From Hong Kong to Australia, via Manila
There are several steamer lines between Hong Kong and Australia, taking about twenty-one days, and they all touch at Manila (625 miles from Hong Kong), the capital of the island of Luzon, the largest of the Philippines, with an area of 41,000 square miles. The island of Mindanao has an area of 37,500 square miles. They are of volcanic origin, and on the island of Mindanao is the volcano of Apo, at an estimated height of 10,000 feet. On the island of Luzon is the active Volcano Mayon ( 8,200 feet), a perfect cone, in constant activity, its last eruption having occurred in 1888. About thirty-five miles south of Manila in the midst of a fresh-water lake is Taal, which in 1754, after an eruption continuing six months, blew its head off, and now stands less than 900 feet in height, the lowest active volcano in the world. The population of the Philippines is very mixed, the original inhabitants having been the Negritos, who gave place to the Malays. The fierce, warlike Moros are supposed to have come from the Mussulmen of Borneo, and have their headquarters on the islands of Sulu, where the sultan exercises despotic power from his new capital at Mayburn. Magellan, the Portuguese navigator, was killed by a poisoned arrow on one of these islands, on his return from circumnavigating the world in 1521.
Manila Bay, with a circumference of 120 nautical miles, was the scene of Commodore Dewey's victory over the Spanish fleet, off Cavite'. The six American warships, led by Admiral Dewey's flagship "Olympia," steamed around twice, in a circle, and Admiral Montojo's flagship " Reiha Christina" and nine others were sunk or burned, and numerous small boats captured. The Americans did not lose a man, while but seven were wounded. Admiral Dewey, after cabling President McKinley, "I have executed your orders," cut the cable.
From Hong Kong to Australia,
OR VICE VERSA, VIA FRIEDRICH-WILHELMS HAFEN ( NEW GUINEA), HERBERTSHOHE (NEW BRITAIN) AND BRISBANE.
The North German Lloyd's have a steamer about once every six weeks between Japan, Hong Kong and Sydney, the voyage taking twenty-three days from Hong Kong. The chief port of call is at Herbertshohe, New Britain. The Bismarck Archipelago belongs to Germany. Blanche Bay, on which the settlement of Herbertshohe is located, is a paradise for the naturalist, and is the home and breeding place of the nautilus. The island of New Britain is of volcanic origin and of unimproved savagery, and few of the white people have penetrated more than a dozen miles inland
From Sydney, N.S.W., to Singapore,
VIA THURSDAY ISLAND, MACASSAR, SOURABAYA, SAMA- RANG AND BATAVIA, DUTCH WEST INDIES.
This trip is performed about once a month by the Burns Philips Island Line of steamers. The first port of call is Thursday Island, in the Torres Straits between Australia and New Guinea, then at Macassar, the chief town of the Celebes, a Dutch possession with a native sultan, who lives at Goa, a short distance from Macassar. Sourabaya, the second port on the island of Java, is the next port touched at, and the traveler, in order to see more of this wonderful island, should disembark here and take the rail overland to Batavia, and rejoin the steamer there
New Caledonia, visited by Captain Cook on his voyage around the world in 1774, is reached by a steamer from Sydney. The island is about two hundred miles long, with an average breadth of thirty miles. The ranges of hills which traverse the island vary from a thousand to three thousand feet, and are barren in appearance, although rich in metals. The nickel country extends about sixty miles, and the headquarters of the mines are at Kauala, on the opposite side of the island to Noumea, where is located the French penal settlement
Gilbert and Marshall Islands.
There is a monthly steamer from Sydney to the Gilbert and Marshall Islands, touching at Vila, New Hebrides. The Gilberts are under British protection, and have their own king or kings, and being located in latitude 0° n'0" N., longitude 173° 39' 20" E., might appropriately be called by the more poetical name of Break o' Day Islands, for here the day commences. They are nothing but coral reefs, and have been called, under old King Tembinok, who ruled with a rifle, "a paradise of naked women," for here the "risky ridi" is the fashionable attire for ladies. But let not the traveler think that the proprieties are neglected, for it is a capital offense here to take liberties with ladies, and there are the graves of a'dozen or more white men, which bear witness that the handsome Gilbertines have fierce guardians
The Solomon Islands and New Guinea.
The Burns Philips Island Line have interesting cruises from Sydney to the western Pacific islands, visiting numerous ports of call in the Solomon and Shortland Islands, British New Guinea, New Britain, New Hebrides, Bank and Santa Cruz groups, Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands, thus affording an excellent opportunity of seeing much island life at a minimum cost. The steamers leave every few weeks, and the voyages take from six to eight weeks.