The inside of Rafflesia
Malaysia Travelogue

Looking for Rafflesia.

I had literally no idea what to expect when i booked the "Rafflesia-Adventure-Tour"... The report of a morning excursion in the Cameron Highlands.

The biggest adventures mostly happen when you least expect it. Strictly speaking, i just thought recently that everything went pretty smoothly on my trip so far, without any major problems or surprises. For my taste almost a bit too smooth, cause the adventurous things or the things that don’t work out well, are the ones, you will tell later at the campfire.

But one after another…

I was in the Cameron Highlands, Malaysia. Somehow i still can’t get along with the country, as the people there are very different from those in Thailand… somehow slower and a bit impolite (…can i say that, without even sounding impolite myself? LOL). Where there was a solution for every problem in Thailand, in Malaysia there are only problems, without solutions. Likewise when i booked the “Rafflesia-Adventure-Tour”…

At the hostel I was given a list with different guided tours in the area, which i could choose from. When i decided on one (after a careful consideration), i was told that the one is not possible. For this and that reason. I should rather do the other, the most popular tour. So i let myself be persuaded to do so. Funnily enough i was the only participant in the tour the next day. So much for “most popular”. But better that way, cause big groups are not my thing either.

The ominous list with tours in the Cameron Highlands

The next morning, the driver and tourguide Joey, first informed me that we are driving for around one hour to a certain jungle area, where we will go for a hike. After we’ve been driving with the Jeep through wet and rough terrain, the trip should start. Joey himself then put on long trousers and walking shoes, not worring about the fact that i was wearing short ones and sneakers. As usual, my question about snakes was answered in the negative, but there is a likely chance that we will “meet” bloodsuckers along the way… well, ok :/ It was actually not my first trekking in the jungle, but i have been spared of bloodsuckers so far. Whatever…

Generally i have to say that i always had a wrong idea about THE jungle. In my imagination there were green plants everywhere and an infinite number of animals and a unique background noise. Well, the reality then looks a little different though. Of course, there are huge trees and plants and a dense vegetation. But that makes the forest quite dark and almost a little threatening. You hardly see any animals, except for a spider or some other insects. And it is actually pretty quit and peaceful.

So we have been walking for around half an hour, when i asked Joey why we drove here exactly of all places? Because i didn’t find it a particular beautiful piece of jungle or something… Joey answered that Rafflesia only could be found here. Rafflesia, the flower with the biggest blossom in the plant kingdom. And that was the moment when it began to dawn on me what was the real reason for our tour. Well, better late than never, it is said.

But my raised interest was restricted right away, cause Joey said the plant only blooms for a few days and now wouldn’t be the season. I see! And actually when we arrived our destination, we just found a few faded remains of some of the flowers.

Joey then said that we could check out another location, but therefore we need to cross the river, that one could already hear in the distance. It was kind of a rainy season that time, so the river carried quite a lot of water. Joey leaded the way. When i saw how shaky he balanced through the river, i suddenly wasn’t sure if i should follow him, if i dont want to end up in the water with all my stuff. But then he directed me to another place, where it was relatively easy to cross the river. However, a look at my feet scared me: there were actually a few bloodsuckers on my ankles :/

After i pulled them of (which was a bit disgusting…) we just had to climb up a slope for some meters and all of a sudden there was a blooming speciman of Rafflesia. As little as i had thought about it before, so special was the moment afterwards. I felt like Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles himself (the discoverer of the plant, which was named after him…). Or lets say, at least i felt like Dagobert Duck, who made similar expeditions in the comics of Walt Disney…

Selfie with Rafflesia
In the end all the effort was worth it…

7 comments on “Looking for Rafflesia.

  1. Hi Thomas,
    es ist immer wieder schön, von deinen Erlebnissen und persönlichen Eindrücken zu lesen. Deine Expedition zur Rafflesia hat mich neugierig gemacht und ich habe ein wenig recherchiert. Es wird berichtet, dass die Riesenblume eine Parasitenpflanze sei, die es sich auf anderen Pflanzen bequem macht, dass sie zudem nach Käse rieche, rund 10 kg wiege und nur wenige Tage blühe. Da hast du wohl viel Glück mit eurem Fund bzw. deinem Guide gehabt. Trotz aller eher unwirtlicher Anfänge… Wie wirst du den Jahreswechsel verbringen? Wünsche dir auf jeden Fall einen gesunden und glücklichen Start und weiterhin spannende schöne Erlebnisse. Freu mich schon auf den nächsten Blog! Astrid

    • Hi Astrid, danke für deinen Kommentar & die zusätzlichen Infos! Das mit dem Geruch wurde ich jetzt schon mehrfach gefragt, ich habe aber ehrlich gesagt keinen wahrgenommen… vielleicht war es die Aufregung 🙂 Ich bin mittlerweile in Indonesien und habe für den Jahreswechsel eine Sunrise-Tour auf den Bromo geplant (da warst du ja auch schon, wenn ich mich nicht täusche…). Ich hatte aber bisher wenig Glück mit den Sunrise-Touren, von daher bin ich mal gespannt. Ich wünsche dir ebenfalls einen tollen Jahreswechsel und alles Gute für 2020! LG, Thomas

      • Hallo Thomas,
        das Vulkangebiet des Vroni war tatsächlich ein Highlight meiner Javareise. Die Sunrisetour war sehr faszinierend, aber auch ein seltsames Erlebnis, da die ganzen Touris mit zahllosen Jeeps in rasendem Tempo durch die Caldera gekarrt wurden, um dann in der Kolonne den Aussichtsberg hinaufzufahren. Sehr genossen habe ich dort auch den Komfort des Lava View Lodge Hotels. Bin schon gespannt, was du zu berichten hast.
        Ein gutes neues Jahr!

      • Happy new year, Astrid! Das Bromo-Gebiet war/ist tatsächlich sehr faszinierend! Da ich relativ kurzfristig über Neujahr gebucht hatte, war nicht mehr viel frei an Unterkünften und ich musste auf den Teil mit dem Komfort verzichten. Aber so ist halt das Backpacker-Leben… 🙂

  2. Il fiore è davvero molto bello!

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