Hunting down the world’s largest flower

Sometimes when you travel, cool experiences and opportunities find you. One such opportunity came when we wanted to break up a long overland haul from Penang to Pulau Perhentian Kecil in northern Malaysia. Roughly at the midpoint, the Cameron Highlands seemed like a nice change of pace from the beach bumming and scorching hot weather we’d been enjoying for the last month or so. A quick read through our guide book told us we could expect nice cool weather, tea plantations, strawberries and some decent trekking/wild life spotting. After doing a little more research on things to do, we found out that Rafflesias, aka, the world’s largest flowers and pretty rare, were native to certain areas of the Highlands.

When we arrive, we discover that the flower takes 7 years to grow and then is only in bloom for 5 days before it dies.

But, when we arrive at Father’s Guesthouse, the owner informs us that there was a very large bloom that was about to start and we could hike about an hour into the jungle to see it. So, the next morning we set out on a guided tour to have a look.

At the end of a wet, muddy, hot, sticky and sweaty hour trek through the jungle and into the mountains, here is what we found:

This rafflesia flower had an 80cm diameter

This rafflesia flower had an 80 cm diameter