Lushun (Port Arthur)

On the tip of a peninsular with sea on three sides, Lushun as it is now called has been of strategic military importance since the fourth century AD.

Originally known as Shizikou (Lion Port), it’s current name signifies ‘plain sailing and a favourable voyage’.

The Japanese captured Lushun in 1894. It then became a major battle ground in the 1904 Russo-Japanese war which the Russians lost. According to one Chinese website, Japan then occupied Lushun until 1945 when it was liberated by Russia.

There are numerous old battleground and museum sites to see. But, I being at the start of my hopefully long journey (and limited only by how I stretch my money), I was not prepared to spend ¥100 (NZ$20 but the equivalent of a night’s accommodation) being whizzed around by a taxi driver to see them all.

I chose to walk, and felt very clever jumping on the odd local bus that passed my way. Local buses in China are generally ¥1 (NZ20c) no matter how far you want to go.

I love walking (it’s great to move around after long train journeys and years in an office) and you get to see and interact with the place and locals in a way you otherwise would miss. Being pointed in the direction of the Russian Memorial Cemetary by some delighted old men sitting on their porch on a deserted street was priceless.

However, I should have trusted the Lonely Planet instead if my Dalian Hostel lady who said all sites were close together! I enjoyed the museum and the cemetary and a few other monuments but missed the big battleground hill with the monument of shell casings at the top, still standing since the last hideous battles there. If I had time I would have found a bus!

Apart from a group of six Russians (my first confirmed sighting !) and their tour guide who sped off in their tinted out van as I arrived, I had the massive cemetery to myself. It was peaceful and thought provoking. It commemorates the Russian soldiers that died there in World War II and in aiding China and North Korea in the Korean War.

The Chinese really appreciate the help the Russians gave. I took a few photos in case it comes up in discussion in Russia.

The room in the museum about the Russo-Japanese war was closed. I wondered if this was coincidence or due to a need to reassess descriptions in light of current Sino-Japanese tensions. I hope the former.


This entry was posted in China, Travels in the World. Bookmark the permalink.

I'd love to chat with you - Post a comment below!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s