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Part of the reason for Maliau’s survival is its isolation. From the rim, it’s a two-hour drive to the nearest asphalt road. The interior of the basin can only be reached via a day’s hard trekking and its handful of camps are equipped with minimal facilities. Maliau’s wildness is exactly what makes it precious; a stay on the rim more than acquaints you with this unique appeal.

‘There’s not much room left for wild places,’ says Allen, as darkness descends on the jungle and bats flutter home to roost. ‘But once they are gone, we have no way of getting them back. And without them, Borneo will be a much poorer place.’

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The article ‘The perfect trip: Borneo’ was published in partnership with Lonely Planet Traveller.

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