Dali City in China

16 November 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  11 minutes

The Tree Pagodas © panoramio.com - 江上清风1961/cc-by-3.0

The Tree Pagodas © panoramio.com – 江上清风1961/cc-by-3.0

Dali City is the county-level seat of the Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture in northwestern Yunnan. Dali City is administered through 12 township-level districts, two of which are also commonly referred to as Dali. Xiaguan formerly known as Hsia-kuan, is the modern city centre and usually conflated with Dali City by virtue of being its seat. This town is the destination of most long-distance transportation heading to Dali and is sometimes referred to as Dali New Town to avoid confusion. Dali Town formerly known as Tali, is another division of Dali City, located 10 km (6.2 mi) north of Xiaguan. This town, commonly referred to as Dali Old Town to distinguish it from the city seat in Xiaguan, is usually the Dali referred to in tourist publications. The old town is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Yunnan, known for its natural scenery, historical and cultural heritage, and vibrant nightlife.   read more…

Kinmen islands in Taiwan

27 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  10 minutes

Juguang Tower © panoramio.com - lienyuan lee/cc-by-3.0

Juguang Tower © panoramio.com – lienyuan lee/cc-by-3.0

Kinmen, alternatively known as Quemoy, is a group of islands governed as a county by the Republic of China (Taiwan), off the southeastern coast of mainland China. It lies roughly 10 km (6.2 mi) east of the city of Xiamen in Fujian, from which it is separated by Xiamen Bay. Kinmen is located 187 km (116 mi) west from the shoreline of the island of Taiwan across the Taiwan Strait. The county consists of the major island of Kinmen along with several surrounding islets, as well as Wuqiu Township located 133 km (83 mi) to the northeast of the rest of the county. Kinmen is one of two counties that constitutes Fujian Province, the other being Lienchiang County (Matsu).   read more…

Hill Forts of Rajasthan

11 September 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  6 minutes

Jaisalmer Fort © Gérard Janot/cc-by-sa-3.0

Jaisalmer Fort © Gérard Janot/cc-by-sa-3.0

The North Western Indian State of Rajasthan has over one hundred fortifications on hills and mountainous terrain. Six Hill Forts of Rajasthan, spread across Rajasthan state in northern India, have been clustered as a series and designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ‘Hill Forts of Rajasthan’ was initially submitted to the UNESCO as a serial property formed by five Rajput forts in the Aravalli Range, and were built and enhanced between the 5th and 18th centuries CE by several Rajput kings of different kingdoms. The UNESCO series has been increased to six forts. They consist of:   read more…

Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region

4 September 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  6 minutes

Remains of Villages on Nozaki Island © Pachopi/cc-by-sa-3.0

Remains of Villages on Nozaki Island © Pachopi/cc-by-sa-3.0

Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region is a group of twelve sites in Nagasaki Prefecture and Kumamoto Prefecture relating to the history of Christianity in Japan. The Nagasaki churches are unique in the sense that each tells a story about the revival of Christianity after a long period of official suppression. Proposed jointly in 2007 for inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List under criteria ii, iii, iv, v, and vi, the submission named at the time Churches and Christian Sites in Nagasaki on the Tentative List, was recognized on January 30, 2018, as a World Heritage Site.   read more…

City of Ur in Iraq

20 July 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  11 minutes

Ziggurat of Ur © Kaufingdude/cc-by-sa-3.0

Ziggurat of Ur © Kaufingdude/cc-by-sa-3.0

Ur was an important Sumerian city-state in ancient Mesopotamia, located at the site of modern “Tell el-Muqayyar” in south Iraq‘s Dhi Qar Governorate. Although Ur was once a coastal city near the mouth of the Euphrates on the Persian Gulf, the coastline has shifted and the city is now well inland, on the south bank of the Euphrates, 16 kilometres (9.9 miles) from Nasiriyah in modern-day Iraq. The city dates from the Ubaid period circa 3800 BC, and is recorded in written history as a city-state from the 26th century BC, its first recorded king being Mesannepada.   read more…

Keong Saik Road in Singapore

23 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

© Jacklee/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Jacklee/cc-by-sa-4.0

Keong Saik Road is a one-way road located in Chinatown within the Outram Planning Area in Singapore. The road links New Bridge Road to Neil Road, and is intersected by Kreta Ayer Road. Keong Saik Road was named in 1926 after the Malacca-born Chinese businessman, Tan Keong Saik, in remembrance to his contribution to the Chinese community.   read more…

Yiwu in Central Zhejiang Province

16 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

Park on the river © Cherubby/cc-by-sa-3.0

Park on the river © Cherubby/cc-by-sa-3.0

Yiwu is a county-level city under the jurisdiction of Jinhua in Central Zhejiang Province, East China. As of the 2020 census, the city had 1,859,390 inhabitants and its built-up (or metro) area, joined with that of the neighboring Dongyang, was home to 2,947,340 inhabitants. The city is famous for its light industry commodity trade and vibrant market and as a regional tourist destination.   read more…

East Turkestan or Xinjiang and the Uyghurs in China

11 March 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  25 minutes

Xinjiang Internment Camps map © US  National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and Australian Strategic Policy Institute

Xinjiang Internment Camps map © US National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and Australian Strategic Policy Institute

Xinjiang, officially the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (East Turkestan) and formerly romanized as Sinkiang, is a landlocked autonomous region of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), located in the northwest of the country close to Central Asia. Being the largest province-level division of China and the 8th-largest country subdivision in the world, Xinjiang spans over 1.6 million square kilometres (620,000 sq mi) and has about 25 million inhabitants. Xinjiang borders the countries of Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. The rugged Karakoram, Kunlun and Tian Shan mountain ranges occupy much of Xinjiang’s borders, as well as its western and southern regions. The Aksai Chin and Trans-Karakoram Tract regions, both administered by China, are claimed by India. Xinjiang also borders the Tibet Autonomous Region and the provinces of Gansu and Qinghai. The most well-known route of the historic Silk Road ran through the territory from the east to its northwestern border. It is home to a number of ethnic groups, including the Turkic Uyghur, Kazakhs and Kyrgyz, the Han, Tibetans, Hui, Chinese Tajiks (Pamiris), Mongols, Russians and Sibe. There are more than a dozen autonomous prefectures and counties for minorities in Xinjiang. Older English-language reference works often refer to the area as Chinese Turkestan, East Turkestan and East Turkistan. Xinjiang is divided into the Dzungarian Basin in the north and the Tarim Basin in the south by a mountain range, and only about 9.7% of Xinjiang’s land area is fit for human habitation. Capital und largest city by far is Ürümqi.   read more…

Takayama in Japan

26 February 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

Presentation of floats during Sannō Matsuri © Chme82/cc-by-sa-4.0

Presentation of floats during Sannō Matsuri © Chme82/cc-by-sa-4.0

Takayama is a city located in Gifu, Japan. As of 1 January 2019, the city had an estimated population of 88,473 in 35,644 households, and a population density of 41 persons per km2. The total area of the city was 2,177.61 square kilometres (840.78 sq mi) making it the largest city by area in Japan. The high altitude and separation from other areas of Japan kept the area fairly isolated, allowing Takayama to develop its own culture over about a 300-year period. The city is popularly known as Hida-Takayama in reference to the old Hida Province to differentiate it from other places named Takayama. The name ‘Takayama’ means ‘tall mountain’. Takayama is located in northern Gifu Prefecture, in the heart of the Japan Alps. Mount Hotakadake is the highest point in the city at 3,190 metres (10,470 ft). The city has the largest geographic area of any municipality in Japan. The economy of Takayama is strongly based on tours, agriculture and woodworking.   read more…

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