From time to time, Scott and I receive messages from Talk Travel Asia listeners about their travels in Asia and we’re glad to have inspired or assisted them with their experiences. After some recent back and forths with several patrons about their Asian adventures, we decided to ask a few of them to come on the show and share their stories so we, and you, can learn about their trips and perhaps find some inspiration for your next journey to the region.

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According to JapanTrains.com, the Japan rail system is among the most advanced in the world, with over 30,000 kilometers of train lines. Despite such an expansive network, the Japanese rail system is also efficient and easy to navigate, even for first time visitors. Perhaps the greatest challenge may be what type of ticket to buy and where to go. Today, we will speak with a man who recently explored Japan by rail and has agreed to come on Talk Travel Asia to share his experience with us.

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As we near 200 episodes of Talk Travel Asia, on one hand we sometimes wonder what we could possibly still talk about, and on the other, we’re continually looking to up our game, think of topics we have not yet considered, and get even more interesting guests to share with us. We hope you have enjoyed the travel chat thus far and we have good news – we’re not slowing down. As we move further into 2024, we have a pretty sweet lineup of episodes ahead and thought it might be fun to share what’s coming with you.

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From time to time, Scott and I receive messages from Talk Travel Asia listeners about their travels in Asia and we’re glad to have inspired or assisted them with their experiences. After some recent back and forths with several patrons about their Asian adventures, we decided to ask a few of them to come on the show and share their stories so we, and you, can learn about their trips and perhaps find some inspiration for your next journey to the region.

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One’s first trip to Asia. It’s something few forget. The smells, the sounds, the crowds, big cities, wild landscapes, exotic food, a sometimes frenetic pace, tropical beaches, incredible mountains – you’re in Asia! We recently got chatting about our early trips to the continent, started to feel old, or perhaps well-experienced, and thought it might be fun to recount our initial journeys here. Reflect on those initial impressions and contrast it to our current lives and how we see things now. In these two parts, Scott then I will recount their first visits to Asia. Here we go for part 2…

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Slow travel is a buzzword that’s been kicking around a while: a “trend” in the travel industry, some might say, in the vein of ecotourism. Just as the terminology has evolved from global warming to climate change, however, more humans are increasingly considering their footprint, both on the environment and on the destinations they visit, often in an economic way. If slow travel means more than exhaust output of air travel – if slow travel means picking one particular destination instead of dozen and then using local means of transportation, bikes or hiking, even, to explore an area more in depth, at a more leisurely pace, then I’m all for it. Today, we have a returning guest and longtime friend of the destinations he lives and works in, Stuart McDonald, to give us his understanding of and experiences with slow travel in Asia.

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One’s first trip to Asia: it’s something hard to forget. The smells, the sounds, the crowds, big cities, wild landscapes, exotic food, a sometimes frenetic pace, tropical beaches, incredible mountains – you’re in Asia! We recently got chatting about our early trips to the continent, started to feel old, or perhaps well-experienced, and thought it might be fun to recount our initial journeys here, reflect on those first impressions and contrast it to our current lives and how we see things now. In these two parts, I then Trevor will recount our first visits to Asia. Here we go…

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Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir has long-enticed me with it’s melodic mysticism, and when former guest Dave Stamboulis told me that he’d, quote, “Just completed a rather wild journey to Kashmir and Ladakh,” I knew that we had to have him back on the show to tell us more about these spectacular areas of India, a country we’ve been eager to explore more on Talk Travel Asia.

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When most people think of Asia, the countries that come to mind aren’t likely to be those we’re about to discuss today. Located in Western Asia, on the border of Eastern Europe, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan are countries most westerners are largely unfamiliar with at all. That’s all the more reason to learn a bit about them, as each has unique cultures, history, and tourist attractions that make them fascinating destinations. Today, show co-host Scott Coates will share his experience traveling through these interesting West Asian nations.

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A.I.  – Artificial Intelligence. It’s almost the only thing anyone is talking about in some circles. AI seems to be everywhere nowadays: from Hollywood actors to content writers, creative industry workers are terrified of being replaced by A.I.; on the other end of the spectrum, those already using it to produce grant proposals or file TPS reports rave about AI’s efficiency and accuracy, saving them countless hours on otherwise tedious chores. But what about travel? Are AI travel agents, AI-generated travel guidebooks, and AI trip planners about to revolutionize travel? Or is this technology as far from replacing travel professionals as it from replacing movie stars: eventually, perhaps, but not quite yet. Today we’ll discuss AI and the travel industry.

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Road trips are one of travel’s great forms of adventures. From the Griswald’s cross-country family vacation to Wally World to my own explorations of Eastern Cambodia to design tours for international visitors, the road trip is a time-honored tradition. Nowadays, one might imagine traveling by camper-van to Mexico or Central America, or even renting a car in the north of Japan and driving it south from island to island, but who would ever imagine taking a road trip by car from Myanmar to Holland? Well, our guest Edwin Briels did just that, and today he’s going to share how it all went down. Buckle up!

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When we travel, many of us hope to experience an exotic culture or visit a spectacular natural attraction. Often these are chosen based on recommendations from family and friends or may be long-awaited bucket list destinations. Little do many of us know, however, that the United Nations has already selected more than 1000 such sites, hundreds of which are in Asia. These UNESCO World Heritage Sites are some of the most impressive destinations on Earth, and we’ll discuss some today that you may wish to consider adding to your next Asian adventure.

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