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
This Talk Travel Asia podcast interview with Joe Cummings discusses Joe’s trip to Mount Kailash. Mt. Kailash, located in western Tibet, is considered sacred by Hindus, Bons, Buddhists, and Jains. It towers at 6,638m, represents Mount Meru to Hindu and Buddhists, is central to Buddhist cosmology, and is a major pilgrimage site for various worshippers. One of the religious traditions of pilgrims involves trekking 52km around the base of the mountain, clockwise for Buddhists and Hindus, in order to attain good luck and future fortune along the way. The trip passes through remote lands, over a 5,500m pass, and typically takes about four-days. Today we’ll chat with legendary traveler and writer, Joe Cummings, about his circumambulation of Mount Kailash in 2015.Continue reading
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.