Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Belum: Rafflesia - 29 May 2013

Pak Ya, a local tour agent at the public jetty, about 5 mins away from the resort. He's a very experienced and friendly guide cum boatman, and knew the place so well. 

At the public jetty - see the other side of the bridge connecting the East-West Highway.

We started the boat cruise very early at 7.30am. Most of us still needed to warm-up!

In our haste to leave the resort, we forgot the bread for our sandwiches. So we had a chance to stop by the only mobile and floating store.

The water was so clear and still. It's so serene.

We're like the only visitors here. The wave refraction was caused by the movement of water from deep to shallow.

This place was flooded to create the reservoir, so there're still trees underwater! Quite a task to maneuver the boat in order to avoid the shallow part of the water.

Our 1st stop in search of "Rafflesia" flower. There're 8 sites to see the rafflesia. We're told that we just missed the bloom, but we didn't mind anyway to just go to one of the sites.

 Pak Ya said the trek would take a few minutes - but that's HIS standard.

 A good warm-up indeed. Already panting for me. This place was so spooky, with very dense tree canopy so there's hardly any sunlight. I wondered why rafflesia would thrive in such an environment.

And we found a BUD, like the size of a cabbage or bigger. Rafflesia flowers may bloom unexpectedly any time of the year. When it does bloom, it usually lasts less than a week before turning black with decay. No wonder it's one of the world's rarest flowers. A particular vine must become infected by the parasite and a tiny bud appears on the vine. Over a year, the tiny bud swells to a ball and eventually bursts into a rafflesia flower. 

 Traces of decayed flowers nearby the site.

A mobile, floating coffee shop for the locals.

Such tranquility to absorb.

Pak Ya's contact: 019-5495794 (he can arrange boat, camping tours, permit application to forest, etc).

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