Friday, 24 August 2012

Gunung Gading National Park

Gunung Gading National Park is one of the most popular tourist spot situated near Lundu’s fishing port approximately about 1.5 hours from Kuching.  When the park was proposed in 1983, the primary purpose of creating this park was to serve as a conservation site for the preservation of the rare and the world’s largest of flower – the Rafflesia. In 1994, it was opened to the public and tourist visitors. And if you prefer a less crowded park near Kuching, Gunung Gading is the best place to avoid the chaos and discover some of Malaysia’s natural wonders.

 The park is convenient to reach from Kuching on a day trip. There are a lot of attractions in Gunung Gading that the visitors can enjoy like jungle trails, view of the rainforest and waterfalls. More over, the hiking tracks can lead you to the summit of the mountains where the ruins of the deserted British Military Camp back in 1960s can be observed.  

The cost of entrance to the park is RM10 for adults, RM5 for children and students. And if you decide to stay overnight, there are affordable cabins that can be rented but should be booked in advance. When you plan a day trip to Gunung Gading National park, you have to bring your own food as there are no restaurants or canteens available within the area. The park’s headquarter sell sodas and bottled water but their supply is limited so it’s better to be prepared.

If you are out to try hiking in the park, you can set your own pace because the trails are well marked so getting lost is almost out of the question. For those of who are more adventurous, you can also try the night trail. It is advisable to engage a licensed park guide to explore the treasured natural features in the park of which most of the time not obviously visible but with interesting stories or background to tell!

Furthermore, you can also visit the waterfalls that are indicated on the trail map. And you can go swimming on a couple of waterfalls marked. The cool water would be refreshing after a warm, hour long hike. 

The Rafflesia Flower

Rafflesia is the world’s largest flower. They were first discovered in 1818 by Europeans Dr. Joseph Arnold and Sir Stamford Raffles. The discovery caused quite an uproar in the botanical community because of its size and the fact that it is parasitic. It has such a lengthy period of development, there’s an increased danger of damage compared to other flowers, therefore, there is no certainty that it will mature into a fully blossomed Rafflesia. It takes over nine months for the bud of the flower to develop and according to studies, when the flower reaches 16 cm in diameter, there is a decreased chance of survival because they are extremely sensitive to weather conditions. 

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