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Celebration of Sabah opening

For many people the island of Borneo portrays exotism as one of the world’s last frontiers.

I have always been fascinated by its diversity, whether visiting the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak or the Indonesian side of Kalimantan.

For nature lovers, this is one of Asia’s most interesting places to visit. Sabah, in particular, is close to my heart since I have been traveling to this destination for over 30 years.

Asian Trails has had a presence in Sabah for many years, but for different reasons we never got the chance to officially open our Kota Kinabalu office.

This all changed last week when we were honoured to finally cut the ribbons in the presence of Ms. Noredah Othman, the CEO of the Sabah Convention Bureau.

Emir Cherif, Managing Director of our Malaysia and Singapore offices, and myself were present for this special occasion, along with our Sabah team and colleagues from our Kuala Lumpur office.

Officially opening this office with Ms. Othman, Emir and the distinguished guests felt like an event surrounded by one big family. The tourism trade in Sabah is a close-knit community of great people who are proud of their state and heritage. They want nothing more than for visitors to have a fantastic stay.

This state is famous for its orangutans and proboscis monkeys and these can be viewed in rehabilitation centres and with a bit of luck, in their natural rainforest habitat. Sun bears, the smallest bears in the world, can also be seen at a sun bear conservation centre.

Sabah also has an incredible variety of birds, including distinctive hornbills. This story would be several pages long if I were to fully describe the extensive animal kingdom native to this area.

For me, the ultimate nature experience is to travel by boat from Sandakan on the Kinabatangan River and stay at one of the lodges. River safaris take people into the middle of the dense rainforest on day, as well as night time trips.

One can also go on a guided walk directly from the lodges into the jungle. Brave explorers can undertake this adventure at night.

The 130-million-year-old Danum Valley is one of the most exciting rainforests in the world to observe not just wildlife, but also an incredible array of jungle plants and trees. The valley is home to some of the tallest trees in the tropics, with many towering 100 metres above the forest floor.

It is possible to take a suspended canopy walk above the tree tops or a trek along jungle pathways alongside trees that date back thousands of years.

There is even a night drive through the rain forest to observe nocturnal animals and what has always fascinated me, sleeping birds of all sizes and colours.

For families with children, exploration of the river and rainforest is a once-in-a lifetime experience and since it is not very physically challenging, even grand-parents can join an amazing journey in this exceptional environment.

But Sabah is not only about nature, it also has beautiful pristine beaches, a wealth of ethnic culture, intriguing village life and much more and this is all easily accessible through overland drives or domestic flights.

And last but not least, for our incentive customers looking for off the beaten track activities for small and medium-sized incentives, Sabah is an excellent choice.

Admittedly, it is not the easiest place to travel to, since multiple flights may be required through hubs such as Kuala Lumpur or Singapore to reach Kota Kinabalu International Airport, but the rewards are extensive and each journey is unique.

Our Malaysia office will be pleased to send you our Borneo product offerings for Sabah and Sarawak. Our specialists can also tailor-make bespoke journeys for FIT travellers, families, honeymooners and MICE agencies.

For details, please get in touch at res@asiantrails.com.my



Laurent Kuenzle
Chief Executive Officer, Asian Trails

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