Location & History
Negeri Sembilan is situated on the west coast of the Malay Peninsula alongside the Strait of Malacca. Not far to Kuala Lumpur's south, the state borders Selangor to the north and Pahang to the east, as well as Malacca and Johor to the south. Negeri Sembilan, which means “State of nine” is a name with its origins in the nine regions of Negara that existed during the time of the early settlers - the Minangkabau. Relics of the Minangkabau heritage can still be located today in the form of traditional buildings, the distinctive variety of Malay language spoken and the arts and crafts found even today within the state's boundaries.
Negeri Sembilan differs from its monarchical adversaries and other royal states in its constitutional makeup. Negeri Sembilan's ruler is elected by a council of representatives who lead the major constituent districts of the state. This system according to many analysts makes Negeri Sembilan one of the most democratic monarchies of Malaysia.
Port Dickson, by far the most beautiful beach and popular getaway in Negeri Sembilan, is located 33 kilometres to the west of Seremban (the state capital). PD, as it is affectionately known, is snug on the coast of the Strait of Malacca making it a prime resort town with stretches of sandy white beach and a fantastic selection of accommodation. The beach also hosts the yearly PD Fiesta between the vibrant Summer months. For fun and activities for the whole family be sure to drop in!
Here at MalaysiaExplorer.net we don't take recommendations lightly but a glowing top-pick accolade goes to Thistle Port Dickson Resort (pictured) - on a pleasant sunny day there are few places on earth that can eclipse the blend of natural beauty, entertainment and relaxation on offer here
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Things to see & do: Royal Museum
The royal capital of Negeri Sembilan, on the other hand, is Seri Menanti in the district of Kuala Pilah. The Old Palace and current Royal Museum is a fascinating five-storey structure hand built in its entirety with timber extracted from surrounding woodland. Almost miraculously the structure was assembled without using a single screw or nail! The palace was the home of royalty between the years 1908 and 1931. The third floor served as royal residence whilst above was both the royal treasury and a repository.
Finally, the state capital is Seremban located conveniently just 50kms from Malaysia's capital city, Kuala Lumpur. This culturally rich city is easily accessible to visit by car, bus and rail from the nation's capital, providing good in and out access to the beautiful escape of Port Dickson.
The city’s Handicraft Centre is a constituent branch of the Handicraft Development Corporation of Malaysia and is a key production centre for bamboo, glass and other traditional crafts, mass produced for the commercial market. Besides the rattan products, visitors can also witness the transformation of glass into items for gifts and souvenirs. The centre also has a Skill Training Program to identify and develop the skills of artisans and craftsmen state wide.
Negeri Sembilan's Museum Complex (situated in Seremban) houses a number of significant cultural buildings including the official State Museum and Negeri Sembilan House.
The State Museum building is a relic in itself and is certainly worth a visit. At one point a lavish palace constructed back in 1861, similar to the palace in Seri Menanti, the construction was completed from start to finish without a nail or a screw! The museum is home to many sets of artefacts, as well as fascinating relics and lavish wares that once belonged to the Royal Family.
The Teratak Perpatih House with its gallery of porcelain, woodcraft and batik isn't far away from the museum. It is a distinctive building with its roof design mimicking the shape of a buffalo’s horns, unique to the Minangkabau architectural style.
Peace & Quiet: The Blue Lagoon
The "Blue Lagoon", though not the actual location of the popular movie is a popular playground for the city dwellers of Kuala Lumpur and Singapore as well as the neighbouring towns. This is thanks largely to its reputation as a peaceful haven away from the hustle, bustle and activity found in nearby Port Dickson. If you take a trip down to PD, be sure to spend a day here.
Caves, Mountains & Forest
The state also has many attractions for the adventurous at heart like the Batu Maloi Cave, which lies a little over 20 miles from Kuala Pilah. Formed beneath piles of amassed rock, the cave has a stunningly pure stream of cool water, which traverses through the cave floor.
Lata Kijang is a further exciting destination, from its thrilling off road access to lush green forests, and to its towering 300 foot waterfall. A paddle in the cool, clean waters is sure to wash away the exhaustions of even the weariest of adventure seekers.
Gunung Datuk, standing tall at 2900 metres is a popular campsite. The mountain offers a picturesque view of its lush green forests from its peak.
Seremban also boasts a jungle believed by scientists to be amongst the world's oldest: the Ulu Bendol Recreational Forest found in the southernmost region of the Titiwangsa mountains. The forest is believed to have its origin some 130 million years gone, and offers many outdoor activities like camping, exploring and fishing. There are many tranquil picnic spots as well as trekking opportunities for the adventurous to Gunung Agsi, 825m metres above sea level. In addition, there are chalets and huts available priced very reasonably at around RM20 per night, suitable for overnight stops.
From refreshment to the mind to refreshment of the body, Negeri Sembilan has all the solutions. Pedas Hot Springs is another of the state's plentiful attractions and here you'll find underground springs with medicinal values for certain skin and rheumatism problems. The town itself is like a huge spa with its private bathing enclosures known to relieve muscle and body aches. Not only that but the adjoined water park offers a great day out for the whole family.
Negeri Sembilan is definitely a state with a difference. Traditional beef rendang flavored with local spices and the rich recipe of gulai lemak are some local delicacies that provide an unforgettable culinary experience for many tourists true to its Arabic honorific Darul Khusus, meaning "the Special Abode".
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Complete your trip with our travel essentials checklist: Tours, Flights and Car Rental
- Tailor all aspects of your holiday or visit to Port Dickson with comprehensive tour and package choices.
- Read our top tips on car rental to ensure you choose a suitable vehicle at a good price.
- Our guide to Malaysia flights is packed with advice and pointers on finding the best routes and super deals.
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