The last time I visited Port Dickson was about 40 years ago. Over those years, the place seemed to have just disappeared from my mind, until I read about it in a magazine. I was reminded of the once-popular beach destination where I had many fun times as a kid. So, I thought it might be a good idea to take a break from the hectic city life and revisit the town someday.
Staying at Hotel Mirage in Port Dickson
I hopped into a cab at the Port Dickson Bus Terminal and asked the taxi driver to recommend me any good hotel in Port Dickson.
He took me straight to Hotel Mirage on Jalan Pantai. Lucky me, because the hotel was so close to many famous attractions in Port Dickson. The hotel was also affordable and clean; so, I thought that was quite a steal. After some research on the Internet, I found out that you can also take the red Cityliner bus to reach this hotel.
The good night’s sleep was what I needed after the tiring bus ride. I was fresh and excited to rediscover Port Dickson! The scorching weather was quite a lot to take, but it didn’t stop me from exploring Port Dickson. The town looked the same after all these years, but it was clearly not as crowded as before, which makes it an ideal place for a laid-back vacation.
Visiting the Wan Loong Chinese Temple
The first attraction I visited on this Port Dickson trip was the beautiful Wan Loong (Dragon of the Clouds) Temple. At the entrance, there is a short stairway that leads to an opulent Chinese-style gateway with elaborate carvings. The temple consists of a hall of worship and a garden with beautiful sculptures portraying Chinese deities such as Kuan Yin and Tang Sanzang. If you are interested in having your fortune read, there are “kau cim” sticks at one of the altars.
Nasi Kukus at the Cowboy Place
When the temple visit was over, it was almost lunch time. My stomach was growling and I need some cold drink to quench my thirst. I stopped by a popular western-themed self-service restaurant called Cowboy Place.
This restaurant serves grilled chicken, nasi kukus, and a number of side dishes, including fried kailan, sausages, and chicken balls. Of course, I could not hold back the greed within me. I wiped my plate of nasi kukus clean, down to its last grain. Its grilled chicken was also tender and flavourful, accompanied by a serving of their special sauce. If you are looking for something affordable yet tasty, this will be the perfect place.
Hiking at the Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve
The next stop was the Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve. This coastal forest reserve is home to the 18th-century Cape Rachado Lighthouse. Surrounded by lush greenery and the melodic chirping of birds, I took a slow and relaxing 1-km walk up to the lighthouse. I hung out around the lighthouse for about half an hour, admiring the vast expanse of the Straits of Malacca and imagining ancient ships sailing by.
It was really nostalgic — just like what my younger self did decades ago. Before I got too carried away by the memories, I followed one of the jungle trails. This was actually my favourite hideout: a pristine beach with white sand and crystal clear water. Nothing can beat a nice cooling breeze on a sunny day with the hypnotising sound of waves crashing.
Pantai Port Dickson
Enjoying Water Sports at Pantai Teluk Kemang
What’s a beach vacation without some water sports action, right? Pantai Teluk Kemang is the best place to enjoy water sports in PD. As I was walking towards the beach, I was approached by a few water sports operators offering activities such as jet-skiing, canoeing, and banana boat rides. In the mood for speed, I opted for the jet-ski. Since the water was calm, I was able to ride at a relatively fast speed with minimal bouncing over the waves. It was a smooth and pleasant ride that I wished could have lasted longer. As I was walking away, I noticed a group of people screaming with joy and excitement on a banana boat. I shall save that for my next trip here — hopefully soon!
Relaxing at Pantai Sri Purnama
It seemed that I could not get enough of beaches. I just had to make this place the last stop of my trip. At Pantai Sri Purnama, there is a small, quiet park with a few pavilions and a stilted walkway. This beach is an excellent place to watch the sunset, and the water is quite clean and clear. I could see my toes with the water up to thigh level.
As I sat at a pavilion watching a group of youngsters playing football in front of the setting sun, I felt a sense of ordinariness that is quite fulfilling. Not the finest beach in the world, not the most spectacular scenery, but somehow, a scene I would do nothing to change. I spent an hour or two lying inside the pavilion without knowing it had been an hour or two. Did time stop? Hmmn …
I can surely say that Port Dickson still has a lot to offer in terms of attractions and activities. It has a conducive environment for the peaceful enjoyment of the simpler things in life. The town may not be the typical idea of active holiday among the youngsters, but it has its own unique laid-back charm. It is the perfect town if you’re seeking a break from the cosmopolitan city — and make a quick temporary escape from the hectic pace of city life.