Gunung Gading National Park
If you love both jungle and elevation, then southwestern Sarawak’s Gunung Gading is, in all senses of the word, uplifting. With four mountain peaks, trails most certainly ascend, but the natural wonders of waterfalls and mountain streams, where bathing is hard to resist, beckon keen hikers up to the jungle rich heights. Hiking is only possible in small groups led by national park guides, which will be coordinated by your tour operator. Unlike many of Sarawak’s national parks, these trails are manageable in a daytrip, albeit starting early morning for one of the finest wake up workouts you could hope for. It is also easily accessible, just two hours’ drive from Kuching.
Gunung Gading is most famous among fans of flora for its prolific Rafflesia, the largest flower in the world, yet one which remains a mystery to many. With no roots, leaves or stem, this red beauty grows on a vine, or tetrastigma, the buds taking nine months to open, and then may only last a few days. The good news, and again part of its mystery, is that there is no specific flowering season. However, rangers know the progress of each Rafflesia in the park, so you can be guided to them quite easily along board walks. The best time to see Rafflesia, however, tends to be during the wet season, between November and February.