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.

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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.

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We’ve been lucky to travel quite a bit, and continue to do so. Between Trevor and I we usually end up in 10-plus countries in a year. Last year was quite a bit more. And, just like you, we’re getting older, one day at a time. While reminiscing over a couple cold beer about trips we’ve enjoyed, we decided it was time to share a few of our noteworthy Asian trips that still resonate. So, buckle in, and get ready to travel with us on Our Favorite Asian Adventures.

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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 Ep.77-Overtourism-Angkor Watthe 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.

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responsible-travelTravel, as we say in our intro, is one of life’s great pleasures. But with visiting other countries comes waste we generate and impact as guests. As more and more people have the means to travel, the stress on communities and countries is growing. If destinations are to remain pristine, beautiful and worth visiting, travelers and those working in tourism are going to have to make some adjustments to preserve the places we love. On this episode we’ll chat about practical travel issues and ways you as a traveler can reduce your footprint and impact.

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Cameron Stauch

Cameron hard at work; courtesy Matthew Dakin

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Scott and Trevor have a beer and a chat with John Pemberton the founder of Heart of Darkness Brewery in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to talk about his beers, the beer scene in Vietnam, and how the brewing scene is developing across Southeast Asia.

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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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Our guest today is a travel writing legend. Joe Cummings has been living and working in Southeast Asia for decades. He’s authored scores of travel guidebooks and a host of specialty-focus books on everything from Buddhist Stupas in Asia to traditional Thai tattoos. He’s perhaps best known for being the original Lonely Planet Thailand guidebook writer. He is also an accomplished guitar player and all around nice guy. If you’re looking for someone who knows a ton about Southeast Asia – Joe Cummings is your man.

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After living in Asia for a few years, you learn to love holidays you didn’t grow up with in your native country. Some, such as Songkran (the Thai New Year), see people travel to Thailand just to experience it. Indeed, the diverse cultures of Asia celebrate so many different holidays and festivals, it’s almost impossible to keep track. Today we are going to discuss some of our favorites, as well as a few that we’ve always attend or experience.

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TTA-Ep.61-Vespa-2How you get from place to place during a trip can be a major theme of your travels—even the main focus. Some people take hiking trips, others go cycling, and some look to motorcycles to get around. Today we’ll chat with American Steve Mueller, who took his love for vintage Vespa motorcycles and turned it into a business, showing tourists the ins and outs of Ho Chi Minh City, and eventually other areas of Vietnam and Southeast Asia, on the back of vintage Vespa motorbikes.

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Happy New Year – it’s 2017 and our gift to you is a celebratory episode of Talk Travel Asia. Today we’ll revel in our very favorite things about Asia in a multitude of categories from how to get around to where to imbibe and a whole lot in between. We take on a variety of categories from best transport, to airports, best movies theaters and a whole lot in between. This is our Best of Asia from more than 33 collective years living and traveling in the region. Ring in the New Year by celebrating travel and get planning your trip to Asia for 2017!

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