Children are Not Tourist Attractions - courtesy of Friends-International - Talk Travel Asia Podcast

Children are Not Tourist Attractions – courtesy of Friends-International

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It’s been more than two years since our first episode went live on June 11, 2014 and we’re suddenly at our 50th episode of Talk Travel Asia podcast! It’s been a ton of fun thinking of topics to cover and share, and we hope you’ve enjoyed the ride as much as we have. To mark our 50th episode, we’re going to share 50 Things We Love About Traveling in Asia. The categories will be broad, responses at times surprising, and we guarantee there are a few things in here you’ll want to try. Thanks for listening and celebrating 50 episodes with us!

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When people hear ‘Hong Kong’ they naturally think of towering, futuristic skyscrapers in a city teeming with people. As one of the world’s most densely populated cities, to the uninitiated, Hong Kong wouldn’t seem like a place with mountains suitable for hiking and mountain biking. But it turns out there are tons of fantastic trails on those mountains you see from the city and lots more beyond the cityscape than most tourists see or experience. Today we’re going to chat with two experts about hiking and mountain biking opportunities in Hong Kong.

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Many parts of Southeast Asia are famous for snorkeling and SCUBA diving. There are few parts of the world with as many great areas to get your face and body under the water than over here in the tropics. Countries including the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia, in particular, have world-class snorkeling and diving sites. If you’re thinking of getting your open water certification, want to get dives in, or love snorkeling, Southeast Asia is the place. Today we’ll chat about our favorite locations to get in and under the water and share tips from some of our friends. Get ready to get wet! Continue reading

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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The world is a big place, but air travel, opening borders, and less restrictive visa requirements have made it easier for travelers, in effect making the world a much smaller place. In December 2014 we shared some of the places in Asia we’d like to visit on ‘Dream Travel Destinations 1’. We’ve compiled a new list of destinations we’re keen to get to and are going to share them with you today. Dream big of new destinations in Asia with us!

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Today we feature a real adventurer: someone pushing the envelope of creativity in travel and transportation, going above and beyond the beaten path. Many people take at least one trip per year, then spend the rest of the year dreaming about their next one. For some, this trip is a week or so in length, but there are a growing number individuals that are finding creative ways to make travel their full-time gig. These people roam the world experiencing places and activities, then blog about them, take photos, videos, and find creative ways to generate a full-time income. Today we’ll chat with Ric Gazarian, an American who’s been doing just that for a number of years.

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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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Pak Ou Caves, Luang Prabang, Laos, courtesy Khiri Travel

Pak Ou Caves, Luang Prabang, Laos; courtesy Khiri Travel

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Where and how we travel has changed dramatically over the last couple decades. What’s changed at an even faster pace is the way we plan our trips and the tools we use. Just a few years ago travel guides were more or less the ‘Holy Grail’ of learning about where to go, how to get there, and most importantly, how to find a decent place to sleep. In just a few years we’ve started to ditch printed books for websites and increasingly turned to our mobile devices while on the road. Today we’ll look at the tools that are shaping how we travel and ones we enjoy using.

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Seoul-based journalist Geoffrey Cain enjoyed an 11-day excursion to North Korea – as a tourist, since journalists are generally restricted from visiting the reclusive nation – traveling by  train from Pyongyang to the more remote cities of Chongjin, Wonsan, and Hamheung, and the provinces of North and South Hamkyung and Kangwon. Geoff discusses his trip with Scott Coates and Trevor Ranges on this week’s episode of Talk Travel Asia podcast.

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