Mount Kinabalu and the World’s Largest Flower

It was several years ago that we went to Kota Kinabalu, East Malaysia. We didn’t hike up the mountain which is 13,455 ft. high.

Instead, we went up by car as high as possible to have a good look at the mountain.

It was a sunny day and from a high level, one can clearly see the hills below and the a streak of dramatic white clouds above which almost hid the mountain top.CIMG0680

As part of the trip, we also went to have a look at the world’s largest flower on the lower slopes of Mount Kinabalu. This flower is known as Rafflesia – a flower which can be as large as 39 inches in diameter and weigh up to 22 lb. The plant has no stems, leaves or true roots. It is an holoparasite of vines in the genus Tetrastigma , spreading its absorptive organ.

The bud of the Malaysian version of the flower remains dormant for 6 to 9 months and then suddenly burst out at night to become a flower, but then it start to decompose only after 2-3 days later.CIMG0706

Actually, we paid the local villager who kept the flower an “entrance fee” to see the flower. The flower has a smell similar to rotting flesh and for that reason it is called a “corpse flower” by the local people. This is the biggest stinky flower we have ever seen in our life.

We travelled in a van to see the flower. On our way back, our van was stuck in the mud. For over 40 minutes of trying to reverse or advance the vehicle, one wheel of the van just sunk deeper and deeper into the mud.

After a long struggle, some villagers arrived at the scene. With the help of seven people pushing the car forward, we were lucky to rid of the mud.CIMG0715

I filed the images wrongly under another  category and am just able to recover these photos in the last few days.

If you ask me what I remember from my trip, I would say the mountain, the stinky flower and the van stuck in the mud!