From world-class resorts shaped like a dazzling hibiscus flower to undiscovered beaches, mystical temples and even an ostrich farm, Port Dickson is a town with a surprising amount to do, boxing above its weight class on activities in the surrounding area. So, if you are heading to PD (as the town is affectionately known), what are the best things to do in Port Dickson?
About Port Dickson
The town of PD had humble beginnings, first creating charcoal and then becoming a small port used by the British. During the 1820s the town had a bit of a ‘tin rush’ in its Lukut district, ensuring that miners flocked to the town and ensuring that the British started looking more closely at it. The result? The British saw the area’s potential for a large harbour and the area was renamed after the officer in charge of the port’s construction, Dickson.
After some speedy development into a bustling trading post as well as an outpost for the Malaysian army, Port Dickson soon settled into what it is today: a popular tourist destination frequented by locals looking for a break from city life in places like Kuala Lumpur, Melaka and Singapore.
Top 10 things to do in Port Dickson
- Tanjung Tuan / Cape Rachado Lighthouse
- Wan Loong Temple
- Ostrich Show Farm
- Blue Lagoon
- Explore the Beaches
- Kota Lukut (Lukut Museum and Fort)
- Army Museum Port Dickson
- 3D Art Galleries and Upside Down Houses
- Wild West Cowboy Indoor Theme Park
- Telok Kemang Observatory
Why go to Port Dickson?
When we were exploring Malaysia and jotting down the places we really wanted to go, Port Dickson didn’t make it to the top of the list. Off the beaten track for most international travellers, this seaside city doesn’t usually feature on the must-see roster for foreign visitors. But, with locals flocking to holiday in the town each year, there has to be something to it, right?
- It’s hugely accessible. At only a 90 minute drive out of Kuala Lumpur or Melaka (Malacca), and just 3 hours from neighbouring country, Singapore, it’s an easy place to add to your Malaysia Singapore itinerary.
- It’s affordable. Malaysia, on the whole, is a pretty budget-friendly place to travel as food, transport and accommodation is all easy on the wallet. But we particularly found Port Dickson to be great value for money.
- There is a lot to do! Beyond lazing on the beach or zooming around your resort on an e-bike, there are surprisingly a number of great Port Dickson attractions, many of which we’ve outlined below!
Tanjung Tuan (the Cape Rachado lighthouse)
It’s probably the largest attraction in Port Dickson – Tanjung Tuan (also known as the Cape Rachado Nature Reserve), an 80-hectare reserve which has beaches, hiking, birdwatching and even a historic lighthouse to enjoy!
The lighthouse is probably the crowning glory of the forest reserve. Built back in the 16th century by the Portuguese, this fully operational lighthouse helps to guide ships to the Port of Malacca. Great for a photo opportunity, it offers sweeping views of the Straits of Malacca and even as far as the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, across the waters.
The reserve is also acclaimed for all the birds, particularly in the migration period between September and March. Avid birdwatchers can see everything from sparrows and swifts to honey buzzards; or even an eagle or two.
Last, but definitely not least, if you take a wander from the lighthouse down to the beach (through the jungle), you should look out for a small footprint embedded in a rock. Legend has it this is the footprint of Hang Tuah, the famous 15th century Malay warrior, from when he first landed at the reserve.
Location: Jalan Pantai, Tanjung Tuan, 71050 Port Dickson
Cost of entry: 1 MYR (0.23 USD/0.18 GBP)
Wan Loong Temple
Malaysia definitely has a number of exquisite temples (our favourite being the Thean Hou temple in nearby Kuala Lumpur), and Port Dickson is no different. Here you’ll get your temple fix at Wan Loong Chinese Temple (Yun Loon temple), a Chinese temple that is literally translated as ‘Dragon of the Clouds’.
The temple is located on the coastal road and is definitely worth a visit. Here you can see local residents offering up incense, deep in prayer or just wandering the grounds in this small temple. The property looks almost like a fortress and as you take a stroll around, you’ll find statues dotted around, like the statue of historical monk Xuanzang, Sun Wukong (the Monkey God) or Zhu Bajie (Eight Precepts Pig)
As with all visits to religious sites, please dress appropriately and be mindful of making noise.
Location: Kampung Teluk Kemang, 71050 Si Rusa, Negeri Sembilan
Cost of entry: Free
PD Ostrich Show Farm
We love ostriches, mainly since they were a big part of Lee’s upbringing in South Africa. So, visiting the Ostrich Farm feels like a little bit of home to us, albeit an even more fun experience!
These fluffy (but slightly smelly) creatures make for a great outing, as the Port Dickson Ostrich Show Farm not only has a large farm full of animals but also activities for kids, as well as a petting zoo and pony rides.
The main attraction is the large park which includes the ostriches themselves but also donkeys, guinea fowl, ducks and goats, to name just a few.
If you want to experience a few more activities, the Port Dickson Animal Farm is also paired with a number of other attractions, called the 9 Wonders of PD. Most of these are adjacent to the Ostrich Farm or next to the Aquarium and includes the PD Jungle Park, Ant Planet, Seashell Museum and Dinosaurs in the Jungle.
Location: Lot 1419, Jalan Perdana 4, Batu 9, 71050
Cost of entry: 20 MYR for adults (4.60 USD/3.75 GBP) and 15 MYR for children (3.50 USD/2.80 GBP)
Operating hours: 9.30am – 6.00pm daily
If the name conjures up visions of beautiful beaches and azure seas, you’ve got it right: Blue Lagoon (also known as Tanjung Biru) is probably the best beach in or near Port Dickson.
Perched about 17 km south of the main Port Dickson town (it’s actually right by the Cape Rachado reserve), this is an exquisite beach which offers you not only great swimming, since the water is quite calm, but also good shady spots considering its buttressed by lush forest vegetation.
It feels like a secluded beach but does have some good amenities, including toilets and food stalls, as well as some great rock pools, so if you’re looking for a top-notch beach experience, Blue Lagoon is definitely your best bet!
Location: Jalan Pantai, 71050
Visit the beach
This deserved its only section since Port Dickson is obviously first and foremost a beach resort town, known for its sandy shores. So, it almost goes without saying that the town has a number of top-notch beaches sprinkled across the city and surrounds.
First up is the Blue Lagoon, which we explored above, but even the neighbouring beach, Pantai Cermin is worth a look. This quieter beach is one of the cleanest in the region and while it’s not white sand (the sand is more a burnt orange colour), it’s a lovely place to chill out for the day, sans all the crowds. It’s also directly adjacent (at the eastern end) to Lexis Hibiscus (read more about that in our accommodation section), so you can visit the resort to make use of the water park or even their hawker street called Hibiscus Walk.
You can also add the beach at Tanjung Tuan to your list and visit that as part of your jaunt in the Cape Rachado park.
Further afield is Moonlight Beach (Pantai Purnama) which, as the name suggests, is supposed to be frequented during the late afternoons, or Pantai Cahaya Negeri, which has white sand and crystal-clear water.
Keen to stay closer to town? Teluk Kemang is the most popular beach with lots of water sports on offer (but lots of crowds too) or take a turn at Saujana Beach – a calm beach which is also just opposite the Saturday Night Market, so great if you can plan those two locations together.
Kota Lukut (Lukut Museum and Fort)
Another two for one deal is Kota Lukut, an area about 7km shy of Port Dickson that boasts both a historic fort and a great museum.
The fort itself was constructed in 1847 by Bugis warrior, Raja Jumaat. Jumaat was keen to establish control over the very lucrative tin industry and saw the fort as a way to keep track. Nowadays the fort doesn’t have much left beyond a few walls and a nearby old palace and burial ground.
That said, the actual grounds have been beautifully landscaped to include manicured gardens and gazebos.
At the bottom of the hill is also the Lukut Museum, built between 1997 and 1999. The museum features important pieces that showcase the tin mining history, as well as some interesting artefacts like pieces from an old sunken Dutch battleship.
Location: Lot 730, Jalan Besar, Taman Pd Jaya, 71010
Cost of entry: Free
Operating hours: 9.00am – 6.00pm daily
Army Museum Port Dickson
This is probably one of the top things to do in Port Dickson, particularly if you have even a passing interest in military matters.
Nestled next to a Malaysian army camp, the museum (also known as Muzium Tentera Darat) has been constructed inside two repurposed army buildings and has nine galleries plus a smattering of cool exhibits outdoors.
Essentially the museum does what it says on the tin: it documents the army through the ages, including from the 16th century through colonial occupation by the Portuguese, Dutch and British, before exploring the Malaysian army itself.
The outdoor exhibits are what really makes the museum special in that there are a number of army vehicles on display, some of which you can even clamber on (which is great for kids!). This includes an old steam train, helicopters, tanks and other aircraft. One of the key drawcards is also the CPM (Communist Party of Malaysia) Tunnel which is a recreation of the kinds of underground tunnels used during the Malay Emergency – these reminded us of the Cu Chi Tunnels, one of the notable landmarks in Vietnam.
Location: Kem, Persiaran Pahlawan, Kampung Baru Sirusa, 71050
Cost of entry: Free
Operating hours: Wednesday – Sunday 10.00am – 5.00pm (closed Mondays and Tuesdays)
3D Art Galleries and Upside Down Houses
We’re not sure why but 3D art galleries are a huge trend in Malaysia – everywhere we went we found one promoting its wares. And Port Dickson is no different, with a number of these located in the town.
Not sure what a 3D gallery is? Essentially these are interactive galleries with optical illusions, i.e. murals where you pose and seem to be part of a cool theme. They seem to be paired with Upside Down houses which are again photo opportunities where you walk around but photos taken of you make it seem like you are suspended in mid-air, upside down.
The craze is strong in Port Dickson with two leading places to get your silly snaps: Alive 3D Art Gallery and Dream World Upside Down and 3D.
Alive is probably the top-rated with five zones to explore: adventure, animation, aquatic, dark and exotic.
Location: 38-40, Jalan DS, Bandar Dataran Segar, Lukut
Cost of entry: 25 MYR for adults (5.75 USD/4.70 GBP) and 20 MYR for children (4.60 USD/3.75 GBP)
Operating hours: 11.00am – 08.00pm daily
Dream is a two-level affair, with the first the Upside Down House and the second with a smaller collection of 3D art.
Location: No 21-G, Medan Remis,, Jalan Remis 2, Batu 5, Si Rusa, 71050
Cost of entry: 25 MYR (5.75 USD/4.70 GBP)
Operating hours: Fridays to Wednesdays 10.30am – 6.30pm (closed Thursdays)
For both, make sure you bring a friend or willing photographer with you since you won’t be able to get those fun photos as a solo visitor.
Wild West Cowboy Indoor Theme Park
Rubbing shoulders with the Alive Gallery (it’s actually run by the same company) is the Wild West Cowboy Theme Park. And yes, it’s a theme park dedicated to cowboys (and cowgirls) so an absolutely cracking choice for young kids.
There are rides, 5D (and 7D) motion adventures, heaps of arcade games and even an escape room for those wanting a fun family activity.
Location: 59-64, Jalan DS 2/1, Bandar Dataran Segar, 71010
Cost of entry: Depends on activities, but between 25 – 50 MYR (5.75 – 11.50 USD/4.70 – 9.40 GBP)
Operating hours: 11.00am – 8.00pm daily
Telok Kemang Observatory
The sky is the limit (sorry, terrible pun), at the Telok Kemang Observatory. This modern building is dedicated to astronomy and you can actually peer through one of their telescopes during one of their twice daily guided talks.
Taking places at 3.00pm and 10.30pm, the tours are in Malay but seeing the observatory and also the twinkling night sky is spectacular in any language!
If you’re a fan of astronomy, the observatory also boasts retro telescopes.
Location: 4506, 8, Jalan Pantai, Tanjung Tanah Merah, 71050
Cost of entry: 25 MYR (5.75 USD/4.70 GBP)
Operating hours: 3.00 – 5.00pm; 10.30pm – 12.00am
More things to do in Port Dickson
We think we’ve covered all the must-do things for the town above but, of course, that’s not the end of Port Dickson activities you could add to your list! Here are a few more ideas that you swap out for your Port Dickson itinerary:
Pusat Ikan Hiasan (Aquarium)
While the name itself translated as ‘Ornamental Fish Centre’, this is an aquarium which is home to a number of small tanks and marine life including anemonefish (known as clown fish), stunning seahorses and even some adorable baby turtles. Speaking of turtles, the property is more than just just an aquarium but is a marine conservation centre which helps to promote turtle conservation.
Location: Jalan Kemang 8, Kampung Baharu, 71050
Cost of entry: Free
Operating hours: 9.00am – 5.00pm daily
It’s a bit of a trek out of time but you could make your way to Keramat Ujung Pasir, a small town boasting Fort Kempas, a 15th century tomb for Ulama Sheik Ahmad Makhtum. The best part is probably the legendary ‘ancient lie detector’, the ordeal stone where you put your arm through when answering questions. Apparently when you lie, it starts to tighten!
Location: Jalan Port Dickson, Pengkalan Kempas, 71150 Linggi,
Think you’re an undiscovered star? Well you can grab a microphone at one of the many karaoke complexes in Port Dickson!
The main one is Bintang Family Karaoke. Alternatively, many of the leading resorts like Lexis Hibiscus have their own karaoke options, so you can slink away to your hotel room after belting out those tunes.
Extreme Park Port Dickson
As the name suggests, the Extreme Park is crammed full of extreme activities. You can whizz around in go-karts, zoom past in ATVs (all terrain vehicles), grab a paint ball gun or make like Robin Hood and try your hand at archery.
Location: Batu 13 KM 21, Jalan Pantai, Mukim Pasir Panjang, 71250
Opening hours: 10.00am – 6.00pm daily
Sri Anjaneyar Alayam Temple
It’s not the most exciting Port Dickson temple but this small property does have some great sea views. First constructed in 1954, the temple is still worth a quick visit on your way.
Location: Jalan Pantai, Kampung Baru Sirusa, 71050
Needing more fun activities for the kids (and big kids alike?). There are a number of water parks in the town where you can splash around in the sun on a day out. An easy one to add is probably the Water Park at Lexis Hibiscus, located next to their Hawker Lane and beach.
Map – Port Dickson Attractions
Want to map out your Port Dickson itinerary? Here’s an interactive map with all the key places we’ve listed in this guide.
Helpful hint: Click the icon in the top right corner (View Larger Map) on your device, which will automatically save the map to your Google Maps. Handy right?!
Where to stay in Port Dickson
There is no doubt that there is really only one place you need to consider when looking for the best Port Dickson hotels: Lexis Hibiscus.
This is more than a resort – it’s practically a national landmark! The property is unique in that it was constructed in the shape of a hibiscus flower, the national flower of Malaysia.
This sprawling complex also boasts two (count ‘em two) Guinness World Records: one for the most swimming pools in a resort (643) and the other for the most overwater villas in a resort (522).
We loved this resort not only for the amazing overwater villas but also for the amenities: countless bars and restaurants, a free shuttle service to ferry you around, karaoke, a water park, archery, e-bikes for hire and watersports are just some of the top-notch facilities on site.
Not keen on doing an overwater villa? Then Lexis Group also has another property closer to Port Dickson itself, the Grand Lexis, to consider.
How to get to Port Dickson
This of course depends on where you are coming from – we’ve outlined the routes from Kuala Lumpur, Melaka (Malacca) and Singapore below. However, on the whole, it’s best to go to Port Dickson via car – either rental car or taxi. Bus routes can be a little sparse and while there is a train station, it’s no longer operational.
From Kuala Lumpur
Most often you’ll be travelling to PD out of KL. This can be done via bus, but you’ll need to split this up into two journeys: a bus from Kuala Lumpur (TBS or Terminal Bersepadu Selatan) to Seremban, and then another from Seremban to Port Dickson.
It’s probably best to travel by car, in which case the distance is 90 km taking about an hour. Just follow the signs towards Johor Bahru / Malacca on the North-South Expressway until you see the Port Dickson Exit.
It is possible to book a taxi – some operators like Grab will do the journey for you.
From Melaka / Malacca
It’s about 80 km which means, by car or taxi, you’re looking at about 90 minutes drive. The route is mainly from Malacca along Route 5, which is a coastal road.
Again, this is best by car and takes about 3.5-4 hours across 315 km.
You can also take a bus directly, with a number of daily busses departing from Singapore, operated by Golden Coach Express and KKKL Coaches.
Frequently Asked Questions – Port Dickson
How long should I stay in Port Dickson?
While there is a lot to do in Port Dickson, you’ll probably want to spend most of your time at your resort. If you ask us, 3 days would be enough and so you could make a weekend (or long weekend) of it.
We’d suggest tagging it onto a trip to Kuala Lumpur or Melaka.
What are the best things to do in Port Dickson at night?
You can sing karaoke or see the stars at the observatory or even go out for a delicious meal. There is also a night market at Tanjung Tuan to check out.
What is the best Port Dickson beach?
That’s up for interpretation but probably the Blue Lagoon is the best beach to visit in Port Dickson.
Port Dickson or Malacca? Which should I choose?
This depends on your travel style. Port Dickson is definitely geared towards those looking for beaches, relaxation and great resorts while Melaka / Malacca is about eating delicious Malaysian cuisine and exploring colonial buildings and sights.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this piece on what to do in Port Dickson, and the best places to visit. Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments or get in touch!
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