Wanna be botanists likely will enjoy a visit to Gunung Gading National Park where the world’s largest flower grows. Rafflesia blooms can grow up to three feet in diameter, and have a nasty smell. The blooms die after a few days; the good news is they can bloom anytime of the year, though the best time is November through January. But there’s more to see than just one flower. The Sarawak park has nice beaches, rugged mountains and jungles just made for hiking.
Owing to the rafflesia’s rarity and brief flowering period, timing (and luck) are important. The park staff usually know when a plant is about to bloom. Visitors can check with the park HQ (Tel: 735144) or the National Parks and Wildlife Booking Office in Kuching (Tel: 248088) to find out if any plants are about to bloom or already in bloom. Although flowers generally bloom throughout the year, November, December and January can be regarded as the peak flowering season as the frequency of blooms is high.