We ended up in Gunung Gading National Park on a whim at the last minute and I am so glad we did. Gunung Gading National Park is home to the world’s largest flower, the Rafflesia. The flower can grow up to one metre in diameter and is characterised by its large red petels. The ones we saw at the park were probably about 50cm in diameter. The next photo shows the inside of a flower.
The flower emits a rotting flesh smell to attract flies and insects to pollinate other flowers. The few open flowers that we saw didn’t have a strong offensive smell. The flower grows on a very indistinct vine. It takes nine months to reach maturity then it only blooms for a few days. Below is a flower before it has bloomed.
We did a guided tour while we were there, and it was the best money we have ever spent. Our guide Michelle, was hands down the best guide I have ever had, she pointed out insects, plants and animals that we would never have seen.
She grew up in the jungle and has so much knowledge and stories on the park to share. She pointed out the plant that the locals would use in their darts to kill animals. Ask her about the cicada races 🙂
Gunung Gading is located a couple of hours from Kuching. We took a private tour to get there, in a mini van, where he dropped us at the door and then waited to take us back to our hotel. There are directions on how to get there with public transport in the lonely planet if you would rather same some money.