March 27, 2023: Taiwan’s former president Ma Ying-jeou visits China. Plus: the latest on the civil unrest in France with Agnès Poirier, Josh Cowls on the Tiktok controversy and a look ahead to Monocle’s April issue.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Tag Archives: Asia
Pangolins: The World’s Most Smuggled Animal
DW Documentary (March 25, 2023) – Pangolins, native to Asia and Africa, are threatened with extinction. Their meat is considered a delicacy in Africa and their scales are sold as a health remedy in Asia. The protected animals are poached and smuggled on a large scale.
Pangolins are the most smuggled animals in the world – and demand is growing. Asian pangolins recently made headlines when they were suspected of being carriers of the COVID-19 coronavirus. On the banks of the Congo River, the pangolin sells for just a few euros.
But in cities like Kinshasa, its meat sells for a hundred times that price and – although illegal – is eaten in the best restaurants. Even more profitable is the sale of pangolin scales, which are highly prized in Asia for their supposed medicinal properties. The native Asian pangolins are already nearly extinct.
The film shows how just a handful of these animals can be rescued during police raids, then reintroduced into the wild by dedicated conservationists. From hunters in the bush of the Democratic Republic of Congo to bushmeat markets to the backrooms of Vietnam, reporters follow pangolin smugglers as they ply their trade.
Travel & Culture: Journey Through Cities Of China
Stef Hoffer (March 24, 2023) – China is one of the world’s most fascinating and complicated countries, and its cities seem to get bigger every year. Considered a rural society just a few decades ago, China today is home to the world’s largest urban population.
In this travel documentary, I take you on a journey through some of the country’s most interesting cities. While many city centers are filled with modern skyscrapers, we also search for more traditional neighborhoods, historic sites, tranquil parks, special events, and cultural activities.
We look at the rapid changes China is undergoing in its urbanization process, and mention some of the challenges the country is facing. From the modern megacities of Shenzhen and Guangzhou we travel to the ancient centers of Beijing and Xian. We visit the popular Summer holiday beaches of coastal Qingdao, and the exciting Winter festivals of Harbin.
From the streets of fusion cities like Hong Kong and Macau we continue our journey to Tibetan Lhasa, located on the Rooftop of the World. We also take a look at the disappearing alleys of old Kashgar, in the controversial Xinjiang region, and the empty streets of Ordos, China’s best known ghost town. And we explore the expanding urban centers along the Yangtze river, including Wuhan and Chongqing, all the way to the fast paced metropolis of Shanghai.
I traveled through China independently for more than a decade, on several occasions. The footage in this video was shot between 2010 and 2019, and is accompanied by background information. For more in-depth information on each place, I recommend to read, watch, and listen to as many different sources as you can.
News: Netanyahu Visits UK, Macron Firm On Pension Reform, Honduras-China
March 24, 2023: Benjamin Netanyahu’s UK visit. Plus: Emmanuel Macron digs in his heels as pension-reform rallies erupt across France, Honduras switches ties from Taiwan to China and the latest business news.
News: U.S. Fed Raises Key Rate, Lebanon Protests, Floating Pools In Seoul
March 23, 2023: A report on the Federal Reserve’s crucial decision on interest rates. Plus: protesters in Lebanon try to storm the government headquarters, plans for urban ‘floating’ swimming zones in Seoul, and art collectors flock to East Asia for Art Basel Hong Kong.
News: Xi Jinping & Putin’s New World Order, Kishida In Kyiv, New Brexit Deal
March 22, 2023: Two Asian leaders visit countries at war: China’s Xi Jinping is in Moscow, while Japan’s Fumio Kishida travels to Kyiv.
We ask what this reveals about how Asia views the conflict. Plus: the new Brexit deal faces its first parliamentary test in the UK and why the demand for transatlantic travel is soaring to record levels.
Travel: The Historic Trans-Bhutan Trail Is Reopened
BBC News (March 14, 2023) – Once the lifeline of Bhutan, the 403km Trans-Bhutan Trail connected the affluent western districts of Haa to the remote far eastern Trashigang. The trail dates back to the 16th Century, and was used by monarchs, traders, pilgrims and messengers for hundreds of years, but fell into disuse soon after Bhutan developed its highway in the 1960s. Now, more than 60 years later, the historic trail has reopened.
Director’s Reel: An Aerial Tour Of Europe And Asia
March 2023: The Seeker is my new drone 2023 reel. This short film is a kind of aerial footage reel that showcase the variety of different videos that I shot during the past several years.
Divided into two categories “nature and city” this 2-and-a-half-minute reel reveals just a glimpse of the diversity of some of my drone footage.
Shot primarily in European locations this reel featured countries such as Russia, Spain, Portugal, Iceland, Italy, Norway, UAE and others.
Filmed and edited by: Madebyvadim
Coastal Views: Gwadar In Southwestern Pakistan
Oculus Films (February 24, 2023) – Gwadar, town and seaport, southwestern Balochistan province, southwestern Pakistan. Located on the sandy Nuh headland that juts southward into the Arabian Sea, the town is an important fishing (sardines and sharks) and trade centre.
The main industrial concern is a fish-processing factory; salt is obtained by the evaporation of seawater. Gwadar became part of the sultanate of Muscat and Oman in 1797, and it was not until 1958 that the town and adjoining hinterland were given up by Oman to Pakistan.
Himalaya Hikes: 100 Miles On Mount Manaslu, Nepal
Kraig Adams – Manaslu is the eighth-highest mountain in the world at 8,163 metres above sea level. It is in the Mansiri Himal, part of the Nepalese Himalayas, in the west-central part of Nepal. The name Manaslu means “mountain of the spirit” and is derived from the Sanskrit word manasa, meaning “intellect” or “soul”.
Video timeline: 00:00 Introduction 3:53 Kathmandu sightseeing tour and trek preparation day 7:23 9 hour drive to Machha Khola 930 m / 3,051 ft 9:28 Day 1 – 15 km / 9.3 mi to Jagat 1,410 m / 4,625ft 14:02 Day 2 – 19 km / 11.8 mi to Deng 1,800 m /5,905 ft 18:26 Day 3 – 9.5 km / 6 mi to Ghap 2,160 m/ 7,086 ft 22:30 Day 4 – 16 km / 10 mi to Lho 2630 m / 8626ft 26:47 Day 5 – 7 km / 4.3 mi to Samagaon 3,530 m / 11,581ft 31:08 Day 6 – Acclimatization day hike to Manaslu Basecamp 4,800 m / 15,748ft 34:33 Day 7 – 8 km / 5 mi to Samdo 3,690m / 12,106ft 37:36 Day 8 – 6 km / 3.7 mi to Larkya Rest House 4,470 m / 14,665 ft 41:42 Day 9 – 15 km / 9.3 mi to Bimthang over Larkya Pass 5,160 m/ 16,929 ft 46:16 Day 10 – 21 km / 13 mi to Dharapani 1,860 m / 6,102 ft 50:05 5 hour drive to Besisahar 1,881 m / 6171 ft 52:19 Behind the scenes and hiking guide