150 episodes

Far East Travels Video Podcast is inspired by Rick Steves, Lonely Planet, Anthony Bourdain, and National Geographic. Travel advice and inspiration from the Himalaya to the remote jungles of Norther Laos. Travels through Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Borneo, Japan, Taiwan, India, Nepal, Korea and beyond.

Far East Travels Video Podcast John Saboe

    • Places & Travel

Far East Travels Video Podcast is inspired by Rick Steves, Lonely Planet, Anthony Bourdain, and National Geographic. Travel advice and inspiration from the Himalaya to the remote jungles of Norther Laos. Travels through Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Borneo, Japan, Taiwan, India, Nepal, Korea and beyond.

    • video
    China Fake Paris Town in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

    China Fake Paris Town in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

    In this video I visit a China Fake Paris style development in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Koh Pich, or Diamond Island is a huge residential/commercial development located in an area of Phnom Penh that used to be a swamp until 2000 on the Mekong and Bassac Rivers. Elysee is the Paris inspired development that is similar in style to the fake Paris cities of China like Tianducheng, a suburb of Shanghai with it's own fake Eiffel Tower.Interestingly enough it appears that Elysee is being marketed to foreign, particularly Chinese investors, who can afford to fork over between $800,000 to over $1.1 million USD for the units that are available. The setting is nice enough but it still doesn't appear to be complete let alone occupied 4 years after ground breaking began. The new high rise buildings in the same area seem to fit in more with the modernization of Southeast Asia then the bizarre out of place Elysee. Elite Town another "old world" development doesn't seem like it fits in any better. Hopefully these won't be future "ghost cities" or towns. The setting itself is quite attractive with a lovely boardwalk along the Bassac and special events and celebrations have been held here in the past like the Water Festival.

    • 12 min
    • video
    Cambodian Visa Extension EASY DIY Tourist "T" Class

    Cambodian Visa Extension EASY DIY Tourist "T" Class

    *NOTE* The immigration office at the moment will accept your applications between 2pm-5pm Monday to Friday. You will receive a receipt with a copy of your passport that you can use as id while you’re waiting for your passport and visa extension. There was a time when it was difficult if not impossible to extend a tourist visa in Cambodia yourself but that seems to have changed. I recently completed my Cambodian Visa extension tourist, "T" class visa while staying in Phnom Penh and it was completely hassle-free. Everything you need to know to extend your visa is in my Cambodian Visa Extension DIY Tourist "T" Class video. I was charged the standard $30USD fee at the Cambodian Immigration Department office across from the Phnom Penh International Airport. Most travel agencies in Phnom Penh charge $49USD total for the visa and their services. In some cases they may not do it unless you give them your passport and the fee a week or longer before your visa expires. As I stated in the video, in order for this to be cost effective you'll need to take local bus #3 from Phnom Penh to the airport. Expect your total investment of time to be approximately 3 hours initially. When you pick up your passport after your visa extension has been completed, approximately a week later it shouldn't take longer than the travel time, about an hour each way, along with a 10 minute wait to pick up your passport. Although I haven't tried it myself it is also possible to extend an "E" class visa if you have been offered a job, are looking for a job, or are wanting to start a business. This will require more paperwork and letters and or appropriate proof of a business, retirement etc. depending on which extension you're applying for. You can visit an agency in Phnom Penh that specializes in these extensions and many travel agencies are also able to help you with this service as well. For tourists wanting to stay longer than 30 days in Cambodia, especially those on a budget, it's nice to know it appears easy and relatively simple to do this now in Phnom Penh. Just remember although you don't need a passport photo for a visa on arrival now, you will be asked for one when you request to extend your tourist visa. You'll just need to bring $30USD for the visa extension fee along with your passport. After the immigration officer checks your passport and visa they will give you a one page form to fill out. When you pay the fee and hand over your passport, photo, and application form the officer will give you a receipt. Keep this in a safe place and remember to bring this to the office when you're picking up your passport. That's it!Hope you find this helpful for your next visit to Cambodia!

    • 6 min
    • video
    Phnom Penh Scams - Blackjack, "Milk Scam", Fake Monks

    Phnom Penh Scams - Blackjack, "Milk Scam", Fake Monks

    First off, these scams are not endemic to Phnom Penh or Cambodia for that matter. They can be found in other cities across Asia and beyond. In Phnom Penh Scams as far as the "buying milk for my baby" and fake monk scams go it's up to you whether you choose to give these people money. I'm just sharing this info so you know what's actually happening. The blackjack scam has been reported in Phnom Penh for years now but I've also seen reports of it taking place in Ho Chi Minh City as well. As I stated in the video there was a group arrested in the summer of 2019 but it's possible that other teams or groups are carrying on the scam here. I believe it's a little more sophisticated than "oh that's a nice shirt, where are you from" scenario that usually is the start of some petty scam. This one involving multiple players is definitely more complex but if you have your wits about you it shouldn't be too hard to figure out what's going on. I have pieced together a possible scenario or two based on many reports in forums and from news sources. It might not be precisely what occurs but it should be close enough for you to detect if you are experiencing the same kind of exchange. If someone really is genuinely interested in chatting with you or sharing travel stories they won't mind if you suggest a place to meet. If they have lots of excuses for not doing so and insist a location of their choice then you'll know they're up to no good. If you want to donate money to real local monks of course it's possible to do so but there is some etiquette you should know before you begin, otherwise you could make them feel awkward or uncomfortable. It's best just to observe how locals do it during the morning alms, when monks wander the streets for donations. There are more scams I will cover off in another video. Thanks for watching! Don't forget to check out my Far East Travels Podcast in the iTunes Store, Spotify, or whatever platform you download your podcasts from:Write A Review
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    • 8 min
    • video
    Phnom Penh Central Market Tour/Tips

    Phnom Penh Central Market Tour/Tips

    Phnom Penh in my opinion has one of the coolest looking markets in Southeast Asia, the art deco Central Market. The Khmer name of the market is ផ្សារធំថ្មី, "Phsar Thom Thmey", which technically translates to "New Grand Market" in English. When it opened in 1937 it was considered the largest market in Asia. Even today it's easy to see it dwarfs markets like Saigon's Ben Tanh Market. The ceiling of the dome area reaches 26 meters with four arched arms that house many stalls from tshirts, to pots and pans. Ever since I first saw it I was attracted to it's grand scale and the market itself is very interesting, almost a theme park for shoppers and food lovers. In the main dome you'll find gold, gems, watch, and jewelry sellers. The four arms are somewhat categorized with either clothing, electronics, or household items. This market is not solely focused on tourists as you'll see by the traditional Khmer clothing for sale along with everyday household items, hardware, and more. The perimeter area is my favorite place to wander as it's where you'll find the wet market and food area with all kinds of special Cambodian delicacies from dried fish to sweets. There's also a large dining area where you can sample local favorites including all kinds of noodle soups and bbq seafood. This is my 3rd visit to Phnom Penh in the last 4 years. During this current visit I spent almost every day wandering around the market for an hour or so to familiarize myself with the layout and to observe some of the little everyday things that some people might miss if they only visit it once, like the area where they slide the ice into the market for chipping. I hope you enjoy the video and subscribe to channel! I have a passion for exploring East Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia and have made it the focus of my life for the past 6 years. I also have an audio podcast I would love you to check out! Feedback is always welcome:Audio Podcast

    • 17 min
    • video
    Chinatown Ho Chi Minh City Travel Stories

    Chinatown Ho Chi Minh City Travel Stories

    Chinatown Ho Chi Minh City or Cholon(District 5,6,10) in my opinion is one of the most exciting districts in Saigon. I'm excited to share this busting neighborhood with you and it's historic Binh Tay Market. This is primarily a wholesale market for shop owners, cafes, and restaurants so it's not necessarily an ideal place to shop but it's an exciting place to visit. I love wandering through the market and the surrounding neighborhood with all of it's local ma and pa shops. The lack of international brands and chain shops is refreshing as well. It's a real personable place with locals greeting many visitors that make their way out to these districts. I really hope these videos encourage people to visit because you'll get such a different experience here than you will if you spend most of your time around Bui Vien or Pham Ngo Lao and the rest of District 1.Start out from Binh Tay Market and just wander. There are interesting shops everywhere and surprisingly still a record of the development of Saigon with architecture that spans the French colonial era, art deco, and 50's -70's. The Chinese style shophouses are still to be found in the are with traditional character signs. There are also some wonderful Buddhist/Taoist temples to visit that I didn't cover off in this video. Thanks for watching! Hope you enjoy these street videos.

    • 17 min
    • video
    Ho Chi Minh City Market - Let's Explore

    Ho Chi Minh City Market - Let's Explore

    Join me for a visit to the Tan My Market, one of the most interesting local markets in Ho Chi Minh City. Most people that visit Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon for the first time end up at the Ben Thanh Market. Nothing wrong with that, it's an interesting place too, one of the oldest markets in the country. But it left behind it's traditional roots along time ago and today is geared almost exclusively to tourists. If you want a true authentic market experience, I mean where they still kill chickens to order, sell live fish, frogs, and other seafood out of tanks or aluminum trays, then head for the Tan My Market in District 7 or one of several traditional markets that still do business everyday in and around the greater Ho Chi Minh area. Not only will you be able to observe daily life in a neighborhood like this one, but you won't be constantly asked if you want to buy a t-shirt, or coffee, or anything! In fact if you have any engagement at all with locals it will be the friendly warm welcoming that people in these neighborhoods exude, especially at the sign of a rare visit from a foreigner. If you do want to buy, most everyone will be happy to help you, and even though their English skills will be limited or non existent, they'll still find a way to communicate. I also find in these markets that everyone is fairly honest, in fact I would be shocked if you weren't given the local price everyone else gets. Thanks for watching! I would love to connect with you. Send me an email to john@fareasttravels.com. Please also follow me on any or all of the social media links on the front page. Also feel free to subscribe to my audio podcast:Far East Travels Podcast-(Audio)

    • 11 min

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