Rafflesia, we will trek for you!

While searching for things to do in Cameron Highlands for the next day, photos of Rafflesia posted on a number of tour bulletin boards caught Edgar’s attention. For years, my travel mate had several attempts to see a Rafflesia in full bloom. He even trekked for long hours in a jungle somewhere in Antique just to go home disappointed.  I think he even tried his luck in Kota Kinabalu. Guess catching a Rafflesia in full bloom isn’t easy for EAZY, eh?

Rafflesia Kerrii
Rafflesia Kerrii Up Close (Photo by EazyTraveler.com)

Because of the Rafflesia phtotos scattered all over Tanah Rata, he asked me if it is ok with me to trek for hours to see the biggest flower in the world. I am ok with it although I am not really a hardcore hiker (I think the Batad trek is the most challenging I’ve done so far). Also, I didn’t bring any rubbershoes with me (since I don’t own one) so I just bought my first ever outdoor sandals in a nearby shop for RM54. Not bad 😀

Most tours were fully booked since it is a weekend. We ended up in Hill Top Travel & Tour booth near a popular coffee shop chain. The one in-charge in the booth convinced us to book the Rafflesia & Mossy Forest Adventure, which is a full-day tour package for RM98. At first, I find it expensive, but the travel agent explained the travel time and the activities included in the package. Our main concern here is the Rafflesia since we really want to see the one in full bloom. He assured that we will see exactly what’s in the photo in his phone. He even said that we will get our money back just in case his claims are not true. We even took a picture with him for assurance 😛

We woke up early the next day and ate quick breakfast somewhere near the ticketing office. Later on, a 4X4 Land Rover picked us up and tried to squeeze all nine passengers in one ride. The one-hour drive to the trekking point at Lojing Highlands was a challenging one with all the zigzags and bumpy road. Is this a part of the adventure package? Toinks. We had fun though LOL.

Upon arrival to the trekking point, a Senoi-aborigine gave us creative headpieces, which I believe symbolizes a good welcome to the visitors. The Malaysian-Indian driver named Velu also served as our tour guide for the day.

Jungle Trekking at Loging Highla
#Competitive

Am I ready to trek for Rafflesia? Bring it on!

Being the competitive bullhead that I am, I went ahead of the group and followed the hiking pace of our guide. We had to climb in steep parts during the first few minutes under the heat of the sun. Why do I act as if I am in a hiking competition or something? LOL

And with that, I started having difficulty in breathing. I almost thought I wouldn’t make it. Thanks to the Senoi-aborigine guide who went with us, he said that I shouldn’t rush and he will just walk in the same pace as mine. Again, this is not a hiking competition. I simply don’t want to be a burden to the group so I still tried my best to walk as fast as possible. The most unfortunate thing that happened during the trip is when my camera gave up on me. Why give up now? Please hold on and don’t give up on me – yet!

Edgar
Someone's excited!

Although exhausted, I did enjoy trekking in the jungle forest due to the scenery and the interesting medicinal plants we saw along the way. We had a number of stopovers and before I knew it, we’re just a few steps away from the Rafflesia!

Waterfall
One of the scenic waterfalls within Lojing Highlands

There you go! This particular specie is called the Rafflesia Kerrii, the largest specie of Rafflesia ! You can really see the excitement in Edgar’s face when he finally saw the Rafflesia up close! If I remember it right, it is the second day of bloom of that particular Rafflesia. Beside it is a ‘baby Rafflesia’, which will take months to reach full bloom.

Mica and the Rafflesia
Mica and the Rafflesia - > Finally! <3

The trek to see the Rafflesia is worth the effort! Prior to the trip, we didn’t know that Rafflesia can be found in Lojing Highlands, which is located outside of Cameron Highlands already. It is in the neighboring city called Kelantan.

A co-traveler drinking water through the Bamboo
A co-traveler drinking water through the Bamboo

Going back to the main trekking point is a lot easier. Apart from that, we were able to drink water through a bamboo stalk – my first time!

Jungle Trekking at Lojing Highlands

Call it a stroke of luck, but we’re really glad that we pushed through with this trip particularly because of the Rafflesia. It is one of my most interesting discoveries while traveling. Right timing, indeed!

We went back to the 4X4 Land Rover with big horns to our next destination. Happy trekkers are satisfied =)

All pictures courtesy of Edgar Alan Zeta-Yap of Eazy Traveler since my camera gave up on me 0_0 You can read his more comprehensive post about the Rafflesia here.

Have you seen a Rafflesia in full bloom? Rafflesia in Malaysia is Truly Asia! (wut?)

Special Thanks to AirPhil Express, Tourism Malaysia and Travel Guard Chartis for making this trip possible!

14 Comments

  1. WANDER SHUGAH said:

    wow! thats pretty huge! I wonder if it didnt smell bad?
    and I havent drank water from a bamboo stalk, hala I shall add that to my bucketlist. *wink

    June 26, 2012
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      It didn’t smell that bad. Usually, on the first day lang daw.
      Sarap uminom from the bamboo. Fresh na fresh 😀

      June 26, 2012
      Reply
      • WANDER SHUGAH said:

        un nga daw eh. mi nakita kasi nyan dito sa bukidnon. I forgot if its rafflesia or the pitcher plant. mabaho daw kasi 🙂 ay oo salamat sayo. inaadd ko sya sa bucketlist! yay! sana matry ko din uminom nyan minsan

        June 26, 2012
        Reply
  2. Ken said:

    BIG BULAKLAK!!! Buti na lang in full bloom nga nakita nyo. Swerte nga naman 😛

    June 26, 2012
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Ang pula-pula ng bulaklak! =))

      June 26, 2012
      Reply
  3. Renz Bulseco said:

    Hahaha medyo malapit sa puso ko ang Rafflesia. Report ko kasi to in Plant Ecology and mataas ang score ko. HAHAHA! And oh, interestingly, Rafflesia’s parasitic flowering plant. 😀

    June 26, 2012
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      And with that, I highly recommend that you visit Lojing Highlands next year around this month! There were a number of interesting medicinal plants along the way. For a change para hindi puro sea cucumber ang napag-uusapan natin awts 😛

      June 26, 2012
      Reply
  4. carlo said:

    ganyan pala ichura ng bulaklak na yun :))
    hindi ako pumunta jan nung nag KK ako. ang mahal ng singil samin 🙁

    June 26, 2012
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Medyo mas pricey nga ata sa Kota Kinabalu. We went there din two years ago pero hindi namin siya nakita in full bloom.

      June 26, 2012
      Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      My pleasure! Hehe at least now I appreciate the use of Outdoor Sandals LOL

      June 26, 2012
      Reply
  5. Herald said:

    Parang sad lang na you went all the way to Kota Kinabalu just to see a Rafflesia when meron din makikita dito sa Pilipinas, particularly sa Antique Province. I guess hindi lang kasi talaga napapublicize.

    June 26, 2012
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Hi Herald! This is in Lojing Highlands and Edgar went to Antique din sometime ago, but didn’t see the Rafflesia in full bloom. Timing lang din talaga na season nya when we went there 🙂

      June 26, 2012
      Reply

Leave a Reply to WANDER SHUGAH Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *