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News April 2009   (Apia/Samoa, April 22, 2009)

Website statistics: In March we were able to welcome on our website 39'931 visitors who did 1'337'231 hits.
                                           (February = 34'107 visitors 1'163'251 hits)
                                The visitors are coming from about 135 different countries!
                                Record day since 12/17/1998 - the birthday of our website: 11/5/2007 = 13'407 visitors and 787'456 hits
On March 30th, we flew with Air Pacific at 11pm from Nadi in Fiji to Apia in Samoa, where we arrived on March 30th,
at 1am. Thanks to crossing the 180º meridian, which forms the international dateline, we won a full day. While Fiji is
greeting a new day as one of the first countries, Samoa is saying good-bye as the last one.
The vessel "Tropical Islander" of the "Greater Bali Hai" line arrived in Apia in time, carrying our LandCruiser in its 15th
container. Because the Samoan Cabinet approved beforehand the temporary import of our car, the procedures with
Customs, Quarantine and Licensing were not "exhausting". On the contrary: The first two authorities and even the Port
Authority waived generously all their fees; however the "Land Transport Authority" charged its full amount. To be allowed
to drive around with a Samoan license plate and to get the compulsory sticker for that, we were charged for a whole year
(quarterly endorsements are not foreseen). We neither want nor dare to complain, as we owe every appreciation to the
Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Misa Telefoni, for all his spontaneous support upon our request to visit with our car this
beautiful island, despite that the country is in the progress to deal with one of the most far-reaching alterations: The change
from right-hand to left-hand driving, starting on September 6th. Since 1978, when Japan regained full control of its island
of Okinawa from the Americans and switched therefore from the right to the left side, no country in the world has tried
since this experiment again.
But Samoa has still more in store: Starting in June and lasting for four months, the 19th episode of the well-known
"Survivor"-show will be shot. The responsible American company CBS opens its headquarter in the attractive "Aggie
Grey's Lagoon, Beach Resort & Spa", where obligingly we were able to enjoy also two nights at a reduced price and
"survived" comfortably and wonderfully!
During the past three weeks, we discovered that our 163rd country is a rather small place, even if the two main islands of
Upolu and Savai'i together cover about 1'091 square miles. Obviously, everybody seems to know here everyone, and it
looks that everybody is aware what happens in the other's lives (or at least they think to do so), and finally all seem to be
related to somebody in one way or another. Although we heard that this might have also its advantages, it can get also
"tough" sometimes however. For the Samoans, the relative, but for the tourists invisible poverty isn't easy either, though the
expatriates remittances arriving mostly from New Zealand and Australia help smoothen it a bit. Conspicuously for the
visitor are the incredible many imposing churches. Presumably all the possible communities of faith are presented in Samoa,
and on a Sunday all are very active. Believers – dressed mostly in immaculately white clothing – attend their church
services and everywhere, even in the smallest of villages, singing can be heard, either devoutly soft or rhythmically loud.
                                                              Apia/Upolu/Samoa: The most beautiful and huge 'Fale' in the garden of the Head of State
After our "set exercises" with the media (journals, radio, television) were finished – the people like eventually to know
who is driving around on their island with such a "funny" vehicle (and the interest is really huge) – we shall visit until
mid of May the smaller (432 sq.mi.) and lower (3'608 ft.) island of Upolu with the country's capital Apia. In June we
shall proceed to the bigger (659 sq.mi.) and higher (6'095 ft.) sister island of Savai'i, which has much less inhabitants
(only 50'000 instead of 120'000 in Upolu) but looks more volcanic. In the meantime, from 19th to 29th May, there will
be a surprise to which we will return in the 'News May".

New Reports/Pictures
SOUTHEAST ASIA + PACIFIC:                                  mouse over picture shows comments
               click a picture to see details


Picture Gallery
(April-.... 2009)
Island of Upolu
Apia/Samoa: Coat of Arms of Samoa in front of the Government Office Building
3 Picture Galleries
(Jan.-March 2009)
Suva/Fiji: Guard at the Parliament House
1st part: Island of Viti Levu (Jan.+Febr. 2009)
2nd part: Island of Vanua Levu (March 2009)
3rd part: Island of Taveuni (March 2009)
2 Picture Galleries
(1st visit: July 2008)
(2nd visit: Dec. 2008-Jan. 2009)
Vanuatu 1st visit (without car)
Vanuatu 2nd visit (with car)
Vanuatu: Boeing 737-800 of Air Vanuatu at the airport of Port Vila
New Caledonia
3 Picture Galleries
(Aug.-Oct. 2008)
New Caledonia: Nouméa and the St. Joseph Cathedral
1st part: Grand Terre: Nouméa + South (Aug. 2008)
2nd part: Grand Terre: North #1 (Aug.+Sept. 2008)
3rd part: Grand Terre: North #2 (Sept.+Oct. 2008)
New Zealand
6 Picture Galleries
(South Island: Febr.-May 2008)
(North Island: May-July 2008)
1st part: South Island (Febr.+March 2008)
2nd part: South Island (March 2008)
3rd part: South Island (April 2008)
4th part: South to North Island (May 2008)
5th part: North Island (May+June 2008)
6th part: North Island (June+July 2008)
New Zealand: South Island - typically
Picture Gallery
(Febr. 2008)

Philippines: Ricefields near Sagada/Mountain Province/Northern Luzon

3 Picture Galleries
(Oct.- Nov. 2007)
1st part: Kaohsiung-Kenting-Taitung
2nd part: Taitung-Southern Cross-
Island Hwy-Siraya NSA (Zengwun Reservoir)-Alishan-Sun Moon Lake -Taroko-Suao-Hualien Hwy-Taipei
3rd part: Taipei-Taitung-Kaohsiung
Kaohsiung/Taiwan: God of War at Lotus Pond
Timor-Leste (East Timor)
2 Reports
(May 2007)

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

Exclave of Oecussi
1 Report + 6 Picture Galleries
(Sumatra-Java: Sept.-Dec. 2006)
(Bali: Jan.-March 2007)
(Lombok, Sumabawa, Flores: April 2007)
(Sumba, West Timor: May+June 2007)
(Sulawesi:June+July 2007)
(Tana Toraja (-Land): June+July 2007)
(Kalimantan: July 2007)
Sumatra-Java    (= Report)
Lombok, Sumbawa, Flores
Sumba, West Timor
Tana Toraja (Toraja-Land)
Ke'te Kesu near Rantepao/Sulawesi/Indonesia: Traditional Toraja village
(Sept. 2006)
Brunei (Borneo): ’The 'Ali Saifuddien'-Mosque at sunset in Bandar Seri Begawan
3 Reports:
(Sarawak: 1st visit: June-Aug. 2006)
(Sabah: Oct. 2006)
(Sarawak: 2nd visit: Nov. 2006)
Picture Gallery:
(Borneo-Trip: Sept.-Nov. 2006)
Sarawak part 1 Northeast (Miri)
Sarawak part 2 South (Kuching)
Borneo (Sabah, Brunei, Sarawak, Kalimantan)
Sepilok near Sandakan/Sabah/East-Malaysia (Borneo): Orang Utan Rehabilitation Center
(Engine/Body: June-Aug. 2006)
(Transmission: Sept. 2007)

Miri/Sarawak/East-Malaysia (Borneo): Overhaul of our LandCruiser in 'Full Swing'

Report of the first overhaul of 
our LandCruiser in Miri/Sarawak
- the East Malaysian province
on the island of Borneo
Myanmar  (South)
(May 2006)
Myanmar: Waiting for customers in Kawthoung
2 Picture Galleries:
(1st visit: Nov. 1993 - Jan. 1994)
(2nd visit: Nov. - Dec. 2005)
(3rd visit: Febr. - April 2006)
Thailand: Ho Phra I-Suan Temple in Nakhon Si Thammarat
Temples, Pagodas, Shrines

People, Beaches, Nature

(February 2006)

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

(January 2006)
Vietnam: Two women cultivating a rice field
(December 2005)

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

Malaysia (West)
(Oct. - Nov. 2005)
(May 2006)
Malaysia: The four minarets of the ’Sultan Salahuddin’ State Mosque in Shah Alam are visible already from far
Picture Gallery
(September 2005)

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

Macao   (without car)
Picture Gallery
(September 2005)

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

Hong Kong
2 Picture Galleries:
(1st visit: September 2005)
(2nd visit: Dec. 2007-Jan. 2008)


Hong Kong 1st visit (without car)
Hong Kong 2nd visit (with car)
Hong Kong: From ’Hong Kong Peak’ we get an excellent view of the ’skyscraper jungle’
The visit of 5 Pacific Islands with our LandCruiser

Pacific   February 2008 -

The visit of 13 Caribbean Islands with our LandCruiser

Caribbean   June 2003-Dec. 2004

+ added from the United Arab Emirates:

Fairytale Wedding in Dubai   (March 1999)

+ 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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