Email #13 (2-15-01)
Hello everyone,

Day 229 of Lisa and Joel's Excellent Adventure brings
us to Hong Kong, China.

On July 1st, 1997, Hong Kong officially became the
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, when the
British returned the region to China.  Hong Kong had
been a British colony for 156 years.

Hong Kong, with its 6.4 million people, is one of the
most densely populated places on earth.  Skyscrapers
reaching for the clouds are surrounded by decrepid
looking housing monstrosities that have no where to go
but up.  People, people and more people -- it's a true
urban jungle.

Since our last email, from Ho Chi Minh City, we
traveled north through Vietnam, into Laos via Kaew
Neua Pass.  This land route into Laos from Vietnam was
just recently opened to foreigners. It seldom sees
Western travelers.  (We didn't see a Westerner for the
40 hours it took us to get from our broken down bus,
40km south of Vinh, Vietnam, to Vientiane, Laos.  For
that matter, we didn't even meet anyone who spoke
English the entire way.)

From Vientiane, we took a night train back to
Bangkok, completing a one month circle from Bangkok,
through Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and back to Bangkok
--all by land.

After a few days in Bangkok, we decided to experience
some of what the Far-East had to offer.  Hong Kong,
and the former Portuguese colony of Macau (also
returned to the Chinese in 1999), were very
interesting.  The attached picture is of us taking in
some colonial charm, on the streets of Macau.

Next, after a brief layover back in Bangkok, we are
off to Nepal.

As always, you can check out all the details of our
adventure in our travel journal.

We certainly appreciate all the support everyone has
given us along the way.  The feedback you have
provided has been tremendous and it motivates us to
keep this web site going.  The feedback section of
the website is filling up fast, and may be one of the
best pages on the site.

Speaking of feedback, everyone's response to our
request for help with The Around The World Top Ten
Lists was amazing.  Your responses, combined with our
travels and conversations with other travelers, has
provided more than enough entries to fill in all the
lists.  They are in no way meant to be inclusive or
even finished for that matter.  We will continue to
change and update them along the way.  We hope they
have sparked some interesting debate between you and
your family and friends.

Your interest in the website hasn't stopped there.
Almost every item in The Around The World Art Gallery
has been claimed.  We report this with mixed emotions.
It's hard to give up these amazing items, but we are
glad that some of you have been able to bring part of
our adventure into your homes.  We will continue to
scour the globe, looking for more rare finds to add
to the gallery.

Well, we have to run. Nepal is waiting.

We hope all is well with everyone.  Take care.

Lisa and Joel

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