By: Melissa Lin
Port Dickson is a favored seaside retreat for many Malaysians, located in the district Negeri Sembilan, 90 kilometers south of Kuala Lumpur. It takes just over an hour by car to travel from Kuala Lumpur to Port Dickson along the North-South Expressway. Port Dickson can also easily be reached from Seramban, the capital of Negeri Sembilan, located only 32 kilometers from Port Dickson.
Stepping off the bus from Seremban and arriving in Port Dickson on a lazy Sunday Malaysian evening, I was greeted by the gentle and balmy breeze of the sea. I felt immediately relaxed and at ease in the atmosphere of the P.D twilight. My local bus mate struck up a conversation, wanting to know where I was headed, and was eager to dispense with some tips in navigating this lovely coastal town.
I welcomed and sensed the diverse and friendly vibes of this town. I believe that this is due in no small part to the fact that many foreigners have made Port Dickson their home. The throng of visitors from the nearby Seremban, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore also enliven the town on weekends.
The main draw of P.D. is found in its snaking coastline of beaches, and the fresh, succulent seafood that is served in local eateries and restaurants.
Port Dickson Coastal scene & the Blue Lagoon
Port Dickson’s beach stretches 18 kilometers, from Tanjung Gemuk to Tanjung Tuan. Revellers and beach bums engage in a variety of water activities, soaking up the sun, water skiing, swimming and windsurfing.
Local vendors serve coconut and soft drinks to enjoy under palm trees, and a local Loklok (local fish balls and other snacks on a satay stick) man serves hungry people.
Another favorite local spot for beach lovers is the Blue Lagoon, 15 kilometers from the centre of town. The Blue Lagoon is lush, surrounded by greenery, is a place to take in the wilderness and enjoy more beach activities.
Port Dickson: Historical port turned tourist destination
Port Dickson was developed into a port by the British, who considered the area as having great potential as a harbor. Sir Frederick Dickson established Port Dickson in 1880. The activity lead to the evolution of P.D as a busy trading center. It was transformed and developed as a holiday destination in the 1990’s.
A sweet place to visit in P.D is the Cape Rachardo lighthouse, built by the Portuguese in the 16th century. Lighthouses posses a feeling of mystery, it is symbol after all, is of a guiding light in the dark. The narrow spiral staircase of this lighthouse leads to the top, which offers a panoramic view of Sumatra’s coastline.
Another object of Malaysia’s history and myth may be found following a jungle trek next to this lighthouse, leading to a secluded beach. Here, one discovers a rock with an embedded footprint. Locals say that the footprint belongs to the legendary Malay warrior Hang Tuah, who left his footprint as a mark of the spot of his first landing at Tanjung Tuan. Other historical sights in Port Dickson include Fort Lukut and Fort Kempas, both testaments of local historical personalities.
Port Dickson: Food of the Sea
One cannot have experienced P.D without indulging in seafood. My friend led me to a wonderful family restaurant, Gim Men Teppanyaki, located at 103 Kampung Arab. Only open on weekends, the restaurant itself it built behind the owner’s house in a garden. The dining experience was definitely one to remember. We feasted on Otak Otak (a prawn and fish paste barbequed in leaves), three flavoured fish, prawns and a most memorable stuffed crab. With happy bellies and good conversations with wonderful friends, Port Dickson has a special place in my heart.
Port Dickson draws locals and travelers alike with it’s windy beaches and friendly, laid back and sweet atmosphere. There are pretty sights and secluded spots to discover and historical landmarks to enjoy.
For more splendid sandy beach destinations in Malaysia, please check our top 10 of Malaysia’s best beaches!