Rafflesia flower in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Being the world’s largest flower, the rare, other-worldly and beautifully exotic Rafflesia flower is a real treat for those lucky enough to see it when traveling to Borneo, Malaysia.

The quest to find this rare plant begins in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, where you can take a bus upwards of 1,500m through thick pockets of Bornean mist to the Tambunan waterfall. Then the trail leads into the forest; scrambling through the trees, stepping round enormous buttresses and over fallen logs you come to a clearing, and there it is, lying on the ground in splendid isolation: the unmistakable blood-red bloom, spotted with white markings – a lone and beautiful Rafflesia. Not only known for its size but also for its unique odor, the flower’s smell is similar to that of rotting flesh which explains why it’s commonly referred to as the “corpse flower”.

The unpleasant smell is, surprisingly, the way how Rafflesia attracts prey for its reproduction. Unusually for a flower it doesn’t have any leaves, stems or roots as it’s a parasite, attaching itself to forest vines. Over the space of a year, from a tiny bud, it swells to a ball and eventually bursts into a Rafflesia flower which can be over 100cm in diameter and weigh up to 10kg. Rafflesia flowers may bloom unexpectedly any time of year and when it does bloom, it usually lasts less than a week. So to be able to have a close look at this rare flower is a real challenge of luck.

Although challenging, viewing a Rafflesia flower in bloom may be possible and will be a great memory of your trip to Southeast Asia!

Rafflesia flower in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Recent Posts

Top 5 Glamping Experiences in Southeast Asia

15 Aug 2019
If you love nature but do not really fall for roughing expeditions, try glamping (luxury camping) with Sens Asia. This new concept lets you camp outdoor but with pleasant comforts. We are listing out top 5 glamping experiences in Southeast Asia!

Hoi An – World’s Best City in the 24th Annual Travel & Leisure Awards

16 Jul 2019
US travel Magazine Travel & Leisure has announced the list of 15 most recognized travel hubs and Hoi An is the world's best city in 2019. The ancient town offers heavenly walks, fantastic fusion cuisines and marvelous culture traits to travelers visiting Vietnam.

Vietnam Ultimate Packing List

11 Jul 2019
Heading to Vietnam in 2019 – 2020 and looking around for big suitcase to start packing? Wait until you go through this Vietnam Packing List with a local expert from Sens Asia Travel.
Popular Destinations
Main Categories
Explore Further