Asia

JOSEPH ROSENDO’S TRAVELSCOPE
Taiwan, Naturally

 

From its serpentine coastline and towering mountains to its verdant forests and remote offshore islands, Taiwan’s natural beauty is surprising. Yet, while it may be far from what the casual visitors expects, Taiwan’s nine national parks and thirteen national scenic areas have much to attract and mesmerize the nature lover. In this Taiwan adventure Joseph climbs into the mountains to explore the country’s forested sanctuaries replete with soothing hot springs, he harvests the riches of the seas with a local chef and joins Taiwanese and foreigners alike at a great bird watching contest. While traversing a country that is working to strike a balance between the preservation of natural and cultural resources and the needs of tourism, Joseph discovers still one more story to tell in a country rich with tales.

 

 

JOSEPH ROSENDO’S TRAVELSCOPE
Myanmar Irrawaddy River Adventure

 

Myanmar or Burma, by either name, and both are acceptable, exudes an aura of the exotic, mysterious and alluring. Even the names of its former capitals, Mandalay and Rangoon, evoke a lyrical glow. Yet, it’s the magnetism of its ancient temple architecture that draws visitors to the valley of the Irrawaddy River. Joseph embarks on an Irrawaddy River adventure from golden pagodas to colorful markets, from working villages to frenzied cities where unimagined new sights, sounds, smells and emotions capture his attention. On his journey of discovery Joseph finds that on the Irrawaddy’s 1,350-mile journey to the sea the full range of Myanmar life unfolds along its shores. The river embodies the historical, cultural and economic soul of the country and has been the lifeblood of its people since Stone Age man first arrived there 13,000 years ago. As his Myanmar odyssey unfolds it becomes clear that with a long history of conflict and conquest, until recently, Myanmar/Burma was isolated, shrouded in secrecy and hid its brilliance. Yet now it has opened its doors and is displaying its glories for all to see. And the people of Myanmar and a world of travelers are better for it.

 

 

JOSEPH ROSENDO’S TRAVELSCOPE
Mekong River Adventure, Part 2 of 2

 

Part 2 of Joseph’s Mekong River journey through Cambodia and Vietnam finds him in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh where he embarks on a tuk-tuk tour of the city’s highlights. He visits the royal palace with its stupas, pagodas and pavilions and pays homage to the country’s spiritual heritage, as well as its colonial past. In local markets and restaurants where the fare can range from lobsters to tarantulas, he learns how, with the help of foreign NGOs, the country is recovering from its devastating Khmer Rouge history of war and ruin. Then Joseph follows the Mekong’s flow into Vietnam where the Mekong River Delta spreads its seven arms across Southwest Vietnam. Here in the countryside towns, river villages and floating markets he experiences post-war Vietnamese life. As Joseph’s Mekong River voyage ends he understands that after centuries of struggle, at the core of Cambodia and Vietnam’s resurgence are their resiliente people who have overcome the unimaginable time and time again and are now ready to greet the world with open arms.

 

 

JOSEPH ROSENDO’S TRAVELSCOPE
Mekong River Adventure, Part 1 of 2

 

During Part 1 of Joseph’s Mekong River voyage through Cambodia and Vietnam he travels from the temple mountains of Angkor and its UNESCO World Heritage sites, to the river towns and villages of the Mekong river valley. Along the way he explores the country’s history and spiritual roots in its ancient Buddhist pagodas and monasteries. On visits to weaving, stonecutter and silversmith villages, he celebrates the Cambodian people’s creativity and resilience. In Cambodia’s sprawling countryside against a backdrop of farmland and rice fields he comes face to face with Cambodia’s tragic past in the killings fields of the Khmer Rouge genocide. As the episode ends Joseph is poised to enter the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh as he continues to go with the Mekong’s flow on to Vietnam and the Mekong River Delta.

 

 

JOSEPH ROSENDO’S TRAVELSCOPE
Taiwan: Matsu Festival and Islands

 

Joseph returns to Taiwan to follow in the path of Taiwan’s Matsu Pilgrimage, said to be the largest religious procession in the world, and to explore the islands named in the deity’s honor. Blessed with magical powers, Matsu, Taiwan’s superstar deity teaches creating balance in our lives and the lesson is illustrated in the 9-day Matsu Pilgrimage, which melds an exuberant worldly celebration with a mindful spiritual journey. It is literally an explosive event that encompasses the many sides of the Taiwanese nature. Complementing the festival is Joseph’s visit to the Matsu Islands, 100 miles from Taiwan while only 6 from China, revealing the resolute and determined survival instincts of the Taiwanese. Since the first Fujian fishermen came to the Matsu Islands in the 14th century, the archipelago has been a refuge. On his travels, Joseph discovers that for centuries, the islanders have weathered natural and political storms through their connections with each other and the sea. Today after decades of living in the shadow of war, they are ready to celebrate their historic, cultural and natural treasures.

 

 

JOSEPH ROSENDO’S TRAVELSCOPE
Taiwan’s Penghu Islands

 

Taiwan is an island country of 23 million people and the majority of them live in cities. When they seek to leave their hectic urban life, they escape to their country’s villages, mountains, forests and islands. Joseph visits the Penghu Archipelago in the Taiwan Straits, a chain of 64 isles and islets and explores the historic and natural attractions.

 

 

GLOBE TREKKER
Tough Trains: Vietnam

 

Trekker Zay Harding discovers the checkered and often-dangerous history of the Vietnamese railway. His perilous journey takes him to Hanoi, Hue, the DMZ and Ho Chi Minh City where he meets a general who led the final attack on the Presidential Palace during the Vietnam War.

 

 

JOSEPH ROSENDO’S TRAVELSCOPE
South Korea – A Winter Journey

 

For his second trip to South Korea, Joseph visits in winter and discovers that besides the many attractions of the capital city of Seoul, more treasures await in the countryside, including World Heritage temples and historic villages.

 

 

GLOBE TREKKER
Food Hour: Southern China

GLOBE TREKKER - Food Hour: Southern China

 

Celebrated New Zealand chef Peter Gordon discovers the roots of Cantonese cuisine. Peter’s journey takes him north to Lianzhou, the mountain home of the Yao tribe, where he cooks succulent spiced pork. Next he walks the rice fields of the Pearl River Delta, and meets traditional medical doctors in Foshan. He also cooks up a strength-giving feast for dragon boat racing crews in Guangzhou, shops in the fabled market of Qingping and samples street fare in Chaozhou.

 

 

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