Return of the Trans Borneo

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  • Monday, 23 Jun 2014

KUCHING: For a select few, it will be a trip down memory lane; for others, the Trans Borneo 2014 expedition will be an adventure of a lifetime.

Come August, an intrepid band of travellers and their four-wheel-drive vehicles will embark on an epic road trip that will take them all the way around the world’s third biggest island, traversing the national territories of three countries - Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei.

It will be a reunion of many personalities who have become legends among the four-wheel-drive fraternity, including Indonesian Offroad Federation (IOF) founder Hari Sanusi (better known as Pak Harry), Anuar Ghani and Dr Teoh Siang Chin from Sabah, Ibrahim Awang Damit of Brunei, S4M magazine publisher Yamin Vong, and Richard “Volvo” Voon and Chai Yew Foo from Sarawak.

This veritable Who’s Who of four-wheeling pioneered the pursuit of adventure in rugged off-road vehicles with the original Trans Borneo expeditions that began in the late 1980s and continued in the mid-1990s.

“It has been a long time since the last time a Trans Borneo was held back in 1997,” said Pak Harry. “Many of the original participants have gone on to do many other things in different places ... I thought it would be nice to bring the old-timers together for another grand adventure.”

From that brief moment of nostalgia in Jakarta some three months ago, he reached out to his network of old friends across the region and the Trans Borneo 2014 quickly took shape.

Participants from Sabah will begin rolling first in mid-August towards Brunei and Kuching before reaching Pontianak, West Kalimantan, where the expedition will be flagged off on Indonesia’s Independence Day, Aug 17.

The convoy of about 30 vehicles will make its way south to Banjarmasin, then head northeast to Balikpapan and Samarinda in East Kalimantan before crossing the border into Sabah, near Tawau. It will then visit Sandakan and reach the northernmost tip of Borneo, near Kudat, on Merdeka Day, August 31.

“The idea was to hold a reunion of sorts for the veterans but we also wanted to invite the next generation of adventurers to join us,” Pak Harry said when launching the event officially, in conjunction with the opening of four-wheel-drive outfitters 4X4 Quest Sdn Bhd at MJC, Batu kawa, Kuching.

The event is also intended to promote tourism in the BIMP-EAGA (Brunei Indonesia Malaysia Philippines - East Asia Growth Area) economic region,” Pak Harry said.

“I am pleased to announce that response has been overwhelming. We had hoped for a convoy of about 25 cars, and we already have 26 confirmed entries, even before we officially announced the event to the public!

“But we will still consider applications from those who are eager to experience this once-in-a-lifetime road adventure,” he added.

The participation fee of US$2,300 (RM7,500) per car with three occupants, will cover accommodation with breakfast and miscellaneous costs, but excluding fuel.

In addition, the participating cars must be four-wheel-drive vehicles that are mechanically sound, and be fitted with suitable all-terrain tyres in good condition.

“Most of the journey will be on tar-sealed roads but there will be some challenging stretches along the way so we must be sure the cars and occupants are fit enough for the arduous conditions,” said Pak Harry.

To find out more about Trans Borneo 2014, send email to:

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