – if only because the beer gets warm quickly in this weathe

12. Air Asia – for having made it so easy to explore the region

13. Sukhothai Noodles: rice is the staple dish, but I’ve grown to love noodles and these are my fave noodles for breakfast, lunch, dinner, late night snack… and cheap! Sukhothai noodles at Sukhothai airport for like 15B (.50c) – granted I haven’t been there in a while…

14. Exotic tropical fruit. Pomelo is awesome. Chompoo I first ate in Sumatra and was like wow, passion fruit here in Cambodia. Mangosteens. Mangos obvs. Love me so cheap exotic fruits

15. Water buffalo

16. Cambodian temples – haven’t been to a new one yet that disappointed the temple geek in me: and discovering new things about temples I’ve been to a half dozen times before

17. Cooking classes – I’ve done many of these in all sorts of Asian cuisine. A great way to learn about what’s in each dish let alone learn so you can cook for yourself at home

18. Tuk tuks apps – first, tuk tuks are different everywhere but all basically not legal in the USA.  but the practically, price, and fun… and now have Tuk tuk taxi apps – Grab and Passapp in Cambodia. GoJek in Indo.

19. Elephants – EVP in Mondulkiri Cambodia was my most recent experience. Always wonderful. Someone told me they think we look like puppies

20. Thong Lor – it’s an every Bangkok visit for something or another, including haircut, R Rua and Joke Bangkok this past trip. Zip around on motorbikes that are fair priced

Scott:

21. Diversity: from modern cities like Tokyo and Singapore to ethnic minority villages, often only one hour from one another – I love that.

22. Anytime someone yells “My Friend You” – that’s nice and funny.

23. Abundance of affordable regional flights – $100 and a couple hours and you’re somewhere totally different.

Bum Gun

The Bum Gun

24. Bum gun – great invention for after taking a #2 – much cleaner than just toilet paper.

25. Mom and pop convenience stores – there’s a real personal element to them and always an odd collection of items.

26. Availability of medication without a prescription.

27. Ease of appointments and low cost for teeth cleaning.

28. Train travel – so many different types of various quality – it’s an incredible way to experience Asia.

Places

29. Doi Mae Salong: northern Thai town, settled by KMT soldiers, now Oolong tea growing paradise

30. Highland Farm: a delightful gibbon sanctuary run by my good friend Khun Pharanee

Listen to Episode 100: 100 Things we Love About Asia

Trevor:

31. Lax driving laws – can be a bit crazy, but overall just nice to go with the flow

32. Bali – such nice people and such a rich and resilient culture. Great food too. Learned to love it again

33. Exploring by motorbike. So easy to rent and just cruise around as I did recently on the Cambodian islands…

34. Barber shops: including getting a shave.

35. Hammocks. Cambodians learn to love them as babies – but the beaches all have them too. Different styles in different countries. Pretty much any hammock is a public service, just kick it and whoever strung it up will be happy to bring you a beer…

36. Free range animals – as I was driving and brainstorming this, a pig ran across the road

37. Hospitals, which are like fancy shopping malls with doctors. Even just food courts at hospitals… Bumrungrad in Bangkok has a great one. And the Mongolian BBQ at Samitivej. Love it.

38. Monks – waterfall outside Ban Lung , Luang Prabang – Buddhism in general

Ko Phayam - 2

Ko Phayam, Thailand

39. Beaches and islands – got PADI certification in Samui in 96… surfed here and there around Indo… I love going back to places I love and I love discovering new ones. Lots of coastline still out there to explore…. You recently went to Koh Phayam, yeah? Great one right? I was on Phu Quoc in Vietnam recently, and they still have some nice stretches of coastline…

40. Japanese food – ramen, love it; sushi, love it; otonomiyaki, love it. And great across the region, because wherever there are Japanese expats, they bring their A-game with the food in the restaurants…

Listen to Episode 100: 100 Things we Love About Asia

Scott:

41. Beaches: really broad, but there are so many out there – a lifetime of exploring to be done.

42. Mekong River: The world’s 10th, 9th, 11th, whatever it is. More than 65-million people rely on it daily to make their life go round. I’ve been lucky enough to be on it in many places and it’s incredible and magical.

43. The temples of Angkor – truly spectacular each and every time I visit.

44. Bangkok: it’s been home for a long time and truly has a bit of everything and continues to amaze and surprise.

45. Nepal: Truly one of the most diverse, intriguing and adventurous places I’ve ever been.

46. Mountain biking from Lhasa, Tibet to Mount Everest Base Camp and onwards to Kathmandu, Nepal.

47. 4,000 Islands really stands out – reading a historical book about the area while visiting was magical.

48. Bangkok’s canals – walking, running or biking atop them – really interesting and fun.

49. The Singapore story – wouldn’t want to live there but it’s amazing how a place can transform in 30 years.

50. Drinking beer anywhere on the side of the road at a steel table with a friendly server. Bia Hoi is good for this in Vietnam.

Listen to Episode 100: 100 Things we Love About Asia

Trevor:

Highland Farm

Highland Farm, Thailand

51. Traditional cultural Dance- some used to say Asians can’t dance. Besides the generalization that’s Western style dancing and the Koreans have shown they can take that to another level. Anyway, Try a class in a local dance and they’ll be the ones laughing. I’ve enjoyed many local dance classes and performances from Bangkok to Borneo, the latter was crazy

52. Birds – in the pool at six Senses Krabey Island recently I saw a Hornbill…

53. Music Videos – many a bus ride has been respectively ruined and saved by local music and the accompanying music video… no more lonely , the videos on the farm. Such an interesting reflection on culture…

54. Rice fields – Cambodia, Bali, Sapa, Yunan – something about all that green when the rice is growing!

55. Being able to eat out pretty much all the time – The price of food. 10-15 baht bowls of noodles.  varies country by country but still you can afford to eat good cheap street eats everywhere. I eat out 90%. And even hotel room service even cheap.

56. Packing ice cream on dry ice in Thailand

57. History – we’re not taught a lot in US schools. I know quite a bit about Southeast Asia but even that history back to Srivijaya  And I’m aware of Chinese history. But then there’s India and Japan and…

58. Holidays and festivals: Fave is Songkran in Chiang Mai – Rocket festival is one I’ve always wanted to do, nyepi in Bali is fascinating, there’s some mud festival in Korea… It would be cool to schedule an Asian trip around regional holidays and festivals.

59. Cheap and easy coconuts – pretty much everywhere across Tropical Asia.

60. Wearing a man-skirt: I own a Longi from Myanmar and I wear it everywhere. Pretty normal in Indo, some older guys in Cambodia wearing Kramar skirts – I love wearing a skirt. Even Thai fisherman’s pants will pass…

Listen to Episode 100: 100 Things we Love About Asia

Scott: Drinking and Eating

61. Pho: classic Vietnamese soup, ideally served with nice beef slices

62. Pat Grapow Moo Sap: minced pork with basil and chilli, topped with a runny egg – perfection!

63. Cafe Sua Da: Vietnamese iced coffee with condensed milk

64. Street food: the best food around is being served on the street and at a great price!

65. Beer Laos Dark: for local beers, it’s the best of the bunch with some flavor.

66. Dim Sum: top five meals of all time – this is one of them – love a good dim sum feast.

67. Eating in Japan – all of it – incredible.

68. Drinking and eating at Phnom Penh, but Maxine’s (Snowie’s) was a fantastically cool bar.

69. Ba Mee Moo Daeng, Giew, Moo Grop: yellow egg noodles with red pork, crispy pork and dumplings – available in many countries – great anytime of day!

Listen to Episode 100: 100 Things we Love About Asia

Trevor:

Scott - Nepal

Scott at Patan, Nepal

70. Movie theaters. Not a fan of assigned seating except when you buy early and then it’s awesome. Otherwise the tickets are cheap the snacks genially cheap and beers – even small screen clubs like FGC in BKK and Flicks in Phnom Penh

71. Local spirits – yadong in Bangkok. Easy one for visitors to try is outside country road bar on asoke. Cambodian and Thai rice wine in a clay pot with a bamboo straw.

72. Laundry – even in Korea laundry was pretty cheap. Generally however, there are local laundry places that clean your clothes by weight and either iron or fold it so nicely for so cheap. It’s awesome.

73. Rice soup for breakfast – Balinese burbur is great, but I even had some really good rice soup here in Cambodia, also called borbor. Thai style is good too, with chili and fried pork…

74. Thai herbal compress massage

75. Diversity – there are some cool similarities between different asian cultures, but there are just so many different cultures across the region and discovering and experiencing different things always keeps you on your toes.

76. Arcades – japan obvs but even recently Evan and I played the tandem dancing Kyoto pinball (from bar game olympics) – Playing games in an arcade here is so cheap, and always outside a movie theatre. Fun.

77. Asian “food trucks”. Part street food, part delivery. My neighborhood coconut guy. The pad Thai long tail boat at Phra Nang beach Krabi. Ice cream vendors. Coconut ice cream in a hotdog bun. Sumatra walls ice cream story

78. Crazy potato chip flavors – seaweed is normal to me now. Shrimps even kinda normal. Melon Bungsu, baked squid, chili paste, pinky berry coco

79. Pharmacies. I like that you can buy drugs at a pharmacy without having to schedule a doctors appointment and spend lots of time and money. My pharmacy in Phnom Penh even delivers.

Listen to Episode 100: 100 Things we Love About Asia

Scott: Moments

80. Time I tried to move a Japanese woman’s car in Kyoto, out of a tight spot while a bit drunk and got it stuck more and a crane/tow truck had to come.

81. The Thai National Anthem played at 8am and 6pm – love being in a park for a run and then stopping for the anthem.

82. You never know what you’re going to see next – still being surprised after nearly 20 years!

Mekong River - Luang Prabang

Mekong River, 4000 Islands, Laos

83. Operating a specialized tour company, Smiling Albino, and all the amazing experiences that gave me.

84. Recovering the Golden Monkey while trekking in Nepal after a year-and-a-half since forgetting him at a tea shop in the mountains. It’s generally safe and not a lot of common thievery,

85. All the times my best friends have visited and the incredible times we’ve shared.

86. Proposing to my wife atop a small chedi at Bagan, Myanmar.

87. Motorbiking anywhere – smells, people, it’s a great way to experience Asia.

88. Taking the Trans-Siberian train with my father then continuing all the way to Hong Kong.

89. Trips with my parents to so many places throughout Asia – they’ve been over at least 15 times.

90. Talk Travel Asia: doing this podcast, all the people we’ve chatted with – what an experience!

Listen to Episode 100: 100 Things we Love About Asia

Trevor:

Doi Mae Salong

Doi Mae Salong, Thailand

91. Coffee: oleang in Thailand. Also coffee shops in Bali that can give you a workshop as well as a great Toraja. Or Balinese style unfiltered powdered coffee

92. Apes. NOT Monkeys. Gibbons and Orangutans especially, both of which I had great experiences with in Sumatra. Gibbons and Loris across SEA

93. English spelling mistakes on menus… and signs in general

94. How fast things change: So many Asian cities are so new and/or growing so fast. Consequently they are much more modern but also often feature remnants of the recent past. Phnom Penh… That city in China where there was a well in the middle of the street. But it’s like, you go away for a few weeks and there’s a new restaurant across the street from your house.

95. Expats – People who travel are generally more interesting than those who don’t. Consequently, the people whom you meet while living somewhere tend to be quite interesting too. The expat community across Asia is generally made up of people who are more curious, open minded… I feel as if we did a whole episode on Expat’s…

96. Locals who wear t-shirts with english writing on it that say crazy things. I’m not sure if they even know what they say half the time. There have been a few photo essays over the years featuring these. I can’t think of any offhand, but it’s not uncommon to see old guys wearing totally inappropriate or just ridiculously bizarre t-shirts.

97. Traditional handicrafts. I have a great basket from a tribal village in NE Cambodia, all sorts of wood and stone carvings from across the region. The bell from Inle Lake, I rang once on one episode…

98. Seamstresses – you got a pair of jeans that are all ripped up. They can be fixed. You got a shoe that’s falling apart and needs to be fixed. You’ll find a shoe repair guy.

Eating Japan

Japanese sushi conveyor restaurant

99. Korean BBQ – hand’s down my fave thing about korea. So many foods that you cook yourself. And, while good elsewhere, its so much better in korea. Oh and honorable mention to dolsot bi bim ba – the hot stone rice bowl. LOVE it

100. The bum gun

With that… we’re taking a break for a while! Thank you very much for listening and supporting. We are going to enjoy focusing on other things but we may be back refreshed with more exciting episodes about life traveling Asia. Until then, enjoy revisiting our 100 episodes. Thank you!!

Listen to Episode 100: 100 Things we Love About Asia

IF YOU ENJOY LISTENING, PLEASE DONATE TO THE SHOW

You can sponsor anywhere from $1/month upwards. These funds will help us cover costs of keeping the show going. Visit PATREON TO DONATE TO THE SHOW or the link from the left-side of our website, or search Talk Travel Asia Patreon. Thanks in advance for supporting the cost and helping to keep the travel talk happening.

To learn more about Scott & Trevor:

Talk Travel Asia is brought to you by Trevor Ranges and Scott Coates, every two weeks(ish) from wherever in the Asia they happen to be. Alternating episodes feature a guest or the two hosts, cultivating travel insight through intelligent conversation. If you enjoyed the show, please donate, even just a dollar a month: that’s only .50c per episode(ish). 

PLEASE DONATE TO THE SHOW – we appreciate your support to keep the podcast happening (thanks)!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s