Rafflesia, the world's biggest flower
Giant flower, Rafflesia
Batang Palupuh, Sumatra
There are a few things in this world you have to see before believing them and the Rafflesia (Rafflesia arnoldii) is one of them. It is the biggest flower on the planet. It is huge, plastic-like and smelly. More than a meter in diameter, it can weigh more than 10 kg, and its perfume resembles the smell of rotten meat. This rare flower only blooms for a few weeks and then it is gone. The season is between August and November and the locals know where to find the blooming ones.
Khao Sok National Park
West part of Khao Sok National Park
It is a bit of a miracle that this pristine slice of dense jungle is not more visited, considering it is only a few hours drive north of Phuket. All the big game are advertised to roam the national park, but the chance to see a tiger, leopard or sun bear is probably pretty slim. A wild elephant on the other hand is not impossible. The park's pride-worthy botanic attraction is the world biggest flower, Rafflesia (Rafflesi kerrii). This giant flower (50-90 cm) is both rare and weird (smells of rotten meat) and blooms only in dry season from January to March. There are several trails throughout the park to waterfalls and viewpoints. You cannot sleep inside the park, but the guest houses right outside are famous for their treetop bungalows.