Shopping is one of the top reasons that many people travel; especially within Asia. Cities like Bangkok and Singapore have top attractions purely to shop till you drop if that tickles your fancy. But whether you live to shop or not, most travelers love picking up some ‘unique’, ‘local’ souvenirs along the way. Shopping is generally a part of most travel experiences. All across Asia, whether you’re hunting for exotic antiques or just like exploring sprawling markets with knock-off t-shirts, we think it’s worthy of its own episode. We’ll share some of our shopping tips, experiences and most regretted items purchased along the way.
Myanmar is a country steeped in mystery and controversy. More or less closed to the outside world for 50 years by a military government, it opened up in 2012 and looked like it would soon become SE Asia’s hottest travel destination. It did take off, but hotel prices went through the roof, many people began to question the value of the rising cost of travel there, numbers tapered off, then the Rohingya crisis kicked off, seeing tourism numbers plunge by at least 40% in 2018. Whether or not you should travel to Myanmar is something we’ll leave to you to decide, and instead focus on our travel experiences to three of the country’s hotspots: Bagan, Mandalay and Inle Lake.
Hot places go cold, new joints open up, but there’s always somewhere to drink in Asia. In this episode we share some of the most memorable and enjoyable spots in the region to enjoy a drink (or two or three) and night out that we’ve experienced over the last few years. Get thirsty and ready to paint the town red! Lots of hot tips on this episode to be had! So, if you’re looking for a bar in Asia to find some of the best drinks around, look no further than our Favorite Watering Holes in Asia.
Food is essential to life but can also enhance it so much. Couple great food with a trip and you have a winning combination. While cooking shows, gourmet meals and celebrity chefs have become all the rage as of late, on this episode we’ll recall some of our absolute favorite meals throughout Asia, most of which are inexpensive, and we continue to dream about them to this day. If you’re not hungry now, you soon will be!
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.
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 while 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.
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.
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
On this episode of Talk Travel Asia podcast, we discuss a topic we’re particularly passionate about: combating single-use plastic, including drinking water bottles: something many travelers have long relied upon, but may no longer need to, thanks to those including today’s guests: Christian and Dean of Cambodia-based Refill not Landfill.
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 the 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.