First off, this is not a podcast about attractions and activities your dog or cat could enjoy while he or she is on holiday in Asia. While that would be fun, this is about how you can experience animals as a tourist in Asia. Some are good, some are bad, but all can be contentious as animal rights are something we care passionately about but are not always taken as seriously in Asia as they are in certain countries with more strict enforcement.

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On May 31, 2015 we posted a special episode of Talk Travel Asia, ‘Traveling Nepal Post-Earthquake with Mads Mathiasen’, which was one of our more popular episodes. We are following that up, chatting again with Mads about how the country is fairing more than one-year post earthquakes. You’ll be surprised to learn that it’s still a great place to travel!

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Nepal is famous for having the world’s highest peaks, the Himalayas, and most travelers know the country is a hotspot for trekking, and likely have such a trip on their bucket list. But Nepal and trekking is much more than just big mountains. This ‘small’ Himalayan nation on the map would actually be about the size of the US if flattened out – it’s huge! In just 230km the country rises from its southern border at 70m to 8,848m in the north. That’s some serious vertical gain! The country has pretty much every climate covered and a lifetime of walking to be done. Our guest today, Robin Boustead, has been working on what must be one of the world’s longest walks for more than a decade, the Great Himalaya Trail. Going through Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet, it’s over 6,000km long and looks incredible. We chat with him about how the Trail came about and how travelers can enjoy it.

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Enjoy these notes about Great Day Hikes in Asia, then listen to the episode, which includes additional details and witty banter from your hosts Scott Coates and Trevor Ranges. For a Google Map of the hikes which you can follow, scroll down to the bottom of the page.

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Scaling mountains is a pursuit that attracts some of the world’s most adventurous people. Attempting to climb the world’s tallest mountains within the Himalayas is an entirely other sport. On this episode, Scott and Trevor chat with Billi Bierling, a German who has spent much of her life living, working, and climbing in Nepal, among other Himalayan nations, about her passion for tackling some of the world’s tallest and toughest peaks, including Mount Everest, which she has successfully summited.

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Patan's Durbar Square

Patan’s Durbar Square

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Scott explains that planning any honeymoon (which of course must be perfect from start to finish with no fights) is no easy task anywhere in the world, let alone in a region so different from home that the chances of unexpected things happening is high. Isolating what you ‘really’ want to do, how you want to spend your time, what the budget is, hitting the ‘must see’ spots, while also experiencing a host of other things, and ensuring there’s a balance for both of you is no easy feat. This is your first trip as a married couple and you don’t want it to be anything less than perfect. So how do you do it? First off – it won’t be perfect.

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Trevor kicks off the episode by explaining that he’s been primarily employed as a freelance travel writer for going on a decade now and that its been a great ride: He gets to travel to exotic places, immerse himself in local cultures and nature, and both experience and learn as much as he possibly can about a particular destination.  The job is exciting but not nearly as glamorous as some might think, he explains.

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Scott starts by explaining how travel sets the stage for wild things to take place like few other things can: New places, intriguing people, the great unknown, caution thrown to the wind, and perhaps a few too many drinks. Things happen, doors open, situations arise, and hopefully legends ensue.

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