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News July 2007   (Balikpapan/Kalimantan [Borneo] / Indonesia, July 17, 2007)

Website statistics: In June we were able to welcome on our website 39'374 visitors who did 835'511 hits.
                                           (May = 34'590 visitors 859'868 hits)
                                The visitors are coming from about 100 to 118 different countries!
                                Record days since 12/17/1998 - the birthday of our website: 2/19/2007, 2'518 visitors and 293'778 hits
Our eight months Indonesian roundtrip comes slowly to an end, as two days ago we reached Kalimantan on the
Island of Borneo, where we started on November 18, 2006. But there are still about 1'250 miles to go – 10% of it
obviously is still a real 4x4-offroad track. If we look at our recent 13th ferry crossing in Indonesian waters from
Mamuju in West Sulawesi to Balikpapan in East Kalimantan, the sailing itself was pretty calm, but live on board was
all but quite. It was not only live music until midnight at its loudest, afterwards the soccer game Indonesia versus
Saudi Arabia was transmitted by the ship's satellite TV (the Indonesian lost 2:1, according to their mind unjustifiably,
what the passengers boisterously agreed). Although actually nobody was anymore in the mood to look the following
Harry Potter movie, the loudspeakers continued to blare, until at 4am the vessel's "muezzin" took over with his
prayers – not to a lesser level of noise. The ship was pretty full, as were its two dormitories with about 120 sleeping
places each. Also the trucks, each loaded with about 30 to 40 tons of oranges, filled the hull nearly completely,
because in Sulawesi one pound costs about 0.5 US-cents, while the price in the shops in Kalimantan rises to
US$ 0.25. If somebody is blessed with a certain "spirit of enterprise", he might be well able to earn some money,
because the wages for packing and loading the fruits are below US$ 1.50 a day.
Tracing now back to Sulawesi, the 10th Indonesian island we have visited with our LandCruiser:
After Makassar, where we published our last "News June", we headed straight North to Tana Toraja, the famous
Toraja land. And this region is really a must! Toraja will remain, besides the island of Sumba, always in our
memories. Exactly at the time we intended to leave for North Sulawesi and hence we had to cross the ill-famed
province of Central Sulawesi with its problematical cities of Poso, Tentena and Palu, the Australian Government
issued newly a strong travel advisory for Indonesia. They advised especially also not to visit these three places due
to an imminent threat of terror attack, including kidnapping of tourists. Remembering this, it is rather an insecure and
strange feeling indeed to drive completely alone on these lonely, slow and heavily potholed roads, its sudden
deterioration starting from the moment we crossed the South-Central provincial border checkpoint. The fact that the
police there took note for the first time in Indonesia of all our passport and car details, adds only more pressure to
our worries. Because the landscape didn't promise any superlatives to come, we decided at Lake Poso to turn back
and to ship with the ferry from West Sulawesi to East Kalimantan on the Island of Borneo.

Palawa near Rantepao in Toraja/Sulawesi/Indonesia      

In the meantime, our "Philippines dream" vanished too. More and more complicated rules for the entry of our car
popped up, thus deciding us on June 22nd, 2007, to give this country a miss. Although the Secretary of Tourism
(= Minister of Tourism) assured us on April 5th, 2006, (!) of his support to facilitate the entry procedures, the
Philippines remain the only of the by now 156 visited countries, making a visit impossible in this way. While we
cannot understand the circumstances – because tourism in the Philippines is an important issue too – we can't force
anything either and are very sorry about this unfortunate development.
How we continue now from East to West Kalimantan, we shall show on our website "Indonesia Trip, part 6"!

New Reports/Pictures

SOUTHEASTASIA:                                      mouse over picture shows comments
                     click a picture to see details


(May 2007)

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

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

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

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

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

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

People, Beaches, Nature

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


(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


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


(September 2005)

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


(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 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 Timor-Leste Trip, 2nd part

Mainland with Dili – May 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 June-Aug. 2006

+ 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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