Category Archives: Allgemein

Truck the World Leg 6 | Phnom Penh Pattaya | Politics and Robbery

We see overlanding as luxuriating high end type of migration linked to political, economic, security, safety or climate dynamics always and everywhere. You expect transiting Aserbaidjan, Iran, or Stan-States to be a nuisance but…

POLITICS

Our plan was to drive through Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore and to ship the truck inbound Japan via South Corea. Transiting Thailand, Korea, or Japan was not even thought of being a problem but being on our way we were surprised by new Thailand DLT regulations closing transit for overlanding third-country-trucks like ours effective 1.1.2017.

More politics? Just like China, USA, Japan and many others South Korea did not ratify the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, effective 1977. We did not know that South Korea makes null exception for German plated vehicles, not even for temporal import. So Korea is out of truck-the-world.

Japan seems more flexible accepting  authentification of German Carnet de Passage by Japan Automobile Federation. But they require inspection and registration of German plated vehicles even for temporary import. These were designed for new cars sale and cost at least 5000 US$. We do not expect our 22 year old truck to meet current Japanese emission or noise standards, eg. So Japan is out of truck-the-world, too.

ECOMOMY

Cambodia’s economy is quite bad. Port Sihanoukville offers RoRo just once every 2 years. Availability of 40′ Flat Racks required for our truck is scarce.  So shipping outbound Cambodia is out of truck the-world, too. Same for outbound Saigon/HCMC currently not offering any RoRo.

TRAVEL OPTIONS

  1. Driving back through Laos and China overlanding home through Mongolia, Russia and Eastern Europe following Transsib Railway East West.
  2. Try to enter Thailand and transit Myanmar to India with many shipping and overlanding options to Europe and Africa.
  3. Try to enter Thailand and overland to Kuala Lumpur or Singapore with many shipping options to Europe, South Africa, America or Australia. Truck shipping to Darwin is extremely costly and laborious because of Australia’s compulsory vehicle  disinfection process, however. Motto: Stop disease at the gate... We have past experience with camper fruit fly inspections driving from one Aussie state to the next and were not interested to repeat this experience.

Like nomads we do not stick to plans. We are unable to forsee climate, economic or political changes. We try to adapt decently and continuously, no matter what we like or dislike, one truth of worldwide overland traveling.

Consequently we decided to try to enter Thailand acting against rules and reason and to see how far we get.

CAMBODIA

We returned back to Phnom Penh by air and supervised ongoing truck repairs and maintenance at ENVOTECH. Inspection showed that new Michelin Tires had been fitted and minor jobs been done.

ENVOTECH Company | Phnom Penh
ENVOTECH Company | Phnom Penh
MAN UNICAT at ENVOTECH Workshop
MAN UNICAT with New Tires at ENVOTECH Workshop | Phnom Penh

But batteries were not charged and the engine had not been started for more than a year. Diesel pipes and filters had to be cleaned and new batteries to be installed. The AirCon had to be repaired.

Four New Batteries for UNICAT | Phnom Penh
Four New Batteries for UNICAT | Phnom Penh
AirCon Repair by Specialists | Phnom Penh
AirCon Repair by Specialists | Phnom Penh
AirCon Dryer Replacement | Phnom Penh
AirCon Dryer Replacement | Phnom Penh
AirCon Front and Rear Evaporator after Repair before Installation | Phnom Penh
AirCon Front and Rear Evaporator after Overhaul before Installation | Phnom Penh

All these jobs were done badly and took much more time than expected. Even more consequences: 14V alternator, electric Diesel fuel pumps and radio  were not working any more and we found ourselves on unwanted holidays in Phnom Penh during rain season.

Rain Season at Riverfront | Phnom Penh
Rain Season at Riverfront | Phnom Penh
Riverfront View from Tonle Sap River | Phnom Penh
Riverfront View from Muddy Tonle Sap River | Phnom Penh
Daily TukTuk Ride to Truck Workshop | Phnom Penh
Daily TukTuk Ride to Truck Workshop | Phnom Penh

Holidays ended, however, when Anneli was bag snatched and robbed at 10 pm in front of our Asia Tune Hotel entrance after dinner. She was teared along the street and severely injured, clavicula fracture,  but nobody cared, no hotel, no police, no ambulance, and snatchers were not traced.

Two friendly Trattoria Del’Arte waitresses, however, recognized us as customers and took us by TukTuk to Naga  Clinic for First Aid. The good news was that the stolen bag contained just one credit card, keys, some dollars and her iPhone but no passports, or anything important. Thanks to recommended ALLIANZ insurance each item was replaced.

Asia Tune Hotel**** Entrance and Location of Robbery |Phnom Penh
Asia Tune**** Hotel Entrance and Location of Robberies | Phnom Penh

Next day we turned to luxury Royal Bangkok Hospital for X-Ray, doctor’s advice and medication. It took another 4 days to convince hotel management to raise complaint at the police and to produce an accident report. It turned out that 3 serious bag snatchings had been video recorded in front of the hotel per night on the average.

Attending Royal Bangkok Hospital | Phnom Penh
Attending Royal Bangkok Hospital | Phnom Penh
Riverside Police Station | Phnom Penh
Riverside Police Station | Phnom Penh

After 6 days Anneli’s condition was stable enough to fly home for operation and treament in Germany.  German ADAC organized and booked our trip home with the aid of German doctors giving us a lot of support, thanks.

ThaiAir Business Class Flight Makes Happy | Phnom Penh
ThaiAirways Business Class Flight Makes Happy | Phnom Penh

We were quite unhappy with ENVOTECH performance but another good news was that British friends Dave Goodchild and Glenn Clement offered to take our truck away and drive it into Thailand. We were quite lucky and they were successful in spite of all those hindrances by laws, Thai DLT, police and customs, thanks and congratulations, cheers!

Close to Sihanoukville on the Road to Thai Border | Cambodia
Close to Sihanoukville on the Rainy Road to Thai Border | Cambodia
MAN UNICAT Waiting in Nomansland for Paperwork to be Done at the Border | Cambodia - Thailand
MAN UNICAT Waiting in Nomansland for Paperwork to be Done at the Border | Cambodia – Thailand

Consequently we pronouce a WARNING: Never ever use ENVOTECH services or even store your car or truck there. Former owner Finn is a friendly European without influence on ENVOTECH since his stepson Vuthy Uy has taken over promising and signing any contract and excusing any fault without any responsibility, manners or sympathy. Plus you will pay 3,30 USD per day without valuable trade-off but destroyed batteries, clamped Diesel pipes, electric shortcuts and more.

THAILAND

And this is where our trucks sits now idling and waiting for our return to Thailand in December 2018, see https://www.overlandersthailand.com/

Finally at Plodd Stop in Pattaya | Thailand
Finally at Plodd Stop in Pattaya | Thailand

To be continued… See next Post on Truck-the-World Leg 7

 

 

 

Development Aid into Test and Evaluation of Vehicle Handling | Aguascalientes Mexico

The Americas including North, South and Central America are  on our truck-the-world list. Senior Expert Service SES is a nonprofit foundation of the German Economy for International Cooperation and cooperates with the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. CAFA is one of the biggest Mexican construction companies building Panama channel in those days and located in Auguascalientes, centre of Mexican Automotive industry.

Ten years ago CAFA built Aguascalientes Ovalo, a race track for US American NASCAR series.

Agauscalientes Ovalo Plan
Aguascalientes Proving Ground Overview Including Ovalo Race Track
View over Augascalientes Ovalo
View over Augascalientes Ovalo

Since the track was abandoned because of security concerns, CAFA recently designed a project converting the track into a professional vehicle proving and testing ground for Mexican automotive industry. Mexican Ministry for Technology and Development supported the project and asked SES for testing and evaluation expertise.

As a lecturer at Berlin Technical University, see https://www.kfz.tu-berlin.de/menue/lehrangebot/fahrversuche_im_automobilbau/ and Springer author on Automotive Testing and Evaluation science books I was asked to consult and to train CAFA on International automotive testing standards, technology, data aquision and analysis.

Smart VEclie Handliing - Test und Evaluation in der Fahrzeugtechnik by Wolf D Käppler, Springer 2015
Wolf D Käppler: Smart Vehicle Handling – Test und Evaluation in der Fahrzeugtechnik, ISBN 978-3-662-464-168 | Springer 2015

During work at CAFA headquarters in Aguascalientes I went traveling to several Colonial cities North of Mexico City. After finalizing the consulting contract we drove around Yucatan peninsula by car. 8.000 km were covered overlanding Mexico.

CAFA CONSULTING

As a start of 3 weeks consulting several overviews over ISO vehicle handling test standards, procedures and testing technology were presented. CAFA personnel was educated and trained on vehicle dynamics and real time data measurement, sensor technology and data analysis. Training on the job including the organization and realization of testing execution and evaluation of results was given including safety and security aspects.

Meeting at CAFA with Boss Carlos, Project Manager Fernando and Carlos plus a Visitor | Aguascaleintes
Meeting at CAFA with Boss Carlos, Project Manager Fernando and Carlos plus Visitor | Aguascalientes

In several meetings test standard requirements in terms of surface, slope, track length and curve radii were analysed, compared and selected from hundreds of tests.

Selected ISO Vehicle Handling Test Standards
Example of Selected ISO Vehicle Handling Test Standards

Test rides according to selected ISO test standards were executed in order to make sure that required testing speeds, 100 km/h, e.g.,  were attained by standard vehicles and that braking distances were safe. Furthermore, safety zones were evaluated.

ISO Steady State Curve Driving Test at Ovalo
Personal ISO Steady State Curve Driving Test at Ovalo

Suitable ISO test standards were selected and documented and time and business plans including concept, personnel and finance for what CAFA called “Vehicle Test and Design Centre” were developed.

Project Pan
CAFA Vehicle Test and Design Cente” Project Business Pan

AUGUASCALIENTES

…is a historic Spanish Colonial city with 700.000 inhabitants at an altitude of 1.800 m. Restored Colonial buildings are located around  central Plaza Patria. Adjoining is a nice but small historic center with a limited number of pubs.

Quality Inn Hotel**** at Plaza for 3 Weeks | Aguascalientes
Quality Inn Hotel**** at Plaza Patria for 3 Weeks | Aguascalientes
Government and Municipalt Palace next to Hotel | Aguascalentes
Government and Municipalt Palace next to Hotel…
...with Impressive Inside...
…with Impressive Inside Loggias…
Cathedral de Nuestar Senora left of Hotel
…Cathedral de Nuestra Senora left of Hotel…
...Selling Veggies at Side Entrance...
…Selling Veggies at Side Entrance…
Theatro Morelo next to Hotel
…Theatro Morelo next to Hotel…
...with Modern Art...
…with Modern Art…
...Jacaranda...
…Jacaranda…
...Dancing and Music each Night at Plaza...
…Dancing and Music each Night at Plaza Patria…
...Hair Dressing at Plaza Patria...
…Hair Dressing at Plaza Patria…
…Concerts…
...with Pubs and Music at the Bar Lie Closeby......
…with Pubs and Music at the Bar Mile……
...no Tesla Cars but Power Staitons | Aguascalientes
…no Tesla Cars but Power Stations | Aguascalientes
...Public Transport is Cheap in Aguascalientes
…Public Transport is Cheap in Aguascalientes…
...and Autobuses are Comfortable and Basic between Cities
…Autobuses are Comfortable and Basic Transportation between Cities…
...Final Goodbye Dinner at Maya Restaurant with Native Maya Food
…Goodbye Dinner at Rincon Maya Restaurant with fine Native Maya Food, Recommended…
...at Plaza ...
…next to Templo del Senor del Encino at Jardin del Encino…
...with Wedding Ceremony | Aguascalientes
…with Wedding Ceremony | Aguascalientes

ZACATECAS and GUADALUPE

These are famous Colonial cities 600 km North of Auguascalientes at an Altitude around 2.000 m.

Bus Trip to ... 600 km North of Aguascalientes
Bus Trip Alignng Cactus at 2000 m Altitude to Zacatecas 600 km North of Aguascalientes
My Fiesta Inn Hotel**** Run by CAFA Owners | Zacatecas
Colonial City Hall | Zacatecas
Colonial City Hall and Main Road… | Zacatecas
...with Great Houses Colonial Style...
…with Houses Colonial Style…
...Cerro de la Buffa Aquedukt |Zcatecas
…El Cubo Aquedukt…
...and Quinta Real Hotel...
…and Quinta Real Hotel…
...Preparing for Wedding Party in the Former Bullfighting Arena | Zacatecas
…Preparing for Wedding Party in the Former Bullfighting Arena | Zacatecas
Museo Moderno Francisco Coronel | Zacatecas
Iglesia Santo Domingo and Museo Moderno Francisco Coronel | Zacatecas
Theatro Fernando Calderon...
Theatro Fernando Calderon…
Museo of Masks Rafael Coronel | Zacatecas
…Museo of Masks Rafael Coronel…
...Mezcala Style...
…Mezcala Style…
…Pre-Hispanic Style…
...Spanish Colonial Style...
…Spanish Colonial Style…
...and Ceremonial Elephant...
…and Ceremonial Elephant |Zacatecas
Mina El Eden Silver Mine | Zacatecas
Mina El Eden Silver Mine Entrance | Zacatecas
MExican Hero ...
Mexican Hero Pancho Villa at Cerro de la Bufa…
Zacatecas and Cathedral from Above
…Watching Zacatecas and Cathedral from Above
Guadalupe Cathedral...
Convento de Guadalupe… | Guadalupe
...Next to Guadelupe Museo of Art and Coaches...
…next to Guadelupe Museo of Art with  Coaches of the Cardinal…
...and a Cadillac | Guadelupe
…and a Cadillac | Guadalupe

GUANAJUATO

… is another rich and beautiful Colonial city North of Mexico City and full of life, sightseeings and tourists, and worth to visit.

Theatro Jurarez | Guanajuato
Art Nouveau Theatro Jurarez | Guanajuato
...Stage...
…Stage…
...Seatings...
…Seatings…
...Ceiling...
…Ceiling…
...Foyer...
…Foyer | Guanajuato
Templo Valenciana
Templo Valenciana | Guanajuato
Basilica Nuestra Senora
Basilica Nuestra Senora | Guanajuato
Calle del BEso
Callejon del Beso – Ally of the Kiss | Guanajuato
Fort
Alhondiga de Granaditas, Former Granary but Regional Museum Today | Guanajuato
Mercado Eiffel
Mercado Eiffel…
...inside still Market
…still a Market | Guanajuato
After Sunday Concert in El Parque del Jardin
After Sunday Concert in El Parque del Jardin | Guanajuato
Start of the Night Walk around Old Town
Start of the Night Walk for Tourists around Old Town…
Tourists Listenig to the Guide
…Tourists Listening to the Guide…
Cervantes Museum...
…Cervantes Museum…
...and Teatro Cervantes
…and Teatro Cervantes | Guanajuato
House and Museum of Diego Rivera...
House and Museum of Diego Rivera… | Guanajuato
...his Parents Bed...
…his Parent’s Bed…
...and one of his Famous Wall Pinting
…and one of his Famous Wall Paintings Today in Mexico City
Supreme Court of 1st Republic of Mexico...
Supreme Court of 1st Republic of Mexico | Guanajuato
Supreme Court Assembly Hall...
Supreme Court Assembly Hall…
House where Alexander von Humbodt Stayed 1873
…next to House of Alexander von Humbodt…
...in1803
…in1803 | Guanajuato

SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE

…is another Colonial City next to Guanajuato and quite touristic, too, but smaller, UNESCO World Heritage and worth to visit.

My Casa Oratorio**** Hotel in the Centre | San Migul
My Casa Oratorio**** Hotel in the Centre | San Miguel
...Plaza Principal around the Corner...
Plaza Principal around the Corner with La Parroquia and…
...Templo
…Templo de San Rafael…
...Theatre...
…Theatro Angela Peralta built early 20th Century…
...Nightlife...
…Nightlife at Umaran Main Street…
...Hat Sellers...
…Hat Sellers…
...San...
…San Francisco…
...Main portal of the Nuestra Señora de la Salud Church...
…Main portal of the Nuestra Señora de la Salud Church…
...Museum...
…”Guardian” at Centro Cultural Ignacio Ramirez next to Museuo Historico Casa de Allende Entrance…
...Monumantal Gates...
…Monumental Gate at the House of the Counts of the Canal…
....
….Built in 18th Century and currently Owned by Banamex Bank…
...Nice Vews over the City...
…Views over the City and 2-Floor-Buildings…
...Public Transport...
…Public Transport uphill…
...Music Band..
…Music Band…
The Old Guitar Playing for a Dime | San Miguel
…and Old Guitar Playing for a Dime at Restoran Los Milagros | San Miguel

MERIDA

After completion of CAFA consulting our trip around Yucatan Peninsula started in Merida, political and economical centre of Yucatan with historic Colonial centre around PLaza Grande. We did a 3-week-tour counter-clockwise around the peninsula by car and stayed in many hotels close to the sea.

Flight Auguacalientes - Merida over Mexico City
Flight Auguacalientes – Merida over Mexico City
...Merida University...
…Merida University…
..with its Teatro Uiversitario Felipe Carillo Puerte...
..with its Teatro Uiversitario Felipe Carillo Puerte…
...and Teatro Daniel Avala...
…and Teatro Daniel Avala…
...and this Art Nouveau Teatro ...
…and Art Nouveau Teatro Armando Manzanero…
...Roman Catholic Cathedral...
…Roman Catholic Cathedral de Merida at Plaza Grande…
...Camara de Commercio...
…and Camara de Comercio…
...Policia at Centro Cultural Olipio...
…and Policia at Centro Cultural Olimpio…
...and Museo Casa Montejo about Wealthy Culture of those Days...
…and Museo Casa Montejo with Wealth and Culture of those Days on Display…
,,,but there is Real Life at Mercado San Benito…
...and Chaya Maya Restoran...
…and at Chaya Maya Restoran at Parque Santa Lucia, Major Barmile at Night…
...with Friendly Service in Maya Dress..
…with Friendly Service in Maya Dress…
...and Fine Cocktails And Maya Food | Merida
…and Fine Cocktails And Maya Food | Merida

CELESTUN SISAL

..yes, correct, that is where Sisal comes from, made from Agave fiber for clothing, hats, carpets, ropes…

First stop was at ... Hotel Run by Unfriendly German Expats at the Beach, please note the Fence |
First Stop at Castillito Kin-Nah Hotel Run by Unfriendly German Expats, note the Fence | Celestun
...but Tasty Wine instead of Corona Beer at the Beach...
…Tasty Wine instead of Corona Beer at Celestun Beach…
...Boat Trip through Mangrove Forest...
…Boat Trip through Mangrove Forest of Reserva de la Biosfera Ria Celestun…
...Watching Remaining Flamingos...
…Watching Few Flamingos…
...and Tourists | Campeche
…and Tourists | Celestun

UXMAL

Uxmal is an ancient Maya city of the classical period in today’s Mexico around 9th century, UNESCO World Heritage. It is considered one of the most important archaeological sites of Maya culture, along with Palenque, Chichén, and Calakmul in Mexico.

View over the Archaelogical Site with Nunnery...
View over the Archaeological Site of Uxmal with Nunnery and…
Pyramid of the Magician | Uxmal
…Pyramid of the Magician | Uxmal
...Ball Playground...
Ball Game Playground…
...and Leguan | Uxmal
…and Iguana | Uxmal

CAMPECHE

…was next stop at Yucatan West Coast, another attractive Colonial city with a lot of tourists and a big Plaza, quite nice.

Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción at Independnce Square...
Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción at Independence Square…
...and Typical Street with 2-Floor-Houses in the Centre | Campeche
…and Typical Street with 2-Floor-Houses in the Centre | Campeche

CIUDAD DEL CARMEN

The route from Campeche to Vilahermosa in Tabasco state touches boring Ciudad del Carmen but follows the Caribbean beach most of the time. Thanks to many bridges it crosses several islands off shore and passes lagunes for almost 400 km.

We followed Route 180 South Aligning the Beach Populated by Hundreds of Pelicanes
Route 180 South Aligning the Beach Populated by Hundreds of Pelicanes
Fresh Fish at the Beach | Ciudad del Carmen
Fresh Fish at the Beach | Ciudad del Carmen

VILAHERMOSA

…is the Capital of Tabasco state and quite industrial but comes with one of the most important archaeological sites in Mexico.

Olmeca Plaza**** Hotel | Vilahermosa
Olmeca Plaza**** Hotel | Vilahermosa
...Municipality at Night...
…Municipality and Empty Plaza at Night…
...but Leopards in the Zoo...
…but Jaguars in the Parque-Museo…
...and Olmec ... in the ...Park | Vilahermosa
…and lots of Olmeca Statues, among them this Colossal Olmeca Head in Open-Air Parque-Museo de la Venta, one of the most Important Archaeological Sites in Mexico | Vilahermosa

PALENQUE

…a former Maya state blooming in 7th century AC in today’s Chiapa state close to Guatemala is a must-see  archaeological site and most beautiful in the middle of the jungle, UNESCO World Heritage.

Outside WIndow View of our Paraiso Inn*** | Palenque
Outside WIndow View of our Paraiso Inn*** | Palenque
...Banana Blooming...
…Banana Blossom | Palenque
...Famous .... in the Jungle...
Famous Temple of Inscription in the Jungle…
...wit Palace and Observation Tower next...
…wit Palace and Observation Tower next…
...and Teple of Sun...
…and Temple of Sun | Palenque

PUERTO AVENTURAS & TULUM

On our route back North we aligned Belize border and joined West Coast. Puerto Aventuras is a retort city for the Elderly, you should have money and own a boat.  This was our base for a visit of Tulum site.

LM by Inmense | Puerto Aventuras
LM by Inmense**** with Artificial Port and Real Dolphins Included…
...at the only Beach: Acccess for Hotel Guests only
…Beach Acccess for Hotel Guests only | Puerto Aventuras
Tulum Temple at the Sea...
Tulum is a Maya City Facing the Caribbean Sea and its Harbour, Established 13th Century
...with Masses of Tourists, small and big | Tulum
…with Masses of Tourists, Small and Big, Young and Old | Tulum

PLAYA DEL CARMEN

On our way to Chichen Itza we stayed in lively and Mallorca-like Playa del Carmen – not quite worth it although tourists here do not own boats nor houses and are much younger.

Playa del Carmen is an Extreme Tourist City with a nice beach and Speed Boats to ... | Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen is an Extreme Tourist City with a Nice Accessible Beach and Speed Boats to Cozumel Island…
...but Good for Dinner | Playa del Carmen
…and Good for Shopping and Dinner | Playa del Carmen

CHICHEN ITZA

…was one of the largest Maya cities between 8th and 12th centuries, UNESCO Wold Heritage today and is one of the most important archeological monuments in Mexico today.

Romantic ...Hotel in the Jungle | Chichen Itza
Romantic Hotel Oka’an**** with outside Rest Beds in the Jungle | Chichen Itza
El Castillo | Chichen Itza
El Castillo | Chichen Itza
...again Ball Game Playground...
…again Ball Game Playground…
…and too many Tourists | Chichen Itza

IZAMAL

…was passed on our way back to Merida airport, a Maya as well as Colonial city, founded between 7th and 2nd century BC and abandoned with the rise of Chichen Itza around 10th century AD.

Izamal...
No Tourists at Great Pyramid of Maya Sun God Kinich Kak Moo Founded BC and left 10th Century | Izamal
Arcada principal del Atrium del Convento Franciscano 16th Century | Izamal
Arcada Principal del Atrium del Convento Franciscano 16th Century | Izamal
...Waiting for Few Tourists in Izamal
Tourists are quite Rare in Izamal

MERIDA

We returned back to Merida for a final Good Bye to Mexico and  Yucatan and flew home…

...and Fresh Fish at Parque Santa Lucia...
…Final Fresh Fish at Parque Santa Lucia…
GOOD BYE MERIDA
GOOD BYE MERIDA & MEXICO

 

Truck the World 2017/18 Leg 5 | Backpacking Indonesia

Truck-the-world’s  expedition truck was not allowed to enter Thailand due to Thai DLT regulations effective 1.1.2017.  Since Thailand is transit country for Malaysia and  Myanmar we skipped this leg for now.

Instead, we took a break from trucking but backpacked 11 of Indonesias islands during late 2017/early 2018 including Bali, Lombok, Sulawesi and Java by air and visited Flores, Rinca, Komodo, Siaba Besar, Sumbava, Padar and Medang by boat.

Colorful Female Backpacking Equipment for 6 weeks...
Colorful Female Backpacking Equipment for 6 weeks….
Colorless Male Equipment for 6 weeks
Colorless Male Equipment for 6 weeks

INDONESIA

Indonesia is one of the most beautiful and friendly of about 100 countries we have visited so far, an insular state with 17.508 islands, 6.044 of them inhabited. Beautiful nature, wonderful seas, magnificient beaches, wildlife and fruit all over. People are poor in terms of money but rich in terms of life, full of energy and exremely friendly, laughing and easy going almost most of the time. Maybe integration of Muslim, Hindu, Christian, Jewish cultures may provide benefits like tolerance, freedom, understanding, happiness?

Major drawbacks, however, exist with terrible pollution across land and sea with plastics all over and even the beaches if not cleaned by individuals. Terrorism  is reported anywhere almost every week, not to mention corruption.

Eathquakes, Tsunamis and Volcanos

Volcanic and seismic activities are reported daily for many places in this centre of the Pacific Ring of Fire with movement and collisions of lithospheric plates.

Bali’s Mount Agung was always active during our travel time but never caused major problems up to date. A safety zone around the crater was established and residents had to leave it. They lived in camps around Mount Agung being supported by National and International Humanitarian agencies. Bali and Lombok airports were closed because of smoke several times but reopenened again soon with the consequence that only a few tourists were arriving.

A few months after we had left Indonesia, Lombok was hit by a severe earthquake and Mount Rinjani eruption killling 500 people and destryoing major infrastructure. Almost all hotels and restaurants were and still are closed, a major impact for people earning their living with tourism.

Same happened to Sulawesi after we had left, earthquake and Tsunami killed more than 1.500 people and destroyed most of the infrastructure in Central Sulawesi. In Northern Sulawesi Mount Soputan close to Tomohon erupted.

Indonesians are used to live with it but if you are a Westerner and get scared easily…

LOMBOK

We took Garuda Frankfort-Amsterdam-Jakarta-Lombok with a boring stopover in Jakarta and spent a week in wonderful Puri Mas resort close to Senggigi at Lombok West coast. We watched active Bali’s Mount Agung being 2 of 7 guests, 50 would be standard during high season.

Garuda Air departing from Amsterdam | Netherlands
Garuda Air Departing for an Exhausting Flight with Delays | Amsterdam
We Enoyed Puri Mas beach| Senggigi
Puri Mas Resort**** and Beach… | Senggigi
Mount Agung Active Smoking for the next Weeks just across the Sea | Senggigi
…Mount Agung Smoking for the next Weeks across the Sea | Senggigi
... and the Sun...
Sun but no Tourists because of Mount Agung…
...while Mount Agung was quite Calm but Cloudy and Scaring...
…Erupting now and then with Big Smoke –  not Clouds –  Scaring…
...Trusting Hindu Sculptures and Ceremonies...
…Trusting Hindu Gods, Saints, Demons and Ceremonies…
Holy Hindu ...
…and Hindu Ganesha…
...Some of them not so Optimistic...
…Some of them not Quite Optimistic…
But we Enoyed Puri Mas ****Resort Run by Dutch | Senggigi
…but we Enoyed Puri Mas Resort Owned by Dutch and Managed by Australians | Senggigi
...Comfortable Inside and Outside...
Comfortable Inside and Outside…
...Enoyed Christmas in Puri Mas Open Air Restaurant...
…Christmas Time in Puri Mas Open Air Restaurant already…
...Puri Mas Tropical Garden...
…its Tropical Garden…
...its Seaside Beds with a Wonderful View...
…Seaside Rests with a Wonderful View…
...Puri Mas Pool...
…Puri Mas Pool…
...And its Rough Beach | Senggigi
…And its Rough Beach | Senggigi
Lombok is Muslim Island and these are the Kids at School close to Senggigi
Lombok is a Muslim Island and these are Kids at School | Senggigi
...Surveyed by an Hindu...
…Surveyed by a Hindu Demon | Senggigi
...with WIFI all over Lombok and Indonesia - not like Germany...
WIFI all over Lombok and Indonesia – not like in Germany…
...Transport is not like Germany either...
…Transportation not German Standard either…
Mosques all over this Island and Close to Mataram
…Mosques all over Lombok | Mataram
Taxi Tour around Lombok with Rice Terraces and Palm Trees...
Tour around Lombok with Rice Terraces and Palm Trees…
...Curious Colleague...
…Meeting Curious Colleagues in Rinjani National Park…
...but Pa Watching...
…with Pa Watching…
...Picking Cashew on the Road...
…Picking Cashew at the Roadside…
...and Cacao...
…and Cacao…
...and Coconuts...
…and Coconuts…
...Finding a Path through the Jungle...
…Finding a Path through the Jungle…
...with Stinky Durian Fruit...
…with Stinky Durian Fruit…
...Avocado Trees...
…Avocado Trees…
...Leeches...
…Lychees…
...Coffee...
…Coffee…
...and Rattan Trees all over
…Rattan Trees…
...and Snakes on the Road
…and Snakes…
...and Tiu Kelep Waterfall...
…on the Way to Tiu Kelep Waterfall | Rinjani National Park
Visiting Pura Bulong Hindutemple at the Sea close to Senggigi
Pura Bulong Hindutemple at the Sea close to Senggigi…
Holyness at the Beach after Ceremony...
…with His or Her Holyness at the Beach after Ceremony…
...and a Tourist...
…and a “Hindu”…
...Happy Temple Mom and Child Selling
…Meeting Happy Temple Mom and Children Selling…
...and Happy Tourist Enoying Coconut Milk
…and Happy Tourist Enoying Coconut Milk…
...Streetfood at the Temple
…Streetfood at Pura Bulong Temple | Senggigi
Boat Trip to 2nd Island Gili Travangan West of Lombok...
Boat Trip to Island Gili Travangan Island West of Lombok…
...without Cars but with Horse Taxi...
…without Cars but with Horse Taxi…
...and Lots of Backpacking Tourists...
…and Lots of Backpacking Tourists…
...and nice Beaches but almost no Wildlife anymore at Gili Tranangan
…Nice Beaches but almost no Sealife anymore at Gili Travangan
Back to Puri Mas with a Dance Show of Indonesian Ballroom Masters | Senggigi
Back to Puri Mas with a Dance Show of National Indonesian Ballroom Masters | Senggigi

BALI

We took an express ferry to Bali’s East Coast and spent another week in several locations at Bali North, East and South coast. We met extremely friendly people, easy going, helpful and always ready for ceremony.

Across the Sea to Bali Island #3 by Boat
Across the Sea to Bali by Boat with 2.400 HP…
...Arriving at Pelabuhan Padang East Bali Island #3
…Arriving at Pelabuhan Padang | Bali
View of Lombok under Rain During Wet Season |
View of Lombok under Rain During Wet Season | Pelabuhan Padang
Hotel... at the Beach | Ahmet
Onlyou Villas at the Beach… | Ahmet
...with Luxury Bedding...
…with Luxury Bedding…
...with Protecting and Menacing Devices...
…Protecting and Menacing Devices…
Wonderful View over the Sea...
…Wonderful View over the Sea…
...and dangerous Boat Trips for Snorkeling at Paradise Beach, not Recommended
…Dangerous Snorkeling Trips by Boat to Paradise Beach almost without any Sealife – not Recommended | Ahmet
...and View of Smoky Mount Agung about 17 km Away | Ahmet
…View of Smoky Mount Agung about 17 km Away from Paradise Beach | Ahmet
Tremendous View over Rice Fields on the Way to Ubud
View over Rice Fields Heading to Ubud | Bali
Tirta Gangga Water Palace | Karangasem Bali
Tirta Gangga Water Palace Built by Raja Anak… in 1946, Renewed after Earthquake in 1963 | Karangasem Bali
...with Sleepy Pig...
…with Sleepy Pig…
...and Menacious Demon | Karamgasem
…and Menacious Demon | Karamgasem
Tourist Attraction Temega Tree House | Karangasem Bali
Another Bali Tourist Attraction: Temega Tree House | Karangasem
Guided Visit to Teganan Village
Guided Visit to Teganan Aga Village with Pre-Hinu Culture Famous for Traditional Weaving
Dong-Son Handloom
Dong-Son Handloom | Teganan Aga
Native Aga Don't Work and Enjoy Luxury Life Estate if get Married to Natives
Native Aga Don’t Work and Enjoy Luxury Life Estate if  Married to Teganan Aga Natives…
Hausheilger
…with their Personal Saint in Front | Teganan Aga
Location of Traditional Market, Conventon and Celebration | Gathering |
Traditional Market, Convention and Celebration Centre | Teganan Aga
Our Hotel Tropical Garden | Ubud
Our Tropical Garden Hotel**** | Ubud
...Morning Ceremony at the Hotel...
Morning Ceremony at the Hotel…
...like this...
…like this…
...not for these Guests...
…for Few Guests…
...and Ganesha...
…and Ganesha…
...and our Friend Asich...
…and our Friend Asich…
Joining for Cocktail at the Hotel Eating our Potato Chips...
…Guest Joining for Cocktail Potato Chips…
...Escaping from Monkey Forest Next to Hotel..
…Escaping from Monkey Forest Next to Hotel…
...Covered by Strangler Fig Trees Eating the Jungle...
…Covered by Strangler Fig Trees Eating Jungle, Bridges and Temples not only in Angkor…
First Night Ceremnoy | Ubud
First Night Ceremony… | Ubud
...Mainly for Tourists...
…Mainly for Tourists…
...but there is Real Ceremony each Night...
…but there is Native Ceremony each Night…
...Jungle...
…Jungle…
...with Rice Harvest...
…Rice Harvesting…
...Hidden Hotels...
…Hidden Hotels…
...Elephant Cave...
…Elephant Cave…
...and Tropical Garden | Ubud
…and Tropical Garden | Ubud
Rice Terrace on the Way to...
Rice Terrace…
...Hidden Village in this Jungle...
…Hidden Village in this Jungle…
...And Hidden behind Natural Curtains...
…and behind Natural Curtains…
Male Monument...
…Pura Gunung Kawi Hindutemple Female Shrine…
...and Female...
…and Male Shrine | Pura Gunung
Sukarno's Presidential Residence...
Soekarno’s Presidential Residence on Top… | Tampaksiring
just above this Temple...
…just above Pura Tirta Empul Temple…
...Food Ceremony...
…with Ceremony…
...for Visitors of the Holy Temple Pool...
…Visitors of Puri Tirta Holy Spring for Purgation Ceremony…
...and for Girls always Keen on Photos...
…and Girls always Keen on Photos | Pura Tirta
Rice Terrace on our Way back to Ubud...
Famous Tegalalang Rice Terrace on our Way back to Ubud | Tegalalang
Meeting Nice People...
With Nice People…
...Getting Nail Polish...
…and Nail Polish | Ubud
...with Nice Veranda...
We continued to Villa Karisa Hotel **** with Nice Veranda | Seminyak
...but no Beach Party during Rain Season...
…no Beach Party during Rain Season…
...a Ceremony...
…but Ceremony…
...and Surfing School Left Overs after the Last Storm | Kuta Bali
…and Surfing School Left Overs after the Last Storm | Seminyak
Gas Station often are Part of Super Market
Gas Station often are Part of Super Markets
...and Hindutemples often at the Sea like...
Tanah Lot Hindutemple at the Sea…
...always time for a Ceremony...
…Sunset is Time for Ceremony…
...Rice Terraces...
…Rice Terraces…
...and .... Coffee...
…Kopi Luwak Preparing World’s most Expensive Coffee – Half-Digested, not Recommended
Building a House in Bali with Ready-Made Wooden Front is More impressing
Building a House and Buying Prefab Wooden Fronts is more | Bali

SULAWESI

…was recommended to us by friends. We flew to Manado in Christian Northern Sulawesi and spent Christmas at Gran Luley**** hotel by the sea. Pool was due because swimming in the open sea was never recommended.

Gran Luley Restaurant with 300 Year Old Cherry Tree | Manado
Gran Luley Restaurant with 300 Year Old Cherry Tree | Manado
Gran Luley Pool and Beach Walk...
Gran Luley Pool and Beach Promenade…
Gan Luley Beach
…Gran Luley Beach…
Birthday Party at Gran Luley
…Birthday Party at Gran Luley Hotel
...Christmas with International Friends...
…Christmas with International Friends…
...Active Volcanos on Sulawesi as well...
…Another Active Volcano on Sulawesi for Christmas | Manado
Tuna House Restaurant at the Beach | Manado
Tuna House Restaurant at the Beach | Manado
Children almost always Interested Photos...
Children are almost always Interested in Photos…
...Living in "Romantic" Houses like this | Manado
…Living in Houses like this one | Manado
...Traveling in Microbuses...
…Traveling in Microbuses like this one…
...Loving to Eat Pig like this one...
…Loving to Eat Pig like this one…
...Protected by and Educated in many Christian Churches like this one | Manado
…Protected by and Educated in many Christian Churches like this one | Manado
Mountain Paradise Resort | Tomohon
By Taxi to Mountain Paradise Resort in the Jungle | Tomohon
Living in these Houses..
With People Living High up in such Houses…
...Surrounded by 10m High Bamboo...
…Surrounded by 10m High Bamboo…
...Pink Mallow...
…Pink Mallow…
...Tears...
…Tears…
...Orange...
…Orange…
...and Butterflies | Tomohon
…and Butterflies | Tomohon
Hiking to Air Terjun Desa Kali Waterfall | Tomohon
Hiking to Air Terjun Desa Kali Waterfall | Tomohon
...Meeting Japanese Tourists there...
…Meeting Japanese Tourists at the Waterfall…
...Waterfalls Make Happy in Indonesia
…Making Happy People at Air Terjun Desa Kali Waterfall | Tomohon
Again many Children | Tomohon
Selling Boots is Clever Business during Rain Season | Tomohom
Selling Boots is Clever Business during Rain Season | Tomohom
Bike Trip to Tumou Tou Restaurant with Great View over Tondano Lake
Moto Trip to Tumou Tou Restaurant with Great View over Tondano Lake
Taxi Ride | Tondano
Taxi Ride | Tondano
Tondano Fruit Market...
Tondano Fruit and Veggie Market…
...Lemon explains why Indonesian Food may be Tastsy | Tondano
…Lemon Explains why Indonesian Food may be Tasty | Tondano
Next Flight and Risha Trip was to Southern Sulawesi | Makasar
Flight and Riskha Trip to Muslim Southern Sulawesi… | Makasar
...Visiting Durch Fort Rotterdam - one of the few Remainders of Durch Colonialism in Indonesia
…Fort Rotterdam – one of the few Remainders of Dutch Colonialism in Indonesia…
...with its Impressing Entrance ...
…with Impressing Entrance | Makasar
Our Riksha Driver Brought us to Old and New Ports...
Our Riksha Driver Brought us to Old and New Ports…
...on the Main Road to Old and New Ports...
…on the Main Road…
...Passing Ship Wrecks...
…Passing Ship Wrecks…
...Sips Loaded with Banana and Coconut Shells for Fire...
…Ships Loaded with Banana and Coconut Shells for Fire…
...Truck RoRo Ferries...
…RoRo Island to Island Ferries…
...50 Year old Toyota Trucks Fully Loaded...
…50 Year old Toyota Trucks Fully Loaded…
...Pinsi Ships still in Use and Quite Impressing...
…Pinsi Ships still in Use are Quite High…
...but some like it Calm | Makassar
…but some like it Calm | Makasar
First thing on our Way back was Bike Repair at the Market...
First Thing on our Way back was Bike Repair at the Market…
...with Lots of Pepperoni - Indonesian like it Hot...
…with Lots of Pepperoni – Indonesian like it Hot…
...Banana - Indonesians Like it Sweet, too...
…Banana – Indonesians Like it Sweet, too…
...Indonesians Like Chicken, Beef is Expensive...
…Indonesians Like Chicken, Beef is Expensive…
...and Some Buy Fish, quite Expensive, too...
…and Some Buy Fish, quite Expensive, too…
...ad this is for the Market Boys
…and this is for the Market Boys…
...not able to Pay for New Years Eve Fire works on Sale | Makassar
…not able to Pay for Fire works | Makasar
...Expecting New Year Fire Works on the Main Road...
Expecting New Year Fire Works on the Main Road Short before Midnight …
Happy New Year 12018
…Happy New Year 2018… | Makasar
...and US-Type Christmas Party at Sheraton Hotel - Not Recommended | Manado
…and US-Type New Yearss Party at Sheraton Hotel – Not Recommended | Makasar
...with Happy People
…with Happy People anyway | Makasar

JAVA

Next stop was Java’s Yogyakarta by air for its Pubs and Buddha- and Hindutemples.

...Touristic Mile with Pubs for Beer and Wine - otherwise strict Muslim | Yogyakarta
Tourist Mile with Limited Number of Beer and Wine Bars – otherwise Strictly Muslim… | Yogyakarta
...and Fine Meals in French ... Restaurant | Yogyakarta
…and Superb Meals in French Medierranea Restaurant | Yogyakarta
Royal Palace, Boring... | Yogyakarta
Royal Palace, Boring… | Yogyakarta
...and Medieval Mosque...
…and Bathing Pool at Taman Sari Water Castle, Former Garden of the Sultan Built in 18th Century…
...ad took a Ride with our Driver John...
…Ride with our Driver John in his Toyota…
...Got some Gas at the Super Market...
…some Gas at the Super Market…
...and Visited Borobudur Temples...
…and to Borobudur Buddhist Temples Built in 9th Century with 2.500 Reliefs and 500 Buddha Statues…
...together with many many others...
…together with many many other Tourists Surveyed by Police…
DSC02095
…next to Prambanan Hindutemple also Built in 9th Century closeby …
…with Expressive Shiva Relief | Yogyakarta

BALI

On our way to Flores island we had another stopover in Bali.

Airplanes Landing at Denpasar Airport Viewed from Jimbaran
Airplanes Landing at Denpasar Airport Viewed from Jimbaran Beach…
...the Beach gets Crowded before Sunset...
…Crowded before Sunset…
...while we Enjoyed one of our Rare Fish Dinners...
…we Enjoyed one of our Rare Fish Dinners…
...Cooked by Juli in Teba Cafe at the Beach | Denpasar
…Cooked by Juli in Teba Cafe at the Beach | Denpasar

SHIPPING FLORES, RINCA, KOMODO, SIABA BESAR,SUMBAVA, PADAR and MEDANG

We took a flight to wonderful Flores Island just North of Australia, quite lonely, natural and Christian. In Flores we booked a 5-day-trip back to Lombok by ship together with other European Tourists with full pension and accomodation onboard the ship together with a nice captain and crew.

...with this Aircraft...
Arrival at Flores Airport by Aircraft…
…with Marvellous Sunset in Front of Laprima Hotel**** | Labuanbajo
...this is the Daylight View,,,
…this is the Daylight View…
...and this is ... Hotel | Labuang Bano
…this is Laprima Hotel from the Sea | Labuanbajo
...still Christmas in the Hotel...
…still Christmas in the Hotel…
...Bike Trip through Northern Flores...
…Bike Trip through Northern Flores…
...with Dries Fish at the Market...
…with Dried Fish at the Market…
...Laundry at the Port...
…Laundry at the Port…
...View over Labuanbajo...
…View over Labuanbajo…
…Gas for the Bike…
...Meeting Friends | Labaunbajo
…Meeting Friends before Getting on the Ship | Labuanbajo
Our Captain for the Next 5 Days
Our Captain for the next 5 Days…
...Komodo Dragons |
…Komodo Dragons | Rinca Island
...Hard to Detect...
…Hard to Detect… | Rinca Island
...Beach Deers | Komodo
…Beach Deers | Komodo Island
Waterfall… | Sumbawa Island
...Dinner at the Ship...
…Captains Dinner…
...Before Sunset...
…Before Sunset…
...Islands around the Ship in the Port...
…Islands around the Ship |Siaba Besar
...Sailing with another Captain...
…Sailing with another Captain…
...our Ship Anchoring at
…our Ship Anchoring | Medang Island
Farewell Party at the Beach and at the Ship...
Farewell Party at the Beach and onborad the Ship…
Good Bye...
…with everybody…
...Berlin Friends...
…Berlin Friends…
..Ourselves
..Ourselves…
...and Final Sunset...
…and Final Sunset | Medang

LOMBOK

We arrived at Lombok Port by microbus and chose Puri Mas Hotel again for our Good Bye to Indonesia.

...Getting on the Bus...
Everybody Getting on the Microbus…
...to Comfortable Puri Mas Resort again..
…to Comfortable Puri Mas Resort again…
...with Comfortable Shower and Bath...
…with Comfortable Shower and Bath…
...Buddha...
…Buddha…
...Dancing...
…Dancing…
...Percussion...
…Percussion…
...Wine...
…Wine…
...Rough Sea...
…Rough Sea…
...and a Good Bye to Friends | Lombok
…and a Good Bye to Friends and Indonesia | Lombok

Shortly after leaving Indonesia several earthquakes and Tsunamis occurred in Bali, Sulawesi and Lombok. As a consequence Lombok tourism went down and Puri Mas Resort was closed like almost all Tourist hotels and restaurants.

Except security all personnell was sent off into unpaid holidays waiting for reopenings and jobs since…