Random Episode 5: The Bloody, Filthy Travel Edition

174 Comments

This is a short Random episode — 10:30 — and easily the most disgusting to date. I also think it’s the funniest. Imagine Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations if he didn’t need to edit for cable.

This episode has some educational bits, but it’s focus is on enjoying the not-always-so-smooth experience of travel.

Not for the faint of heart.

From Glenn:

The following video segment is a continuation of the randomly shot randomian-thought random show project with Tim Ferriss and Kevin Rose. This time, we’re not in a library nor are we out on a boat dock fishing for fish – we’re on a street corner in Jinggu. At night. And it’s not really cold outside. It’s slightly humid with a dusty breeze coming out of the southwest.

Audio Note: Most of this was recorded with a Shure-VP88 stereo condenser mic (good with headphones). Apologies for when I don’t have it pointed in correct direction (sounds like they’re behind us).

To borrow from Gary Vee, here is the Question of the Day (QOD): What is the most disgusting or confusing travel experience you’ve ever had?

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Want to get Random episodes delivered to your iPhone or iPad? Now you can! Just subscribe to the podcast in iTunes (or get the audio-only version here).

Posted on: August 27, 2009.

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174 comments on “Random Episode 5: The Bloody, Filthy Travel Edition

  1. Love the episode. It’s funny how down and dirty travel and beard growing competitions tend to go hand in hand. Loved it – reminded me of many a conversation i’ve had in hostels over the years. Typically accompanied by a few beers, lol.

    That food looks awesome. I’m definitely jealous. Looks like an eye opening experience for Kevin!

    I’m definitely gonna have to do some yoga before I head to China and face off with those Squat toilets. The splash and splatter is the part that I hate running into when i’ve encountered them in eastern Europe in the past. My favorite was a squat toilet on a train…rattling along. Devastating.

    Like

  2. Good fun as always. It’s nice to see it stuff that’s not censored or softened. You might consider a technical post on the cost of the trip and more detail on the approach.

    Like

  3. OMG!!!

    Thanks for reminding me why I work hard. I prefer to travel to places with nicer toilets.

    I remember getting sick at a train station in India. Even though we had a first class ticket, the bathroom was disgusting. Never again. So like Continental’s slogan I ” work hard and travel well”.

    Like

  4. Sick. Can’t wait to make China. Chicken heads or better than rat heads I guess. lol

    Whether my book or blog….once again Mr. Ferriss, I have learned something both weird and informative.

    The parts with Kevin in those mesh pajamas are hilarious.

    Like

  5. Love the episodes! Keep’em coming.

    As for the question, I’m hard pressed to chose just one “most disgusting or confusing” piece of travel. I’ve travelled extensively in Sub-Saharan Africa, holding lectures for telephone operators and people in the telecom businesses.

    I’d probably have to say that Guinnea-Bissau gave me the most interesting “disgusting” experience. It was just after a heavy rainfall and I went out onto the balcony of the hotel to enjoy some fresh air after being locked in with the mosquitos and other bugs (some of which killed my MacBook, but that’s a whole other story). So there I was, standing on the balcony and taking some deep breaths, when I see a man in his underwear walk out into the street. Now, note that this is a country where you only find asphalt on the runway in the airport, so basically this guy was walking out onto a hard-packed mud street after a heavy torrential rain.

    It then strikes me that he’s carrying a bucket. Next thing that happens is that he bends over, picks up water from the side of the street and pours it over himself and starts scrubbing himself down; rubbing his armpits and enjoying a nice shower. He does this three or four times before walking off again.

    Like

  6. well, my disgusting experience was when I was in China too. I was just transitioning from regular toilets to the squatties (It seems the more south you get in China, the less regular toilets you see). Anyways, it happened to be a little wet from former occupants, and as I was squatting I slipped, and bam! Wet butt. I felt pretty dirty the rest of the day.

    Interesting note, in certain parts of Asia, Thailand for sure, they shake with their left hand? I’m not sure which hand it is, but the reason they do is because they don’t have toilet paper in these places, so they use water…and their hand. That’s it.

    Nate

    Like

  7. This episode was so funny I nearly dropped a deuce watching it! Thanks for posting, I have been looking forward to the China episodes. I can’t wait to travel there myself.

    My brother and I are actually planning a 4 month round the world trip set to start at the end of October. I just graduated with an Industrial Design degree and my plan is to travel around and interview different professionals in design, sustainability and manufacturing while also attending expos (and other adventures) then post the videos on my blog.

    We are planning to start in Europe and then head east to China and try to make it to Japan, India, Australia, New Zealand and hopefully a few stops in South America before coming home to Phoenix.

    From your traveling experience, do you think that it is a good idea to try to cover as much territory as possible on our first trip or to focus more on one region? Also, I have been looking into purchasing round the world tickets (RTW tickets). Do you think this is most cost effective way to travel? Any other tips would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Adam Craft

    Like

    • Hi Adam and All,

      A few things:

      1) Congrats on the RTW decision. I’d suggest not fixing arrival/departure dates in advance (one issue w/ most RTW tix), so you can spend as much or as little time as you like in each place. That could mean you hit a new place each week, or it could mean you stay in one region the whole time. I expected to spend 4 weeks in Argentina, and I spent 9 months there :)

      2) Kevin, Glenn, and I stayed in hotels, as it was a pre-arranged trip. Just for cost, though, we ended up getting, essentially, a penthouse suite with three huge bedrooms and three bathrooms, with wi-fi and living room with big screen TV, in Beijing for around $200-250 per night total, so about $80 per night. Not too bad.

      Tim

      Like

  8. another nice show – and don’t mind the language, it’s just really, really funny! :-)
    hope that the next random show is going to be about one of your tea tastings?

    qod: disgustingly dirty hotel toilet (though supposedly a hotel of “higher quality” … thank god we have hotel rating websites by now… ;-) )

    Like

  9. Hi Tim

    Question: where are you guys staying in this trip/during this video? Hostels?

    Because accommodation is (in my case) the most expensive item on any trip outside of Europe (got a VW camper for Europe travel). How do you handle that in say, China, where you guys are now?

    Greetings
    David-Andrew

    Like

  10. Tim,

    Funny Kevin had a hard time with the “hole-in-the-ground” toilets over there…the same goes for Italy, Torino especially. I studied for a semester with my wife now, then girlfriend, the Spring of 2004, and a bar we frequented close to downtown called Murphy’s had squat urinals as well…not so bad for males doing a number 1, but definitely a worst case scenario for females either way.

    Tell Kevin if he curses loud enough he may scare the mosquitoes away!! :)

    Like

  11. Awesome episode. A bit grittier than the travel channel, but as interesting and informative as Andrew Zimmerman himself.

    I will certainly cherish my toilet a bit more after watching this episode.

    Like

  12. Freaking hilarious! Sweet short video and am glad you guys make the best of every situation. Kevin needs to rough it more often.

    I’m a huge fan of Anthony Bourdain and Bizarre World. Wow, thanks for making every effort to make us laugh.

    Enjoy the moments.

    Like

  13. Tim,

    Both you and Kevin are incredible people and considering all of the awesome content that you give away it pains me to pick on such a small, insignificant detail.

    That said…that popped collar is killin’ me man! :-)

    Thanks for the episode and for your books & blog.

    Like

  14. Wow this looks pretty cool. i didnt listen to the audio though but looks pretty cool idea for an online episode. I WILL LISTEN eventually.

    Like

  15. Reminds me of my travels in Turkey. As for bathrooms, I have to say that for women at a certain tipping point (har har), squatting becomes more effective and comfortable than trying to hover ;)

    On a more intellectual note, I enjoyed the hand counting info. Pilots use one hand for nordo operations. Contrived by Americans of course, I didn’t realize how different other countries could develop the same . . . differently. That also begs the question: why do other countries use one hand counting?

    Like

  16. Good to see some of the original roots of 4HWW, which is taking mini-retirements and exploring the world for unique experiences.

    The one thing I don’t miss are the living conditions in those hotels…why not stay in better accommodations?

    Keep living well!

    Like

  17. Hey Tim and Kevin,

    Another great video! Not exactly full of brilliant insight like they usually are (aside from the dangerous toilets) but still entertaining.

    My most discussing/worst travel experience:

    I got some type of food poisoning in Rome. I woke up the middle of the night no less than 4 times delirious and sick at my stomache.

    The fourth time for some reason I decided to go out the door of our room to get sick instead of the bathroom. Afterward I was so dizzy I passed out, hitting my face on the door frame on the way down.

    I woke up the next morning with a giant bruise on my eye and no fluids left in my body. The next day was the worst 8 hour bus ride of my life.

    Have fun with the rest of your trip!

    Lucas

    Like

  18. Most disgusting travel experience:

    Coming back from Cancun to LA, with a major hangover, when suddenly my gift bottles of Jose Cuervo in my carry-on bag, crack open shortly after departing! auh, not cool. I felt bad for everyone else too.

    For goodness sake, I was so traumatized from the nauseating smell of liquor that I couldn’t touch tequila for years. I was sick as a dog on that flight and the overwhelming smell in the flight cabin made me think twice about bringing bottles of alcohol from my travel vacations.

    Life is exciting.

    Like

  19. Tim—great video man. So my strangest experience which may or may not surprise you based on your time in China:

    I was in the Hoffbrau house in Munich drinking beer with a few friends when I blinked and the whole room became filled with Chinese men. Once they discovered that I was American, and the only American male there they hovered around me like a celebrity. They bought me rounds of beer, took videos, and a bunch of pictures with me. I couldn’t figure out what was going on until one of the guys told me in English that he went to Johns Hopkins and that they were a group of medical professionals on a business trip. He said that they had never seen a real live American before and they “Don’t get out much”. That’s why I love to travel. How else will you find yourself hugging a dozen Chinese men in the birthplace of the Nazi party??

    Like

  20. Hey Tim,

    My favorite episode yet! I especially like the way you cover a number of things in just 10 minutes (cultural facts and trivia, humorous stories, food education, etc)…THIS is what I like about these shows! Sounds like you 3 had a great time, any plans to travel anyplace else in the future?

    Like

  21. Choppy audio and even worse video. Please go back to your youtube style videos. Could barely understand what what was going on. And not the 1st time this has happened. Keep the videos coming, just in a more universal format that we can all enjoy. Thanks!

    Like

  22. Great episode! I think the net pj’s of Kevin’s are going to go down as one of the single funniest things I have ever seen. There is a very thin line between practical innovation and just looking like a pussy, I think he crossed it :).

    Like

  23. My most troubling Travel experience was when I bought a cup of tea in (how do I say it? call it a third world country) and the guy selling the tea used a stirrer he was picking in his ear. That really disturbed me. I did not drink the tea, I just walked away but I will never be able to shake the experience from my memory. Squatting bathrooms are the style you would find most of the third world countries, if you don’t know how to use it properly, you could shit on your pants.

    I would give this piece of advise to Tim and Company in China… seeing places outside of the tourist districts is messy business and specially so when traveling in third world countries. I would advise you edit your future videos carefully and what you say in the video not so much what you show but choose your words carefully. You may be holding public office tomorrow, or you may find yourself running a huge corporation or be engaging in public speaking forum with multinational companies that are sensitive to image control. Later on, the media or the public would not be so understand of your vacation excitement. Take measured caution to not offend people’s sensibilities or their culture. I do understand you guys are having fun and do respect the Chinese people and culture but I am not sure your video does come out that way. Just little editing is not that of a bad idea.

    Like

    • Thanks for the comment. Kevin and I are so screwed for public office, it’s past the point of no return! I understand your point, though. That said, it’s the squeaky clean politicians I worry about. They’re usually hiding some truly scary skeletons. Makes poo talk look like Dr. Seuss.

      Tim

      Like

  24. Haha thanks for the break in the part of my day that involves reading marketing and business blogs. Can’t wait to see what else you get into (although I’m glad I didn’t have to see anything that came out of you).

    Like

  25. Tim! We’re also off to China for a month come October. I prob should start working the quads now…

    Quick Q you mentioned ingesting lots of fat prior, how effective was this for you and any idea of quantity to effectively minimize bowel changes. I’d also love more specifics on Glenn’s approach.

    Also I really want to explore tea factories out there – how did you and Kevin pre-arrange all that, was there an agency/company you guys used, any particular city/region excellent for this? Any recommendations/opinions on this would be uber helpful!

    Like

  26. Visiting Petra in Jordan, was overwhelmed with the most violent diarrhea I have ever had. The bathroom I used had no toilet paper, no water hose for rinsing (common in middle east countries), no shower curtain from which I could tear off a piece, no nothing.

    There were, however, a few stale pieces of pita bread in the garbage can…….

    Like

  27. @ Andrew Barbour

    That’s a sick (funny) comment, but very common. Nothing beats taking a dump during unflattering circumstances. The gas isn’t pretty.

    Like

  28. My most disgusting travel experience is a tie between having to use one of those ditches in the jungle in Thailand or seeing an old man use the middle of subways cars in Seoul as a toilet. The most confusing has to be trying to figure out why there are so many ladyboys in Thailand.

    Like

  29. Very Cool video. Having been to China several times myself, I do relate to several of the horror stories. It certainly was much easier for me though to deal with several problems, (like the mosquitoes and food) since I myself am Asian and speak Chinese as well.

    Great experiences that you’ve shared and looking forward to lots more fun!

    Like

  30. Tim, your Chinese accent is really something else…I assume it’s extremely northern? Or just not used all that often? All my Mandarin is infused with an extreme Fujianese accent, so I’m not a good judge.

    Please tell me you were sipping on TsingTao. The only Chinese beer worth drinking (don’t believe those Sunsing-touting liars).

    Like

  31. Found this episode intriguing and I know that this is the experience I would wish to have when I’m traveling vs. the nice homogenized verison you often get when traveling with a tour group.

    Good for you on your experience and I look forward to sharing mine when the time comes.

    Renee

    Like

  32. Thank you so much for posting this video!!
    Our family went through China on our own (no tour) in 1998.
    Some things don’t change.

    1. That’s not chicken on those sticks. (Notice that you don’t see any stray animals of any kind anywhere. There’s a reason.) They also serve mystery insect on a stick.

    2. Good idea to brush your teeth with the boiled water in the hotel room.

    3. Sometimes instead of a trough on the floor there is a hole. In the case of a river cruise in Guilin the boat’s toilet was a hole and when you missed there was a bucket with a rope attached to it. You lowered it over the side, filled it and rinsed the floor. Of course everything went into the river, which is where they wash the dishes…

    Stay safe, have fun!

    Like

  33. Wahooooooo…..love the episode! Where do you plan on going next?

    This is the episode I’ve been waiting to see. Obviously I’ve done a ton of your recommended reading but it’s great to see you guys in action. Going out on a mini-retirement. Quick question, do you have any favorite places to go in Amsterdam?

    Thanks again,

    Erik

    Like

  34. If there’s one thing i love about travelling, its disgusting stories.

    One of my favorites happened in Ecuador, in a little surfer-paradise town called Montañita. We arrived on a friday, got a room, threw our bags in and went to eat and drink ridiculous amounts of alcohol. Nine hours later we stumble into our hotel room in a hazy drunken stupor. I crash-land on my bed, barely able to put the mosquito tent on top of me and kick my sandals off.

    I remember falling asleep with the distinct notion that something smelled funky. I couldnt figure out what it was, so i just blamed the plumbing on the bathroom and went to sleep.

    I wake up 5 hours later, choking on the room’s hot air. Someone closed the windows and its gotta be 110 degrees inside, a thick humid sticky air that gets only worse when the smell I felt last night comes rushing in, ten times worse. My stomach reeling at the mixture of dubiously safe-to-eat street hamburguers from last night, plus the hangover nausea and the SMELL… I fall back to bed. And the smell just gets worse… Its the bed. I smell it. Thats not it. I lie back face down into my pillow trying not to gag. And then it hits me. I lift my head, open my eyes and for the first time realize that my pillow is covered with tiny black dots. Some of the dots actually growing white hairs, like a fruit gone bad.

    Im hungover, nauseous, dry heaving, my stomach feels like a septic tank and I’ve been boiling my head in a pillow so seldomly cleaned that it has actual lifeforms growing on it. Perfect start to one hell of a week in Montañita!

    Like

  35. That was hilariously priceless! What amuses me the most is Kevin’s absolute indiggnation at the indiggnity he has suffered..!
    And I am also captivated by the juxtapostion between MLK one day and bowel movements the next – that’s so great – really tickes my inner eccentric.
    Nothing like a bit of 3rd world travel to make you appreciate your toilet!

    Like

  36. Hey Tim,

    You mentioned you visited Harbin a couple of years ago, what led you up north?
    A friend and I visited two years during Golden Week before heading south to Dandong to see North Korea. We both loved the city and the Russian influence on a Chinese city was unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

    Keep the episodes coming!

    Austin

    Like

  37. I was in ???Yun Nan?3 years ago and this place is simply amazing. You guys should definitely check out ??(li jiang) which is also in YunNan Provence and I kid you not this is the prettiest place in the world (or at least prettiest where I’ve been)

    Sanitary is a problem :) not all of China, this is a pretty poor part of China and Kevin just need to get used to it.

    Anyway love your episode and Tim is mastering the four tones and I have to say this is one of the best pronunciations by a foreigner I’ve heard so far.

    Like

  38. This video marks the dawn of Transparency 2.0! I love the fact that you and Kevin don’t over analyze the negative implications that “defecation strategies” may have on your digital brand image. Continue to keep it real but please don’t turn this into another justin.tv ; )

    Like

  39. Loved the video! I’m glad you all are enjoying both the best and the worst of China. I appreciate that you kept it really and didn’t gloss over any of the nasty stuff.This video was the most “real” of any that you’ve put out and it was fun to see everyone’s personality really start to show. Maybe the the alcohol helped a bit ;)

    Anyways, please post more about your trip: the good, the bad, and the ugly!

    Like

  40. Another great episode which brings back a lot of memories! Going up Kong Tong Shan in Gansu province last year where the toilet was in a hut, with the maggot slurry and a view from the pit straight between your legs down a cliff was quite an experience – good squat control highly necessary!

    Have you looked into Couchsurfing? I guess that money for hotels isn’t so much an issue for you guys, but if you choose your hosts well you can get a much more authentic experience of an unknown place. I had the most incredible time staying with locals in Tokyo, Kyoto and Seoul over the last few years, as well as plenty in Europe and Africa.

    Like

  41. Answer:

    That would have to be an ear infection in Costa Rica, which left me feeling like two sumo wrestlers were each trying to push a giant marble into each ear canal which screaming through a megaphone – and then, the only way for them to administer the dose of antibiotics was through a shot in the arse :/

    Like

  42. Mr. Ferris, I hope that while you’re in China, you will consider using your influence and reach to actually do something good for all the dogs and other animals that are tortured, slaughtered, skinned alive, used and abused in that country and around the world for that matter.

    Like

  43. Hi Tim. About your question… I was in India three years ago. I had quite good and bad experiences. The most strange [not so disgusting] experience: I entered an large restaurant [300-persons capacity] and everyone was eating using their hands. I do not mean picking food using fingertips… totally wrist-depth: shocking.

    Like

  44. Another great episode and looks like an experience to remember! My wife and I are in the process of planning an indefinite travel around the world maybe or just to the regions we end up in…since I work from home online I plan to utilize a lot of your suggestions and techniques from your book, which also gave us the willpower that it is definitely possible to do :)

    Have you ever discussed veganism or vegetarianism? I am curious to know your thoughts on this subject. We both have recently embarked on becoming vegans and so far, feel great about it. I also lift weights and in no way plan on being skinny, so I wonder how this will effect our travels and also if you will mention this in your new book??

    Like

    • Hi Gene,

      Being vegan and healthy overseas will be a challenge. I’d suggest you perhaps adopt being a lacto-ova vegetarian (dairy and eggs) or pescatarian (fish) while you travel. Just my two cents after seeing this happen a lot.

      Good luck!

      Tim

      Like

  45. Hey Tim,

    Just got back from three months in China myself. I almost came out to your twitter invite at the hotel in Beijing.

    You like your shirt?

    Like

  46. What an amazing experience! I really enjoyed watching your video. The voices of the little children in the background were so cute. Great footage.

    As for my most confusing travel experience, it was in high school when I went to Italy and traveled to Greece with a friend and her family and we had to use the good ol hole in the ground for the bathroom. It was so much smaller than ya’ll have there in China that’s for sure.

    Looking forward to more video and travel stories.

    Like

  47. great post! as a female who likes everything from camping to traveling the world, I’ve seen some scary things. However, females are ready for this and therefore make great traveling companions. My chinese friend based in Guangzhou doesn’t leave her house without kleenex because between the food and the toilet situation there are no guarantees.

    Foodwise – my funniest story is when I asked to try a bit of some snake (which ends up being very tasty) – this turned into a 3 hour progressive snake dinner including snake meat, snake meat served with chicken feet, snake blood fried rice, snake belly with ginger, snake intestines, snake liver, an entire blue heron and snake chopped up and roasted in hot pot together since snake and bird traditionally go together representing earth and sky, and top it off with the green juice and gall bladder snake cocktail for power. They held up the green gall badder and popped it to let the green juice flow out. I took 50 pictures but wished I had a video camera. I am wow’d by my lack of skill at getting snake meat off the bone or chicken feet like my chinese brethren. I applaud how nothing goes to waste there.

    Toiletwise – since 3 world countries are expected to be sketchy the biggest surprise in my life was actually in the states. Port-a-potties at Jazzfest in NO were unbelievable horrendous and I would have paid for an outside ditch.

    Like

  48. Tim,

    You probably have so much fun in China.
    I’m still laughing about toilet story. Kevin, you are the winner!

    What is exactly purpose of the trip in China?

    Have you ever vistied Korea(SOUTH)?
    Please, come.

    Like

  49. The best way to spend lots of time is by far still…….. toilet jokes (based on true experiences). Didn’t expect the maggots and all after the splash!

    Kevin swore a lot. Must be a very traumatic toilet experience for him.

    Like

  50. Another nice video post! You’re making me want to go on another vacation again. Being out in a foreign place at night is simply the best. Keep em’ coming. It’s nice to see the idea of the meat vendor cart has spread globally. lol

    Like

  51. Tim great video. Big fans of both you and kevin for several years now and love that you guys do awesome stuff like this. Keep living the dream!!

    Like

  52. Could you please put up iPhone compatible Videos up. (maybe as an alternative)?

    Or provide a video Podcast link I can subscribe to.

    Thanks.

    Paul.

    Like

  53. Great clip! I’ve been waiting for an update from your trip. I’ve had a similar experience when I went to China years ago. I was in Shenyang and went to this “amusement” park (it was more like a park built with Chinese architecture for tourists). The bathroom was basically built with a top level with holes in each stall. In each stall, there’s a hole and you can see the poo and stuff at the bottom. If I miss a step, I can literally fall inside the hole!

    Now you know what it feels like when women travel to places that have gross bathrooms. We have to crouch all the time regardless if it’s for #1 or #2!

    It’s also funny that when I travel to China, my family/friends and I have the same conversation about the bathroom situation. It always revolves around what we are going to eat and when we have to go :P

    Like

  54. I’ve traveled more when I was younger, and on a budget. Toilet stories are just a normal part of that….especially when you’re trying the local cuisine.

    QOD: Traveled to southern most part of Colombia and got bit by some scary mosquitos. I got really sick and spent the whole week in bed with a fever/chills, headache (that was about to explode into space) and back pain. Had to fly home (original plan was to take a boat). I thought I had contracted dengue fever (almost as bad as malaria). After going to the doctor, turns out I was just so constipated (hadn’t gone #2 in about 10 days) that I was poisoning myself with my own toxins.

    That was a little embarassing to share, but future travelers might appreciate it and give special attention to staying “regular” while on vacation.

    Like

  55. Recently my EMBA class took a trip to Beijing and Chengdu. Our thoughts mirrored the two of you exactly! We have more than a few pictures of toilets. We timed our, um, duties around when we would be back at the hotel. The ladies had a more difficult time.

    Luckily (I guess) it was hot enough that I simply would sweat through all my fluids and only ended up going to the bathroom twice a day, in the morning and at night.

    But it was a great trip, met some great people, had some fantastic business conversations.

    Like

  56. It is definitely a plus to see some down to earth random humor talk. I wanted to ask you a question about some holistic technology I just bought. I haven’t been able to get a hold of you any other way. I wanted to get your opinion about the performance technology that has to do with sound frequencies reacting to the electrical charge in your body. The product I just bought is called Power Balance. I done the tests to many people and it has worked with about 98% of people.

    Surfers seem to wear the bracelet. It is supposed to improve your balance and core to keep you more stable, along with other benefits.

    Let me know if you have any opinions about it. Thanks.

    Keep having a blast in China. I am heading to Costa Rica in October. Can’t wait for that adventure.

    Like

  57. Haha that pretty much sums up my most disgusting travel experience. No mosquito body suits, though, and I’m allergic to certain toxins that mosquitos carry. Kevin especially sounds like a hoot to travel with! Thanks for the tip about eating good live fats before leaving the country, too!

    Like

  58. I’ve always been a computer geek, but I’m just now starting to get into blogs… and I love yours. These random episodes with you and Kevin Rose are great.. You mentioned that yall might take a break from the “random” episodes.. please don’t do that! lol I just started watching, and I love ‘em ;)

    Sarah Christine

    Like

  59. Ever since I read your book about 3 months ago, I’ve been working a plan to put away some additional cash and to start working remote. Once I meet my cash savings amount then I’m quitting the day job and going forward on a business venture. As it turns out, I’m getting a full-on remote opportunity by the end of the year. The problem is, rumor has it, that I may get laid off instead. No worries, I’ve just been inspired more by this and now planning on traveling SE Asia and China for an undetermined amount of time. Your book has been inspiring and this video just adds more push for the trip. Keep doing what you do.

    Like

  60. Tim,

    Is ist just me? This video loads extreeemely slow. It took me over 2 hours to get 5 minutes. Other Vimeo videos same deal

    I live in Taiwan (Some video platforms have regional filters) Perhaps that has something to do with it.

    Anyhow, Love the stories! I have similar travel stories myself! Thats what makes it adventure!

    Like

  61. Hey Tim,

    My favorite calorically dense foods are brownies with ice cream, pupusas, yuca frita, sweet potato french fries, thai and pizza for a binge.

    What’s on your list?

    FYI: called that 401 # from Twitter, good laughs my friend :-)

    Like

  62. Oh man, I just shot coffee out of my nose! The splash-back story will certainly help me prepare for my trip to China in Oct. You guys should seek out some grand masters in the hills for the next kung-fu episode. I wanna see trees punched and bricks smashed! Thanks for snapping me out of a 200 hour work week!

    -Ben

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  63. Hilarious!

    Almost as hilarious are the people inspired to emulate this experience. “Hey, I can’t wait to do this, too!”

    And Andrew Barbour. Man, that is some story about the pita bread. Le pain.

    Still laughing-

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  64. Great video. I’ve been to Yunnan province twice (to the city of Jinghong right on the Thailand border), and I love how different China’s frontier areas are from the big east coast cities, especially with the minority influences. The Dai are a very interesting people. If you like lamb kebabs and the border-town vibe and don’t mind a run-in or two with the police, check out Xinjiang province in the northwest. The Uighurs are really fun to get to know.

    Nasty toilets are part of life in China’s rural areas. I don’t have anything as grotesque as Kevin’s story, but over five trips I inevitably have accumulated a few Chinese toilet incidents of note, both more embarrassing than disgusting.

    The first was in a McDonald’s in Xiamen, Fujian province, when a woman walked in on me in a squatty, only my legs were tired from the squatting, so I was standing up, fully exposed, facing the stall door when she opened it.

    The second instance occurred when I accidentally padlocked myself inside a Mongol’s concrete house in Xinjiang (no bathroom inside) and then realized that I had what the Chinese call “la duzi” that wouldn’t wait. Luckily, I had a gallon-sized ziplock in my pack. The rest is a plastic bag full of history that my friends will never let me live down.

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  65. Funny stuff guys.

    Tim, how are the vegetarian options out there? Worthwhile? Delicious?

    It looks like a great trip. I’m excited that the three of you got to share that experience together, and with us. More video, plz!

    Finally, thanks for writing that book. I just quit my day-job (too much W4W!) last night and am set to leave this country on September 16. You can learn more about my bicycle trip, supporting myself with an online business by clicking on my name.

    Thanks to you, Tim!

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  66. Looks like it was a fun and interesting trip. Good to see your arm back out of the sling.

    So where to next. Any more cool trips planned?

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  67. Looks like you had a great time. I can really relate to your toilet stories.

    Regarding diarrhea , I’ve never had it in China although curiously I always get it when I come back to Europe after a China trip.

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  68. Hey Tim!

    Great episode, my favorite so far! I would have to say North Africa for me. In 2000 I was in Tunisia staying an old camel traders inn. After a late night of dinner and exploring I came home dead tired, fell asleep only to wake up an hour later literally covered in bed bugs and fleas. It took another half hour to track down and wake up the inn keeper who went directly to my room, pulled the mattress and bedding outside into the courtyard and set the whole thing on fire! So, by now its 2:30am and all of the guests are running outside to assuming the entire place is a blaze! After calming everyone down he then informs me that the inn is fully booked and even if there was an empty room there is no extra bedding, one set per room!

    After putting out the fire he tells me that I was welcome to sleep in the open courtyard for the rest of the night and I should not worry about any bugs or fleas because its way too cold for them to be outside! The next 4 “bug free” hours were the longest of the trip!

    Craig Green

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  69. I think I can handle the toilet situation, but the pork, dog?, chicken head, and all the other food discussions grossed me out way more than any fecal matter.

    I cured myself of some of my squeemishness when I pranced into an Alaskan cannery in a ridiculous high heel/mini-skirt combination during high school and tried to convince the management, and myself, that I could handle the job of “egg girl”. That is the highly scientific term for walking past the salmon gut tote for the gutting line to gather the salmon roe that I would then process and prepare for shipment overseas to Asia.

    One day, my lucky day I guess, I slipped and fell into the gut tote that was brimming full of lovely fish innards. Although I was hosed off, I carried the fish odor for at least a week, but, like I said previously, I made leaps and bounds progress in the squeemish department.

    I’m mostly a vegan, except when Wild Alaskan Salmon is dangled before me. When a host puts a dish before you when you are visiting in their country, etiquette says that you graciously eat it. Is there a rule for hiding the food until they look the other way and then tossing it out the window? I hope so.

    Also, on the mosquito topic, I once counted sixty mosquito bites on one of my legs alone. I lost count after the first leg. It was on a trip outside of Nome, AK that took four hours by truck, then a couple hours up river by boat, and then on the last mile hike to Pilgrim Hotsprings I got eaten alive even through mink oil repellent. So, yah, I’d probably suffer looking like a fool, just to avoid the nasty blood suckers. So, I’m on Kevin’s side.

    I loved the video and couldn’t find anything I would change about it. Oh, and I loved the beards!!!!!

    Elizabeth

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