Talk Travel Asia
Talk Travel Asia
Om Talk Travel Asia
With more than 40-collective years living and working in Asia, co-hosts Trevor Ranges and Scott Coates know the ins and outs of travel in the region, and love sharing them. Having spent over a decade as a travel writer for the likes of National Geographic and Fodors, Trevor implicitly understands how to see and figure a destination out. Scott has spent much of his time crafting bespoke adventures as the co-founder of a luxury travel company and knows how to make travel truly flow. Whether traveling as pros or exploring as amateurs, they share their passion for travel in Asia with you on Talk Travel Asia.
Sandwiched in between Thailand, Vietnam, China, and Cambodia, The Lao People’s Democratic Republic is one of SEA’s most lesser known tourist destinations. Landlocked, mostly mountainous, with rivers and waterfalls nearly everywhere in between, Laos is most famous for its natural beauty and friendly, laid-back locals. For those who may have heard a bit about it or have traveled there before, the mystical ancient capital of Luang Prabang or the rubber-tube river rafting party town of Vang Vieng spring to mind. But to those who listen to the show, you already know there’s so much more. We’ve covered a number of great destinations in Laos before, but today we’re going deeper, exploring Lesser Known Laos with Jason Rolan.
Part of the charm of Asia are the many cultures and along with those, the many, many festivals, which can add a very deep and rich dynamic element to your trip, whether you happen to stumble upon one, or make taking part in a festival a planned, key part of your trip. Today we’re going to share a few of the region’s key festivals, some which we’ve been to and some which we hope to one day witness.
Some people travel to relax, unwind, and forget about the trials and tribulations of everyday life; some travel to expand their knowledge of the world; and others travel to make a contribution to the destination, or at least maximize the positive impact of travel while minimizing the negative impacts on local cultures, the environment, and economy. We’ve touched on the topic of responsible tourism a number of times on the show; but today we’ll talk about Environmental Educational Tourism and the impact tourism and tourism revenue has on the local people, their environment, and the regional economy, particularly in Khao Sok, Thailand, where our guests, Marius Herman and Mike Horrocks are working to turn tourism into a beneficial experience for everyone involved.
Some people are drawn to the macabre. Others make a life of it. Such fascinations cross cultures but they’re rarely the same in any given destination. There’s a long history of various religions and spiritual beliefs across Asia, along with many cultures believing in ghosts and spirits, which can lend themselves to some spooky sites that tourists sometimes seek out. On this episode we’re going to share some of the region’s scary and out-there spots you can visit. Turn on the lights as this one’s bound to give you the heebie-jeebies.
In 2020, longtime listener Kristina Tague packed up and set off for Asia with the intention to live in the region. In January 2023, she came on Ep. 163 to talk about how that decision was made, where she journeyed to, and why she settled in the city she did: Bangkok. Since being on the show, she’s traveled across Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, exploring largely by motorcycle, which she purchased in Laos. Today, Kristina returns to the show to share her adventures.
One of the best features of traveling in Asia is the broad variety of transport options that exist. From private cars, to motorbikes, planes, trains, and of course buses – Asia is one of the easiest continents to get around. Buses play an integral role in most journeys, from getting to and from an airport, sightseeing within a city, or moving between cities and provinces, buses can be one of your fastest and most affordable options. On this episode, we’ll cultivate our many, many years traveling Asia by bus, share some memorable stories, tips, and hopefully help to ensure you use buses to their fullest on your next journey to the region.
Experiencing wildlife in Asia is one of the world's great natural adventures. Few countries can compete with Indonesia for its diversity of terrain, flora, and fauna that thrive on soaring volcanoes, sandy beaches, humid jungles, and everything in between. Today we’re going to chat with travel journalist and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Mark Eveleigh, about what Indonesia has to offer those in search of wildlife and how to best approach this sort of trip.
Movies can do that magical thing of transporting us to another part of the world. As children, movies shape our opinion of a far-away destination, its people, geography, customs and food. As adults, movies often inspire us, whetting our appetite to travel somewhere or perhaps scaring us off that destination entirely. As we did several episodes earlier, discussing books about Asia that influenced our impressions of the region, on this episode we’ll chat about some noteworthy and most memorable movies about Asia or set in Asia. Get your popcorn ready!
What inspires people to pick up and move to the other side of the world? How many modern-day adventurers travel to a foreign destination with the intention to stay and try to establish a life there? This week’s guest did just that. In 2020, longtime listener Kristina Tague packed up and set off for Asia with the intention to live in the region. Today we’ll learn how that decision was made, where she journeyed to, and why she settled in the city she did.
Travel is one of life’s great eye-openers, teaching us about other cultures and many often unexpected things about ourselves. Some of us are fortunate enough to travel often as children, providing us with this insight at an early age. Other’s worry that, once a baby is on the way, that’s the end of their ability to travel often and enjoy themselves. As neither of your Talk Travel Asia co-hosts have children of their own, we’ve invited an expert to share her years on the road, traveling with children in Asia.
As we discussed in early 2022 in Episode #147: Most Memorable Hotel Experiences, Hotels can make or break a trip. Sometimes they bring you closer to a destination, sometimes they elevate your experience, sometimes they ruin it, and other times they are the destination themselves. Scott and I have been lucky enough to stay at a lot of interesting types of hotels in Asia over the years: today, we’re going to share some of those hotel experiences with you, as well as note various styles of hotels you should consider experiencing while in the region. From hostels to homestays, restored colonial mansions to tented camps, and ones over water, there’s a wide range of options for resting your head while on holiday in Asia.
Dreaming of and planning travel in the 21st century continues to evolve but there has been no greater change, perhaps, than the growth of traveler-curated content. From blogs and user reviews on popular travel websites and forums to Instagram and Youtube, travelers no longer rely entirely on travel publications or word of mouth to discover or design their next holiday. Perhaps the pinnacle of this evolution is the traveler literally making their way around the world by creating inspiring travel content to share with others and earning money in the process. Today we’ll chat with one such traveler to learn what life as a travel influencer on YouTube and Instagram is all about.
If there’s one thing that is almost always on visitors’ To-Do’ lists when traveling to Asia, it’s a visit to the spa: whether it’s a punishing Thai massage amidst the aroma of Tiger Balm or a hot stone therapy overlooking Balinese rice fields, pampering oneself should be high on the holiday agenda. While a massage is almost always less expensive here in Asia, there is such a variety of spa and massage experiences across the region that one could receive a different treatment each day and only begin to scratch the surface. Today we’ll discuss some of our most memorable and interesting spa and massage experiences in Asia.
So you want to ‘see’ Indonesia. That’s a big, broad desire. Where to start? Stretching 5,100 km, comprising 17,000 islands, this is the world’s largest archipelagic state. With 280 million people, it’s the planet’s 4th largest country and the largest Muslim-majority nation on Earth. Sweet surf, dense jungles with primates, dragons here and there, steaming volcanos, mega-cities, and 700 languages being spoken by 1,300 different ethnic groups, how do you approach this trip? Today, we’re going to do just that, with an Indonesian expert; journalist, travel writer, and explorer, Mark Eveleigh.
Nowhere is truly ‘hidden’ or ‘undiscovered’, but there are many places around the world, and Asia, that typical travelers don’t know about. After all, on your first couple of trips to a country, you want to see the ‘must see’ sites, and that keeps the vast majority of travelers following a similar path. On Ep. 116: Hidden Travel Gems in Asia, we not only shared some of our favorite spots, but restaurants and activities. On this episode we’ll dig deeper, focusing particularly on spots we enjoy but many travelers may not know about. Get ready to add a host of spots to your ‘must-see’ list.
Books can do that magical thing of transporting us to a far-away, mystical part of the world, whetting our appetite to travel somewhere, or perhaps scaring us off that destination entirely. And then there are those books that people read while traveling in a destination to bring them closer to it. On this episode we’ll share and chat about some of our favorite and most memorable travel books to get you informed and inspired.
Exploring a country by motorbike is one of the best ways to experience a new destination. Typically, however, one doesn’t think of a group of women or a solo female adventurer on a bike in a far-flung foreign land. Fortunately, we know better than to make such assumptions and we even know two women, Maeve Nolan and Andrea Vinsonneau who enjoy traveling by motorcycle as one of their personal passions. Today they will share some of their stories and their travel advice for exploring Asia by motorcycle.
The Mekong is one of the world’s great rivers. Covering a distance of nearly 5,000km from its source on the Tibetan Plateau in China to the Mekong Delta in Viet Nam, the river flows through six countries: China, Myanmar, Thailand, Lao PDR, Cambodia and Viet Nam. Its basin is home to one of the richest areas of biodiversity in the world, with more than 20,000 plant species and 850 fish species discovered to date. An estimated 80% of the nearly 65 million people living in the Lower Mekong River Basin depend on the river and its rich natural resources for their livelihoods, making sustainable development crucial for the environment and communities living in the basin.
The Silk Road was once a crossroads for the movement of people, goods, and ideas between Europe and Asia that included the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Frequent listeners of our show will have already learned a bit about Central Asia from prior episodes #136 – Central Asia with Bradley Mayhew, and #133 – Travel to Kyrgyzstan with Stephen Lioy. Today, writer Tom Masters, who was originally on Ep. 140 about The Maldives, returns to our show to share his knowledge about Turkmenistan, perhaps one of the most mysterious countries of an already semi-unknown region.
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