Sunday, September 18, 2011

Exploring Port Dickson

While R’s parents were here we decided to take them to Port Dickson. Also located in Negeri Sembilan, it’s the closest Beach town to our house. It’s a bit embarrassing, but R and I haven’t been since we bought the house. In fact, we have only been to PD once when were looking to buy Bungalows back in 2009. We aren’t really Beach people, so I guess it makes sense that we haven’t been. Although after our recent visit, we are eager to get back to Port Dickson and explore some more. Why? Because it’s not only beaches (there are hiking trails and lots of bird and wildlife watching) and because it was like a 15 minute drive from our house... we thought it would take longer! I guess it is because our house connects right up to Jalan Tok Ungku and if you drive away from Seremban it leads very quickly right into the Port Dickson Interchange which is a toll roadway (about 3RM or $1 USD per direction) and the roadway was empty. We looked out at Palm plantations and other scenic views as we drove and before we knew it, we were in Port Dickson.

The main beaches, which we had seen with the real estate agent when we went before, are all around PD town. Doing a bit of research before we went with R’s parents, I found that to the south of PD is more low key.

I read about Pasir Panjang which is about 21 km south of PD. Online it said that this town is not really a beach town, but more a quiet fishing town on the water. So we drove South towards Pasir Panjang not really sure if we were going the correct way or not. We tried to stay as close to the water as possible but most of the time we did not have a water view, instead we were winding down roads filled with resorts or local houses or just scenic green. Eventually we made it to Pasir Panjang town and we took a right at the end of the town shop houses hoping it would get us closer to the beach. We drove along local homes and came to a clearing where we could see water so we got out and took a look.

Pasir Panjang

The photo above is where the local fisherman fish. It was lovely and quiet (except for the road hacking going on up the street). There were no beach goers. We looked around and asked how to get to Pasir Panjang Forest and were directed up the small hill. At the top of the hill one side lead to trails in the forest the other lead to the overlook of the water. We made it to the cliff and found a lovely covered dock at the base of the cliff. Stairs led us down to the dock where we enjoyed nice views of the water ... the best part, no one else was around! There is supposed to be a fish specialty made in this town called Ikan Bakan which is grilled fish in banana leaves, but it was too early for lunch so we headed back North towards PD in search of a small beach called Pantai Cermin that R wanted to visit because it is supposed to have some really cool rock formations coming out of the water.

Covered Dock at Pasir Panjang


It was a little unclear exactly where we were going but we knew that Pantai Cermin was in or near Tanjung Tuan a section of the PD coast where there are beaches and the Lighthouse. Going north we spotted a sign for Tanjung Tuan and Cape Rachado (another name for it) which we did not see initially going south. So turned left towards Tanjung Tuan. It took us down a long road and then past some resorts. At one point we could see beach or water on both sides. We saw no signs that were helpful, but we knew that the Lighthouse’s entrance, which was supposedly near the Blue Lagoon was also near Pantai Cermin and near the Ilham Resort. After a couple wrong turns, we finally found the Lighthouse enterance where we parked our car. We decided to go have a look and were told it was a walk uphill. So we started our walk up the at-times-very-steep road towards the Lighthouse. It was ok for R and I but his parents who are old struggled, especially since they aren’t used to the Malaysian heat. Anyway, it was a beautiful tropical forest path with all sorts of plants and trees, really nice. Eventually we made it to the top of the hill where the Lighthouse was. We walked up more stairs only to find out that you cant go into the Lighthouse, you have to walk around it. On our second walk around it, R walked down a trail which jetted off to from the left side of the Lighthouse. It was a path going downhill. A short walk down there were a couple benches overlooking the water. We sat down. After a few minutes we learned we were not alone. Above us there were monkeys in the trees! I counted at least 12 in my view. Their tails were so long! It was fun in there. R and I want to go back and hike some of the trails around this area.

After we walked back down the hill to the car and decided to head to lunch, on our way out we saw a sign for Pantai Cermin and turned on the short road which lead us directly to a beautiful curved beach. There was not a person in sight! We looked for the rock formations and determined that they must be around the corner behind a group of trees, if they were there at all. We were all tired from the Lighthouse trek that we didn’t have the energy to explore more. Although R and I definitely want to go back to check out that beach (whether it was Pantai Cermin or Blue Lagoon) and more of the wildlife reserve.

But there is much more to explore in the Port Dickson area such as the nearby town of Lukut and the Pengkalan Kempas Historical Complex where there are some rare carved monoliths....

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