Dark tourism- Where to go to experience the eerie travel trend

Choeung Ek Genocidal Center attracts hundreds of thousands of Western tourists a year — people who have largely had privileged lives. That’s a very good thing because this centre is the ultimate reality check. It will change you. KOREAN DEATH CAMP (SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA) The location of the Korean death camp is now a museum. Photo / Supplied Locked up in a tiny cell, the two women are frozen in time before me, holding hands as they try to help each other from having their spirits broken by their Japanese tormentors. It was in this same jail, where these two statues are placed, that hundreds of South Korean prisoners were killed, many of them tortured to death. Hundreds of South Koreans were killed and tortured here. Photo / Supplied Seodaemun Prison History Hall is a former jail which was converted into a museum detailing this haunting period in South Korea’s history during the first half of the 20th century when the country was under Japanese rule. The prison was built by the Japanese as a place to detain and torture Korean freedom fighters. Visitors to this site can enter original cells and execution rooms and read plaques which detail the misery of this complex. JUNGLE CONCENTRATION CAMP (CHONGQING, CHINA) Tourists flow in and out of the former concentration camp. Photo / Supplied At the same time Japanese fighters were committing atrocities in Seodaemun Prison, Chinese soldiers were doling our similarly harsh treatment 2,000km away. When I arrive at Zhazidong Prison, on the outskirts of Chongqing city in southwest China, I find hundreds of mostly Chinese tourists flowing in and out of this former concentration camp. Set up secretly in 1943 by the Chinese Nationalist Party, called the KMT, this hidden prison was built into a hillside amid dense forest. The KMT was seeking to crush China’s Communist Revolution movement and so imprisoned, tortured and killed hundreds of revolutionaries at Zhazidong in the 1940s. The camp now acts as a museum, with visitors able to see its cells and even an evil torture chamber. EARTHQUAKE RUINS (NEPAL) Earthquakes ruin in Nepal. Photo / Supplied It is more than four years since Nepal was devastated by a massive earthquake that killed nearly 9,000 people, caused more than 20,000 injuries and damaged thousands of buildings, including historic temples and palaces. Yet the country is still trying to rebuild from this natural disaster due not just to the extent of the carnage, but also because of its limited infrastructure and its status as one of Asia’s poorest nations. Tourism is crucial to Nepal’s economy and travellers are helping the country recover by pumping money into its hospitality sector, donating to earthquake recovery funds, and joining guided tours of badly affected areas like Bhaktapur. About 20 per cent of Bhaktapur’s buildings were razed by the earthquake but, amid this destruction, survived a host of stunning ancient structures like the amazing 300-year-old Nyatapola Temple. Herald recommends

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