The Republic of Maldives, is a collection of 1,200 small coral islands in the north-central Indian Ocean, with only 200 of them being inhabited. Famous for luxury bungalows on stilts over stunning clear water, no natural point is higher than 1.8 meters, and there’s a population of less than 600,000. The country stretches 820 km from north to south, and more than and 130 km from east to west, covering a large swath of ocean. Put on a tropical shirt and let’s discover the Maldives with travel writer Tom Masters.

Continue reading

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. 

Continue reading

Central Asia is one of those regions that few international travelers are familiar with, nowadays. That wasn’t always the case, however, as the Silk Road was once a crossroads for the movement of people, goods, and ideas between Europe and Asia, and Central Asia was at the heart of this prosperous trade route. Geographically, Central Asia stretches east-west from the Caspian Sea to China and Mongolia, and from Afghanistan and Iran in the south to Russia in the north. In between are “the ‘Stans”, including the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Today we have the benefit of an expert in the region, writer Bradley Mayhew, joining us to share a bit about everything we didn’t know that we didn’t even know, about one of the largest — and least visited — regions of Asia.

Continue reading

“Singapore may look small, and geographically speaking it is, but this tiny island city-state is jam-packed with a myriad of things to do, see, buy, and devour. The sleek and efficient public transport system makes zipping around a breeze, allowing you more time to dip your toes into this melting pot of cultures, religions, food, and architecture.” That’s an excerpt from an article by today’s guest, Ria de Jong, about the Lion City, otherwise known as Singapore, the smallest and southernmost country on mainland Asia, which we’ll talk about on this episode of Talk Travel Asia.

Continue reading

On this week’s episode of Talk Travel Asia podcast we discuss traveling Asia by train, particularly how new rail lines across the continent will make travel by train in Asia more exciting than ever. Few modes of travel hold as much allure, intrigue, and romance as going from here to there by train. Riding the rails has been a mainstay for roughly two centuries, and as lines were built, formerly inaccessible areas of the world were open to anyone who could afford a ticket. Nowadays, high-speed rail projects are making traveling by train in Asia faster than by airplane as more and more countries update their train and rail systems. On this episode, we’ll chat with James Clark, about recent and upcoming rail projects in Asia and those in the works to help you plan your next trip.

Continue reading

Language screw-ups, weird taxi driver stories, and warning signs we wish we could tell our younger selves are a few of the topics we’ll discuss on this special cross-over episode between Talk Travel Asia and Bangkok Podcast. Scott and Trevor have each spent the majority of the past 20 years living in Bangkok, as have our guests, Greg and Ed, whom they’ve known nearly as long as they’ve been living in Asia. Over the past two decades, the City of Angels has changed nearly as much as the four have, and, while three of the four are still experiencing it as a home, there’s an old expression that continues to summarize this expat life: the good, the bad, and the things that can only be explained by saying, TIT, “This is Thailand.”

Continue reading

On this episode of Talk Travel Asia podcast, we get Laos travel tips from legendary travel guidebook writer Nick Ray, who has written about traveling to Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar for Lonely Planet travel guidebooks.

Continue reading

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!

Continue reading

Helping you travel more smoothly and happily is what this episode of Talk Travel Asia podcast is all about. Recently we did an episode called “Don’t do That!” to help travelers to Asia stay out of trouble while traveling the region. This episode is its companion, and we’re going to put a more positive spin on a similar topic by offering you some of our best Travel Hacks. So get ready for some winning tips which will make your journey even more enjoyable and incredible. 

Continue reading

Talk Travel Asia podcast welcomes back Phillip Cornwel Smith to talk about his latest publication: Very Bangkok. There’s no doubt that Bangkok is one of the world’s most visited cities. Its sites are some of the most featured on Instagram, and almost everyone will come up with some mental pictures of the city, good and bad, the moment they hear the name. Founded in 1782 when the Chakri Dynasty established Bangkok as Thailand’s capital, it’s a vibrant, dynamic city that dazzles the senses at every turn. Some love it, others hate it, and all with good reason. Today we’ll explore the City of Angels well beyond the surface with longtime resident and author Philip Cornwel Smith, who will share insights from his book Very Bangkok.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading