Wow! What can I say. I did not think I would be able to see the Rafflessia plant - the largest plant in the world. I remember long ago seeing a segment of "Secret Life of Plants" with David Attenborough standing next to a Rafflessia. Never did I dream that one day I would be able to do almost the same thing.
We started the day by having to say good bye to Lily our wonderful host at the Magic Mountain B&B. She made us feel so welcome and we left feeling like we had a good new friend. We headed out to Poring about 40 minutes away. We dropped down to more of the lower forest and it became hot.
We were nearing Poring when we saw the sign - Rafflessia in Bloom. We drove a bit further to make certain it was the one that the couple had told us about. It was - we turned around and went back. It was just a short distance away from the road. It had been in bloom for 4 days and was still in wonderful shape. They last about 7 days before they start to turn brown/black on the edges and really stink. They are pollanized by flies which were swirling around it. It is marroon and beign in color - similar to meat and smells about the same althought this one wasn't too bad.
They charged us 15RM (about 5 US) which is pretty expensive but since it only blooms for a short while - it is a good source of extra income. They do keep it fenced off so we couldn't get right up to it but close enough.
We snapped our pictures and that was it. We headed up to Poring with is one other tourist area of Mt. Kinabalu. It has several hot springs. We decided that we didn't want to go in them so we headed for the orchid house. It had some cool orchids in bloom including the rare Rothchild's lady slipper. We also went through the tropical forest walk which was kinda depressing. It was kinda a zoo with several empty cages. The few that had animals were raptors - eagles - that would have been better free. We did get to see some local deer.
It was time to return to KK. The drive was about 3 hours. Along the way it rained - a downpour. Perfect place actually for it to rain - while we were on the road. By time we got to KK it was sunny. Luck continued with us and we got a parking place next to the hotel and called for the rental car to be picked up.
We had an early evening since we had a 7am flight. We found a 24 hour street cafe that served several Malay dishes. George had sambal shrimp - good but messy and I had fried broad rice noodles with seafood. Yumm...