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News October 2007   (Kaohsiung / Taiwan, October 15, 2007)

 
Website statistics: In September we were able to welcome on our website 33'726 visitors who did 937'422 hits.
                                           (August = 33'447 visitors 906'336 hits)
                                The visitors are coming from about 100 to 118 different countries!
                                Record day since 12/17/1998 - the birthday of our website: 2/19/2007 = 2'518 visitors and 293'778 hits
 
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The overhaul of the gear box in Miri in Sarawak, which lies in the Eastern part of Malaysia on Borneo, finished just in
time for the arrival of a film crew from Singapore that came to shoot a movie on September 27th and 28th with us. They
produced a short video for the launch of the new Toyota LandCruiser 200 (= J14 of the 140's series) that will take place
at the end of October in Bahrain for the Middle East. It was real fun – even loading the car into the container destined for
Taiwan in Bintulu's port was captured.
 
Hence we had to leave our travel buddy, locked into its metal box on September 28th, and flew one day later with
AirAsia to Kuala Lumpur. The following Sunday, we spent on the train bound for Singapore, while the journey through
the endless palm oil plantations of Southern Malaysia was rather boring. On Monday, not only our car started its four day
sea trip from Bintulu to Kaohsiung, but it was also our "big" shopping spree in Singapore: A new camera (Panasonic
Lumix 8.1 Megapixel with a 18x-zoom) and an external computer storage for all the digital pictures. Our plan to purchase
the "latest" Nokia N95 cellular phone, which could be used to access also the internet to download emails, had to be
given a miss – it's simply still too expensive. It would have been tempting to be able to upload the latest pictures onto our
website right after being shot; and also the built-in GPS could possibly be helpful if ever getting lost in unknown mega
cities. But we have to survive with the means at our disposal – the gear box overhaul and the change from Borneo to
Taiwan by freighter and planes made the bank account shrink considerably due to the many ATM withdrawals.
 
JetstarAsia flew us on October 2nd to Taipei in Taiwan. Unfortunately, the weather became more and more hazy due to
the imminent arrival of super typhoon "Krosa", what prevented our visit of the second tallest building of the world (in July
of this year, the  'Taipei 101-Tower' with its height of 1'667 ft. has been superseded by the 'Dubai Tower' [Burj Dubai]).
A high speed rail brought us in 1 hours with a speed of 186 miles/hour from Taiwans mega capital Taipei to the port
city of Kaohsiung with its 1.5 million people –.where our LandCruiser was supposed to arrive with Evergreen Line on
Friday morning. As a first step, we visited a little bit "naive" the shipping line – still being hopeful to have it probably
released the next day – but had soon to learn that an entry with an own vehicle in Taiwan is not a commonness and we
might have to expected quite a few problems. Although we immediately pointed out to the invitation received from the
Tourism Bureau, we had to learn that the customs authority and the land transportation department will have their own
objections.

And that's how it was: Firstly our "Carnet de Passages" was refused and therefore asked instead for a bond of
US$ 4'000, and secondly it wasn't clear, whether at all and how long we should get a Taiwanese license, because driving
around with our Swiss plates wouldn't be allowed. Our spirit dropped over the weekend to zero, but after each low
comes a new high again: And it arrived in an obviously influential Taiwanese who was able to make the impossible
possible thanks to his connections. Amazed and delighted we found out during the week that our "Carnet" has been
checked by the Taiwanese Trade Office in Geneva and therefore will be accepted, and that we shall be able to drive on
Taiwan's roads "temporarily" until the end of November despite all its time restrictions. Hurrah! – The 157th country
became suddenly reality. Result: Car travels off the "beaten track" aren't easy, thrills and unforeseen eventualities have to
be always expected.

To make it short: On Thursday, October 11th, we were able to leave with our car the huge port of Kaohsiung. Still we
had to settle all the terminal and other charges, which unfortunately matched in size to the proportions of the most
important port in Taiwan: Nearly the double of what we paid usually during our last 10 container shippings worldwide.
On the other hand, we are experiencing an overwhelming interest into our trip from the Taiwanese people. As soon as
the the interviews with three TV stations, one radio and a lot of newspaper journalists were over, our email inbox
started to fill up. The enthusiasm is unbelievable: On October 14th, we experienced a new record high of visitors on our
website: 3093 in one day! Apart from six printed newspapers we were able to find also 12 online on the Internet. We
are looking forward to experience how our island roundtrip will unfold during the coming 5 to 6 weeks.
.
 

Kaohsiung/Taiwan: Lonely and lost in the warehouse of the Evergreen Line      

 
Between mid and end of November 2007, our vehicle will be forwarded from Kaohsiung to Hong Kong. Now as before
we have our dream to continue from there to China, and if it's only via Shenzen and Guangzhou to Macao. In a negative
outcome – which we expect to happen due to the lack of (personal) connections – we shall ship to Lae in Papua New
Guinea, where an absolutely new chapter and our first destination in the Pacific on another continent of our world trip will
begin.
 
Please follow on our website the 'Taiwan-Trip' and its continuation!
 

New Reports/Pictures

SOUTHEAST ASIA:                                      mouse over picture shows comments
                     click a picture to see details

 

 
Timor-Leste (Mainland)
(May 2007)
 
Com/Timor-Leste: Traditional Fataluku house
Oecussi/Timor-Leste
(May 2007)

Oecussi/Timor-Leste: Landscape East of Oecussi-'Town'

 
Sarawak/East-Malaysia
(Island of Borneo), Part 2
(Nov. 2006)
 
Kuching/Sarawak/East-Malaysia (Borneo): Proboscis monkey in Bako National Park
Sabah/East-Malaysia
(Island of Borneo)
(Oct. 2006)

Mount Kinabalu/Sabah/East-Malaysia (Borneo): Early Morning View

Brunei
(Sept. 2006)
 
Brunei (Borneo): ’The 'Ali Saifuddien'-Mosque at sunset in Bandar Seri Begawan
Sarawak/East-Malaysia
(Island of Borneo), Part 1
(June - Aug. 2006)

Miri/Sarawak/East-Malaysia (Borneo): Traditional stilt houses reflecting in the water of the Miri River

Myanmar
(May 2006)
 
Myanmar: Waiting for customers in Kawthoung
Thailand
Temples, Pagodas, Shrines 

Thailand
People, Beaches, Nature

(Nov. 1993 - Jan. 1994)
(Nov. - Dec. 2005)
(Febr. - April 2006)
Thailand: Ho Phra I-Suan Temple in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Laos

(February 2006)

Laos: The ’Patuxai’, the Laotian replica of the French ’Arc de Triomphe’ in Paris

Vietnam

(January 2006)
Vietnam: Two women cultivating a rice field

Cambodia

(December 2005)

Cambodia: The main temple of Angkor Wat with its five towers viewed from the hill of the ’Phnom Bakheng’ - Temple

Malaysia

(Oct. - Nov. 2005)
Malaysia: The four minarets of the ’Sultan Salahuddin’ State Mosque in Shah Alam are visible already from far

Singapore

(September 2005)

Singapore: High-rise buildings pop up everywhere - here behind the Parliament House

Macao

(September 2005)

Macao: The ’St. Paul’ ruin is an inspiring sight also at night

Hong Kong

(September 2005)

 

Hong Kong:From ’Hong Kong Peak’ we get an excellent view of the ’skyscraper jungle’
+ our Taiwan Trip, 2nd part
Taitung-Southern Cross-Island Highway-
Siraya National Scenic Area (Zengwun Reservoir)-
Alishan NSA-Sun Moon Lake NSA-Taroko National Park-
Suao-Hualien Highway-Taipei – Oct.+Nov. 2007
+ our Taiwan Trip, 1st part

Kaohsiung-Kenting-Taitung – Oct. 2007

+ our Indonesia Trip, 6th part

Kalimantan – July 2007

+ our Indonesia Trip, within the 5th part

Tana Toraja (Toraja-Land) – June+July 2007

+ our Indonesia Trip, 5th part

Sulawesi – June+July 2007

+ our Indonesia Trip, 4th part

Sumba, West Timor – May+June 2007

+ our Indonesia Trip, 3rd part

Lombok, Sumabawa, Flores – April 2007

+ our Indonesia Trip, 2nd part

Bali – Jan.-March 2007

+ our Indonesia Trip, 1st part

Sumatra, Java – Dec. 2006

+ our Borneo Trip

Sarawak, Brunei, Sabah, Kalimantan – Sept.-Nov. 2006

+ our LandCruiser on a "Rejuvenation Cure"

in Miri/Sarawak - the East Malaysian province on Borneo Engine/Body: June-Aug. 2006/Transmission: Sept. 2007

+ added from a earlier visit to the USA:

Las Vegas    (Millennium change)

+ added from our Arabian Peninsula round trip:

Pictures from Yemen (May-June 1996)

+ Flashbacks of our Worldrecordtour:

Pictures from "all the continents" (Oct. 1984 - April 1997)

+ Follow-ups about Toyota-Experiences:
Encounters resp. "Ups + Downs" with
Toyota Companies since 1982
On July 7th, 2005, we were able to celebrate after a journey through 150 countries the car's
600'000th Kilometer - very prosaic in front of the post office in Cayenne/French Guiana.
Are you interested into the LandCruiser History, prepared by Toyota Motor Sales USA and taken over by
Toyota Motor United Kingdom? (after some loading-time please klick "IN LEGEND" and afterwards "HAIR TO MAGELLAN
- and you will see that we already belong to it too!)

 

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