The Charcoal Maker in Miwsake, Cameroon

The Charcoal Maker in Miwsake, Cameroon

Sep 18 2012

Douala, the largest city in Cameroon, owns the biggest port in the country. It is the commercial capital, majorly handling the export of oil, coca, metal, fruits and timber.  Wood is the most accessible natural resource in Cameroon and is therefore widely used in people’s daily life. We traveled to Youwpe and Miwake, villages around Douala, and collected plenty of precious information about how local people make good use of wood, and make products ranging from artistic sculptures and accessories, to canoes and charcoal. The people also maintain a sustainable way of using wood. For example, charcoal makers in the Miwake region, which is located southwest to Douala, pick only naturally dead trees as their raw material. By doing so, the timber is transformed into another form and becomes another useful product for the people. 

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Museums at Speicherstadt

Museums at Speicherstadt

Sep 07 2012

  At Speicherstadt near downtown Hamburg, museums scatter on the grand harbor. The International Maritime Museum, opened in 2008, showcases Peter Tamm's collection of over 40,000 items of model ships, construction plans, uniforms, and maritime art. Besides the exquisite and overarching exhibitions, the building itself is a large, old wooden structure that was formerly a warehouse. On the other hand, the Speicherstadt Museum exhibits objects about trading, especially coffee and tea trading. All of the business activities  played an important role in carving the modern look of the Speicherstadt harbor. Several wooden items used in the old day to transport goods are displayed, so are photos and stories about the timber poles that bolster the foundation of the buildings at Speicherstadt.  

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Historical railway for logging in Kysuce Village

Historical railway for logging in Kysuce Village

Sep 04 2012

The significance of Kysuce village is the historical forest dead-end railway. Connecting two independent forest railwaysin both Kysuce and Orava regions, this forest railway offered the shortest transportation route of logging industry between these two mountainous regions in the early 20th century. The whole track length extended from 61km when it was first constructed to nearly 110km at the end of 1920s. The most valuable part of the track overcame a noticeable rise of 217.69m on the shortest distance (air line) of 1500m with three pointed dead-end system. This tailor-made narrow gauge railway serves the main purpose of transporting logs out of the forest up in the Tatras Mountain.  

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Old Rauma

Old Rauma

Sep 04 2012

Old Rauma is the largest Nordic wooden town with over 600 well-preserved wooden architectures from the 18th -19th century, and most of which are privately owned. It is valued for its vernacular architectural heritage, and these houses, workshops and shops are still in use today. Back in the old days, almost every household had lace-makers making bobbin lace, a technique believed to have been brought by sailors in the 18th century. Although, lacemaking had once brought wealth into the city of Rauma, it is now a declined industry and a cultural heritage practiced and preserved by local people. When making bobbin lace, lace makers need a lace pillow with pin set and wind threads on wooden bobbins, to determine the lace pattern according to the placement of wooden bobbin and pin.  The City Renovation Center exhibits tools and materials used for constructing and preserving Rauma wooden houses, and photos documenting the preservation history of these traditional buildings, are valuable and worth visiting. The center is a place where people can acquire techniques, and obtain knowledge of conserving and renovating the traditional Finnish wooden architecture.

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Burmester Cellar

Burmester Cellar

Sep 03 2012

Established in 1750, Burmester is one of the oldest cellars along the Douro River. This cellar has begun the port-shipping business, mainly to the British Isle and the rest of Europe since then, and now, it is a living winery showcased wine-making tradition of the area. In Vila Nova de Gaia, the city located just across Douro River from Porto, Burmester and many of the other cellars took the advantage of natural moisture within the area, and built wine houses with thick walls and wooden ceiling to create a suitable environment for preserving wine. However, barrels of wine stored in this area were actually transported from the Upper Douro Valley, which is also one of the oldest vineyard regions that produces one of the best wines in the world, the Porto Wine. 

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Asin Road

Asin Road

Jun 06 2012

Asin road, a famous road in the Baguio City, Philippines, is known for its wooden lacquer painting and polishing. Almost all woodcrafts in Baguio city or from the surrounding areas are sent to Asin road to be painted and polished. Lacquer painting and polishing is the last step of woodcraft making. These steps can brighten the wood colors, prevent termites, and cover minor flaws of the original wood surface. On Asin road, most of the painters are women, because men are usually involved in carving or working in the city. Women used to paint and polish woodcrafts at home or in the neighborhood to earn some money to support their family.  Asin road can be regarded as the hub of woodcrafts making where carved woodcrafts are sent for painting and polishing. After all the processes are completed, finished products will be sent to Manila city and to be sold domestically or abroad.

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Erdaobaihe Town

Erdaobaihe Town

Mar 27 2012

Erdaobaihe town is located in the south of Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, the foot of Changbai Mountain. The town is rich in its natural resources and has 94% of forest coverage and 190,000 hectares area of forest.  Because of its average altitude of 800 meters, the freezing weather is suitable for growing pines and birches. Here in Erdaobaihe town, there are 120 different species of trees and 30 types of precious trees.  Erdaobaihe town is one of the most important lumber yards in China. Therefore, 300,000 cubic meters of lumbers are produced at Erdaobaihe town every year. 

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Changbai Mountain (North Scenic Area)

Changbai Mountain (North Scenic Area)

Mar 27 2012

  Changbai Mountain has rich natural resources with 190,000 hectares of nature reserve. It is also an ecological tourist attraction, including virgin forests, lakes, waterfall, hot springs, and valleys…etc.  The north scenic spot of Changbai Mountain contains the largest number of attractions among three slopes, including Small Sky Pond, Changbai Waterfall, Underground Forest and the Heaven Lake. During wintertime, the high altitude of Changbai Mountain causes the frozen surface of the lake and pool and it creates a beautiful landscape. Apart from the natural sceneries, Changbai Mountain is also the origin of ethnic minorities. According to ancient tales, Manchu people originated at this “sacred mountain.”    

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Drug Fairy Garden

Drug Fairy Garden

Mar 27 2012

Songjianghe Town is at the southeast of Fusong County. The area has rich natural resources with 89.2% of forest coverage and 17,000 hectares of forest. Here, lumber storage can reach up to 3.7 million cubic meters. Songjianghe Town is only 41 kilometers  away from Heaven Lake; hence, it is called the “First Town at the Foot of Changbai Mountain”. Songjianghe Town has convenient transportation, which provides good condition for developing tourism.  Ginseng and pine nuts are two specialties in this area. The folk tale of Laobatou – the ancestor of gathering ginseng - is prevailing in the area that people even build a temple to worship him.

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Fusong County

Fusong County

Mar 27 2012

Fusong County is located at the southeast of Jilin Province where Changbai Mountain is. Not only the magnificent natural landscape, but also the richness of resources attracts millions of tourists from the world. Fusong County has a history of ginseng planting for over 400 years. In 1982, the total output of ginseng has reached 7,500,000 kilograms. Therefore, Fusong County is named as the “hometown of ginseng in China.” Ginseng planting is the prominent industry in Fusong County where there is the biggest ginseng market in the world. Within the county, there is a ginseng museum that records and preserves the tradition of gathering ginseng in China.  

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