On this episode of Talk Travel Asia podcast, we’ll talk about one of our favorite areas in all of SE Asia – southern Laos – specifically the ancient Khmer temple of Vat Phou and 4,000 Islands, near the border with Cambodia. Laos, a country of 5.5-million, landlocked, and sandwiched between China, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, is little-known to most travelers. Sure, they’ve heard the name, but don’t know much about what it has to offer, or for that matter, often where exactly on the map it’s located. In a day and age when over-tourism is becoming a problem at many traditional sites and countries, now is a great time to strike out from the masses and discover this charming land-locked nation.  Continue reading

Asian cultures are often very different from western ones and many foreigners make some horribly embarrassing mistakes as a result of these disparities. Even those who read up in their guidebook about the do’s and don’ts in a particular destination only grasp the general concept and not necessarily all of the nuances. Beyond the standard differences between east and west, such as greetings (the handshake vs a bow or wai) some are much more subtle and can lead to some awkward situations.

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On this episode of Talk Travel Asia podcast we talk about traveling responsibly in Asia and how adventure travel can make it possible for travelers to be more responsible UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_4aa8while on holiday in Asia. The reality is that international travel, once only accessible by society’s most upwardly-mobile, has opened up to hundreds of millions of travelers in recent decades. Growing economies, budget airlines and easing of visa restrictions are some of the main drivers. But with increased numbers comes an urgent need to educate travelers about how we travel to ensure we don’t permanently damage the very places we’re exploring to ensure there’s still a world to travel, in the coming decades. On this episode we chat with an expert, Adventure Travel Trade Association CEO Shannon Stowell, about the subject and focus on how we can travel responsibly.

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Cambodia has emerged in the last decade as a popular travel destination for foreign travelers. Once viewed by many tourists as simply a quick extension trip from a neighboring country to see the incredible temples of Angkor, it’s now rightfully seen as a destination unto itself, worthy of an entire vacation. Its capital, Phnom Penh, is a fun, vibrant Asian city, the temples around Angkor stunning, and the hilltribe communities in the NE are intriguing, but the missing ingredient until recently has been the beach.

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This Talk Travel Asia podcast features two experts on Tented Camps, a unique accommodation option for getting up close and personal with the great outdoors while traveling in Asia: Episode 81: Tented Camps in Asia with John Roberts and Marius Hermann.

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Trevor kicks off this episode of Talk Travel Asia, Almost Asia! Hawaii for First Time Visitors explaining that “Hawaii lies in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and, while Scott and I have pretty extensive knowledge of the area, we haven’t done an episode on the islands as they are not officially part of ‘Asia’. That said, Hawaii is not really part of the Americas either; it lies within what is considered the Asia-Pacific Region, which is apt as Hawaii has strong Asian influences, including large populations of Filipinos, Chinese, and Japanese, who, over the centuries, have contributed diverse cultural influences to the islands from food to language to clothing (read Trevor’s History of the Hawaiian Aloha Shirt). Throw in a large number of Asian visitors and you realize that Hawaii is as “Asian” as it is anything else. So, kick back, crack open a cold coconut porter and enjoy an episode about my favorite place in the world, the islands of Hawai’i.” Continue reading

For many people, travel is something they look forward to all year. It occupies daydreams, shapes savings plans and hopefully exceeds expectations when in the destination. But with a globally growing middle class, visa requirements easing-up and Ep.77-Overtourism-Angkor Watthe cost of air travel dropping, more people than ever are hitting the road. And often, too many of us at the same time in the same place. This can not only lead to trips sometimes not living up to expectations, but the destinations themselves and people that live there becoming forever changed, often not for the better. On this episode we’ll explore the issue of Overtourism and talk with an expert about the future of travel.

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responsible-travelTravel, as we say in our intro, is one of life’s great pleasures. But with visiting other countries comes waste we generate and impact as guests. As more and more people have the means to travel, the stress on communities and countries is growing. If destinations are to remain pristine, beautiful and worth visiting, travelers and those working in tourism are going to have to make some adjustments to preserve the places we love. On this episode we’ll chat about practical travel issues and ways you as a traveler can reduce your footprint and impact.

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Cameron Stauch

Cameron hard at work; courtesy Matthew Dakin

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Laos is one of Southeast Asia’s sleepiest countries. Home to 6.5-million people and landlocked, it’s a place of mystery for many travelers and unknown to much of the world. Once a French colony, also ruled by a royal family, then taken over by communist forces in 1975, it’s one of the region’s most friendly and unique destinations. Its number-one tourist destination by far is Luang Prabang, a charming town of 56,000, situated on the banks of the Nam Khan and Mekong Rivers. A former royal capital, its been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1995 and exudes laid-back cool. On this episode we’ll share our impressions and favorite things to do over a three-night visit.

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Happy New Year! It’s 2018: time to start dreaming of new things in travel. On this episode of Talk Travel Asia podcast we’re going to look back at 2017, reflecting on the places we traveled to—what we liked, what could have been better—then focus on 2018. We’ll discuss top destinations we hope to visit, travel people we want to meet, episodes we hope to produce, things we want to learn, and a few other travel nuggets here and there. Join us on this first episode of Talk Travel Asia for 2018 and get dreaming of your next trip in the region. Continue reading