As we near 200 episodes of Talk Travel Asia, on one hand we sometimes wonder what we could possibly still talk about, and on the other, we’re continually looking to up our game, think of topics we have not yet considered, and get even more interesting guests to share with us. We hope you have enjoyed the travel chat thus far and we have good news – we’re not slowing down. As we move further into 2024, we have a pretty sweet lineup of episodes ahead and thought it might be fun to share what’s coming with you.

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Slow travel is a buzzword that’s been kicking around a while: a “trend” in the travel industry, some might say, in the vein of ecotourism. Just as the terminology has evolved from global warming to climate change, however, more humans are increasingly considering their footprint, both on the environment and on the destinations they visit, often in an economic way. If slow travel means more than exhaust output of air travel – if slow travel means picking one particular destination instead of dozen and then using local means of transportation, bikes or hiking, even, to explore an area more in depth, at a more leisurely pace, then I’m all for it. Today, we have a returning guest and longtime friend of the destinations he lives and works in, Stuart McDonald, to give us his understanding of and experiences with slow travel in Asia.

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Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir has long-enticed me with it’s melodic mysticism, and when former guest Dave Stamboulis told me that he’d, quote, “Just completed a rather wild journey to Kashmir and Ladakh,” I knew that we had to have him back on the show to tell us more about these spectacular areas of India, a country we’ve been eager to explore more on Talk Travel 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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Long after we’ve returned home from our holiday, perhaps even after our memories of a trip begin to fade, our homes may be decorated by a selection of souvenirs we gathered from our travels around the world. Many are tied to memories of a small artisanal village in the mountains or a local friend’s relative who specializes in making cultural curios. These souvenirs can be some of the most special experiences of travel: meeting local people and bringing home a small piece of their culture. Today we’re going to speak to a man helping preserve such traditions and make them available to visitors to Cambodia.

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According to the History Channel, the Frisbee story started in 1871 when William Frisbie opened the Frisbie Pie Company. University students were soon throwing the tin pie plate to each other, yelling “Frisbie!” as they did so. In 1958, Wham-O (the company responsible for the Hula-Hoop, Super Ball and Water Wiggle) changed its name to the Frisbee disc (with two “ee”s at the end). By aggressively marketing Frisbee-playing as a new sport, Wham-O sold over 100 million discs by 1977. In 2023, while neither frisbee golf nor Ultimate frisbee have yet to become Olympic sports, both games are popular across the world, including in Asia, where our guest today will shed some light on the two sports, the itinerant character of many game players, and how you can make playing frisbee in Asia a part of your trip to the region.

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This is part two of our interview with Jason Rolan: For those who may have heard a bit about it or have traveled there before, the mystical ancient capital of Luang Prabang or the rubber-tube river rafting party town of Vang Vieng spring to mind. But to those who listen to the show, you already know there’s so much more. We’ve covered a number of great destinations in Laos before, but today we’re going deeper to discover lesser-known Laos with Jason Rolan.  

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Some people travel to relax, unwind, and forget about the trials and tribulations of everyday life; some travel to expand their knowledge of the world; and others travel to make a contribution to the destination, or at least maximize the positive impact of travel while minimizing the negative impacts on local cultures, the environment, and economy.

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Experiencing wildlife in Asia is one of the world’s great natural adventures. Few countries can compete with Indonesia for its diversity of terrain, flora, and fauna that thrive on soaring volcanoes, sandy beaches, humid jungles, and everything in between. Today we’re going to chat with travel journalist and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Mark Eveleigh, about what Indonesia has to offer those in search of wildlife and how to best approach this sort of trip. 

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Travel is one of life’s great eye-openers, teaching us about other cultures and many often unexpected things about ourselves. Some of us are fortunate enough to travel often as children, providing us with this insight at an early age. Others worry that, once a baby is on the way, that’s the end of their ability to travel often and enjoy themselves. As neither of your Talk Travel Asia co-hosts has children of their own, we’ve invited an expert to share her years on the road, traveling with children in Asia.

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Dreaming of and planning travel in the 21st century continues to evolve but there has been no greater change, perhaps, than the growth of traveler-curated content. From blogs and user reviews on popular travel websites and forums to Instagram and Youtube, travelers no longer rely entirely on travel publications or word of mouth to discover or design their next holiday. Perhaps the pinnacle of this evolution is the traveler literally making their way around the world by creating inspiring travel content to share with others and earning money in the process. Today we’ll chat with one such traveler to learn what life as a travel content creator / “travel influencer” on YouTube and Instagram is all about.

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So you want to ‘see’ Indonesia. That’s a big, broad desire. Where to start? Stretching 5,100 km, comprising 17,000 islands, this is the world’s largest archipelagic state. With 280 million people, it’s the planet’s 4th largest country and the largest Muslim-majority nation on Earth. Sweet surf, dense jungles with primates, dragons here and there, steaming volcanos, mega-cities, and 700 languages being spoken by 1,300 different ethnic groups, how do you approach this trip? Today, we’re going to do just that, with an Indonesian expert; journalist, travel writer, and explorer, Mark Eveleigh.

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