(+ earlier Reports)
New Reports
(+ new Pictures)





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News December 2007   (Hong Kong, December 18, 2007)

Website statistics: In November we were able to welcome on our website 59'849 visitors who did 2'496'417 hits.
                                           Both figures were a new record. (October = 44'102 visitors 1'485'393 hits)
                                The visitors are coming from about 100 to 118 different countries!
                                Record day since 12/17/1998 - the birthday of our website: 11/5/2007 = 13'407 visitors and 787'456 hits
As planned, on November 27th, we packed our LandCruiser into its 11th container, bound for the journey to
Hong Kong, where it arrived on December 3rd, a little bit delayed. The following day was spent searching for the
compulsary third-party insurance, because none of the companies wanted to cover our car – either allowing just an one-
year policy or due to its advanced age (already over 25 years).
But endurance brings success. Armed with the insurance cover note, bill of lading, registration and passport copies, we
made our way to the licensing department, and surprisingly – nobody dared to hope – after 20 minutes of waiting, we
received the Hong Kong registration sticker, even free of charge, and headed straight to the huge port. Unstuffing, signing
and taking-off through the gate was all. No customs check was made at all. Then, we jumped into the enormous traffic of
the 7-million mega-city.
But soon after, the problems started to unveil: Where is it possible to stop for a moment to study the map? Everywhere,
even the smallest corner, was blocked off, fenced-in or marked with "no stopping" – interestingly very much respected!
Now and then, there are some parking lots, but mostly only in the form of underground parking, where we cannot enter
due to our height, or they are going to cost a fortune (up to US$13 an hour). Soon we realize that owning a vehicle here
means luxury and prestige – an impression that is confirmed later. That said, it is possible to observe now and then even
Ferrari's, Lamborghini's und Maserati's (Hong Kong is just the "right place" for this kind of car, because queuing up
repeatedly means normal moving!); and also gasoline costs US$7.70 a gallon, or a monthly parking space has a price
tag of US$650.-.
But we are forced now to wait here for spare parts to arrive from Japan, and we haven't been able to leave our car
behind in Taiwan (it just needed to be reexported there). And shipping it to already our next destination – Papua New
Guinea – isn't possible either, because the freighter is delayed considerably and most of the flights around Christmas/
New Year are completely overbooked.
However, for non-motorized people, the sometimes called "Pearl of the East" is a paradise, as we already experienced
during our Hong Kong's first visit in September 2005: A very good network of subways, bus connections and even some
railways and tramways as well as various passenger ferries guarantee a well functioning public transport. If the age of 65
is passed, even foreigners can enjoy 50% discount, and sometimes that means a ride for just 25 US-Cents!
But  Hong Kong isn't anymore Taiwan. The city's unbelievable hustle and bustle and where money is the sole focal point,
together with the incredible, sometimes recklessly pushing crowd, can get stressful once in a while, especially if it doesn't
stop day and night. Everywhere – is it on the subway, in the bus, at the taxi stand, ferry terminal, at the cashier in the
supermarket, even for dinner at the "Sushi Restaurant" – people are impatiently lining up. Currently, just short before
Christmas, entering big department stores involves waiting on the sidewalk before getting any access to the elevators or
stairways. Also air quality doesn't match anymore the one of Taiwan, except probably Taipei's. We are now two weeks
in Hong Kong, but within this period, we were able once only  to get a glimpse of the "highest hill" Tai Mo Shan (3140 ft),
located in the 'New Territories'. It is always hidden in haze or smog. Once, we drove up to the mountain, but the view
was equal to zero. May be that during the recent 'Climate Change Conference' in Bali, the leaders shouldn't have talked
only about cutting the greenhouse gas emissions, but probably also about reducing the population – less people on the
planet means less CO2, isn't it? What we experienced during the past 23 years confirms that birth control is simply

Hong Kong: Tai Mo Shan - first Hong-Kong-Picnic      

As we feared, a "quick" visit of China with our car, transitting to Macau, isn't in sight. Inflexibility are dominating the
unyielding permit's procedures, apart from greediness for money. Even citizens living in Hong Kong have to undergo a
lengthy process to get an authorization to drive over the border, and obviously are finally not yet allowed to enter Macau
with the vehicle. China still is (and will be for a long time) differing a lot from Europe, although it likes to present itself and
be regarded as progressiv. Luckily – looking back – Taiwan proved to be much more flexible, otherwise we possibly
would have missed the "real" China.
Due to the above mentioned delay of the freighter to Papua New Guinea, our Toyota will leave Hong Kong only on
January 16th, heading for Lae in Papua New Guinea's Morobe Province. It will become the first destination in the Pacific
of our world trip. While the car is sailing through the Philippine Sea – we don't even dare to think that the French
CMA-CGM line let join us as passengers – our first step will be Singapore for one more time. The Indonesian island of
Batam will be reached from Singapore with a boat, and from there we hope to 'cruise' with a Pelni vessel to Jayapura,
lying in Indonesian Papua. It sounds like to be a little bit of a "continuation" of our preceding Indonesia-Trips with the
vehicle. Doing this means, we would cross the third and last overland border of Indonesia: From Jayapura to Vanimo in
Papua New Guinea (the other two are located in Kalimantan and Timor). To meet our 'beloved' friend, the LandCruiser,
on its arrival in Lae, we intend to sail with Lutheran Shipping along PNG's North coast.

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
(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 Hong Kong Trip
Hong Kong – Dec. 2007
+ our Taiwan Trip, 3rd part
Taipei-Taitung-Kaohsiung – Nov. 2007
+ 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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