I visited Okinawa in November 2013 on one of my first side trips from Taiwan. Gathered here are some of my photographs from a brief tour of Shuri Castle 首里城, also known as Shuri-jo, a historic Ryukyuan gusuku built on a hilltop in Naha around 650 years ago. Almost nothing seen here is original—the castle and almost everything around it was destroyed in the Battle of Okinawa and reconstructed from historic records between 1952–1992.
In my first dispatch from Zhongli I shared a photograph of the Caishen Building 財神大樓, a rundown entertainment complex next to the train station that I meant to explore at some point. Not long after posting that I got around to checking it out—and much to my surprise, despite the incredibly rundown exterior most of the building is still occupied by hotels, daytime dance clubs, mobile phone booths, and other businesses serving the many Southeast Asian migrant workers of Taoyuan. There is, however, one part of the building that seemed obviously abandoned from street level; the skeletal outline of some kind of UFO-like structure on the rooftop demanded further investigation.
The Geographic Center of Taiwan (台灣地理中心) is a modest roadside attraction at Hutoushan (虎頭山, literally “Tiger Head Mountain”) in Puli, Nantou, on the way to bigger attractions like Qingjing Farm (清境農場). As the name implies, it marks the geographic center of the island of Taiwan, albeit with a bit of a twist: there are actually two monuments here, one at the base of the mountain and another near the peak at 555 meters above sea level. It’s about a ten minute hike to get to the real center of Taiwan!
At the end of a bicycle trip to Taitung City in the spring of 2015 I went wandering near the old train station, which had been transformed into the Taitung Railway Art Village 台東鐵道藝術村 in 2004. I had a hunch I might find some hulking derelict near former station front, perhaps an entertainment complex or shopping center in terminal decline, for the new Taitung Station is located far outside the downtown core. Sure enough, within minutes I noticed the telltale signs of decay on a large commercial building several streets over from the art village. This turned out to be the Fuyou Building 富有大樓, a genuine mosquito museum 蚊子館 built in the early 1990s under shady circumstances. It was later abandoned and has since become an eyesore and public health menace as well as a political hot potato for local officials.
Kowloon was my first experience of Asia back in 2012. Anytime I return to Hong Kong I stay there for at least a couple of nights. It helps that many of the most affordable hotels are located in Kowloon—but I also like how gritty, rundown, and real it is, particularly when compared to the naked display of wealth and privilege seen on the other side of Victoria Harbour on Hong Kong Island itself.
Last weekend I crossed the strait for a brief visa run and, after finding an excellent deal on a hotel on Agoda, once again found myself lost in the immensity of Kowloon. Naturally I spent a good part of my trip wandering around the city documenting my impressions. Collected here are several of my photos from this trip…
Last year, near the end of 2013, I had the good fortune to move to Wenshan, the southernmost part of Taipei. In late September I was nearing the end of my first round-the-island bicycle tour and put a call out on Facebook asking if anyone knew of a place I could stay for a month or so. That call was answered—and I ended up staying with a couple of cool European guys for six months before heading south to Tainan in April 2014.
I recently moved to the West End neighbourhood of Vancouver. Not long after I began taking advantage of the proximity to Stanley Park to engage in a long-standing Vancouver tradition: riding the seawall. Here are a few photos from my first trip around the park.
These images were captured in the Jongno-gu of Seoul, mainly in Insadong, an upscale, artsy neighbourhood, and along Cheonggyecheon Stream.