Seeing a Rafflesia is one of the most exciting part of life. :) One of the best places to spot a Rafflesia is in Gunung Gading National Park , situated near the town of Lunduk, about 2 hours from Kuching.
This is a park famous for the growth of the very rare Rafflesia flower. However, the Rafflesia is not always in bloom, and if they do, it only lasts for a week. A Rafflesia grows as a bud for 9 months, blooms for about 7 days and then decays. To find them, you have to look for the host vine, or better still get a guide. A guide there costs RM50.
The first time we were there, we went without a guide. The Park Ranger there said there were no Rafflesias in bloom. However, since we had made a trip all the way there, I was desparate/stubborn enough NOT to belief in the park ranger.
|There are several lovely falls there, some suitable for swimming in|
|Climbing a vine|
|A Rafflesia bud which the men showed us. The rafflesia takes 9 months to bloom! and when it blooms, it starts decaying within 7 days.|
|The Rafflesia that took my breath away coz I was just so thrilled and overjoyed at finding one|
This year 2011, we found ouselves at G. Gading National Park again. This time we hired a ranger and found the trail more interesting. He provided us with lots of information about the Rafflesia and its host vine. He also showed us many other plants, some parasitic and stinky as well! We saw many buds and finally found a Rafflesia, one day before full bloom. The species we saw this time is different from the one we saw during our last visit. If I'm not mistaken there are 2-3 different species in that park alone.
Other interesting finds there include
dried rotting Rafflesia
Ive to google this up. But it was smelly!
So, if you're near Kuching, you should make your way to this park!