Ask any Malaysian family, and they will surely have a fond memory of Port Dickson (PD), just like I do with mine. Each visit never disappoints; my childhood was filled with time spent playing on the beach in this coastal town. Located not too far from Kuala Lumpur (KL), getting to PD is a less than two-hour drive.
While weekends with my family used to consist of go-kart sessions, they’re now quickly being replaced with staycations at private villas, and honestly, I’m not complaining. For this round of quick getaways, I was with my colleagues, and we chose Temasek Retreats as our weekend hideout.
So, what does a weekend escapade with co-workers in Temasek Retreats look like? Read on to find out my experience.
Driving in KL can often be stressful, but make your way out of town a little, and you’ll find that car rides in Malaysia can be pretty scenic. Of course, this is not during public holidays or peak festive seasons. Anyway, I digress — did you know that the route to PD is so enjoyable that there’s a spot along the Jalan Temiang Pantai highway where travellers often stop their vehicles for a picture?
Many stop right at the emergency lane to do this, though I don’t advise you to do the same. Just take in the beautiful sight and lock it in your memory drawer! Our drive to PD took us less than two hours, and with some snacks in tow, we got to our destination in the blink of an eye.
At Temasek Retreats, their infinity pool overlooks a panoramic view of the PD coastline and is something that will greet you upon arrival at the villa. That alone is guaranteed to give you a relaxed and calm ambience, which is perfect for stress-free getaways.
If you feel like taking the fun up a notch, give your vocal cords a tug in their karaoke room, which is available to guests from 8pm to 12am. Who would ever give up the chance to belt out their favourite Celine Dion song? Not me, for sure!
Guests don’t have to worry about breakfast here too, because the day’s first meal is complimentary. But for other meals throughout the day and all your snacking needs, I suggest making use of their indoor and outdoor kitchen — complete with all the cooking utensils you need to serve mouth-watering dishes.
Did I mention that you’ve got killer sunset views at this villa?
The villa itself has six rooms in total, but depending on how good you are at playing human Tetris, you can fit about 30 people, all while still maintaining comfort and space. The first room, which sits on the ground floor, is wheelchair-friendly and comes with a view of the infinity pool.
All rooms have an en suite bathroom, great for those travelling in bigger groups, and they’re equipped with rain showers. However, the master bathroom overlooks the beach and swimming pool, reminiscent of the kinds of tub views you’d get in Bali. So, if a luxurious soak is on your itinerary, this is perfect.
Things to do
If you’re not the kind to sit still in your accommodation space during a staycation, then worry not, because there’s plenty to do around Temasek Restreats’ area. For water sports, head down to the beach for some time on jet skis or gather your mates for a ride on the banana boat.
For the nature-lovers, don’t miss out on a scenic hike at Bukit Batu Putih, which leads you to the Cape Rachado Lighthouse, where you can soak in a beautiful ocean view. If you’re not up for a hike, a short drive from the villa will take you to the lighthouse. The Cape Rachado Lighthouse also happens to be one of the oldest in the country, so you don’t want to miss out on visiting.
Any animal lovers here? If you nodded, I highly recommend visiting the PD Ostrich & Pets Show Farm, which will only set you back RM20 for a ticket. If you’re doing a staycation with little ones, bring them for an up-close experience with animals like ostriches, ducks, snakes, rabbits, and so much more.
History enthusiasts, rejoice! Who says you can’t learn while on vacay? Only seven kilometres away from PD town, you can appreciate history at the Army Museum, known locally as Muzium Tentera Darat. Founded in 2000, visitors can stroll around and be in awe of the army vehicles on display and the nine galleries that house the history of the army.
The food scene
Suppose you’re not one to cook on a getaway (and understandably so); in that case, the food choices in PD will spoil you — from the signature ikan bakar, which you can find at Tapaq King, to various seafood and steamboat dishes at Embok Village. I highly recommend these two!
You can also find tom yam and Hainanese chicken rice stalls along the roads near PD beach. While these stalls may not have a powerful social media presence, their reputation amongst locals supersedes any amount of likes on Instagram.
Tapaq King Ikan Bakar
Address: Lot 224, Mukim, Si Rusa, 71050 Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan
Telephone: +6011 6330 3644
Address: Batu 2 1/2 Pantai Bagan Pinang, 5, Taman Port Dickson Utama, 71900 Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan
Telephone: +6019 212 7919
Fuss-free and easy to get to, Temasek Retreats proved to be a wise choice for myself and my colleagues to unwind and bond at. With restaurants, fun activities, and even a grocery store so easily accessible, and amenities resembling that of a 5-star hotel, this villa is perfect for quick getaways that aren’t entirely remote.
Address: Jalan Pantai, Batu 2, 71000 Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan
Contact: +6019 668 6821