Trevor Ranges and Scott Coates are two intrepid characters with a love for Asia and travel. They’ve lived and worked throughout the region since the late 1990s, dabbling in everything from teaching, to writing guidebooks, voicing radio ads, to running a travel company. This podcast is a pet project to share their favorite bits of travel insight and the work of their many regional contacts with travel enthusiasts who dream of their next big trip (often from their desk at work). We hope you enjoy this podcast as much as we relish putting it together.
Ep. 185: Scott’s First Trip to Asia
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…
01/12/2023 • 30 minutes 54 seconds
Ep. 184: Wild Journey to Kashmir and Ladakh with Dave Stamboulis
Those are the opening lines of Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir, a “musical and metaphorical drive toward some irresistible far-off horizon”. The song 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.
15/11/2023 • 50 minutes 4 seconds
Ep. 183: Georgia, Armenia & Azerbaijan
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.
01/11/2023 • 42 minutes 24 seconds
Ep. 182: Travel in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
A.I. - Artificial Intelligence. It’s almost the only thing anyone is talking about in some circles. AI seems to be everywhere nowadays and creative industry workers are panicking over being replaced. 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.
15/10/2023 • 29 minutes 43 seconds
Ep. 181: Myanmar to Holland by Car with Edwin Briels
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!
01/10/2023 • 46 minutes 11 seconds
Ep. 180: Exploring Asian UNESCO World Heritage Sites
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 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.
15/09/2023 • 34 minutes 52 seconds
Ep. 179: Cycling Taiwan's East Coast with Simon Foster
Taiwan is a country? - is it..? Okay, let’s start again… Taiwan is a territory that traditionally has way less people traveling it than should do so. Sitting off the east coast of China, there are few spots hotter geopolitically that Taiwan. But what’s there? Are the people the same as those from mainland China? What’s the terrain like? Is it safe? Friendly? Food decent? Well, you can say ‘yes’ to all of those things but today we’re not only going to touch on Taiwan as a travel destination for the second time on this show, but focus on cycle its east coast. So, pour yourself a cup of Oolong tea, steam some dumplings and let’s dream of what was once known as Fermosa.
01/09/2023 • 37 minutes 9 seconds
Ep. 178: Scott & Trevor’s Excellent Travel Dreaming Adventure
Suppose I told you that you were stranded on a deserted island? What’s the first thing you think of? Mine was, which island should it be? A random one in the south Pacific or a specific one I’ve long dreamt of returning to. Suppose you found a genie bottle there? What three wishes would you ask for? To be rescued, perhaps, or use one of the wishes to keep the island your secret hideaway. We’ve all had such thoughts, I hope – as Scott and I both have. Today, we thought it would be fun to pose such questions on an episode about Travel Fantasies and Future predictions.
15/08/2023 • 32 minutes 41 seconds
Ep.177: Cambodian Artisanal Handicrafts with Pierre Andre Romano
We chat with Pierre Andre Romano about artisanal crafts in Cambodia.
01/08/2023 • 37 minutes 44 seconds
Ep. 176: Trans-Siberian Railway+
When it comes to mammoth, legendary train journeys, the Trans-Siberian Railway is up there. Coming in at 9,289 kilometers, simply put, it’s the longest railway line in the world. Starting in Moscow, it chugs east to its terminus, Vladivostok, but has another interchange where it then forks south to Mongolia and continues to Beijing, ultimately linking two of the world’s great cities. So, nearly 180 episodes in to Talk Travel Asia, we’re going to finally talk about this epic journey, what’s entailed and hopefully give you enough background to either inspire or give you the idea that this journey is not for you. All aboard - here we go!
15/07/2023 • 39 minutes 30 seconds
Ep. 175: Frisbee in Asia with Jared Cahners
According to the History Channel, the Frisbee story started in 1871 when William Frisbie opened the Frisbie Pie Company. Students from Connecticut universities were soon throwing the tin pie plate to each other, yelling “Frisbie!” as they did so. In 1958, Wham-O (the company responsible for the Hula-Hoop, Super Ball and Water Wiggle) changed its name to the Frisbee disc (with two “ee”s at the end). By aggressively marketing Frisbee-playing as a new sport, Wham-O sold over 100 million discs by 1977. In 2023, while neither frisbee golf nor Ultimate frisbee have yet to become Olympic sports, both games played with frisbees are popular across the world, including in Asia, where our guest today will shed some light on the two sports, the itinerant character of many game players, and how you can make it a part of your trip to the region.
01/07/2023 • 40 minutes 6 seconds
Ep. 174: Exploring Hoi An and Hue, Vietnam
Vietnam is a fascinating country that continues to get busier by the year as more and more travelers become intrigued and visit this country on the move. With a coastline of more than 3,000km, a varied landscape, and incredible food, it’s hot on many levels. Two destinations in the middle of the country, Hoi An and Hue are mainstays of a full Vietnam travel experience and have been famous for decades. Scott recently visited and today we’ll dive into what a trip to these neighbouring cities has to offer and what you can expect.
14/06/2023 • 30 minutes 32 seconds
Ep. 173: Lesser Known Laos with Jason Rolan Pt. 2
Part 2 of our conversation with Jason Rolan - 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.
01/06/2023 • 33 minutes 32 seconds
Ep. 172: Asian Toilet Stories
Everyone poops. There’s a book about it. Here in Siem Reap, Cambodia, there’s a blog that will direct you to the best nearby public toilet (which, incidentally is the preferred English word for a bathroom in Asia). Most people don’t plan their holidays around their trips to the toilet, but the experience is undoubtedly, and not always pleasantly, an unavoidable experience on every trip to Asia. Today, we’re going to share some of our experiences, offer a few tips to help you navigate the water closets of Asia, and hopefully give you a good laugh in the process.
15/05/2023 • 38 minutes 24 seconds
Ep. 171: Lesser Known Laos with Jason Rolan Pt. 1
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.
01/05/2023 • 33 minutes 39 seconds
Ep. 170: Interesting Asian Festivals
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.
15/04/2023 • 38 minutes 24 seconds
Ep. 169: Environmental Educational Tourism & Khao Sok
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.
01/04/2023 • 42 minutes 3 seconds
Ep. 168: Gory and Gruesome Attractions
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.
15/03/2023 • 39 minutes 48 seconds
Ep. 167: Kristina’s Exploration of SEA by Motorcycle
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.
01/03/2023 • 38 minutes 41 seconds
Ep. 166: Asian Bus 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.
15/02/2023 • 35 minutes 53 seconds
Ep. 165: Planning an Indonesia Wildlife Experience with Mark Eveleigh
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.
01/02/2023 • 37 minutes 24 seconds
Ep. 164: Interesting Movies About Asia
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!
15/01/2023 • 27 minutes 40 seconds
Ep. 163: Taking the Plunge - moving to Asia on a whim with Kristina Tague
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.
01/01/2023 • 36 minutes 2 seconds
Ep. 162: Family Travel in Asia featuring Alyson Long
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.
15/12/2022 • 44 minutes 46 seconds
Ep. 161: Exotic Accommodation 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.
01/12/2022 • 34 minutes 49 seconds
Ep. 160: Life as a Travel Content Creator with Joel Friend
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.
15/11/2022 • 36 minutes 2 seconds
Ep. 159: Unique and Unusual Asian Spa Experiences
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.
01/11/2022 • 42 minutes 46 seconds
Ep. 158: Exploring Indonesia - Kopi Dulu - with Mark Eveleigh
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.
15/10/2022 • 39 minutes 22 seconds
Ep. 157: Hidden Travel Gems in Asia 2
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.
01/10/2022 • 39 minutes 40 seconds
Ep. 156: Bhutan: Land of Happiness, Wine, and Adventure Racing with Michael Juergens
We chat with Michael Juergens about wine and adventure racing in Bhutan.
15/09/2022 • 37 minutes 41 seconds
Ep. 155: Interesting Books about Asia
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.
01/09/2022 • 34 minutes 59 seconds
Ep. 154: Female Motorcyclists in Asia
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.
15/08/2022 • 45 minutes 53 seconds
Ep. 153: Mekong River Experiences
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.
01/08/2022 • 37 minutes 32 seconds
Ep. 152: Turkmenistan with Tom Masters
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.
15/07/2022 • 35 minutes 53 seconds
Ep. 151: Airport & Layovers
Most international travel has one common element: airports. Beyond travel by train or ship, most visitors come and go by aircraft, making airport experiences inevitable. Fortunately, Asia is internationally known for having some of the best airports in the world. Today, we’ll talk about some, giving an overview of a few we know well, sharing some travel tales of our experiences in airports in Asia, and offering a few tips for layovers in some of our favorite – and least favorite – airport terminals.
01/07/2022 • 41 minutes 12 seconds
Ep. 150: Motorbiking Vietnam with Hawk Moon
There are few better ways to see a country than by motorbike. Wind in your face, sharing ‘hellos’ with people as you pass, stopping when you feel like it, and having the ability to take small trails, an iron horse is perhaps the ultimate way to travel. Today we’ll learn about motorcycling in Vietnam, from longtime rider and tour leader, Hawk Moon. Strap on your helmet and get ready for an adventurous episode.
14/06/2022 • 42 minutes 28 seconds
Ep 149: Reverse Culture Shock
We’ve collectively lived and worked in Asia for more than 40-years. After that long, one begins to wonder where ‘home’ is? Is it where you were born? Where you grew up? Where you’re living now? Or a combination of all of those? And the longer one is away from their country of birth, and continent for that matter, the stranger it can feel when you return for a visit. On this episode we’ll chat about things we’ve found odd, uncomfortable, and just plain strange about returning to the west after recent visits. Today we’re chatting about Reverse Culture Shock!
01/06/2022 • 44 minutes 20 seconds
Ep. 148: Lesser Known Thailand with Daniel Fraser
Thailand is a country that many people know. Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Phuket, Ko Samui; you’ve likely heard of all those places. Well, today we’re not going to talk about any of them. Today we’re going to speak with someone who has lived there for more than two decades. Planned trips for the rich and famous across the kingdom, and find out where some of the lesser known gems are that should be on your travel radar.
15/05/2022 • 40 minutes 31 seconds
Ep. 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 and other times they are the destination themselves. Trevor and I have been lucky enough to stay at a lot of interesting and memorable properties across Asia over the years, and today we’re going to share some of those experiences with you. From high-end to charming and local, there’s a wide range of winners here you’re sure to want to make a part of your next trip to the region.
01/05/2022 • 48 minutes 1 second
Ep 146: Free the Bears with Matt Hunt
On this episode of Talk Travel Asia Podcast, we chat with Matt Hunt about Free the Bears, an organization that rescues and protects bears with programs in Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia, where today’s guest happens to be available for a live interview with me, your co-host Trevor Ranges. I’ve been fortunate enough to visit and support the Free the Bears sanctuary here in Cambodia, where Matt will soon join us, so I’ll turn the mike over to my co-host Scott Coates, who has visited Free the Bears’ site in Luang Prabang, Laos.
15/04/2022 • 36 minutes 37 seconds
Ep. 145: High Value Half and Full Day Experiences
While we typically book our holidays based on the destination, it’s often the component experiences that really make or break a trip. Whether a half or full-day outing, day-trips within a longer trip, are the elements that make a vacation truly memorable. Still, making the most of your time can be challenging, so how do you ensure that you make your hours in-country count? Today, we’ll share some of our favorite, most rewarding, and memorable half and full-day experiences across the region that we’ve personally enjoyed to help you make the most of your time in Asia.
01/04/2022 • 45 minutes 4 seconds
Ep. 144: Lesser Know Japan with Mark Holguin
An nation of islands off Asia’s Pacific coast, Japan includes the four “Home islands” of Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu, which most travellers are familiar with, as well as nearly 7,000 more, mostly volcanic islands, that stretch over 3,000 km NE to SW. Comparatively, the area occupied by Japan is slightly smaller than the US state of California, and nearly the entire landmass is made up of the four primary islands. But, with towering mountains and almost 30,000 km of coastline, Japan is certain to harbor hundreds, if not thousands, of hidden gems that most travelers have never dreamt of. Today we’re going to discover a few of them.
15/03/2022 • 48 minutes 16 seconds
Ep. 143: Almost Asia: French Polynesia with Celeste Brash
French Polynesia comprises four archipelagos in the South Pacific, stretching for more than 2,000 km. Perhaps most famous of the islands, Tahiti conjures images of a postcard-perfect tropical paradise with coral-fringed lagoons and over-the-water bungalow hotels. But with more than 100 islands, French Polynesia is certain to harbor a few travel surprises, and our guest today will share some of her insights about how to make the most of your time and budget on a trip to this far-flung part of the world.
01/03/2022 • 40 minutes 58 seconds
Ep. 142: Favorite Beers of Asia
Longtime listeners and friends likely know that Scott and I love beer. I’ve worked on and off in the beer industry for decades and Scott has retained his amateur status in hopes of someday representing Canada when beer drinking becomes an Olympic event. Today, we’re going to talk hops and mashed malts from across the continent, to help you enjoy the best brews during your next Asian adventure on this episode: Favorite Beers of Asia.
15/02/2022 • 39 minutes 37 seconds
Ep. 141: Asia's Next Generation Hotels with Tomo Hamakawa
As we reach the beginning of 2022, the world looks forward to traveling again, but the travel experience may never be the same. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however, as we discussed in a recent episode #132 Predicting Travel Trends in Asia for 2022 and Beyond. Supporting this assertion, an June 2021 Booking.com study that polled more than 29,000 travelers across 30 countries suggests that the pandemic has been the tipping point for sustainable travel. But how are travelers to know which properties in Asia are the most sustainable and regenerative, representing the region’s next-generation hotels? That’s one of the topics we’ll be discussing with our guest, Tomo Hamakawa, on this week’s show.
04/02/2022 • 42 minutes 3 seconds
Ep. 140: Maldives with Tom Masters
The Republic of Maldives, is a collection of 1,200 small coral islands in the north-central Indian Ocean, with only 200 of them being inhabited. Famous for luxury bungalows on stilts over stunning clear water, no natural point is higher than 1.8 meters, and there’s a population of less than 600,000. The country stretches 820 km from north to south, and more than and 130 km from east to west, covering a large swath of ocean. Put on a tropical shirt and let’s discover Maldives with travel writer Tom Masters.
15/01/2022 • 32 minutes 41 seconds
Ep. 139: Elsewhere in Asia - Countries we Hope to Cover in 2022
While Talk Travel Asia has been sharing and dreaming of travel since 2013, there are still lots of countries in the region that we’ve yet to dedicate an entire episode to. As we begin 2022, we note a handful we’re curious about and hope to feature in the year ahead. Get ready to expand your travel ‘bucket list’ as we share some fun, interesting, and quirky facts about 13 countries we’d like to cover as show topics in 2022.
01/01/2022 • 41 minutes 21 seconds
Ep. 138: Exploring the Mekong River Basin with Nick Ray
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.
It’s 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. Today we’ll dive into the Mekong River and specifically its basin, where it empties into the ocean, with multiple-time TTA guest, author, and all around great guy, Nick Ray.
What began as a brainstorming exercise for new topics turned into a trip down memory lane. One of the greatest gifts of travel is the stories we carry with us for a lifetime. Just as we have recorded not 1, nor 2 or 3, but 4 episodes of Tantalizing Travel Tales, we bring you something similar: Our Best, Worst, Scariest, and Strangest Travel Experiences. In Asia of course!
01/12/2021 • 50 minutes 53 seconds
Ep. 136: Central Asia with Bradley Mayhew
Central Asia is one of those regions that few international travers 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.
15/11/2021 • 31 minutes 5 seconds
Ep. 135: Checking in with Scott & Trevor
Here we are, nearing the end of 2021 and hoping that the future soon looks brighter around the world and we can all get traveling again. It’s been a while since Trevor and Scott last met in person and with vaccines appearing to be having positive effects and countries talking about opening up again soon, we thought it was time to do a check-in with one another. On this episode we’ll gauge what’s on our travel radar, places we’d love to travel together and give updates on what regional travel for us looks like in the coming months. This is Checking in with Scott & Trevor.
01/11/2021 • 23 minutes 8 seconds
Ep. 134: Discovering Singapore with Ria de Jong
“Singapore may look small, and geographically speaking it is, but this tiny island city-state is jam packed with a myriad of things to do, see, buy and devour. The sleek and efficient public transport system makes zipping around a breeze, allowing you more time to dip your toes into this melting pot of cultures, religions, food and architecture.” That’s an excerpt from an article by today’s guest, Ria de Jong, about the Lion City, otherwise known as Singapore, the smallest and southernmost country on mainland Asia, which we’ll talk about on this episode of Talk Travel Asia.
15/10/2021 • 40 minutes 29 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 133: Kyrgyzstan with Stephen Lioy
The subject of many novels and movies, Central Asia sits at the crossroads of legendary rivalries and is crossed by the fabled Silk Road. The region is massive, covering more than 4-million-square-km and includes five countries that were formerly a part of the Soviet Union, including Kyrgyzstan, the focus of this episode. Both Kyrgyzstan and it’s neighboring countries have diverse cultures and rich histories but are largely unknown to western travelers. On this episode, we’ll chat with travel writer and photographer Stephen Lioy about his life in the region, particularly Kyrgyzstan, where he lives, to get some inside tips for visiting one of the world’s most remote travel locales.
01/10/2021 • 42 minutes 3 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 132: Predicting Travel Trends in Asia for 2022 and Beyond
We don’t have a crystal ball, nor do you. But with mass vaccination taking root, we’re hoping the future soon looks brighter and borders will open again to travel in the not too distant future. So with that, on this episode we’ll share some things we hope happen when travel kicks-off again, cross our fingers that certain trends are left in the past and imagine travel anew. With that said, all items discussed might not materialize, then again some of them may. So join us as we look to that light beginning to emerge at the end of the tunnel and begin imagining the travel that is hopefully to come.
15/09/2021 • 24 minutes 11 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 131: The Future of Train Travel in Asia with James Clark
Few modes of travel hold as much allure, intrigue, and romance as going from here to there by train. Riding the rails has been a mainstay for roughly two centuries, and as lines were built, formerly inaccessible areas of the world were open to anyone who could afford a ticket. Nowadays, high-speed rail projects are making traveling by train faster than by airplane on some short to medium-haul voyages, with more and more countries updating their systems. On this episode we’ll chat with James Clark, about recent and upcoming rail projects in Asia and those in the works to help you plan your next trip.
01/09/2021 • 45 minutes 18 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 130: Planning Surfing & Biking Trips Like a Pro
Making the most of holiday time should be a prime objective of any trip. After all, we can make more money, but not time. Ensuring that every minute of a trip is as of high value as possible, tuned-in, and ready to go, can positively impact the experience. But the importance of good arrangements and planning increases exponentially when building an activity-based trip. Equipment needs to be ready and working well, support needs to be considered, accommodations often need to be dialed-in ahead of time, and lots of other factors need to be considered. On this episode, as long-time travel professionals and travelers, Trevor and Scott will share some planning and execution tips they’ve employed while arranging successful surfing and cycling trips, to help you get the most out of your next active holiday.
14/08/2021 • 48 minutes 9 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 129: Thai Islands with David Luekens
Among the many things Thailand is famous for, one is its beaches and islands. World famous amongst travellers are the islands of Phuket and Ko Samui, while Ko Pha Ngan is famous with backpackers and Ko Tao for scuba divers. But with two major coasts featuring over 3,000 km of coastline and dozens of smaller islands, many of which have accommodation of some sort, Thailand has island and beach destinations for nearly every type of traveller. On this episode we’ll chat with David Luekens, a travel writer specializing in Thai islands, who will share some tips to help you plan your next fun in the sun holiday in coastal Thailand.
31/07/2021 • 42 minutes 39 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 128: This is Thailand with Greg & Ed of The Bangkok Podcast
Language screw-ups, weird taxi driver stories, and warning signs we wish we could tell our younger selves are a few of the topics we’ll discuss on this special cross-over episode between Talk Travel Asia and Bangkok Podcast. Scott and I have each spent the majority of the past 20 years living in Bangkok, as have our guests, Greg and Ed, whom we’ve known nearly as long as we’ve been living in Asia. Over the past two decades, the City of Angels has changed nearly as much as the four of us have, and, while three of the four of us are still experiencing it as a home, there’s an old expression that continues to summarize this expat life: the good, the bad, and the things that can only be explained by saying, TIT, “This is Thailand.”
15/07/2021 • 57 minutes 4 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 127: Share the Wonder with Ameer Virani
Travel creates opportunities to try new things, learn about the world, meet inspiring people, be active and disconnect from daily life. Our guest today will discuss how he’s making it possible for underprivileged young people to gain these experiences and their benefits in order to help transform their lives.
Over the years, Talk Travel Asia has regularly explored the topic of Responsible Travel and how to have a positive impact while exploring Asia. Previously, we’ve tackled topics including Overtourism and the preservation of the places we visit in order to enjoy them in the future, and we often feature organizations that offer great tourism experiences, including Andaman Discoveries, and the Living Irrawaddy Project. Today we’ll chat with Ameer Virani, Group Sustainability Coordinator at Asian Trails, who will tell us about Share the Wonder and discuss how tourism can continue to make a positive impact even in tough times.
01/07/2021 • 35 minutes 40 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 126: Expat Life - Living and Working in Asia
Over the years, Scott and I have drawn comparisons between living in Asia and what it must be like living in Europe. Both are made of a number of relatively geographically smaller countries that share some similarities but are otherwise very different in terms of language, food, and cultural customs, to name a few. While we often make this comparison in regards to travel, as it's very easy, especially from Bangkok, which is geographically central to Southeast Asia, to travel to one of a half dozen different countries on a flight of no more than one hour, we’ve never discussed the differences between living in some of these countries. On this episode we’ll do just that, talk about expat life and how the experience differs between some of the countries we’ve personally lived.
15/06/2021 • 1 hour 9 minutes 35 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 125: Discover Isan - Travel Tips for Northeastern Thailand with Tim Bewer
Regularly overlooked by visitors, the Northeastern region of Thailand colloquially known as Isan, is comprised of 20 provinces, making it Thailand’s largest region. Those who discover it experience an area of immense beauty and fascinating culture. Inhabited by a mostly ethnically Lao population, Isan is where many famous Thai foods originated. The region is largely flat, borders Laos to the north, Cambodia to the south, with the Mekong River constituting a large section of its international border. With long distances between major centers and many more famous destinations within Thailand to compete with, Isan is largely left out of western guidebooks, generally overlooked by visitors, and genuinely deserves more attention. Our guest, longtime Lonely Planet writer Tim Bewer, lives in one of Isan’s major cities Khon Kaen, and will share his travel tips for this underappreciated region.
01/06/2021 • 36 minutes 6 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 124: Animal Tales
Traveling in Asia is exotic and the animals you’ll encounter certainly can be different from those in your home country. From elephants to street dogs, you’re bound to have at least a couple ‘interesting’ animal encounters on a voyage through Asia. After living in the region collectively for more than four decades, we’ve had some fun, at times unnerving, and unique animal experiences which we’ll share with you today.
15/05/2021 • 43 minutes 57 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 123: Think Pink Tuk Tuks with Mary Storrie
Over the years, Talk Travel Asia has regularly explored the topic of Responsible Travel and how to have a positive impact while exploring. After all, we need to preserve the places we visit in order to be able to enjoy them in the future, and treat local communities with respect along the way. We’ve looked at the work of Andaman Discoveries, discussed Overtourism, learned about the Living Irrawaddy Project, chatted with the good people at Friends International, and many more. Today we’ll chat with Mary Storrie who has started a charity which empowers Sri Lankan women to drive tuk tuks, earning much needed funds and slowly changing cultural gender norms.
01/05/2021 • 27 minutes 44 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 122: Monkey Tales
Visiting areas of Asia with monkeys can be very exciting. As monkeys are such intriguing creatures, people often consider them to appear friendly, especially if they’re not scared of humans. These monkeys usually expect people to give them food, whether the humans want to or not and they can be very cheeky if not dangerous in certain circumstances.
Once you spend a reasonable amount of time in Asia where monkeys are found in so many places, you’re very likely to begin amassing some stories of encounters with them. And more often than not, it seems that such encounters with monkeys are not entirely positive interactions. Scott and I realized we have some pretty neat stories of monkeys (and apes) and on this episode of Talk Travel Asia will be sharing our Monkey Tales with you!
15/04/2021 • 38 minutes 57 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 121: Laos with Nick Ray
On this episode of Talk Travel Asia podcast, we get Laos travel tips from legendary travel guidebook writer Nick Ray, who has written about traveling to Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar for Lonely Planet travel guidebooks. Laos, a landlocked country sandwiched between Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and China, is a bit unknown, sleepy, and largely undiscovered by travelers. Many know of the former royal capital Luang Prabang and some have heard of the capital Vientiane, but beyond that, it’s largely a mystery to most travellers. But that can be good news for visitors, as outside of those spots, it’s mostly void of tourists, teeming with welcoming locals, and largely off the traditional travel grid. On this episode we welcome back writer Nick Ray for his third appearance on the show to share the magic about travel Laos, including his work crafting the 10th edition of the Lonely Planet Laos travel guidebook, which came out in June 2020.
01/04/2021 • 40 minutes 59 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 120: Tantalizing Travel Tales 4
Although we love to share travel tips and advice about travel around Asia with expert guests, there’s nothing like sharing travel stories. As Scott and Trevor have been living in Asia for 41 years, they’re well-worn, traveled, and traversed expats with quite a few travel tales. But despite spending so much of their lives in Asia, Trevor and Scott are still amazed by how often there’s something wild just around the corner on a weekly, if not sometimes daily basis. Life continues to amaze and these experiences make for good stories. In this episode of Talk Travel Asia Podcast, Scott and Trevor share some wild stories about life living and traveling Asia in the fourth part of our Tantalizing Travel Tales series. Get a comfy seat, pour yourself a drink, and get ready to be transported throughout Asia.
15/03/2021 • 44 minutes 26 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 119: Taiwan 101 with Joshua Samuel Brown
Sitting just off the east coast of mainland China lies an island with a storied history. Formerly known as Formosa, and officially known as the Republic of China, Taiwan is a territory/country mired in controversy, but full of natural beauty and an attractive destination for those who love traveling Asia. Home to nearly 24-million people, Taiwan is one of the world’s most developed countries and yet the eastern two-thirds of it is highly mountainous. Strangely, this destination is not on many people’s travel radar. Today we’re going to get schooled on why Taiwan is an ideal travel destination from author and travel writer, Joshua Samuel Brown, about everything Taiwan has to offer.
01/03/2021 • 43 minutes 54 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 118: Traveling in 2021 - The Year Ahead
Well, 2020 sure wasn’t a great year for international travel and 2021 looks like it likely won’t be much better. We’ve generally avoided talking about COVID on Talk Travel Asia, but we’re not going to let it stop us entirely from traveling, and aim to look at the bright side of things as much as possible. On this episode we’ll share where we hope to visit regionally if international travel doesn’t open up and a few spots outside of the countries we’re currently living in should borders open this year. Chin up, sunglasses on, let’s dream and plan travel we’re likely to pull off this year!
14/02/2021 • 30 minutes 29 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 117: Circumnavigating Mount Kailash, Tibet with Joe Cummings
Mount Kailash, located in western Tibet, is considered to be sacred by Hindus, Bons, Buddhists, and Jains. It towers at 6,638m, and for Buddhists, represents Mount Meru, is central to its cosmology, and a major pilgrimage site for worshippers. One of those traditions involves trekking around its base, clockwise for Buddhists and Hindus, along its 52km path, seeking good luck and 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.
01/02/2021 • 41 minutes 15 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 116: Hidden Gems in Asia
Here on Talk Travel Asia, we explore a ton of locations but we also discuss many things to do when you visit them. They are often off-the-beaten-track, sometimes well known, once in a while well-trodden, but almost always worth a look and certainly a conversation. But then there are the many other places that are sometimes discovered by accident, perhaps on a fourth visit, or because a friend in-the-know put you on to it. These hidden gems are often the ones you enjoy and remember the most. While risking putting some of our favorite hidden gems on travelers’ radar, we’re willing to take the risk.
15/01/2021 • 39 minutes 12 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 115: Traveling Asia by Tuk Tuk with Julian Carnall
Few modes of transport are as exotic, effective, fun and well known as the Asian tuk-tuk. They go by other names such as auto rickshaw in India or ramork in Cambodia, but they all have the same purpose: to move people quickly and cheaply, with a wee bit of style thrown in. On this episode we talk about the role tuk-tuks play in local life, travelers’ journeys and as a holiday experience in themselves, which our guest, Julian Carnall, has experience doing.
01/01/2021 • 36 minutes 30 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 114: Favorite Beaches in SE Asia
Welcome travel lovers. On this episode of Talk Travel Asia podcast we’re getting seriously tropical with Favorite Beaches in SE Asia. We’ve done other episodes about beaches, including Episode 11 - Asia’s Somewhat Secret Beaches, but this time we’re going to touch on some of our favorites we’ve been to in the region. Many listeners in the west are going into winter and no doubt getting cabin fever so we thought this would provide a nice tropical escape.
Scott and Trevor chat about how they selected ‘best beaches’, talking about their experience exploring beaches in the island and what they do and don’t like in a beach. Having spent many years as a travel writer, particularly beaches and islands, Trevor understands that different people are looking for a different thing in a beach. Consequently, what he considers “the best beach” isn’t necessarily the best beach for everyone, not even Scott it turns out!
14/12/2020 • 33 minutes 45 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep 113: Mountain Biking in Asia with Brice Minnigh
On this episode of Talk Travel Asia, we’re going way off the beaten path. We chat with former Bike Magazine Editor in Chief, journalist, explorer, and all around adventurer Brice Minnigh, about his mountain biking expeditions in Asia, including a recent film he made, The Kora, where he and some friends spent 10-days circumnavigating Himalayan peaks in Sichuan province, China. So put on your biking kit, strap on your helmet and headphones, and get ready for an exciting ride ahead!
30/11/2020 • 40 minutes 31 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 112: Travel Hacks
Helping you travel more smoothly and happily is what this episode of Talk Travel Asia podcast is all about. Recently we did an episode called 'Don’t do That!' to help travelers to Asia stay out of trouble while traveling the region. This episode is its companion, and we’re going to put a more positive spin on a similar topic by offering you some of our best Travel Hacks. So get ready for some winning tips which will make your journey even more enjoyable and incredible.
14/11/2020 • 49 minutes 42 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 111: Very Bangkok with Phillip Cornwel Smith
Bangkok is one of the world’s most visited cities. Its sites are some of the most featured on Instagram, and almost everyone will come up with some mental pictures of the city, good and bad, the moment they hear the name. Founded in 1782 when the Chakri Dynasty established Bangkok as Thailand’s capital, it’s a vibrant, dynamic city that dazzles the senses at every turn. Some love it, others hate it, and all with good reason. Today we’ll explore the City of Angels well beyond the surface with longtime resident and author Philip Cornwel Smith, who will share insights from his book Very Bangkok.
01/11/2020 • 40 minutes 40 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 110: Creating a Great Hotel Experience with Jason Friedman
If you travel, you almost always end up spending a reasonable amount of time in a hotel or lodging of some sort. Your room and property typically plays a key role in your experience, especially if it’s a special trip or one to a new part of the world you’ve been dreaming of for a long time. You’ve likely had a hotel experience that you still remember due to a few special touches and you’d go back in a flash if you were there again. And you’ve likely also stayed somewhere that was a bust and tainted your overall memories of a destination. On this episode we’ll go beyond the throw pillows and welcome drink to think about what makes a great hotel experience, with Jason Friedman, a longtime luxury hotelier specializing in Asia.
15/10/2020 • 38 minutes 59 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 109: Expedition to Preah Khan Kampong Svay, Cambodia
Scott and Trevor recount their adventure to the remote temple of Preah Khan Kompong Svay in Central Cambodia, which they visited in September 2018 by motorcycle. Remote, out-there, far-flung. All these words perfectly describe this temple complex. While located just 100 km east of Angkor Wat, it’s a lot further away from civilization than that. Located in Preah Vihear province, it is the largest single religious complex ever built during the Angkor Era. Constructed during the 11th century, it’s about 5km square, with what initially would have been a massive moat around it. We talked about going for years and finally made the journey in September 2018. We share how it all went down!
01/10/2020 • 30 minutes 44 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 108: Train Travel In Asia With The Man In Seat 61
On this episode of Talk Travel Asia podcast we explore traveling by train in Asia. Train travel is one of the most in-touch and connected ways to travel. Many a novel has been written around such journeys and the romance therein. With the advent of air travel and the cost of doing so dropping, train travel has become not as economical as it once was. At the same time, many countries are upgrading their rail systems, and others still rely on decrepit ones, which can be part of the appeal and charm. On this episode we’ll chat with train travel expert, Mark Smith, also known as The Man in Seat 61, who maintains the world’s top website for train travel information.
15/09/2020 • 31 minutes 43 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 107: Don't Do That!
On this episode of Talk Travel Asia Podcast we talk about things to avoid doing while traveling in Asia. When you travel, you want to fit in, have things go smoothly, have fun and not get into trouble. While 99% of the people you will meet on your trip want to help you and most of your ideas are probably good and well-intentioned, there are some things and people you should avoid to ensure a smooth trip. On this episode we’ll talk about a variety of things we think you should keep in mind and avoid doing to have the best journey possible.
01/09/2020 • 41 minutes 39 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 106: Mountain Biking in Bhutan with Darren Berrecloth
Not long ago mountain biking was simply a minority offshoot of cycling, a sport only a few pursued on mostly quiet, cross-country trails. But over the last two decades it’s gone mainstream and now has many disciplines of its own. And as the sport has grown more popular, it’s also gotten more extreme for some, particularly our guest, Darren Berrecloth. A freerider, he’s ridden all over the world, and in 2019 filmed a mountain biking movie, Chasing the Yeti, in Bhutan. He’ll share that experience with us on this episode.
15/08/2020 • 34 minutes 28 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 105: Dream Travel Destinations 3
Wondering where we would travel in Asia if we had free time to explore? On this episode of Talk Travel Asia podcast we talk about our Dream Travel Destinations - Volume 3! The world is a big place, but air travel, open borders, and easier visa requirements have made it easier for travelers, in effect making the world a much smaller place. Back in December 2014 we shared some of the places in Asia we’d like to visit on ‘Dream Travel Destinations 1’ and then in June 2016 we followed up with ‘Dream Travel Destinations 2’. Well, we, just like you, are still dreaming of travel and the next spots we want to hit. So you guessed it, on this episode we’re going to share some spots we’re hoping to make it to soon.
01/08/2020 • 29 minutes 46 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 104: Food Tours in Asia with Brian Bergey and Leanna Payne
On this episode of Talk Travel Asia Podcast we talk about Food Tours in Asia, specifically Food Tours in China and Cambodia. Food is one of the top reasons that people travel. Some people travel specifically to eat the cuisine of a particular destination, while others are just eager to try a new type of food while exploring an exotic land. We chat with Brian Bergey and Leanna Payne from Lost Plate Food Tours, about designing food tours and the different types of cuisine available in the destinations they serve.
15/07/2020 • 36 minutes 21 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 103: 3 Nights In Siem Reap
On this episode of Talk Travel Asia Podcast, Scott and Trevor discuss how best to spend Three Nights in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Siem Reap is home to one of the world’s truly most magnificent sites, the temples of the Angkor era. Not just one temple, rather hundreds, you must see and experience them if you’re a true traveler of Asia. But in addition to the temples, the surrounding landscape is beautiful, the largest freshwater lake in SE Asia, the Tonle Sap is on its edge, there’s great hiking, mountain biking, fantastic hotels in all budgets, and an array of restaurants. So today we’re going to dive in and share how we like to spend 3 Nights in Siem Reap.
01/07/2020 • 46 minutes 35 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 102: Kolkata, India with Tom Vater
Located on the east bank of the Hooghly River and featuring India's oldest operating port, Kolkata lies approximately 80 kilometres west of the Bangladeshi border. Nicknamed the 'City of Joy', Kolkata is the principal commercial, cultural, and educational centre of East India and is considered the "cultural capital" of India. As six Nobel Laureates have been associated with the city it is no surprise that our guest today finds it a great place to inspire his writing.
14/06/2020 • 48 minutes 7 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 101: Traveling Afghanistan with Ric Gazarian
Talk Travel Asia podcast Season Three begins with guest Ric Gazarian and his quest to visit every country on Earth. On this episode we talk about travel to Afghanistan, a new destination for the podcast! Few nations in the modern era have as tortued a history as Afghanistan’s. It’s been in conflict for most of the last century and is still firmly unstable. Hippy caravan travelers passed through the country in the 1970s while making their way from Europe to Kathmandu, but today it’s pretty much off the travel radar. But not for our guest who will share tales of his recent visit.
01/06/2020 • 36 minutes 2 seconds
Talk Travel Asia: Season 3 - Coming Soon!
Get ready for Season 3, starting June 1, 2020!
15/05/2020 • 8 minutes 49 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 100: 100 Things We Love About Asia
Wow - 100 episodes! When we started this podcast, with our first episode on June 11, 2014, we didn’t envision hitting 100 episodes nearly 5 years later. Asia’s been home to us for 37-collective years, we’ve had a ton of incredible experiences, from jobs to travel and even marriage. Join us as we celebrate hitting the big 1-0-0 by sharing 100 Things We Love About Asia.
15/05/2019 • 59 minutes 12 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 98: Southeast Asia's Wild Side with Patrick Winn
Many countries in SE Asia have a sordid and fabled reputation. From movies about mercenaries trying to free POWs in the jungles of Vietnam to novels of colonialism and forbidden love, the region has served as a backdrop for more than a few of the world’s great tales and legends. Some true, others not so much. On this episode we’ll chat with American journalist, radio broadcaster, and documentarian, Patrick Winn about his life covering truly wild sides of life in one of the world’s most colorful corners.
01/05/2019 • 37 minutes 44 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 99: Traveling Xinjiang, China with Josh Summers
China has the world’s largest population, is the fourth largest in terms of physical size, and as a result has an incredibly wide variety of environments to explore. On this episode of Talk Travel Asia podcast we’ll dive into traveling China, a country we haven’t covered very much on our podcast, focusing on the northwestern region of Xinjiang. An American living in the region, who has written a travel book and hosts a YouTube show about the area’s exotic offering, will give us a unique insider’s perspective and hopefully pique your interest about this relatively unexplored corner of the People’s Republic of China.
01/04/2019 • 33 minutes 17 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 97: Travel Photography with Justin Mott
Almost everyone takes photos when they travel - especially to Asian countries, which tend to be very colorful, vibrant, exotic and smiling faces abound. With most people now having a high-quality camera in their pocket, photo-sharing sites like Instagram being popular, and social media everywhere, it seems everyone’s a photographer. On this episode of Talk Travel Asia we’ll chat with professional photographer Justin Mott about his work, some practical shooting tips and more. Dust-off your lens and get ready for a fun and inspiring episode!
15/03/2019 • 38 minutes 37 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 96: Active in Asia - Staying in Shape while on Holiday
Staying fit is not only good for your health, but a great way to enjoy holiday time. When we travel, we often find ourselves looking for a way to keep active and also see things in a different way. On this episode we’ll chat about the active pursuits we enjoy while traveling and share some of our favorites to help you work up a sweat while exploring and having fun on your next visit to Asia!
01/03/2019 • 31 minutes 25 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 95: Cambodia's Evolving Hotel Scene with Alexis de Suremain
Hotels can sometimes make or break a holiday. Luckily SE Asia has properties for every style and budget. From backpacker haunts to ultra-LUX palaces, SE Asia’s hotel scene is one of the world’s most dynamic and affordable. The hotel scene here has changed a ton during our two decades living and working in the region, and we think, for the better. On this episode we’ll chat with Cambodia-based hotelier Alexis de Suremain about the industry, how it’s evolved and some of the unique properties he runs.
15/02/2019 • 32 minutes 20 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 94: Bangkok's Changing Face
Bangkok is consistently rated one of the world’s most popular cities for travelers and has long been a mainstay on the SE Asian travel circuit. Vibrant traditional old communities bump up against gleaming new skyscrapers, the street-food dazzles, Michelin-starred restaurants abound, and the infamous Red Bull tank-tops are for sale street-side. Bangkok’s got a lot to experience and then some. On this episode of Talk Travel Asia we’ll chat about how the City of Angels has changed over our nearly 20 years living here, sometimes for the better and others for the worse.
01/02/2019 • 42 minutes 58 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep.93: Living Irrawaddy Dolphin Project with Paul Eshoo
On this episode of Talk Travel Asia Podcast, we chat with Paul Eshoo about the exotic Irrawaddy Dolphins: which live in rivers across Southeast Asia, including Myanmar, where today’s guest works with the Living Irrawaddy Dolphin Project.
15/01/2019 • 24 minutes 30 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 92: Traveling in 2019 and the Year Ahead
Wrapping up 2018, Scott and Trevor look back at travel trends in Asia, their favorite episodes of Talk Travel Asia from 2018, and some of the trips they took across the region. Then they look forward to 2019, discuss episodes they would like to air in the coming year and make some New Year's travel resolutions.
01/01/2019 • 33 minutes
Talk Travel Asia Episode 91: Rock Climbing in Asia with Jojo Yee
This week's episode of Talk Travel Asia podcast is about Rock Climbing in Asia with Jojo Yee. Sometimes when we go on holiday we like to participate in an activity we enjoy doing at home. Sometimes that’s even the entire point of traveling to a certain place such as a liveaboard scuba trip in the Philippines or a skiing trip to Japan. We’ve done a few episodes on sports-travel in Asia over the years: kayaking along the west coast of Thailand, hiking and mountain biking in Hong Kong, trekking and mountain climbing in the Himalayas, and even skiing in Iran. Today we’re going to talk about rock climbing: an activity that’s quite popular here in Asia, both as something to try out when you’re on holiday as well as an activity that can be a destination in itself.
02/12/2018 • 32 minutes 33 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 90: Tips and Tricks for Shopping in Asia
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.
16/11/2018 • 36 minutes 16 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 89: Bagan, Mandalay & Inle Lake, Myanmar
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.
01/11/2018 • 30 minutes 27 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep.88: Favorite Watering Holes II
Hot places go cold, new joints open up, but there's always somewhere to drink in Asia. On 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!
01/10/2018 • 26 minutes 9 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 87: Exploring Unexplored Asia with Stuart McDonald of Travelfish.org
We chat with Stuart McDonald, founder of online Asian travel website Travelfish.org, about exploring the unexplored. As a tourist destination, Asia’s getting busier by the day. More and more people have money to travel, visa restrictions are disappearing and traveling by plane is more affordable than ever. Once tranquil sites like Angkor Wat, Kyoto and others are today packed with tourists. But the good news is there are still tons of wonderful places to visit that are void of crowds. On this episode we’ll chat with Stuart McDonald, founder of online Asian travel website Travelfish.org, about why so many unexplored places remain unexplored?
15/09/2018 • 39 minutes 57 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 86: Asia's Best Meals
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!
02/09/2018 • 28 minutes 50 seconds
Ep.85 - 4,000 Islands & Vat Phou, Laos
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.
15/08/2018 • 30 minutes 40 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 84: Foreigner Faux Pas and Cultural Clumsiness with Ed Knuth
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.
Welcome to a special edition of Talk Travel Asia, Foreigner Faux Pas and Cultural Clumsiness in Asia. I'm Trevor Ranges and this is one of two episodes that TTA is doing as a crossover series with the hosts of Bangkok Podcast. My guest host today, I've known for as long as I have been living in Asia, having been neighbors when I first moved to Bangkok and then housemates for several years, and therefore both have experienced our share of foreigner faux pas, Ed Knuth.
15/07/2018 • 49 minutes 10 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 83 - Traveling Responsibly in Asia with Shannon Stowell
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.
15/06/2018 • 30 minutes 44 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 82: Cambodia Beaches And Islands
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.
Despite having many islands off the SW corner of the country, resorts have been few, access limited and integrating it in to an overall holiday a bit tough. But that’s all changing and Cambodia’s beach scene will be an entirely different world in another decade. For those wanting an unspoilt beach experience, you better get there soon. On this episode we’ll explore Cambodia’s emerging beach scene, where to go and how to get there.
02/06/2018 • 33 minutes 29 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 81: Tented Camps In Asia
This Talk Travel Asia podcast features two experts on Tented Camps, a unique accommodation option for getting up close and personal with the great outdoors while traveling in Asia.
Where one stays while traveling can make or break a trip. Sometimes a shared dorm room does the trick, while other times it’s a suite with private plunge-pool. As more travelers hit the road and gain experience, they often want to push the travel-envelope further. And with that comes more innovative lodging experiences. Tented camps have been a mainstay on safaris in Africa for decades but they’re pretty new to the Asia travel scene. Over the last decade there has been an increase in tented camps throughout the region and we’ll dive into the trend with two experts who have recently opened a tented camp in Cambodia.
15/05/2018 • 30 minutes 26 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 80: Almost Asia! Hawaii for First Time Visitors
“Hawaii, or “Huv-ai-ee”, lies in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and while we 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. 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.”
01/05/2018 • 53 minutes 23 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep.79: Reusable Water Bottles - Refill Not Landfill
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.
01/04/2018 • 36 minutes 7 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 78: Favorite Asian Adventures
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.
15/03/2018 • 33 minutes 16 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 77: Over tourism with Chris Bottrill
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.
01/03/2018 • 34 minutes 32 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep.76: Traveling Light & Responsible
Travel, 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.
16/02/2018 • 31 minutes 13 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 75: Vegetarian Vietnamese With Cameron Stauch
After Thai, Japanese, and Chinese food, Vietnamese cuisine may be the best known Asian food to people around the world. Staples such as pho, fresh spring rolls, and bahn mi sandwiches are particularly well known, but Vietnamese food is notable for its incredible diversity. On this episode we’re going to dive back into the cuisine of Vietnam with another expert, cookbook author Cameron Stauch, this time focusing on vegetarian dishes.
01/02/2018 • 31 minutes 15 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 74: Three Nights in Luang Prabang, Laos
Laos is one of Southeast Asia’s sleepiest countries. Home to 6.5-million people and landlocked, it’s a place of mystery for many travelers and unknown to much of the world. Once a French colony, also ruled by a royal family, then taken over by communist forces in 1975, it’s one of the region’s most friendly and unique destinations. Its number-one tourist destination by far is Luang Prabang, a charming town of 56,000, situated on the banks of the Nam Khan and Mekong Rivers. A former royal capital, its been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1995 and exudes laid-back cool. On this episode we’ll share our impressions and favorite things to do over a three-night visit.
15/01/2018 • 39 minutes 45 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 73: 2018 New Year’s Travel Resolutions
Happy New Year! It’s 2018: time to start dreaming of new things in travel. On this episode of Talk Travel Asia podcast we’re going to look back at 2017, reflecting on the places we traveled to—what we liked, what could have been better—then focus on 2018. We’ll discuss top destinations we hope to visit, travel people we want to meet, episodes we hope to produce, things we want to learn, and a few other travel nuggets here and there. Join us on this first episode of Talk Travel Asia for 2018 and get dreaming of your next trip in the region.
01/01/2018 • 32 minutes 31 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 72: Northern Myanmar with Nick Ray
Myanmar is one of SE Asia’s most fascinating and least-explored countries. Sealed off from the outside world for almost 50 years, it finally opened-up in 2011, and with it, tourism arrivals grew substantially. Things have tailed-off a bit over the last couple years, but Myanmar is still an up-and-coming, ‘must-see’ and experience destination if you are to truly know SE Asia. Infact, it’s one of SE Asia’s most diverse countries and covers a staggering number of regions. From stunning islands and beaches in the Andaman Sea in the far south, to the ancient temples at Bagan in the desert-like plains, and the 5,881m-high Hkakabo Razi peak in the country’s far north in the Himalayas - Myanmar truly has it all and then some. We chat with longtime Lonely Planet writer Nick Ray about his experience authoring parts of the 2017 Lonely Planet Myanmar book.
01/12/2017 • 43 minutes 39 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 71: Famous Thai Film Locations with Chris Lowenstein
Over the last few decades, with many Southeast Asian nations traditionally being unstable or run by overly sensitive and restrictive governments, Thailand became the ‘go-to’ location to film movies when the script required. Whether the movie was supposed to take place in Thailand or Vietnam or Myanmar, the Land of Smiles often doubled as neighbouring countries. As a result, today Thailand has a robust, high-quality filming industry for commercials, TV shows, and feature length films. Today we’ll talk with a veteran of the industry, American Chris Lowenstein about his experience shooting in the region.
01/11/2017 • 40 minutes 56 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep.70: Impressions of Yangon, Myanmar
Yangon, formerly Rangoon, the capital of Myanmar, formerly Burma, is an exotic sounding name. In the early 1900s, it was one of the most developed and sophisticated cities in Southeast Asia. The elite sent their children there for school, commerce was booming, British, Indians, Burmese, and people from around the world mixed and mingled. And then things changed. In 1948 Burma got independence from the British. Then in 1962 the military took power for almost 50 years, finally loosening their grip in 2011.
15/10/2017 • 32 minutes 52 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 69: Skiing in Iran with John Fiddler & Kathleen Egan
The lifts are old, the mountains cold, but the hospitality and Instagram-worthy moments are off the charts. Iran is likely one of the last places on Earth most people think of taking a holiday, especially a skiing holiday. When Bush Jr. was president it became known as part of the Axis of Evil, and nowadays people are taught through TV news that Iran is a growing threat to stability in the middle east. But those who have met people from Iran realize the country is largely misunderstood and today we have two guests on the show, Americans John Fiddler and Kathleen Egan, who tell us exactly how misunderstood most of us are, based on their experience traveling and skiing in Iran.
01/10/2017 • 36 minutes 33 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 68: Wild & Wacky Asian Experiences
Culture shock is certainly something that occurs when traveling abroad. Here in Asia there are many curious customs and holidays that are so different what we experience at home. On this episode we talk about some wild and wacky experiences and attractions in Asia, some of which we have experienced and some of which we have not...yet.
16/09/2017 • 39 minutes 12 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep.67: Craft Beer in Vietnam with John Pemberton
A wide variety of beer styles on offer has been common in Europe and North America for decades. In the case of Europe - centuries. About 30 years ago in America and Canada, ‘craft’ beer as it’s now come to be known, began to take off. Slowly at first, then about ten-years-ago things really exploded. There’s a style, catchy name, and funky label for just about every taste. Asia’s been a bit slow to follow, but things are starting to pick up. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam is perhaps at the forefront of craft brewing in Asia, with brewers there turning out some delicious varieties. Today we’ll chat with a local brewer about the scene, what his team are up to and why you should visit Ho Chi Minh City if you love craft beer.
01/09/2017 • 36 minutes 17 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 65: SCUBA Diving in Southeast Asia with Chris Mitchell
Southeast Asia is one of the world’s best regions for SCUBA diving. From wreck diving to focusing on spotting creatures like the whale shark, Southeast Asia has you covered. Whether you’re looking to get certified as a diver or take advanced courses, the region’s warm waters, abundant corals, and of course cultures and things to see above the surface make this an incredible area to choose for diving. Today we’ll talk with a diving enthusiast about his experience in the region under the water.
15/08/2017 • 48 minutes 31 seconds
Talk Tavel Asia Episode 66: Animal Tourism in Asia
This is not a podcast about attractions and activities your dog or cat could enjoy while you are on vacation in Asia (though that would be fun!) This episode of Talk Travel Asia podcast 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. Want to ride elephants in Thailand or go to a "zoo" where they legitimately care for the animals? Have a listen to this episode and find out!
01/08/2017 • 35 minutes
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 64: Packing - Tips
Packing for a trip can be tough. We decided to crowdsource, asking our friends and fans on Facebook to help us brainstorm a topic, 'Packing Tips'. Packing is always a bit tricky: you never know exactly what the weather will be like, there are always items you’re never quite sure you’ll need, and it seems that no matter what, you’ll always either bring too much of something or not enough of another.
15/07/2017 • 34 minutes 47 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 63: Joe Cummings on The Hunt and Sacred Tattoos of Thailand
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.
01/07/2017 • 37 minutes 11 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 62: Interesting Asian Holidays
On episode 62 of Talk Travel Asia podcast: Interesting Asian Holidays, Trevor and Scott discuss some of the more interesting holidays and festivals they have experienced while living and traveling in Asia and talk about some of the other interesting Asian holidays and festivals that they are still interested in experiencing.
13/06/2017 • 29 minutes 56 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 61: Riding Vespas in Southeast Asia with Steve Mueller
How 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, Vespa Adventures, 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. What a ride his life has been - have a listen!
01/06/2017 • 27 minutes 50 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 60: Best of Asia
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!
02/01/2017 • 37 minutes 18 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 58: Asian Bar Game Olympics
A game cafe trend took off in Asia a few years back that included both board game cafes and beer pong tournaments, and it doesn’t seem to be dying down. Today, there are a wealth of opportunities to get your game on both in and out of bars across the region. In fact we recently organized and competed in the first Bangkok Bar Games Olympics. Today we are going to talk about a variety of places to play different games across Asia, everything from family fun to just get drunk.
01/12/2016 • 28 minutes 15 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 57: Textiles in Southeast Asia with Chomwan Weeraworawit
There's a long and rich history of textile production across Southeast Asia both through history and across geography. While many are familiar with Thai silk they may not be familiar with some of the other textile traditions across the region. On this episode we chat with Chomwan Weeraworawit about the variety of unique textiles across the region and how you can experience them.
15/11/2016 • 40 minutes 50 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 56: Asia Then & Now
The only thing that stays the same is that things are constantly changing and that’s nowhere more true than in rapidly developing Asia. Scott & Trevor talk about how places change, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse, but they always change. Often it’s your memory that’s not accurate too and the people you were with, mood you were in, etc, can impact how you remember a place. On this episode of Talk Travel Asia podcast, Trevor and Scott talk about how a number of places in Asia that they know well have changed over the years, both for good and for bad.
01/11/2016 • 29 minutes 18 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep 55: Vietnamese Cuisine with Bobby Chinn
Vietnamese food is one of the world’s great cuisines. As the country has opened to tourism over the last couple decades, more and more travelers have gotten the opportunity to try the real thing in-country. At the same time Vietnamese restaurants have opened all over the world with more and more people becoming fans of this fantastically diverse and tasty fare. Heavy in its use of fresh vegetables, Vietnamese food can also be a healthy choice. Today we’ll discuss Vietnamese cuisine, its place in the world and growing popularity with celebrity chef Bobby Chinn.
15/10/2016 • 34 minutes 6 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 54: Impressions of Japan
Some people that haven’t traveled much of Asia can be mistaken and think it’s very similar from country to country in the region. While some countries and their respective peoples have similarities, there are some nations that are completely unique. There’s Asia, SE Asia, then there’s Japan. No country in the continent is remotely like it. Steeped in history, rich traditions, deep culture, and turned slightly inward, few places in Asia dazzle like Japan does. A teeming population that’s preserved natural surroundings, are exceptionally civilized, maintain a safe society, embrace modernity, while celebrating tradition, Japan is a world unto itself and should be on every traveler’s bucket list. Today we’ll chat about our experiences in the Land of the Rising Sun and what it means to us.
01/10/2016 • 33 minutes 15 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 53: Nepal One-Year Post-Earthquake with Mads Mathiasen
On May 31, 2015 we posted a special episode of Talk Travel Asia, ‘Traveling Nepal Post-Earthquake with Mads Mathiasen’, which was one of our more popular episodes. We are following that up, chatting again with Mads about how the country is fairing more than one-year post earthquakes. You'll be surprised to learn that it's still a great place to travel!
15/09/2016 • 25 minutes 15 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 52: Life as a Travel Writer with Trevor Ranges
Now that he seems to have hung up his pen as a travel writer, Talk Travel Asia podcast co-host Trevor Ranges talks about his decade-long experience as a travel writer, discussing the highs and lows of living the freelance travel writing life. From writing pieces for magazines and websites around the world, to authoring for Fodor's and producing first editions of the National Geographic Thailand and National Geographic Cambodia guidebooks, Trevor's produced some pretty amazing stuff. So what's that life like? Have a listen and all will be revealed!
01/09/2016 • 36 minutes 47 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 51: Volunteering While Traveling
On this episode of Talk Travel Asia podcast, we discuss the dangers and benefits of "voluntourism" (doing volunteer work while on holiday), discussing our firsthand experiences, particularly in Thailand and Cambodia, and then talking with James Sutherland of Friends-International, a Cambodia-based organization whose work with underprivileged communities, particularly children, we have long admired.
15/08/2016 • 36 minutes 49 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 50: 50 Things We Love About Traveling in Asia
It’s been more than two years since our first episode went live on June 11, 2014 and we’re suddenly at our 50th episode of Talk Travel Asia podcast! It’s been a ton of fun thinking of topics to cover and share, and we hope you’ve enjoyed the ride as much as we have. To mark our 50th episode, we’re going to share 50 Things We Love About Traveling in Asia. The categories will be broad, responses at times surprising, and we guarantee there are a few things in here you’ll want to try. Thanks for listening and celebrating 50 episodes with us!
01/08/2016 • 30 minutes 19 seconds
Episode 49: Hiking & Mountain Biking in Hong Kong with Dave Stamboulis and Steve Coward
When people hear ‘Hong Kong’ they naturally think of towering, futuristic skyscrapers not 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 on this episode of Talk Travel Asia we chat with owner of CrossCountry Hong Kong, Steve Coward, and journalist Dave Stamboulis about hiking and mountain biking opportunities in Hong Kong.
15/07/2016 • 34 minutes 7 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 48: Snorkeling & SCUBA Diving in Southeast Asia
Many parts of Southeast Asia are famous for snorkeling and SCUBA diving. There are few parts of the world with as many great areas to get your face and body under the water than over here in the tropics. Countries including the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia, in particular, have world-class snorkeling and diving sites. If you’re thinking of getting your open water certification, want to get dives in, or love snorkeling, Southeast Asia is the place. Today we’ll chat about our favorite locations to get in and under the water and share tips from some of our friends. Get ready to get wet!
05/07/2016 • 31 minutes 53 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 47: Trekking the Great Himalaya Trail with Robin Boustead
Nepal is famous for having the world's highest peaks, the Himalayas, and most travelers know the country is a hotspot for trekking, and likely have such a trip on their bucket list. But Nepal and trekking is much more than just big mountains. This ‘small’ Himalayan nation on the map would actually be about the size of the US if flattened out - it’s huge! In just 230km the country rises from its southern border at 70m to 8,848m in the north. That’s some serious vertical gain! The country has pretty much every climate covered and a lifetime of walking to be done. Our guest today, Robin Boustead, has been working on what must be one of the world’s longest walks for more than a decade, the Great Himalaya Trail. Going through Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet, it’s over 6,000km long and looks incredible. We chat with him about how the Trail came about and how travelers can enjoy it.
16/06/2016 • 33 minutes 24 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 46: Dream Travel Destinations 2
The world is a big place, but air travel, opening borders, and less restrictive visa requirements have made it easier for travelers, in effect making the world a much smaller place. In December 2014 we shared some of the places in Asia we’d like to visit on ‘Dream Travel Destinations 1’. We’ve compiled a new list of destinations we’re keen to get to and are going to share them with you today. Dream big of new destinations in Asia with us!
01/06/2016 • 25 minutes 50 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 45: Out There Asian Adventures with Ric Gazarian
Today we feature a real adventurer: someone pushing the envelope of creativity in travel and transportation, going above and beyond the beaten path. Many people take at least one trip per year, then spend the rest of the year dreaming about their next one. For some, this trip is a week or so in length, but there are a growing number individuals that are finding creative ways to make travel their full-time gig. These people roam the world experiencing places and activities, then blog about them, take photos, videos, and find creative ways to generate a full-time income. Today we’ll chat with Ric Gazarian, an American who’s been doing just that for a number of years.
15/05/2016 • 39 minutes 50 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 44: Great Day Hikes in Asia
Traveling by foot is perhaps the best way to see a new area. On this episode, we share our favorite day hikes in Asia. In recent months we’ve had guests on to talk about trekking in the Himalayas and we’ve told a few stories that involve trekking, including some great hikes in New Zealand. Literally traveling at ‘street level’, you meet people along the way, see key sites, can try local foods, and get some good exercise while exploring. On this episode we’ll share some of our favorite day hikes in Asia that are ideal for you to try while traveling. These can be done in a few hours, provide great views, interaction with locals, and are a ton of fun.
01/05/2016 • 35 minutes 37 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 43: Adventure Travel in Asia
‘Adventure Travel’ is a broad term. For some it can mean simply making their way around a developing country, while for others it may mean hurtling down Class-5 rapids in a kayak. That’s one thing that’s so great about travel - it means different things to different people and can be qualified in many different ways. On this episode we speak with three industry leaders in adventure tourism in Asia, John Roberts, Mei Zhang, and Willem Niemeijer, and hear where they think the industry is headed.
15/04/2016 • 39 minutes 52 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 42: Travel Guides, Online Resources, and Mobile Apps
Where and how we travel has changed dramatically over the last couple decades. What’s changed at an even faster pace is the way we plan our trips and the tools we use. Just a few years ago travel guides were more or less the ‘Holy Grail’ of learning about where to go, how to get there, and most importantly, how to find a decent place to sleep. In just a few years we’ve started to ditch printed books for websites and increasingly turned to our mobile devices while on the road. Today we’ll look at the tools that are shaping how we travel and ones we enjoy using.
01/04/2016 • 39 minutes 33 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 41: Traveling North Korea with Geoffrey Cain
Seoul-based journalist Geoffrey Cain enjoyed an 11-day excursion to North Korea - as a tourist, since journalists are generally restricted from visiting the reclusive nation - traveling by train from Pyongyang to the more remote cities of Chongjin, Wonsan, and Hamheung, and the provinces of North and South Hamkyung and Kangwon. Geoff discusses his trip with Scott Coates and Trevor Ranges on this week's episode of Talk Travel Asia podcast.
16/03/2016 • 33 minutes 56 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 40: Tantalizing Travel Tales 3
What makes travel so memorable? Many times it’s simply visiting a new land, a new culture, experiencing new foods and seeing exotic animals. Other times it’s because we’ve gotten outside of our comfort zone, testing ourselves with new challenges that we couldn’t experience back home. But a sure byproduct of traveling are the great stories we acquire along the way and the fun it is to share them with others.
This is the third episode sharing some of our tantalizing travel tales, a series in which we’ve told stories about when we got outside our comfort zone, experienced unexpected cultural or logistical challenges, and found ourselves in unusual situations. At the time, many of these adventures seemed like nightmarish scenarios, where our own ignorance or naivite placed us in situations where we didn’t know how to react. But in the end, they taught us something valuable about the nature of travel: things don’t always go as planned and although things may have seemed problematic at the
29/02/2016 • 43 minutes 24 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 39: Climbing Nepal’s Himalayas with Billi Bierling
Scaling mountains is a pursuit that attracts some of the world’s most adventurous people. Attempting to climb the world’s tallest mountains within the Himalayas is an entirely other sport. On this episode, Scott and Trevor chat with Billi Bierling, a German who has spent much of her life living, working, and climbing in Nepal, among other Himalayan nations, about her passion for tackling some of the world’s tallest and toughest peaks, including Mount Everest, which she has successfully summited.
15/02/2016 • 40 minutes 28 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 38: Three Nights in Hua Hin
Roughly 200km south of Bangkok, Hua Hin is a different kind of beach destination. Favored by Thai Kings for more than a century, the area has never grown too much nor turned into a beach party destination. It’s traditionally a place where Thai families escape for the weekend, enjoy the beach together, have some seafood, and partake in wholesome fun. Essentially, the larger area is 20km or so of long, beautiful beaches, with condos dotted along the shore. In the last decade, many places have gone upmarket with well-healed, younger Thais opening up trendy shops, restaurants, and boutique resorts. For those wanting a quiet, relaxing, different Thai beach holiday, Hua Hin is a pretty solid bet. On this episode we’re going to share our favorite things to do if you have three nights in Hua Hin!
01/02/2016 • 36 minutes 13 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 37: Trekking Asia’s Tea Trails with Jeff Fuchs
In a day and age of digital everything and seemingly every topic at our fingertips, it’s rare nowadays, compared to say 50 years ago, to meet a true ‘explorer’: a person who has ventured out into truly unique and remote lands, having cultural exchanges where outsiders have perhaps not, and bringing the tales home. Our guest today, Canadian Jeff Fuchs is just that - an explorer.
In 2006/7 he trekked more than 5,000km over 7.5 months through some of the world’s most remote and challenging terrain to experience, then chronicle, one of the world’s great trade routes - The Tea Horse Road. Running from Yunnan in China, then through Tibet, he did this with a couple other locals and has seen things few western eyes ever have. He passed through some amazing villages, terrain, came in contact with incredibly unique and remote villages, and does a wonderful job documenting it in his book 'The Ancient Tea Horse Road'.
15/01/2016 • 35 minutes 14 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 36: Traveling SE Asia
After being asked a ton of small questions over the years by new travelers to the region, today we’re taking a step back for this episode, to share some of the base-level knowledge we’ve acquired via our three decades of collective travel in the region. Some items will be obvious to some, others not so much so, but we’ve had some fun thinking of little ins’ and outs’ of traveling in the region that we think are worth sharing. From navigating red tape to railroads, we’re set to tackle getting in and around Southeast Asia. Pour yourself a drink, sit back, and enjoy!
01/12/2015 • 39 minutes 38 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 35: Inside Bangkok - The Nana Neighborhood
Few areas in Bangkok are as colorful, multi-ethnic, busy, and diverse as the Nana area. Situated on Sukhumvit Road, roughly between Sois 1-15, almost everything can be found here within a few square kilometers. Traditional Thai massage: check; Arab food: check; cheesy souvenirs: check; go-go bars: check; you get the idea - there’s a little bit of everything and then some in this frenetic and fun district. On this episode we’ll dive into everything that is Bangkok’s Nana area and then some.
15/11/2015 • 38 minutes 23 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 34: Ecotourism in Laos with Paul Eshoo
Laos is a sleepy country of 7-million people that many have heard about but know little beyond the name and perhaps a few key destinations. Some tourists are familiar with the charming riverside town of Luang Prabang in the country’s northwest and maybe the capital Vientiane but know of little else there. Sharing borders with Thailand, China, Vietnam, and Cambodia, this landlocked nation, run by a Marxist-communist government, has a lot going for it. Many say it’s like Thailand 30 years ago, is very quiet, and is truly off-the-beaten-path. On this episode we dig into this fascinating country that is, for the most part, off most traveler’s radar with Paul Eshoo, who heads up a tiger conservation project in Laos, and has a long history in ecotourism in the region.
02/11/2015 • 30 minutes 3 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 33: Three Nights in Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh is a city mired in mystery. The name is exotic to some, unknown to many, carries a storied history, and in reality is a little of all of the above. At one time, in the 1960s, it was an up and coming SE Asian cosmopolitan center, then the unthinkable happened. The bloodthirsty Khmer Rouge regime took over the city in 1975 and emptied its 2 million residents out into the countryside in a matter of days. Suddenly Cambodia’s main center of commerce and knowledge was empty, a shell of its former self. A four-year-war ensued, the Vietnamese kicked the Khmer Rouge (KR) out in 1979, occupied the country for the next decade, then the United Nations ran things for more than a decade. Today, Phnom Penh is an exciting, vibrant, and ever-changing city that we love. On this episode we’ll share some of our favorite things to do if you’re there for three nights.
15/10/2015 • 42 minutes 36 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 32: Biking in Bangkok with Greg Jorgensen
Cycling has been gaining global popularity over the last few years and Bangkok is no exception. While the city is more famous for its teeming traffic and exotic temples, while a bit tricky at first, it’s truly a magnificent place to get out for a ride. On this episode, Scott and Trevor explore what the city has to offer atop two wheels, things to keep in mind when heading out, and why you should consider making a bike ride part of your trip here. We're joined by longtime expat and bike guru, Greg Jorgensen, who shares his experience plotting routes and riding on two wheels in the City of Angels.
01/10/2015 • 28 minutes 45 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 31: Bali 101
Bali is one of the world's most well known tropical tourist destinations. That said, it's a big, smallish island, with a wide range of different districts. Knowing where to go (beaches, mountains, artistic villages)can be a bit of a challenge. Luckily Talk Travel Asia co-host Trevor Ranges has spent a good deal of time living, and writing about the island for various publications. On this episode he helps makes sense of the island and offers a range of tips for visitors, helping you make the most of a visit.
01/09/2015 • 33 minutes 6 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 30: Hidden Cambodia with Nick Ray
On Episode 30 of Talk Travel Asia podcast, Scott Coates and Trevor Ranges talk with longtime Cambodia resident and Lonely Planet author Nick Ray about Cambodia’s up and coming hotspots. Nick Ray knows as much about Cambodia as any foreigner, has traveled most of its far corners, and is going to share some of his favorite, not-so-well known spots that he recommends hitting before the word gets out --in the next Lonely Planet, perhaps!
16/08/2015 • 30 minutes 48 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 29: 3 Nights in Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai’s one of those legendary travel destinations. Most travel enthusiasts know the name, many have been, yet almost everyone has a different picture of it in their mind: small town, mountain hideaway, thriving/modern city, historical hub, artistic enclave, or emerging hipster hangout? In reality, Chiang Mai is a bit of all of these things bundled into a nice package. Today, Talk Travel Asia’s Scott Coates and Trevor Ranges explore what Chiang Mai means to them, sharing some of their favorite spots in the Rose of the North, and giving you some great tips to make the most of your first or next trip to Thailand's Northern Rose.
31/07/2015 • 38 minutes 39 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 27: Angkor 201
Making sense of the massive area that is the Angkor Historical Park and figuring out where and how to spend your time is no easy task. There is simply so much to see that you could never fit it in, in a single holiday, let alone 10! As a follow-up to an earlier episode, Angkor 101, where we talk about how to best use your time and info for first-time visitors, on this episode we focus on some secondary sites, mostly a little further afield and share some deeper tips to make the most of your time exploring this incredible area just outside Siem Reap, Cambodia. While Angkor Wat itself is incredible, there really is so much more here to enjoy. Dive in!
01/07/2015 • 33 minutes 55 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 26: Responsible Tourism with Bodhi Garrett
Many travelers want to have an outreach capacity to their trip to Asia, but doing so in a constructive, non-disruptive way can be quite difficult. The terms ‘ecotourism’, ‘green travel’, sustainable travel’, and ‘responsible tourism’, among others, have been thrown around over the years, and often abused.
On this episode we chat with Bodhi Garrett of Andaman Discoveries, who says, “Responsible travel is about minimizing the negative impact of your travel and directly giving back to the communities you visit. It’s about understanding the story behind the price you are paying, and knowing the local people who are working hard to make your holiday an enjoyable one.”
15/06/2015 • 37 minutes 25 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Special Episode: Traveling Nepal, Post Earthquake with Mads Mathiasen
In the aftermath of the recent earthquakes in Nepal, millions have donated to relief efforts. Yet the devastation people have witnessed on TV and social media only tells part of the tale. While back to back earthquakes have undoubtedly caused great destruction in certain parts of the country, much of Nepal remains unaffected, that is, except for an anticipated decline in tourism that is certain to harm an economy that desperately needs tourism revenue. While this reaction is somewhat to be expected, we wanted to chat with someone on the ground who could talk about the unaffected regions, how tourism attractions and activities are still open for business, and why you should travel to Nepal in 2015. We chat with Mads Mathiasen, a Danish citizen, who’s lived and worked in the Himalayan nation for more than a decade. He’s deeply embraced life and the traditions of Nepalis and has led the way in developing breakout tourism ventures in the country. He joins us via Skype from Kathmandu.
31/05/2015 • 31 minutes 55 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep. 25: Tantalizing Travel Tales, Part II
When living or traveling in Asia, it seems there is always something exotic or wild waiting right around the corner – and actually occurring on a weekly, if not daily basis. On Ep. 13 we shared some of our favorite travel tales and decided to have another go, sharing even more tales from life on the road, including one about a mysterious missing bag, a low supply of Thai rum, driving a tuk tuk in Bangkok, hitchhiking, and a very persistent rat. Have a listen!
17/05/2015 • 34 minutes 10 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 24: Traveling Vegetarian in Asia with Adam Platt-Hepworth
It seems that vegetarianism is getting more popular by the year and some vegetarians wonder if they’ll be able to stick to their non-meat diets while traveling in Asia. The good news is that it’s very easy to enjoy incredible food throughout much of the region as a vegetarian. You’ll want to learn a few key local words to ensure cooks understand you are a vegetarian, but once you get those down you’re set. On this episode of Talk Travel Asia, Scott and Trevor talk with Adam Platt-Hepworth, owner of bike tour company Grasshopper Adventures, about living and traveling in Asia as a vegetarian. He shares tips on how to find the tastiest food, ensure you eat only vegetarian, and how to best approach your trip.
02/05/2015 • 33 minutes 8 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep 23: Planning an Asian Honeymoon
Planning a honeymoon (which of course must be perfect from start to finish with no fights) is no easy task anywhere in the world, let alone in a region so different from home that the chances of unexpected things happening are high. Isolating what you ‘really’ want to do, how you want to spend your time, what the budget is, hitting the ‘must see’ spots, while also experiencing a host of other things, and ensuring there’s a balance for both of you is no easy feat. This is your first trip as a married couple and you don’t want it to be anything less than perfect. So how do you do it? First off - it won’t be perfect. We offer lots of tips for planning a honeymoon and how to make the most of your trip of a lifetime together in Asia.
15/04/2015 • 36 minutes 58 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep 22: The Planet D with Dave & Deb
Traveling professionally, as a full-time job, is a dream for many people. But making it happen, bringing in a regular salary that sustains, arranging all the elements to keep travel happening, getting sponsored, and documenting the journey is no easy feat. But two Canadians, Dave and Deb, have done just that, creating The Planet D, and becoming celebrities in the process. They share with us what it's taken to launch this career, keep it going, and remain a happy couple while traveling full-time. Have a listen!
01/04/2015 • 38 minutes 59 seconds
Talk Travel Asia, Episode 21: Three Nights in Bangkok
Bangkok is teeming city of 10 million people and it’s arguably one of the most dynamic, exotic, and action-packed cities on the planet. How you should spend a few days there is a hugely subjective question, one with a myriad of answers. We’re often asked by friends, family, friends of friends, and friends of friends of some guy they met one time at a bar, “What should we do while in Bangkok?” On this episode we share with you some of our favorite things to do, places to visit, how to get to them, best spots for a drink and tasty food, and ensure that you don’t waste your time in Bangkok. Here’s how to spend Three Nights in Bangkok.
15/03/2015 • 50 minutes 29 seconds
TTA - Ep 20: Paddling Thailand's SW coast with Ian Taylor
Paddling is not only a great workout, and environmentally friendly activity, but can be an outstanding way to see parts of the world, if you know what you’re doing. Canadian Ian Taylor is best known as a professional photographer but he’s also an accomplished paddler. He’s kayaked Thailand’s southwest coast from Myanmar to Malaysia and he shares that epic 560km, 25-day trip with us. Have a listen!
01/03/2015 • 39 minutes 48 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep 19: Favorite Foods of Asia
One of the greatest things about the diversity of Asia is the wide range of food available both across the region and within each individual country. Every foodie and every local seems to have a favorite dish and knows the best place to get it: Scott and Trevor are no exception, and in Episode 19 of Talk Travel Asia they talk about some of their 'Favorite Foods of Asia' and fill you in on the restaurants that they think serve the best!
16/02/2015 • 34 minutes 47 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Ep 18: Travel Writing with Tom Vater
Writing for a living and making a living at it is no easy feat. There are few writers who manage to turn-out some really great books about aspects of the regions they live in and also make a living from it. In a day an age of blogging when everyone online is a ‘professional writer’, there are few people that really are experts in what they’re writing about, spend the proper time to craft a real work, and can be trusted. Our guest, Tom Vater is a rare example of someone who writes great books, be it guidebooks or novels, and manages to make a living doing so.
01/02/2015 • 40 minutes 33 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 17: Favorite Watering Holes
Where to find the perfect drink and spot to enjoy it while traveling in Asia can be tricky. Scott and Trevor record together at the FCC Bar and Restaurant in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and share their favorite watering holes in the region. The hosts explain that when you hit bars and spend some time in them, you also meet some of the most colorful locals around, get insider info, and usually end up having a hell of a time. From Bangkok to Luang Prabang, Kathmandu and a host of other spots, this episode will put you on the right drinking track.
17/01/2015 • 24 minutes 1 second
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 16: Digital Nomads
'Digital Nomads' are individuals who leverage telecommunications technologies to perform their work duties, and more generally conduct their lifestyle in a nomadic manner. Technology's furious pace of development has quickly upended how we live, travel, and work. It’s made businesses and lifestyles possible that weren’t just a decade ago. This episode features two guests, Gary Arndt and Niall Doherty who talk about how they’ve embraced technology to make a working/traveling lifestyle possible.
Trevor and Scott then talk about their own experiences living Digital Nomad-esque lifestyles. Trevor explains how, for coming on a decade now, he’s been predominantly employed as a freelance travel writer, based in Bangkok but occasionally renting rooms in neighboring countries to set up temporary bases to work out of. At times he would live in Bangkok, work in Cambodia, and study in Vietnam. He explains how he has experienced first-hand the benefits and drawbacks of living the nomadic lif
05/01/2015 • 51 minutes 12 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 15: Dream Travel Destinations
After collectively living and working in SE Asia for nearly 30 years, there are still lots of spots that podcast hosts Trevor and Scott have not yet been. On this episode they share their top spots to visit in the coming years. From a remote corner of Cambodia along the Vietnamese/Laos border, to a volcanic island in Indonesia, and 4,000 islands in the Mekong River, there's a pretty interesting list of spots to visit. Have a listen and great dreaming travel!
15/12/2014 • 30 minutes 45 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 14: Travel Photography Tricks
Taking good photographs while traveling is challenging. While digital cameras and other technology have made capturing quality images easier and more affordable than ever, having an eye for great shot is something one must learn. Trevor and Scott then discuss some of their own experiences taking photos while on the road, then ask our guest, Dave Lemke, for tips on how to get the most out of shooting photos while traveling. He shares some valuable tips and gives insight on how to emotionally get more out of the experience.
06/12/2014 • 37 minutes 26 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 13: Tantalizing Travel Tales
Scott and Trevor have likely to have been on more interesting adventures than the average traveler due to the nature of their careers. On Episode 13 of Talk Travel Asia, you can hear six of their tantalizing travel tales from Nepal, Cambodia, Australia, Vietnam and Thailand.
13/11/2014 • 40 minutes 43 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 12: Phare, The Cambodian Circus with Craig Dodge
Most times when people travel, they know the key sites they’re going to seek out and experience but are often surprised by what else they discover along the way. In the case of visiting Siem Reap in Cambodia, most everyone’s there to see the temples of Angkor but some discover something entirely unexpected: Phare, The Cambodian Circus.
Once in a while, ingenious people come up with something completely new, introduce it to an area, and that can become a new attraction. Think Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas – an entertainment show that’s nearly become as popular as gambling. Phare, The Cambodian Circus has put a new attraction on the map in an area that people are going typically only to see temples. We chat with Craig Dodge, Director of Sales & Marketing at Phare about the circus, its development, and what visitors can expect.
01/11/2014 • 31 minutes 31 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 11: Asia’s Somewhat Secret Beaches
In this episode Scott and Trevor talk about some up-and-coming beaches and islands they’ve discovered over the years that aren’t as-of-yet overrun with tourists but are likely to be places you will be hearing about soon. Scott kicks things off by recognizing that the perfect beach is something different for everyone. For some it’s quiet and secluded, with soft white sand and nearby snorkelling and diving; for others it's access to nightlife and shopping. Trevor joins Scott in Kuala Lumpur for this episode en route from Thailand's Koh Samui en route to Bali. Both are famous tourist destinations, but Trevor admits, after his 16th trip to Samui that it would be worth an episode entitled 'Rediscovering Samui'.
14/10/2014 • 32 minutes 31 seconds
Talk Travel Episode - Episode 10: Drinking Beer in Southeast Asia
Scott and Trevor discuss how the beer scene in Southeast Asia isn’t what it is in Europe or North America: there are a few international brewers mass-producing traditional lagers but in general there’s not a wealth of beer diversity. Luckily, Scott points out, beer in most SE Asian countries is some of the least expensive in the world, save Malaysia and Singapore, and if you scratch the surface a bit, there are some interesting beer discoveries.
We're joined by Aaron Greiser and Brian Bartusch, who have such a love for fine beer and an affinity for Southeast Asia that they made it their profession. They're the founders of Beervana, a craft beer import and distribution company. Now in their second year of operation, Beervana has literally revolutionized the beer scene in Thailand. They join a discussion about the beer scene around SE Asia.
Have a listen (preferably while enjoying a beer!).
01/10/2014 • 47 minutes 38 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 9: Impressions of Kuala Lumpur
Trevor is visiting Scott in Kuala Lumpur (KL), where he just celebrated his one year anniversary living in the Malaysian capital city. Trevor suggested chatting about the city, what it's like, and what it has to offer would be a good episode as many foreigners aren't generally familiar with what to do or see in Kuala Lumpur. Trevor thinks that unlike visitors to Thailand, Cambodia, or Singapore, a lot of people don’t have deeply ingrained preconceived notions about what the country and its capital is like. Scott gives us a quick overview on how he ended up in KL and how, after one year, he knows the city well enough to share some of his insights with prospective visitors.
14/09/2014 • 31 minutes 49 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode 8: Cycling Asia with guest Adam Platt-Hepworth
Trevor is in Kuala Lumpur visiting Scott for the recording of this episode, during which time they plan to do some cycling in Scott's Bukit Kiara neighbourhood. The two discuss their different experiences biking in SE Asia as well as the great aspects of exploring the region by bicycle. Trevor enjoys how travel by bike allows you to mingle closely with local communities, while Scott talks about how it's great to see the local sights. They bring in a cycling expert to share his expertise on what riders can expect from cycling in various countries across the greater region. From where the best areas are for climbing, road-riding trips, off-road adventures, and everything in between, we get to the bottom of what SE Asia has to offer riders.
Our Guest: Adam Platt-Hepworth joins Scott and Trevor online from his base in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Adam discusses his transition from banking in Australia to joining and now owning Grasshopper Adventures, a bike tour company that offers trips through
01/09/2014 • 37 minutes 6 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode #7: Impressions of Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia is one of the most dynamic regions on the planet. Fly one hour in almost any direction - from Bangkok for example, and you’re in a totally different world: a different language, culture, cuisine, arts, customs, and so on. Southeast Asia is a tapestry of sorts and the preceding factors are certainly some of the reasons that travelers are drawn back to the region time and time again.
While there are lots of diverse neighbouring countries to explore, after more than a decade in the region Trevor and Scott feel like they’ve really only scratched the surface. On this episode of Talk Travel Asia we discuss some of our initial impressions traveling to Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Laos as well as some of our most memorable experiences in these vibrant and diverse Southeast Asian nations.
14/08/2014 • 41 minutes 44 seconds
Talk Travel Asia - Episode #6: Planning a High Value Vacation with Chris Rowthorn
Planning a vacation should be a ton of fun but can also be stressful and confusing at times. What do you really ‘need’ to see? What things ‘should’ you see that will appeal to you personally? How long will it take to travel from here to there? How many destinations within your trip are enough without going to too many, rendering your entire vacation one spent in cars and airports going to and fro? We speak with longtime Lonely Planet author and tour company owner Chris Rowthorn about these very things. He shares tips on how to best plan and approach a vacation based on his many years working in the travel business.
Bangkok is legendary as one of the world’s most exotic and exciting cities. It’s also one full of scams, hustles, and tourist traps. Luckily most of them are relatively innocent and non-violent, resulting in little more than a few more dollars spent than you’d like. After more than 25 collective years living in Bangkok, Scott and Trevor cover a few of the most common, elaborate, and colorful Bangkok scams so that you can have a lot of fun in Bangkok and not get ripped off (too badly)!
14/07/2014 • 20 minutes
Talk Travel Asia: Episode 4: The Plight of Asia’s Elephants
Episode 4: The Plight of Asia’s Elephants
Both Trevor and Scott have had the pleasure of experiencing the mahout (elephant) program at the Anantara Golden Triangle in the far northern regions of Thailand along the Mekong River and welcome John Roberts to talk about an issue that is at the heart of many tourist experiences in Asia. While elephants are certainly a top tourist attraction in Thailand, Nepal, and to a lesser degree in Cambodia and Laos, few tourists are aware of the threat to elephant populations in the region caused by human development and deforestation of elephant’s natural habitat.
11/06/2014 • 23 minutes 9 seconds
Talk Travel Asia: Episode 3: Talk Travel Technology with special guest Greg Jorgensen
Episode 3: Talk Travel Technology with special guest Greg Jorgensen
Travel technology has had a massive impact on how we research, plan, book, experience, and share our travel adventures. Armed with only a smart phone, you can buy a plane ticket or get a hot hotel deal in real time. There’s 3G and wifi hot-spots along the Mekong River in Laos and Cambodia; there are dozens of travel apps to help you along the way; and you can share your photos with friends and family back home with the press of a button. This week, Scott and Trevor discuss Travel Technology with longtime friend Greg Jorgensen, the founder and former co-host of Bangkok Podcast, a Thailand Twitter celebrity, and an all around nice guy.
03/06/2014 • 24 minutes 46 seconds
Talk Travel Asia: Episode 2: Angkor 101
Episode 2: Angkor 101
Scott and Trevor share their tips for first time visitors to the Angkor Archaeological Park near Siem Reap, Cambodia. As author of the first edition National Geographic guidebook to Cambodia, Trevor has explored the temples of Angkor dozens of times. As founding partner of luxury travel company Smiling Albino, Scott has hosted guests at and visited Angkor for his own personal enjoyment numerous times too. He also has authored two editions of Groovy Map’s Cambodia guide map.
What is Angkor?
The show begins with the history of Angkor and an overview of what exactly we’re talking about when we say “Angkor”? Is it a single temple, the name of the city, or both?! Scott and Trevor quickly discuss 600 years of history, including how this city of temples evolved.
Answering the “What is Angkor” question, they differentiate between the most famous Angkor temple, Angkor Wat, and its neighboring temple complex, Angkor Thom. Both reside within a 1,000 square
03/06/2014 • 24 minutes 12 seconds
Talk Travel Asia: Episode 1: Meet the Hosts of Talk Travel Asia!
Episode 1: Meet the Hosts of Talk Travel Asia!
Talk Travel Asia co-hosts Scott Coates and Trevor Ranges share their backgrounds, including when and why they moved to Asia, how they got to know each other, and what they’ve been up to in the travel industry over the past decade.
Scott discusses his early years in Thailand as co-founder of Smiling Albino, a high-end travel company that specializes in designing unique travel experiences and hosting adventurous guests in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, and Nepal. Trevor discusses his evolution from test-prep instructor in Hawaii to guidebook writer for Fodors and National Geographic in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia.