Tag Archives: WW11

Powell Street, Vancouver

It would be easy to overlook the historic site of Vancouver’s Power Street. Little remains except for a beautifully maintained Japanese Language School.

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Lillooet

Lillooet was two hundred and fifty kilometres north of Vancouver. I drove by the beautiful Lillooet River and Lillooet Lake but still had another hour’s drive on to Duffey Lake before I reached the actual town. The Coastal Mountains near Lillooet were parched that summer. The town sat on the western bank of the Fraser River where the area had originally been inhabited by the St’at’imc Lil’wat Nation. But an influx of miners hungry for gold in the mid 1800s brought changes to the region. Still today, the town can boast a population that is fifty percent St’at’imac—a rare statistic for the province.

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Under Bukittinggi and far above

Bukittinggi had a dark, hidden past under its town. During the war, the Japanese used local Indonesians as slave labour to build underground tunnels where they stored their ammunition. We found the bunkers disturbing, as if a cloud of pain and death still resonated off the stone walls and rushed out.

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why were geelong’s old buildings preserved?

Unlike most cities where highrise dominates the landscape, Geelong’s old buildings were spared demolition. There was a reason for this and it wasn’t just a handful of people who argued against the loss of these tasteful buildings.

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geelong’s Federal woollen mills

I headed to the western edge of Port Phillip Bay to North Geelong combing antique stores when I spotted the tasteful Federal Woollen Mills’ main building. The brick factory was constructed by the first Australian Labour Government in 1915 and offered better working conditions for factory employees. Workers were responsible for scouring, carding, dyeing, spinning and weaving Australian wool into cloth using the mill’s own power plant.

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Bukit Batok nature park

Set close to the centre of Singapore Island, I hiked towards an abandoned quarry site in Bukit Batok Nature Park. Not only the sound of birds hovered in the air, but a distant wooden flute breezed a relaxing melody through the park that was established in 1988. When I reached the old quarry, now filled with water, a man faced the lake, his flute notes echoing off the cliff face opposite. His melodies rang through most of the park which was in the process of eliminating all plants that weren’t native to Singapore so that it would truly be a nature park.

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Sites of Korea’s dark tourism

During the Joseon period, smoke signal stations and beacon mounds were used to transmit urgent political or military news by smoke or torchlight. These stations were built on hills where there had once been additional stations roughly six kilometres to the east and west of Sagye-ri’s station. Continue reading Sites of Korea’s dark tourism

Jeju Peace Park

There was a solemn atmosphere as soon as I stepped into the main hall in Peace Park and crept down a dark tunnel. I knew about Korea’s suffering under Japanese occupation and expected some of that history to be on display, but this was more about after 1945 when Koreans thought they’d be liberated. Continue reading Jeju Peace Park

District of a thousand temples

I strolled the streets of Tokyo’s Yanaka District where it felt like there were temples on every corner. In fact, there were sixty — still a surprising number for this small district. Continue reading District of a thousand temples