Port Dickson is a small town on the west coast of Peninsula Malaysia, south of Kuala Lumpur. It is famous for its beautiful beaches and holiday resorts and is approximately 1.5 hours from Kuala Lumpur. It has had many changes in the last two years since travel reopened. We visited this place about four years ago and decided to revisit it recently to update this article.
In this article, we will share a list of places we visited a few years ago and some new places we discovered during our recent trip.
1. Places to visit in Port Dickson
Here are the Port Dickson attractions that we visited in Port Dickson.
a. Cape Rachado (Tanjung Tuan)
I started my day by visiting Cape Rachado first, as it’s breezy and fresh in the morning. Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve is located about a five-minute drive off the main road.
There is no official parking area outside the entrance, but parking on the roadside is okay if you don’t obstruct traffic. Since it was a weekday, there were few visitors, and I was only the second to arrive. The admission fee is RM1. No one was at the ticketing counter when I arrived. So, I started climbing up to the lighthouse, which took me fifteen minutes on the tarmac path.
I enjoyed the breezy morning air and the breathtaking view. As cars are not allowed to enter, it’s safe to stroll on the tarmac path. (Note: When I left, the ticketing personnel came and collected RM1 from me.)
If you feel tired, there are gazebos where you can rest along the path. However, the walk is easy, and families with young children can do it easily.
The lighthouse is closed to the public since it is a satellite monitoring tower. The back of the Cape Rachado lighthouse faces the serene Straits of Melaka. Please be careful when walking around the lighthouse’s perimeter, as the cliff is steep.
There are several forest trails for adventurous visitors to explore. You may spot monkeys sitting on trees and raptors flying in the sky if you’re lucky. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any luck spotting them this morning.
It is advisable to bring your water as there are no food and drink stores available. There is a toilet near the entrance.
I walked along the winding trail that leads through the dense jungle to Tanjung Tuan’s beach. The trail is steep, so you must be fit to explore this place. It took me more than ten minutes to reach the beach. The beach is isolated, unpolluted, and clean. I found a rock to sit on and enjoyed the gentle breeze, the smell of saltwater, and the soothing sound of the waves lapping on the shore. It’s an ideal escape for city dwellers who want to destress and escape the pressures of city life.
Note: Bring insect-repellent drinking water and wear good walking shoes. I encountered many mosquitoes while trekking down to Tanjung Tuan’s beach.
The History of Cape Rachado
The early history of Cape Rachado is mostly unverified. Unofficial accounts trace back to 1511 when the Portuguese settled in Melaka. The name Rachado means ‘Broken Cape,’ according to Wikipedia. Other sources claim the cape was named after a Portuguese captain.
Cape Rachado is believed to be the oldest lighthouse in Malaysia. The Portuguese built the first version, and the British constructed the second version in 1817. In 1990, a second tower was erected to house the MEASAT radar.
b. Muzium Tentera Darat (Army Museum Port Dickson)
After relaxing at the beach, my next stop was the Port Dickson Army Museum inside an army camp.
The museum’s front portion houses military equipment, including howitzers, anti-aircraft guns, small to medium cannons, mortars, and a tank. There are also several decommissioned army vehicles, such as helicopters, planes, and a steam engine train, that visitors can explore.
One of the museum’s highlights is the chance to experience the heat of battles by sitting in a helicopter. The exhibits cover a range of historical events, including battles during the Melaka era, Malaysia’s colonization period, Malaya communism, and World War II.
Although the write-ups might be too detailed for casual tourists, they are very informative for those who want to understand what happened. Visitors will learn more than they would in any classroom, as the museum offers a living history lesson on Malaysia dating back to the independence era.
The most exciting part of the museum is the underground tunnel, a replica of a Communist Party of Malaya stronghold, complete with a field hospital and kitchen. The tunnel features life-size figures in dim lighting, creating an ominous atmosphere that may be a little scary for young school children who visit.
Also, a suspension bridge connects several trees near the tunnel exit.
Admission to the museum is free.
c. Lukut Muzium (Muzium Lukut)
Lukut Fort, also known as Kota Lukut, was constructed by the Bugis Raja Jumaat around 1847. The Fort was 200m long and 170m wide and surrounded by a deep moat to discourage attackers.
The palace is situated within the Fort, and wells are also present. However, only some parts of the walls, the well, the trenches, and a few building foundations still exist. Unfortunately, the site is neglected, with no signboard to explain what remains, except for a simple direction board to show the location. Therefore, it’s best to skip this place and head to the nearby museum instead.
The small Lukut Museum has two levels and houses some artifacts excavated during the excavation. It showcases pottery shards, stoneware, old bronze cannons, and tiles from the glory days of the tin mining industry at Lukut. History buffs will love to stay here for hours.
d. Wan Loong Chinese Temple
Wan Loong Temple is an important Chinese temple in Port Dickson, located seven miles from the Port Dickson Coastal Road. On the opposite side of the temple is a well-known seafood restaurant with the same name.
During our visit in the afternoon, there were few visitors. It is a building with traditional Chinese temple architecture painted prominently red.
Besides the main building, which is used for prayers, there is a vast garden at the back of the main building. There are also many sculptures of traditional figures from Chinese folklore, particularly characters from the Journey to the West story.
In front of the building is a koi pond, and on the side is a statue of the god of mercy. There is also a miniature of the Chinese Great Wall surrounding the whole building, which we walked on and circled to the temple.
The temple’s name is Wan Loong, which means dragons of the clouds. It primarily pays homage to several deities and mythological figures, including the Monkey King and the god of mercy.
e. Port Dickson Ornamental Fish Center (Pusat Ikan Hiasan)
This place in Port Dixon is a hidden gem. We were pleasantly surprised to see many rare fishes.
The Malaysian Department of Fisheries operates it, so the ornamental fish center is free to enter. The place is easily accessible and not too far from Teluk Kemang Beach.
The ornamental fish center is home to more than 50 species of ornamental fish, 40 types of corals, and other fascinating marine life. Even if you’re not a scuba diver, you’ll be captivated by the fish species captured from the sea of Malaysia. You’ll have the chance to view all these sea creatures without a scuba diving license.
It’s an ideal place to photograph the unique fishes. Some attractive species include pufferfish, stonefish, and clownfish. You can also find some green turtles outside the main building at the Turtle Showroom.
f. Alive 3D Art Gallery
Although some excellent comments can be found online, I didn’t find my visit to the gallery worth my time. (Note: I visited this gallery in November 2019. It may have been much better before.)
I had to pay RM20 to enter the d art gallery. However, the keeper couldn’t speak English, so we had to converse in Mandarin. She took my money and disappeared without even providing a receipt.
I was the only person visiting, and despite articles claiming that there were over 40 murals on display, there were less than twenty accessible in the gallery. Part of it may have been closed as the next level was unavailable. Unfortunately, I couldn’t ask for clarification, as there wasn’t even one worker in the two-story shop lot. This made me feel eerie, lonely, and uncomfortable, so I ended my visit after only ten minutes.
On the bright side, the gallery is an excellent place for a family outing, where you can take some hilarious, playful, and dramatic pictures. The murals rely on perspective and visual distortion to create an illusion. You can touch, hug, and post creatively to blend into the mural and trick your eyes with these 3D paintings.
I hope this is only temporary, so I recommend contacting the gallery to check if they are fully operational before you plan your visit. You can reach them at +606-651 5400.
2. The food we had in Port Dickson
Port Dickson is a small town with limited food options. However, we found a few unique places that did not disappoint us.
a. Mee Lazat Mian Jiu
We had breakfast at this restaurant with a unique name. The restaurant’s Chinese name, 拉揸面, means dirty noodle, but it was clean and tidy.
We ordered the clear soap noodles, which were okay. The soup was a clear broth with some pork slices and cabbage. It was served with some Yong Tau Foo, which was moderately good. The dumplings were also okay and relatively standard for most Chinese restaurants.
The unique aspect of the restaurant is the noodles. They are very springy and flavorful, presumably flavored with lard. (It is a non-halal restaurant.) The noodles are seasoned with light and dark soy sauce and prepared well.
The restaurant is named Mian Jiu after the present owner’s grandfather, who started the store. The owner’s great-grandmother operated a small noodle store near the market, which was quite dirty. That’s how the name dirty noodles originated. The small store was eventually moved to a bigger shop at Jalan Besar and then to the present premises seven years ago.
The present owner, the third generation of the family, cooks the noodles now. His children, the fourth generation, also help in the restaurant.
b. Ayam Bakar Station Port Dickson
We stopped at this open-air roadside restaurant for lunch. The place is clean and has ample parking. It won’t be hard to notice with the huge roadside sign displaying “Ayam Bakar” prominently.
The restaurant is known for its delicious grilled lamb shank and honey chicken, among other tasty dishes. The open grill is right in front of the store, next to the cashier’s counter. You can see and smell the smoke from the grill from afar.
We tried the chicken and lamb, and both were quite good. The sauce they provided was unique, a combination of chili sauce and black pepper. The price was reasonable, and we noticed many locals eating there. We know that it’s usually a good sign if many locals eat at a place.
c. PD Famous Cendol Coconut Shake / Bob Shake Ayam Penyet
We arrived at PD Famous Cendol Coconut Shake, but it was closed. So, we decided to go to Pantai Kemang, a beach nearby, and have a coconut shake at Bob Shake Ayam Penyet. The coconut shake topped with ice cream was quite nice.
3. Beaches at Port Dickson
Port Dickson has several public beaches, while some are privately owned. Here are a few public beaches of Port Dickson we have visited.
a. Teluk Kemang Beach (Pantai Teluk Kemang)
Pantai Kemang is a beautiful beach in Port Dixon that offers many activities. Several shops serve various drinks and souvenirs, which is particularly attractive to people, especially during hot weather.
The beach is open to the public, and swimming and water sports are allowed. We have been here before, and they have upgraded this place. It is much cleaner than before, and a new signboard has been erected.
b. Pantai Cahaya Negeri
Our next stop is Pantai Cahaya Negeri, another nearby beach. Unlike Pantai Kemang, swimming is prohibited here, but the scenery is much better. The beach boasts a beautiful recreational park with plenty of shade and trees, making it a perfect spot for a picnic or simply relaxing.
You can stroll across the wooden bridge that connects a small bay from one side to the other, which adds to the charm of this place.
c. Blue Lagoon Beach
After visiting Cape Rachado, we head to Blue Lagoon Beach, a secluded bay only a few minutes away by car.
Blue Lagoon Beach is well known for its breathtaking view of the blue sea with the natural tranquillity sheltered by a dense cover of lush vegetation and forests from the surroundings. The seawater is calm and shallow, resulting from the bay’s deep recess that safeguards the lagoon from powerful currents.
Other attractive places to visit in Port Dickson
During our visit to Port Dickson, we missed a few places, such as PD Waterfront, PD Dream World Upside Down House (which I was told is permanently closed), the Petting Zoo, Port Dickson Ostrich Farm, and Teluk Kemang Observatory. Since we didn’t have kids with us, we skipped the petting zoo. Also, we have visited a few ostrich farms before and thought this one may be similar. However, if you have yet to go to Port Dickson, and if you have enough time, we recommend including these places in your itinerary.
If you’re a golfer, consider playing a round of golf at the Port Dickson Golf and Country Club.
Please find below some additional places to visit in Malaysia:
- Fraser’s Hills is a resort on a hilltop with an old English-style atmosphere. You can read this article, which provides information on where to stay, what to eat, and things to do in this area.
- You must check out Pangkor Laut Resort if you are a beach lover. We have written an article about our experience during our stay there which you may find helpful.