Discovered in 1818 by Sir Tomas Stanford Raffles who gave it its name, it lives in the tropical forest of southern Thailand and especially in the Khao Sok National Park which remains the most famous place in the country to see it, in Malaysia and Indonesia. But in restricted areas, and in small quantities. In Thai, the flower is called bua put. The variety in Khao Sok is not very smelly.
During the flowering season, there is no open flower every day and since it only lasts 5 days before wilting, it is impossible to be sure to see an open Rafflesia flower when you come to Khao Sok, even at this period of the year. There is a dedicated trek in the jungle leading the tourists to see the rafflesia in a supervised environment with a local guide and on a route on which the national park rangers have marked the buds and flowers to ensure that the hikers do not damage the plant.