KOTA KINABALU: Trans Borneo 2017, the 4X4 expedition endeavoring to brave the off-roads of Borneo, will officially kick off this August 13.
This year's theme, "Into the Heart of Borneo", will see up to 100 participants explore Sabah, Sarawak, Kalimantan and Brunei Darussalam in 15 days - driving through untamed jungles, deep river crossings, and challenging muddy roads.
According to the organiser, North Borneo Explorer's director Anuar Ghani, the event serves will provide not only a challenge for man and machine against the great outdoors, but also an impetus to improve regional bilateral ties and promote tourism.
He said back during the very first Trans Borneo event in 1988, Brunei wouldn't even allow the convoy to go through their borders.
Eventually, continued work behind the scenes allowed them to convince the state government to secure special permissions to cross these borders.
“In fact, part of this year's tour will feature the Trans Borneo participants as the first convoy to go through the Malinau - Ba'kelalan route in Kalimantan, which is usually closed off to the public due to its usage and surveillance under the Indonesian army.
“As a fairly new route built by the army and logging companies, it is barely fit for use, with at least three deep river crossings awaiting the convoy,” he added.
Trans Borneo 2017's participants will include media representatives from eight countries. Besides Malaysia, there will also be those from Indonesia, Brunei, Australia, Japan, China, Thailand, and Singapore.
The convoy will go through approximately 2,000 kilometers of both on-road and off-road trails, stopping by various tourist attractions along the way, including the Derawan, Sangalaki and Mararua Islands, Kinabalu Park, several conservation centres, Balung River Eco Resort and Merarap Hot Springs.