Thursday, May 27, 2010

On the hunt for the Rafflesia in Sarawak

On this fouth visit to Borneo I was lucky to see the Rafflesia flower, the largest flower in the world. Perhaps, it has something to do with the fact that May is my birthday month. It can grow up to 1 metre in diameter, but the one I saw was only about 50 cm.

This one was already 4 days' old and decaying but surprisingly there was no odour. Flies were already buzzing around it.

Being parasitic, the Rafflesia attaches itself to a vine.

The vine it attaches itself to leads up to the trees.
A Rafflesia bud.
A close-up of the inner recesses of the flower.

The Rafflesia is not only "exceedingly rare" but also highly endangered.

Gunung Gading, near the small town of Lundu in Sarawak, is home to the Rafflesia.

How to get there

First get to Pasar (market) in Kuching where there are buses/private vans that go to the Terminal (lost-distance bus terminal) for the three-hour bus ride to Lundu.(10 ringgit). Bus leaves 4 times daily with the first one at 8am. I missed the first one and had to wait for the next one at 11.

Once at Lundu, private "cabs" will take you to Gunung Gading for 5 ringgit each (15 minutes)

It's advisable to stay the night at Lundu. Tell you where Lundu "Hilton" is in my next post.


  1. First time I've seen a photograph of this flower. Wow!

    It's big enough, Roger, big enough!

  2. I've shown you the way so go man before the sun sets! LOL

  3. Stinky but beautiful! You have some excellent close-up shots! Picture 2 reminds me of The Little Shop of Horrors (movie) :)

    The rafflesia bud looks like a black truffle! Great series Roger! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Ya, the resemblance is there. That's was a wonderful movie. Thanks for the insight.

  5. Nice sighting... Your are really lucky.. I leave in Kuching, when there many time and only see it twice... Should have call the park before go there. lol..