When we travel, many of us hope to experience an exotic culture or visit a spectacular natural attraction. Often these are chosen based on recommendations from family and friends or may be long-awaited bucket list destinations. Little do many of us know, however, that the United Nations has already selected more than 1000 such sites, hundreds of which are in Asia. These World Heritage Sites are some of the most impressive destinations on Earth, and we’ll discuss some today that you may wish to consider adding to your next Asian adventure, on our second episode about UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Asia.

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As expats who have lived in Asia for almost 25-years each, we recently got thinking about our proximity to famous, royal palaces. Scott is not so far from Bangkok’s Grand Palace and Trevor for many years lived very close to Cambodia’s Khemarin Palace. That got us thinking about other royal palaces we’ve been to throughout Asia, along with ones we have not yet visited. Then we wondered what constitutes a royal palace? We bumped into our friends Greg & Ed from the Bangkok Podcast, mentioned this to them, and realized we had a good episode on our hands, but it would be a heck of a lot more fun to chat about this as a foursome. So here we are, our second crossover episode together, where we’ll explore the royal palaces of Asia.

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Taiwan is a territory that traditionally has far fewer people traveling it than should. Sitting off the east coast of China, there are few spots hotter, geopolitically, than Taiwan. But what’s there from a tourism perspective? Are the people similar to those from mainland China? What’s the terrain like? Is it safe to travel? Friendly for visitors? Food tasty and accessible? Well, you can say ‘yes’ to all of those things but today we’re not only going to touch on Taiwan as a travel destination for the second time on this show, but also focus on cycling Taiwan’s east coast. So, pour yourself a cup of Oolong tea, steam some dumplings, and let’s dream of what was once known as Formosa.

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When it comes to mammoth, legendary train journeys, the Trans-Siberian Railway is up there. Coming in at 9,289 kilometers, simply put, it’s the longest railway line in the world. Starting in Moscow, it chugs east to its terminus, Vladivostok, but has another interchange where it then forks south to Mongolia and continues to Beijing, ultimately linking two of the world’s great cities. So, nearly 180 episodes in to Talk Travel Asia, we’re going to finally talk about this epic journey, what’s entailed and hopefully give you enough background to either inspire or give you the idea that this journey is not for you. All aboard – here we go!

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The Mekong is one of the world’s great rivers. Covering a distance of nearly 5,000km from its source on the Tibetan Plateau in China to the Mekong Delta in Viet Nam, the river flows through six countries: China, Myanmar, Thailand, Lao PDR, Cambodia and Viet Nam. 

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Sitting just off the east coast of mainland China lies an island with a storied history. Formerly known as Formosa and officially known as the Republic of China, Taiwan is an island mired in controversy but full of natural beauty and an attractive destination for those who love traveling Asia. Home to nearly 24-million people, Taiwan is one of the world’s most developed countries and yet the eastern two-thirds of it is highly mountainous. Strangely, this destination is not on many people’s travel radar. Today we’re going to get some Taiwan travel tips from author and travel writer, Joshua Samuel Brown about everything Taiwan has to offer. 

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This Talk Travel Asia podcast interview with Joe Cummings discusses Joe’s trip to Mount Kailash. Mt. Kailash, located in western Tibet, is considered sacred by Hindus, Bons, Buddhists, and Jains. It towers at 6,638m, represents Mount Meru to Hindu and Buddhists, is central to Buddhist cosmology, and is a major pilgrimage site for various worshippers. One of the religious traditions of pilgrims involves trekking 52km around the base of the mountain, clockwise for Buddhists and Hindus, in order to attain good luck and future fortune along the way. The trip passes through remote lands, over a 5,500m pass, and typically takes about four-days. Today we’ll chat with legendary traveler and writer, Joe Cummings, about his circumambulation of Mount Kailash in 2015.

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On this episode of Talk Travel Asia, we’re going way off the beaten path to discuss some of the best mountain biking in Asia. We chat with former Bike Magazine Editor in Chief, journalist, explorer, and all around adventurer Brice Minnigh, about his mountain biking expeditions in Asia, including a recent film he made, The Kora, where he and some friends spent 10-days circumnavigating Himalayan peaks in Sichuan province, China. So put on your biking kit, strap on your helmet and headphones, and get ready for an exciting ride ahead!

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If you travel, you almost always end up spending a reasonable amount of time in a hotel or lodging of some sort. Your room and property typically plays a key role in your experience, especially if it’s a special trip or one to a new part of the world you’ve been dreaming of for a long time. You’ve likely had a hotel experience that you still remember due to a few special touches and you’d go back in a flash if you were there again. And you’ve likely also stayed somewhere that was a bust and tainted your overall memories of a destination. On this episode we’ll go beyond the throw pillows and welcome drink to think about what makes a great hotel experience, with Jason Friedman, a longtime luxury hotelier specializing in Asia.

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On this episode of Talk Travel Asia podcast we explore riding Asian trains. Train travel is one of the most in-touch and connected ways to travel. Many a novel has been written around such journeys and the romance therein. With the advent of air travel and the cost of doing so dropping, train travel has become not as economical as it once was. At the same time, many countries are upgrading their rail systems, and others still rely on decrepit ones, which can be part of the appeal and charm. On this episode we’ll chat with train travel expert, Mark Smith, also known as The Man in Seat 61, who maintains the world’s top website for train travel information.

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On this episode of Talk Travel Asia Podcast we talk about Food Tours in Asia, specifically Food Tours in China and Cambodia. Food is one of the top reasons that people travel. Some people travel specifically to eat the cuisine of a particular destination, while others are just eager to try a new type of food while exploring an exotic land. We chat with Brian Bergey and Leanna Payne from Lost Plate Food Tours, about designing food tours and the different types of cuisine available in the destinations they serve.

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China has the world’s largest population, is the fourth largest in terms of physical size, and as a result has an incredibly wide variety of environments to explore. On this episode of Talk Travel Asia podcast we’ll dive into traveling China, a country we haven’t covered very much on our podcast, focusing on the northwestern region of Xinjiang. An American living in the region, who has written a travel book and hosts a YouTube show about the area’s exotic offering, will give us a unique insider’s perspective and hopefully pique your interest about this relatively unexplored corner of the People’s Republic of China. Continue reading