It’s funny to drive in a city that proudly advertises ‘PD motels’, ‘PD resorts’, ‘PD beaches’ and even ‘PD ostriches.’ Some French people might be disappointed to know that PD simply stands for Port Dickson. This is the closest beach to Kuala Lumpur (90 km) with a bit of a bad reputation.
And indeed, the first sights aren’t very welcoming. The entire coastline seems filled with abandoned or half finished resorts – like ‘The Shining’ hotel was turned into a franchise. But before you throw yourself off one of those spooky towers, set sail to Cape Rachado.
Tanjung Tuan, as it’s called in Malay, is a tiny strip of jungle on a small peninsula. A road leads to the lighthouse, built in 1863, now flanked by a modern radar tower. This is birdwatcher’s heaven as many migrating birds pass by this little oasis.
Next to the lighthouse, a steep path leads to a series of deserted beaches. The rocky surface makes it hard to swim. But the soft sand under the trees is perfect for a little nap. Tide pools are teeming with life. Armies of tiny red crabs march over sand. Kingfishers fly in for an easy meal. This must be PD’s best kept secret deal (1 RM, 0.25 euro entry).
On the way back, pass by the public beach Teluk Kemang for a totally different ambiance. It ain’t Bali – but there’s a popular ‘beach of the people’ feel with plenty of food stalls and little beach restaurants. It might sound like a last resort if you can’t afford Langkawi, but it’s actually not too bad.