Explore ten best trekking destinations in Asia with Ryan Pyle's upcoming show on Discovery
After filming Tough Rides: India in 2014, Canada-born adventure junkie Ryan Pyle returns to the country which he calls ‘wonderful, memorable and bizarre’. “I love India,” exclaims the 41-year-old Guinness World Record holder for completing 16,240km on motorbike, who explores the region of the Western Himalayas with his new show Expedition Asia with Ryan Pyle. In the 10-episode series, Pyle will be seen exploring ten best adventure trekking destinations in Asia and will be travelling to China, Indonesia and the Philippines among other countries. The Dubai-based TV host and speaker, who holds a degree in International Politics and who has travelled across the length and breadth of the globe, climbing mountains and undertaking extreme treks, has also authored many books. Currently stuck in Istanbul because of the lockdown, the Ernest Hemingway fan, talks about rediscovering India with the new series, working on his podcast and never stopping his journey. Excerpts:
In 2014 you did Tough Rides: India, and wrote a book, The India Ride, as well. With Expedition Asia you are revisiting India. What led to the decision of coming back to India?
I enjoy travelling in India and it was important for me to do one episode of Expedition Asia in India. My decision to come back was easy- I love India. I thrive on the energy, the wonderful people, the spirituality and the wonderful food.
What is Expedition Asia all about and which part and aspect of India have you explored with this series?
Expedition Asia is all about staging exciting overland expeditions in some of Asia’s most amazing locations. With regards to India, we filmed in the western Himalayas near Manali.
How different was the experience this time in India? Any memorable moment that you want to share with us?
India is always wonderful, memorable and bizarre. My time in Manali was very relaxing and I got a wonderful shave in the streets near the Mall. We got caught in some crazy snowstorms. It was very epic.
When did you start the expedition and how long did it take to complete the series?
I started filming the 10 episodes season of Expedition Asia in February 2019 and it took ten months. We filmed one expedition per month.
Apart from India, which other countries did you explore in this series?
We explored Mount Apo in the Philippines, Badain Jaran Desert in China, Bali in Indonesia, Khuiten Peak in Mongolia, Holy Ridge in Taiwan, Maclehose Trail in Hong Kong, The Turkestan Circle in Kyrgystan, Mount Kinabalu in Malaysia, Northern Thailand Trail and finally Jagatsukh Peak near Manali in India.
How is an adventure junkie like you spending lockdown stuck in Istanbul?
I was filming a television series in Ethiopia when the world went on full lockdown. I was lucky to make it out of that country before the airport closed. I am now in Istanbul for the last eight weeks. I have started working on my podcast which is available on Apple Podcast and Spotify and also on my YouTube Channel. Also, I have launched a series of Instagram Live interviews called The COVID Calls.
Tell us about your other upcoming projects.
At the moment everything is on hold. Apart from Tough Rides Saudi Arabia and Extreme Treks season 4 there will also be a new production - Meet the Makers. The series is going to be about me travelling the globe and meeting people who still make things by hand, and how this lost art is still so important to our society.
You have been doing back to back shows since 2013. What keeps you inspired?
I love travelling the world and I love meeting new people and I’ll never stop. As long as the broadcasters will allow me to make shows, I’ll keep working very hard.
Back in 2001, what convinced a degree holder in International Politics to become an explorer?
International Politics made me very curious about how the world works, and how different countries structure their internal politics and their international relationships. This sparked an interest in making me want to travel and explore the world. Then as I began to travel and explore, I started to enjoy the adventure elements of travel and I want to climb and trek and see places that offer magical wilderness.
Which part of your expeditions gives you the most thrills?
That first day of walking and hiking and trekking is always so exciting, I love it.
Among the many expeditions that you have undertaken, can you point out at one that has been the most memorable?
I think that getting caught in a massive snowstorm in the Himalayas, outside of Manali, in our episode that we filmed in India, was pretty magical and very memorable.
Which books are you reading?
I found a few Ernest Hemingway books at a used bookstore here in Istanbul, so I am ready For Whom The Bell Tolls, I’ve always been a big Hemingway fan.
What is the next thing you want to do once the pandemic is over?
It would be great to get back out and start meeting new people and having outdoor experiences again. I miss being outdoors.
The show premieres on May 25 at 8 pm on Discovery, Discovery HD and Discovery Plus