By Lindsay Wong
The onset of COVID-19 has restricted leisurely travel and essentially made it impossible. However, it’s still possible to see the sights of the world by watching travel programmes, some of which are ongoing and some of which are completed, so it’s perfect for binge-watching. What’s even better is that these programmes are hosted by your favourite Asian entertainers!
Released on Netflix, ‘Twogether’ is hosted by Taiwanese actor Jasper Liu and Korean actor Lee Seunggi. Jasper Liu starred in ‘More Than Blue’ and ‘Triad Princess’. Lee Seunggi played leading roles in the K-dramas ‘A Korean Odyssey’ and ‘Vagabond’ and has been active in variety shows. In ‘Twogether’, the two actors travel to six cities – Yogyakarta and Bali in Indonesia, Bangkok and Chiang Mai in Thailand, Pokhara and Kathmandu in Nepal – which have been recommended by their fans. Even though they do not speak the same language, they must work together and complete missions while traveling in these locations.
‘Battle Trip’ is a South Korean travel show that takes the format of a trip competition between two groups of celebrities (variety stars, actors, K-pop idols) or individual celebrities. They travel within specific cities or states based on topics and show the audience travel tips and recommendations. In the end, the audience votes on the winner. However, in the last few episodes, the format was amended. The new concept focused on the guest’s travels. Celebrities, including Haha, Eric Nam, members of Lovelyz, The Boyz, Golden Child, NU’EST and more, travel to cities all around the world for this show.
Where Are We Going, Dad?
‘Where Are We Going, Dad?’ is a Chinese reality show featuring famous fathers with their kids. Some of the famous fathers include Jordan Chan, Hu Jun and Gary Chaw. They travel to rural areas around China like forests, islands and townships and visit the local landmarks. In some episodes, they even go as far as Fiji or Perth, Australia. The series became a massive hit and attracted 75 million viewers per episode every week.
‘Itte-Q’ is one of Japan’s most popular, hilarious, and entertaining travel shows. The show has been ongoing since 2007 and features comedians and famous entertainers as the hosts. The cast members travel to different locations around the world and do fascinating and sometimes bizarre things, such as learning how to pour tea the martial arts way, riding scary rides at amusement parks, racing a cheetah and more.
In ‘Salty Tour’, cast members or invited guests travel to different locations – some in South Korea, some overseas – and become tour guides for only one day. They are each given a fixed budget, which they must use to come up with the best vacation experience. Their tours are then judged by the rest of the cast members based on food, places of interest, accommodation and criteria (depends on the destination). Winning tour guides get to enjoy a pre-selected luxury. Celebrities that have appeared on ‘Salty Tour’ include members of Red Velvet, LOONA, EXO and Korean Englishman.
‘Wow! Thailand’ is a Thai travel documentary hosted by Leo Saussay, Victor Zheng, Nachat Juntapun and Now Methavee. The hosts travel to 77 provinces across Thailand and tell stories of these destinations. They also indulge in the local food and delicacies of the provinces and enjoy the scenery.
Youth Over Flowers
‘Youth Over Flowers’ is a South Korean travel-variety show that features a group of celebrities traveling to different countries to explore and complete missions. The cast members are usually not told about their travel activities beforehand and are surprised usually on the day of travel itself. There have been five editions of the show, where cast members travelled to Peru, Laos, Iceland, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Australia. Celebrities who have appeared include actors Park Bogum, Kang Haneul, and K-pop group, WINNER.