Port Dickson - Negri Sembilan Malaysia



Port Dickson or more popularly known as, P.D. is a favourite weekend getaway for KL and Singaporean folks especially those seeking some time away from the hot, stifling cities. Refreshing cool breeze blowing in from the straits and the relaxed environment was one of the reasons for choosing this tiny seaside village as a colonial beach resort.


Sir Frederick Dickson who 'founded' PD, was a leading official in the Straits Settlement during the 1880s. He had been searching long for a suitable deepwater port. To reduce transportation costs, he was hoping that he could shorten the travelling time from the interior tin mines at Sungei Ujong to the coast by setting up a port at PD instead of using the old, winding land route all the way to Klang. Before Sir Dickson came along, all there was of the place was a small village called 'Arang'.. of which the villagers made their living from burning wood in kilns. Arang means 'charcoal'.

An old pillbox where soldiers used to keep watch for signs of coastal invasion during the war

Port Dickson was never as successful as the other deepwater ports. Instead the colonists found another use for PD...a seaside resort. In 1899, Ethel Douglas Hume came for a visit to Kuala Lumpur. She recounts her journey to Port Dickson for a seaside rendezvous with her friends in her book called, 'The Globular Jottings of Griselda'. There was no railway line linking Kuala Lumpur and Port Dickson and so she made her way down to Melaka then embarked on an 8 hour trip on a coastal steamer all the way to the port.

Highways now connect Port Dickson with nearby towns and cities and no longer, do we need to embark on a sea voyage, as Ethel did. A mere 1 - 1½ hours will get you to the seaside playground from KL.

During the economic boom, an astonishing number of new development mushroomed along the coastal road. Service apartments, hotels, condominiums pierced the skyline..10,20,30th floor buildings, replacing lovely old bungalows and inns that used to play hosts to the few visitors who came from afar to enjoy the easy pace of this seaside town. Then, as sure as the seasons' change, development stopped in PD.and that literally means stopped, even those that were in the midst of construction.

PD has fallen into a nice, easy pace again and the bustle of the weekend crowd is not as frenetic as in the 90's. Although the sea has been abused many times over by some errant parties who direct their sewage and dump unmentionable refuse into the open sea, PD still has some pleasant beaches.it's just that you may have to rent a car or taxi and travel a little further from town centre. The distance from town centre identifies locations along the coastal length of PD. For instance, the once famous and beautiful beach called Blue Lagoon is known as the 10th mile ie 10miles from PD town. Blue Lagoon is still a favourite beach with locals, as it was 20years ago. However, the more crowded beaches are often covered with litter and you may find it hard to find a clean bit of sand to park yourself. If only there were trash bins located along the beaches and a little bit of civic duty from the local holidaymakers, then the councils may be able to counter this unhygienic problem.


Food

To catch a glimpse of the locals at 'work', a night market comes alive every Saturday at an open carpark next to the Petronas Petrol station on 4th mile. Lots of snacks, food and produce to buy for the weekend stayover.

On other days, there are a several seafood restaurants along the main trunk road of PD, and a few Indian restaurants, Chinese shops and Malay stalls in town. There isn't much of a choice in P.D for food lovers so prefer to eat at the hotel restaurants. There is a Thai restaurant at the Regency Hotel called Sri Rama.


The Charpoy

Charpoy, s, H.(Hindi) charpai, from P.(Persian) chihar-pai (i.e. four-feet), the common Indian bedstead, sometimes of very rude materials, but in other cases handsomely wrought and painted. It is correctly described in the quotation from Ibn Batuta.* c.1350.-

"The beds in India are very light. A single man can carry one and every traveller should have his own bed, which his slave carries about on his head. The bed consists of four conical legs on which four staves are laid ; between they plait a sort of ribbon of silk or cotton. When you lie on it you need nothing else to render the bed sufficiently elastic."


taken from the webite, http://www.stringbedco.com