Tourism Malaysia Vancouver Media Fam
August 21 - September 2nd, 2009

August 24th
Today we stopped at the Cocoa Boutique before heading to Poring Hot Springs & Nature Reserve. A great way to start the day…chocolate!

This was also to be one of the best days of our lives, and if you are passionate about plants, you will understand in a moment. We were heading down the highway on the way to the hot springs when we saw a sign on the side of the road, hand written, saying that there was a Rafflesia in bloom. We screamed to stop the van and all jumped out of it in excitement all trying to be the first to run into the jungle to see it. This is the Olympics of the plant world…it is the largest flower in the world, only blooms for about 7 days and grows so low and deep in the jungles that they are hard to find. My gosh we were excited. This one was about 3 days and was not fully spread out yet, nor did it have the scent – that happens in the end as it rots.

There have only been 16 species of this recorded and almost all in Malaysia. The flower bud looks like a brown cabbage and just try finding that in the jungle if you didn’t know what it looked like. It is called a Rafflesia after Stamford Raffles. He was in Sumatra in 1818 with his friend the naturalist, Dr. Arnold, who actually found it in the area of a town called Manna. It was later named R. arnoldii. It is the largest of the Rafflesia flowers with a diameter of 80 cm and a weight of 7 kg.

The flower is the only part that is visible on this plant, it has no leaves, stems or roots. It is a parasite, its host being a vine belonging to the Tetrastigma genus. The buds take over 15 months to mature. The pollinators are thought to be carrion flies. So now can you see why we were so excited to see one? This was an absolute highlight for all of us. In this area by the way is the largest concentration of these flowers…

So off we set again, self absorbed in that flower and thankful to be here in the right place, at the right time.

Poring Hot Springs
Poring got its name from a giant bamboo species named Gigantochloa

A visit to Kinabalu Park will never be perfect without swinging by Poring Hot Springs. Situated 40 kilometers (25 miles) slightly northeast from the Parks HQ, Poring is located in the lowlands—a contrast to the Parks HQ. De-stress and soak away the sores and aches of your muscles in the spring’s hot sulphuric minerals, deemed to have healing properties and very popular among the locals.

Other than the natural hot spring main attraction at Poring Hot Springs, there are also other interesting areas in the park to be visited such as the butterfly farm, the Poring Orchid Conservation Centre, the tropical garden, the Poring canopy walkway, and the Rafflesia flower site.

Butterfly Farm
Poring Hot Spring’s butterfly farm is in fact the first butterfly farm in Borneo. It features a garden, nursery and hatchery for education, research and preservation purposes.

Poring Orchid Conservation Centre
This centre houses the largest collection of Sabah orchids as well as rare endemic orchids. Some 1, 200 species of orchids are available at this centre.

Tropical gardens
Get a glimpse of mousedeers and deers frolicking in the garden with the company of vividly coloured birds in the aviary.

Poring canopy walkway
This canopy walkway is a must visit for anyone who ever sets foot in Poring Hot Springs. We had a blast walking this swinging trail through the canopy. Take a stroll amidst the lush canopy of the Menggaris tree—king of the forest—the walkway is 157.8 meters long and 41 meters high.

We had lunch at Liwagu Restaurant in the park and dinner this evening was at Kampung Nelayan…where again it was delicious. Our desert was served in the coconut shells…yum!


  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row