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A Weekend Retreat in Port Dickson

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Port Dickson is a popular destination among Malaysians for a weekend getaway. Located in the state of Negeri Sembilan, this coastal town is mainly known for its beaches that stretch along a 10-mile strip from the town’s centre to Cape Rachado, its many luxurious beach resorts and other attractions.

The Beaches in Port Dickson

Photo Credit: phalinn, Flickr

Port Dickson’s beaches used to be well-known in the 90s when its popularity was at its peak. During this time, Port Dickson was highly regarded as a beach resort destination with a high arrival of tourists and visitors coming from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to enjoy its scenic natural surroundings, with clean sandy beaches, and beautiful views of the crystal clear seas. However, over time, Port Dickson saw an influx of property development. This eventually led to pollution of the beaches and seas.

See Also: 5 Awesome Day Trips From Kuala Lumpur
 
Currently, the beaches in Port Dickson have declined in popularity despite various efforts to rehabilitate them. Even some of the famous ones such as Teluk Kemang and Blue Lagoon are not as popular as it used to be due to its murky and polluted waters. Although there are some water sport activities available at these beaches, visitors are usually put off by the polluted sea waters and therefore, are discouraged from utilizing the water sport facilities provided. But there are a few beaches that are clean and clear such as Pantai Cahaya Negeri, Pantai Bagan Pinang and Pantai Saujana. A number of luxury hotels and resorts have private beach sides for their patrons. These are well maintained and look clean enough to swim in.

See Also: Top 10 Holiday Resorts in Malaysia

Attractions in Port Dickson

Photo Credit: PortDicksoninfo

Besides the beaches, there are other attractions in Port Dickson worth a visit. One notable attraction is the Army Museum, also known as Muzium Tentera Darat. This free entrance museum depicts the history of the Malaysian Arm Forces by showcasing a wide array of army exhibits from way back in history. The exhibits displayed here range from army uniforms to armored vehicles and other military weapons used by the arm forces. However, what makes this army museum unique from other military museums is its well-done reconstitutions of past events complete with sound effects. This effectively recreates the atmosphere of the historical event. Some of the reconstitutions featured in the museum include a boat reconstitution displaying the invasion of Malacca and also a reconstitution of a communist underground camp.

See Also: Malaysia’s Top 10 Tourist Attractions
    
For nature lovers, Cape Rachado would be a good place to visit. Housing the popular 16th century Cape Rachado lighthouse at its summit, this hilly cape is a forest reserve that is rich in wildlife. It also has a wide variety of bird species making it a great place for bird watching. At the peak of the cape, visitors can enjoy a breathtaking view of the sea below amidst thick, lush forest greenery.

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Other attractions include the PD night market which opens every Saturday night and the PD Ostrich Show Farm, a good place to visit especially for children and animal lovers.

Food in Port Dickson

Photo Credit: phalinn, Flickr

The coastal town is also rich in traditional local cuisine and a wide array of seafood can be found at beachside stalls and open-air restaurants. Concentrated mostly around beach areas are Malay hawker stalls. Some popular Malay delicacies are sup tulang, a slightly sour soup made by boiling bone stock from beef with herbs and spices, and ikan bakar, which is fish wrapped in banana leaves,  grilled over coal and then served with a spicy gravy.
    
Port Dickson is also famous for its Chinese seafood restaurants that serve a variety of traditional Chinese seafood dishes. Similar to the Malay hawker stalls, these restaurants also have an open-air environment but with more spacious dining areas. One popular Chinese seafood dish is mud crabs, usually cooked with their shells intact or partially cracked, and then served with a selection of sauces alongside rice or hot bread.  
    
When it comes to fine dining, there are not many upscale restaurants and cafes around other than the ones found in luxury hotels. However, there is one noteworthy fine dining establishment called the El Cactus restaurant that is popular among tourists. Specializing in Mexican cuisine, this place is definitely a must-try for a more luxury dining experience.

Where to stay in Port Dickson

Photo credit: phalinn, Flickr

Port Dickson is quite popular for its wide range of beach resorts and hotels which are concentrated at popular beach areas along the coastline of the town. Some of the popular resorts and hotels are:

Many of these resorts feature boutique family accommodation with high-class facilities such as private pools, spas, fine dining and other recreational activities. Some resorts even have unique accommodation units such as water chalets which stretch out across the shore and sea on stilts.

For a budget stay at Port Dickson, there are also many budget hotels available with facilities and services that are definitely worth its reasonable prices. Some of the popular budget hotels include:

 

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How to get there

If you are travelling from Kuala Lumpur, driving a car would be the most convenient way to reach Port Dickson as it is easily accessible through the North-South Expressway. Just head south along the expressway towards Seremban until you reach the Port Dickson exit. Then, turn off the exit towards the Seremban-Port Dickson Highway. It will take you around 20 minutes to reach the beach. The journey from Kuala Lumpur to Port Dickson is approximately 90 km and it should take you around an hour or more (depending on your speed) to reach. If you are opting for public transportation, there are buses travelling frequently to Port Dickson from the Puduraya bus terminal. There are also buses heading to Port Dickson from KLIA and LCCT. Another option is to take the KTM train service from Kuala Lumpur to Seremban, and then, take a bus to Port Dickson from there.  

Homepage highlight photo credit: phalinn, Flickr

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