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THE BORNEO EXPEDITION – LONG PASIA, THE LEGEND OF UPAI SEMARING

Watch the Introduction Video for The Borneo Expedition

What is Overlanding?
As the name suggests, overlanding describes a journey over land whether with your own vehicle, on your own two feet or in an overland truck with other people. The essence of this type of travel, no matter what your mode of transport, is that the journey is what is important, not the destination.

Having the right attitude and an open mind is essential in any overlanding trip. Long distance drives on a dirt road can be very tiring, your truck might get stuck in the mud and there could be delays. Expecting the unexpected, and not getting frustrated when it does happen, makes all the difference.

A huge part of overlanding is the participation. This would include doing the cooking, camp set-up – and yes, even pushing to get that truck out of the mud – as a team. It’s all part of the fun and excitement of overlanding and the more you put into it, the more you get out of it.

The Borneo Expedition
The Borneo Expedition is a 4×4 adventure travel documentary series developed to document and promote sustainable overland routes in Borneo. Each expedition comprises of an exhilarating experience designed to promote key destinations of significant geological, ecological, cultural and historical importance. The travel documentary video produced for each expedition will be supplemented by travel information on the destination visited, points of interest, support services, accommodation and detailed route maps for overland enthusiasts who wish to go on the same journey themselves.
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The all new Mitsubishi Triton leading the expedition to Long Pasia.

Road to Long Pasia
Long Pasia, located in the southern most part of Sabah in the Ulu Padas area, will be featured in the first episode in The Borneo Expedition series. The Ulu Padas is known for being one of the richest plant diversity areas in Sabah, and Long Pasia a village that is particularly rich in culture, history and natural heritage, making it an absolutely unique tourist destination.

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Long Pasia is the home of the Lundayeh people who have many similarities with the neighbouring Lundayeh people of the Kerayan-Kalabit highlands of East Kalimantan in Indonesia and Lawas, Sarawak where they are called Lun Bawang.

The road to Long Pasia starts with a three hour journey on sealed road from Kota Kinabalu to Tenom through the stunning Crocker Range hills and fertile valleys dotted with paddy fields on the other side. The road then turns off onto a 90km off-road track which climbs steadily up to Long Pasia located at 1,100m above sea level. If you feel the drive might be too long, you can camp overnight at Maligan River, about an hour away from the village, to rest and recharge for the adventure ahead.

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The expedition arrives at Long Pasia!

Jungles and Waterfalls
You can do a 2-day trek to Maga Falls which is a beautiful five-tier waterfall at the upper reaches of the Pasia River. Here at the confluence of the Pasia and Maga rivers is Taman Maga Nooh covering an area of 2,472 hectares of tropical rainforest. The area is well protected to preserve its flora and fauna diversity, in particular Pfayeh Maga or Maga Natural Flower Garden, a 3 hectare area with an abundance of wild orchids, rhododendrons and pitcher plants.

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The beautiful Maga Falls

A camping site is located along the trail for an overnight stay to further appreciate the wonderful natural features of the Pasia River before reaching Maga Falls.

Another interesting attraction at Long Pasia is a boat journey up the Matang River where the legendary Upai Semaring was believed to have journeyed from across the border.

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Kiat Wong and Nooh Dawa, the Guardian of the Forest at the Maga Falls

The Legend of Upai Semaring
In Lundayeh folklore, Upai Semaring was a figure they believed to be their great forefather. He was a giant of a man and famous for his hunting skills and fish traps. He lived with his wife and daughters in near a waterfall called Krayan in the northern part of what is now the Indonesian province of East Kalimantan. Many stories have been told of Upai Semaring’s bravery
and strength which gained him a lot of respect from the local villagers.

One day his wife passed away from illness and a devastated Upai Semaring began his journey away from his village. His travels brought him south to the Matang River which led him to Long Pasia, where he journeyed up the Pasia River. While on the Matang River, Upai Semaring stopped to carve on a stone with his forefinger.

Known locally as ‘batu narit’, there are several made by Upai Semaring with one similar rock carving found on a stone near Punang Trusan close to the Sarawak-Sabah border. But this particular rock on the Matang River is not complete.

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Expedition members Engelbert and Asbury taking a rest on the Batu Narit with Nooh Dawa.

According to the people of Long Pasia, he was interrupted by a band of raiding headhunters and had to flee the area. The rock engravings are believed to be arit inawa, or “romantic expressions” dedicated by Upai Semaring to his wife, Bau. ‘Bau’ is the Lundayeh word for beads which are used to make the attractive headgear of the Lundayeh women.

According to local folklore, Upai Semaring left behind many interesting historical markers of his journey. Apart from the carved stone at Matang River, there are also cooking stones where he stopped to make camp, his footprint near Maga Falls and his daughter’s burial along the Pasia River.

Visiting long Pasia
Long Pasia is such an amazing place to visit and explore. It’s a fantastic overlanding destination with geological, historical, and cultural experiences to treasure. Homestays at the village are available with basic tourist facilities to cater to visitors on longer stays.

Whether it’s a weekend getaway to enjoy driving off the beaten track and camping in the forest, or a longer trip to take in everything Long Pasia has to offer, overlanding to Long Pasia is an adventure not to be missed.

To visit Long Pasia, please contact Nooh Dawa at: +6017-8663556 ,+6010-4250997 or +6017-8369936.

Lait Lakong aka Mataga at: +6012-8181876

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180 degrees Aerial view of Long Pasia

Episode 1
For more information on Long Pasia and The Borneo Expedition, log on to www.theborneoexpedition.com

Episode 1 is a travel documentary with a mission to assist, develop and promote tourism for the people of Long Pasia. This is a sneak peek 2 minute trailer of the 45 minutes full documentary to be release soon.

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