Monday, June 17, 2013

Port Dickson

Port Dickson is a popular beach destination situated in the state of Negeri Sembilan in the southern half of Peninsular Malaysia. Easily accessible via a network of highways from cities like Kuala Lumpur and Malacca, this beachside enclave is also immensely popular with visitors from neighboring Singapore.
Tracing the origins of Port Dickson indicate that this beach destination began life as a small Malay village, which was once inhabited by fisherman and traders. This village was named ‘Arang’ due to the presence of a coal mine in the area. The discovery of tin ore in the town of Lukut located close by attracted hordes of Chinese migrants to area in the 1820’s.
In the 1880’s Arang was transformed into a port by a British official, Sir Frederic Dickson This port which was served by a railway-linked harbor facilitated the transport of rich tin ore from Sungai Ujong to Klang. The busy port was then rechristened Port Dickson after the official who was instrumental for its rapid growth and development.
Popularly referred to as ‘PD’ by locals, Port Dickson is renowned for its 10-mile long stretch of beachfront, which leads towards Malacca and ends at the tip of Capa Rachado. Popular beach zones located within this stretch include seafront locales like Bagan Pinang, Pantai Cahaya Negeri, Teluk Kemang and the Blue Lagoon. All these oceanfront enclaves host a variety of accommodation options in the form of major hotels, resorts and vacation rental apartments, which cater to all budgets.
Aside from beaches and water sporting activities, Port Dickson hosts various other attractions. Some of which are listed below:-
Wan Loong Temple
This Chinese temple whose name translates as ‘'Dragon of the Clouds', boasts typical opulent Chinese temple architecture and features several pagodas, arches and thick fortress walls. The temple honors various Chinese deities like Kuan Yi (the goddess of mercy) and the Monkey King. The temple is open throughout the day and offers free access though you are reminded to avoid being disruptive while visiting.
The Pengkalan Kempas Historical Complex
The Pengkalan Kempas historical complex, known as Fort Kempas is located in a small village at a distance of 35 km from Port Dickson. Located within the complex are various megalith stones and an ancient tomb containing the remains of  Syeikh Ahmad Majnum, an Islamic preacher who was slain in battle with the army of Sultan Mansor Shah of Malacca in the 14th century. This grave which is believed to be the oldest Muslim grave in Malaysia is considered to be  a shrine by the locals.
Pasir Panjang
The fishing village of Pasir Panjang, located 25 km from Port Dickson is known for its star attraction, the expansive Pasir Panjang Recreational Forest. This forest is in fact a small park equipped with gazebos, floating decks and training camps. On the outer edge of the park is a famed hawker center, which offers various Malaysian delicacies like ‘Ikan Bakar’ (grilled fish) amongst many others.
The Port Dickson waterfront
This seafront esplanade located within PD’s town center is a popular recreational spot with visitors and locals alike. Offering a variety of shopping, dining and entertainment options this seafront stretch is one of the primary attractions of Port Dickson.
Kota Lukut
Kota Lukut is a historic fort located on the outskirts of Port Dickson. This fort which is situated atop a hill dates back to 1847 and the rule of the Bugis warrior, Raja Jumaat. Not much remains of the fort today but the grounds of the fort have in recent years been transformed into a recreational park, popular with visitors. Another attraction of Kota Lukut is a small museum, located at the bottom of the hill which chronicles the history of the mining era in Lukut.
Ostrich Farm
The Port Dickson Ostrich farm is located within Port Dickson’s ten mile long beach stretch. At the farm, visitors will have the chance to view and interact with various animals and birds like ostriches, peacocks, peasants, jungle fowls, monkeys and more.
If you are planning a trip to Kuala Lumpur sometime soon and want to combine your trip with beach holiday, you might want to consider including easily accessible, attraction-filled Port Dickson in your itinerary.

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