Monday 24 April 2017

Kuching, Sarawak (Day 2): Hunting for Rafflesia! //Gunung Gading, Pandan Beach & Flower Scent Restaurant

Day two at Kuching started off with us fueling up the car and our stomachs with Kolo Mee (my first!) before our two-hour drive to Lundu to hike at Gunung Gading in search for the largest flower in the world, Rafflesia.

I don't remember where is this kopitiam at because Ying Yun's uncle recommended this place.

Auntie not to please? LOL

Gunung Gading, Lundu

At Gunung Gading, we booked a guide following the advice from the administrator as the trail heading towards the blooms were off trail from the usual tracking site. Together with a few other travellers, we hiked for about 10 minutes or so before finding the bloom, perched high out of reach on a rock where it has attached itself on its host for 8 months.

What's so amazing is that this flower has SIX petals, with one extra petal compare to its kind. The flower is 5 days old when we saw it, just few days short before it withers. Can you believe that. It takes 8 months for its flower to grow and bloom yet only a week to wither.

The first rafflesia we encountered which has six petals, so amazing!

Our guide, Edmund.


While we were waiting for the other travellers to take turns snapping photos, we chatted, tried to get to know the others and enjoying the scenery. I got to know cheeky little boy who kept trying to swing the loose vines. My intention was to scare him by saying some bugs might fall off the tree failed to reached his ears. Later he started poking my butt WTF (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
I was like, "why are you poking my butt" out loud to the amusement of my friends and his mother who tried stopping him. But he's not a mean boy, just a joker kind hahaha

After that we hiked a little more to another spot where a Rafflesia had bloomed on the ground. So amazing, just look at the size of the flower!

True to what Edmund mentioned, the Rafflesia smells just like mushrooms instead of its notorious, corpse-like smell. Even if it does smell like the latter, I probably can't tell.
Here's a dead one that has turned charcoal black! My morbid friend found it interesting...

I was trying to look for other buds nearby and when I found one, I asked Edmund if he can name it Vivien to his laughter. Ying Yun was motivated to find a baby bud to name it after herself and myself, me to find Vivien #2 but was not fruitful hahahha #TwoIdiots

Later we went our own way, taking the trail that leads to Waterfall #1, the closest trail so we can come back early for lunch.

While we girls were playing at the waterfall, the guys chatted. A game of rock, paper and scissor decided we should just swim in the waterfall hahahah. That was how we make decisions the entire vacay. While we were playing, my phone took a dip in the water when I slipped between the rocks and immediately went into danger mode and auto switched off on its own. I was holding my phone because I was taking photos _ bad idea. But photos. I love taking photos and even the last trip was the only one who took a thousand over photos over a week.

My phone survived nevertheless _ the danger mode and putting it into a bag of rice saved my phone. We found the phone alright after its alarm starts ringing in the morning. Nicholas' woke me up saying, "Good news. Do you know what's working?" Harharhar

Pandan Beach

It was beach time after our lunch YY and Nicholas helped me tapau-ed. You should see the reaction on their face when I exclaimed, "for as long as it is not bitter", they just froze hahahaha. YY had tapau-ed me an interesting, but super bitter chicken marinated in wild plants.

So yeah, beach after lunch!

YY's a huge fan of beach, I can tell. I don't know how can she be so unafraid of the waves. I tried wading and when the waves got bigger, or maybe I waded too deep, I started freaking out. Definitely haven't get use to this feeling. As children, my parents totally forbid us to get into the waters so we didn't have much chances. Even now, my parents kept telling me to avoid playing in waterfalls :/

Super environmental lover, this girl. Thumbs up!

Ying Yun helped me get to 'safety' and we started climbing up onto the huggeee rocks, this time it was YY turn getting cold feet. We were debating which was scarier _ climbing up and falling from huge rocks or drown in the sea WTF.

Flower Scent Restaurant

It started pelting so we headed to the little town nearby for a bit of sightseeing which is really just staring at the river and driving around _ there really isn't much to see. I have been calling my hometown, Sungai Petani Sleepy Hollow but this town bears closest resemblance to that title! We had nothing to do that we decided to just head early to Flower Scent Restaurant which is not too far away from the spot we were chilling.

We ordered sambal belacan-cooked midin, my first time trying! Tasted so good albeit slightly salty.

Close up on the fern! Look at how cute it is, the end curled.

Fried calamari (again!) which satisfied Ying Yun and Nicholas' palate.
Steam fish and mani chai.

The food were totally satisfactory and super affordable! So much that we thought we might as well stay for more drinks _ since there is no other entertainment around_ to the waitress surprise. We must be the only tourists who ordered tons of drinks hahahaha.

Deciding we had stayed for a while, we decided to leave. It was pelting so Nicholas went ahead to get the car but a few moments later, we girls thought the rain wasn't too heavy and decided to run towards the car. Halfway, Ying Yun started screaming, "DOG, DOG!!!" and I looked back, true enough one was chasing us! We ran with all our might and open and slam the doors behind us immediately. Talk about craziness..(╥﹏╥)( TДT)

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