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Nagasaki sightseeing in one day

Posted by on Oct 16, 2013 in All posts, Japan | 2 comments

Nagasaki is a port city, located in the most western part on Kyushu Island and surrounded by mountains. The city flourished around a busy harbour – which greeted Portuguese ships in the 16th century – and enjoyed a colourful history until the atomic bombing in 1945. On August 9th 1945, the B29 bomber Bockscar, loaded with an atomic bomb, was headed towards the industrial city of Kokura but was confronted with cloudy weather conditions which made it change the course for the second target: Nagasaki. The bomb was dropped and exploded 500 meters above Matsuyama-machi, in the northern part of Nagasaki – leaving about 74, ooo dead and over 75,000 injured. The population of Nagasaki counted around 240.000 people at the time. Consequently our first stop was the impressive Peace Statue in the Nagasaki Peace Park in Urakami (north of...

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Dim sum and more in Yokohama’s Chinatown

Posted by on Apr 25, 2013 in All posts, Japan | 0 comments

If you are visiting Chinatown in Yokohama, it is because of the food. Political arguments aside, Japanese love Chinese food. From what I have heard from travelers about everyday reality of  Chinese food, this must be Chinese food accustomed to satisfy local gustos and hygiene norms. Japanized Chinese food so to say. Just like you will find with Italian, French, Indian or Thai cuisine around here – food quality and service will be top notch, adjusted to Japanese standards. I am not sure if Shanghai can compete but one day I will want to find out. A few weeks ago, our active hosts – from whom we rent our home in Tokyo – took us to Yokohama so we could experience the taste of Chinatown – DIM SUM one term to describe an impressive world of dumplings. Location: Motomachi-Chukagai...

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Petaling Street and Chinese shophouses

Posted by on Jul 14, 2012 in All posts, Malaysia | 2 comments

Old Chinatown and it’s shophouse architecture, build during British colonial times, are the most beautiful sights in Kuala Lumpur and a gem in modern Singapore.  In 1896 Kuala Lumpur was the capital of British colonialism. The British instructed that all wooden houses shall be replaced by brick and get tiled roofs. The British residential system also required all shophouses to be exactly five feet from the road and to have a verandah side walk, to be able to bypass traffic, rain and sun light. The lower a side walk of a shophouse the older it is. The shophouses were constructed by business smart and hard-working Chinese immigrants who lived and worked in those narrow and long houses. The merchants kept their shops downstairs and the living quarters for their family upstairs. The façades reflect the popular architectural style of...

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Singapore – on communities and contrasts

Posted by on May 31, 2012 in All posts, Singapore | 0 comments

Singapore was a British settlement for over a century and there are loads of British influences in infrastructure – driving is obviously on the left – and the British based legal and security system, such as the omnipresent camera surveillance, which is very UK inspired. There are fire doors and safety procedures in public buildings which reminded me strongly of my student times in Manchester. Like the fact that we weren’t encouraged to open our (locked anyway) hotel windows. In my hall in Manchester the windows would only open 15cm and then block due to strict safety measures. Singapore is a mixture of old British historical buildings and modernity. The country-city boasts a Manhattan skyscraper skyline and loads of modern office buildings making sweet and ornate 19th century shop houses even more of a special sight. Surrounded by massive...

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Singapore – on history and heritage

Posted by on May 29, 2012 in All posts, Singapore | 0 comments

Singapore is very eager and does a great job to reflect on its short history since it was founded in 1819 by a British man. Because Singapore’s past is time-limited, it does focus on a broad spectrum of Asian culture and various influences from its Asian immigrants, who have shaped the country and are Singaporian citizens today. The Asian Civilisations Museum is a fine example reflecting on Singapore’s identity and heritage and mirrors the melting pot society. It also recounts on the people and history before Singapore became a state. It tells about the countries fate, when Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore arrived on its shores and met the Muslim Malay king living in his kingdom. The land that was formed into British colony and shaped to be Britain’s main naval base in Asia. Singapore has gained...

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Do not destroy Chinatown in Bangkok

Posted by on Apr 23, 2012 in All posts, Thailand | 0 comments

Equipped with smart phone GPS and map, with the determination to get to Bangkok’s flower market, speeding down via Chao Phraya river express we ended up in… China town. No flowers. Oh, well, being flexible we adapted the given plan to do the Chinese quarters in Bangkok! Expecting busy shop owners and a vibrant street side cuisine we were surrounded by surprising tranquility. It was midday and most of the shops had not opened yet, people were escaping the sunlight and little was going on in the streets. It was a relaxing lull before the storm atmosphere. Most streets were still decorated with beautiful Chinese lanterns dangling in front of shops after Chinese new year celebrations on the weekend – same same but different Thai new year :) Walking down in peace we turned into a narrow indoor street...

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