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Sarawak : East Malaysia / Malaysian Borneo - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
 
  Welcome
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  KUCHING (STATE CAPITAL):
 
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  Nature & National Parks
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  TOURIST ATTRACTION
  Must Visit Places
  Bario & Ba?kelalan
 
  Gunung Mulu National Park
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SARAWAK - EAST MALAYSIA / MALAYSIA BORNEO
KUCHING : NATURE & NATIONAL PARKS - Gunung Gading National Park
 
 

GUNUNG GADING

NATIONAL PARK

KUCHING DISTRICT

 

Granite massifs capped by rugged mountain peaks dominate this park, which is also known as the ?Home of the Rafflesia?. Located in Lundu district in southwest Sarawak, Gunung Gading National Park is home to Mount Gading, which peaks at 965m.

 

The mountain terrain in this 4,106ha park was gazetted in 1983. It extends to the coast, providing a scenic backdrop to the lovely beaches at Pandan and Siar as well as the town of Lundu. Gushing waterfalls at the upper reaches of Sungai Lundu, which begins life in this mountain range, entice visitors to come and view them. The more energetic ones can hike to the summit of Mount Gading to enjoy the view of the surrounding area. This park is home to numerous rare plants, but it is mainly famous for the world?s largest flower, the rafflesia tuan-mudae, known locally as bunga pakma.

 

At full bloom, this flower is nearly one metre in diameter, and it stays in full bloom for about a week only. There is no guarantee that visitors will get to see the flower, as they are not frequent bloomers. As such, visitors are advised to check with the park headquarters or the National Park Booking Office to find out if any flowers are in bloom, or are about to bloom. Protecting the delicate ecosystem of the park, especially the areas where the Rafflesia are commonly found, is paramount. A network of plank walks and jungle trails have been built to allow visitors to tour the park without doing any damage to the forest floor.

 

 

The Waterfall trail offers the shortest walk, winding its way up through the forest past a series of waterfalls. It takes about one hour to reach the last one, Waterfall No. 7. You?ll need to be fit for the other trek, the Gunung Gading Summit trail (3-4 hours, one way) as it involves some serious hill walking. You must complete the trail and return the same day, as overnight stays in the forest are not permitted. From the summit you can opt for a side trek to Batu Bakubu, which was a former communist camp during the insurgency. The rugged mountain peaks that make up the Park provide a scenic backdrop to the nearby town of Lundu, and the nearby beaches at Pandan and Siar. Gunung Gading also has some enjoyable walks and a challenging jungle trek. Further information about these treks can be obtained from the Park HQ.

 
 
THE RAFFLESIA - Worlds largest flower
 

 

The world?s largest flower, the rafflesia, which can grow up to one metre in diameter. When in bloom the flower gives off a nasty smell which attracts flies and other insects. The rafflesia has no specific season, taking nine months to mature and flowering for only 4 or 5 days before dying.

 

Gunung Gading was only opened to the public in mid-1994, after extensive environmental impact studies. Previously it was used solely as a conservation zone for the rafflesia. The emphasis is still on conservation, and the National Parks agency have taken measures to allow visitors to view flowering rafflesia without damaging young Rafflesia buds and other plants.

 

There is a plankwalk close to where rafflesia are commonly found, and if a plant is flowering deeper in the forest, the park rangers may be able to take you on a guided walk to the site. Please take care; the small brown buds that you see on the forest floor may be rafflesia, so tread carefully and follow the park ranger?s instructions. Guiding fees are RM20.00 /hour /group. Owing to the rafflesia?s rarity and brief flowering period, timing (and luck) are important. The park staff usually know when a plant is about to bloom.

 

Visitors can check with the park HQ or the National Parks and Wildlife Booking Office in Kuching to find out if any plants are about to bloom or already in bloom. Although flowers generally bloom throughout the year, November, December and January can be regarded as the peak flowering season as the frequency of blooms is high. Seeing a blooming rafflesia is certainly the highlight of a trip to Gunung Gading, but the Park and the whole Lundu area are well worth visiting anyway.

 
 
ATTRACTIONS & FACILITIES
  • Flora and fauna

  • Rafflesia site

  • Swimming

  • Jungle trekking

  • Mountain climbing

 
 

 
ACCOMMODATION
 

 

The HQ is fairly small and consists of an information centre, toilet blocks and accommodation facilities. There are two ?Type 5? Forest Lodges (3-bedroom chalets, up to 6 people) at RM 150. A hostel is also available (RM 15 per person, RM 40 per room). Campsites are provided, but visitors need to bring their own camping gear. There is 24-hour electricity supply. The Campsite is RM 5 per person. There is no canteen at the park HQ. Overnight visitors can either head into Lundu for food or bring their own provisions. Accommodation is also available in Lundu, Pandan and Siar.

 
 
LUNDU TOWN

Lundu is a sleepy up-country town comprising a few rows of shophouses, a small market, government buildings and some attractive kampong houses, inhabited by very friendly residents. The town is a good base to explore the area if the national park accommodation is full. In addition to Gunung Gading there are some attractive beaches nearby, including Siar and Pandan. There are some beach huts and chalets at Pandan beach, but they are overpriced for the basic facilities they offer so staying in town or at the Park HQ is more convenient and better value. Lundu has two budget hotels, a few food stalls and restaurants, and regular bus departures to Kuching and Sematan.

 
 
GETTING THERE

The Gunung Gading National Park is located near the small town of Lundu in southwest Sarawak, about two hours? drive from Kuching. From the Brooke Dockyard (Gambier Street) bus station, take the Sarawak Transport Company bus to the 3rd Mile Bus Terminal. From there, take the express bus to Lundu ? the journey takes approximately one and a half hours. From Lundu take a van or taxi and ask to be dropped off at the park office. Additionally, Kuching tour operators offer guided tours to the park.

 
 
 
KUCHING : NATURE & NATIONAL PARKS - Gunung Gading National Park
SARAWAK - EAST MALAYSIA / MALAYSIA BORNEO