Post-MCO Travelling Guide: Negeri Sembilan, the Special Abode
We featured Selangor in our previous Travelling Guide. This month’s feature is Negeri Sembilan Darul Khusus—the “Special Abode”. The name “Negeri Sembilan” is believed to come from the Minangkabau word for village, “nagari”, of which there were nine in the region, hence “Negeri Sembilan”. Unlike most other states in Malaysia, the ruler of the state is not called a Sultan, but a “Yang di-Pertuan Besar”, or “Yamtuan”, especially since the ruler of the state is elected by a council of ruling chiefs in the state, or “Undangs”, rather than being a hereditary monarchy, although the candidates for election are limited to lawfully begotten descendants of the 4th Yamtuan, Raja Radin ibni Raja Lenggang. This unique form of government was the inspiration for Tunku Abdul Rahman to create the office of Yang di-Pertuan Agong (notice the similarity in the titles?) as a form of rotational constitutional monarchy.
With that said, let’s take a look at some of the most interesting places to visit in Negeri Sembilan, as well as what to eat, how to get there, and where to stay.
Pantai Cahaya Negeri—Port Dickson
Mention Port Dickson—also known simply as “PD”—and most people would immediately think of the beaches there. There is a 20km seaside stretch consisting of several sections of beaches, from Pantai Tanjong Gemok all the way to the north to Pantai Cermin as the southernmost beach of Port Dickson. In between the two, however, is a place called Pantai Cahaya Negeri, or Cahaya Negeri Beach, which is one of PD’s largest beaches. It is a huge hit with the crowds as it has a very beautiful and enchanting scenery which is also the reason why many have had wedding photoshoots here. There is also a wooden bridge which brings visitors across the sea to Pulau Burung, a small mangrove island. The bridge also serves as a popular fishing spot among fishing fans.
- Entrance fee: Free
- Opening times: 24/7
Eagle Ranch Resort—Port Dickson
Hang on, you might be wondering why are we mentioning a resort in this section when we’re not even at the Accommodation part of the article. Hold your horses there, because apart from being a Wild West themed resort, Eagle Ranch Resort was actually awarded a place in the Malaysia Book of Records for having the most number of elements in a rope challenge for their Rope Course. They offer a whole host of activities, including sea rafting & raft building, go-kart racing and flying fox. For those who prefer less extreme action, Eagle Ranch Resort also has pony cart rides and inflatable boats.
- Entrance fee: Price is dependent on activity and duration; kindly check with the resort for enquiries regarding the prices for activities listed.
- Opening times:9 AM–6 PM daily
Jelita Ostrich Farm—Seremban
There happens to be another Malaysia Book of Records record holder in Negeri Sembilan, and that is Jelita Ostrich Farm. Jelita Ostrich Farm holds the record for being the First Ostrich Show Farm in Malaysia. They have over 30 trained ostriches at the farm where visitors would be offered a guided tour. Visitors are also invited to ride an ostrich, and a certificate of bravery would be presented to those who do so. Jelita Ostrich Farm is also one of the very few places in Malaysia where you can purchase hair care and beauty products made from ostrich oil which has several touted benefits.
- Entrance fee: RM10 for adults; RM8 for children
- Opening times: 9 AM–5 PM daily
Sungai Timun Fireflies—Rembau
One of the hidden gems of Negeri Sembilan is the experience of watching fireflies—known locally as “kelip-kelip”—while cruising along Sungai Timun on a small motorboat. You’ll have to make your way to Pangkalan Nelayan Sungai Timun, which is in the town of Rembau. From there, you can approach the jetty where boatmen are waiting to ferry passengers along Sungai Timun for a small fee. Optimally, this is done when the sky is dark in order to be able to catch the glow from the fireflies. One thing to note is that this is crocodile territory, so you can also expect to see some crocs lying around, though they’re harmless when unprovoked.
- Entrance fee: RM20 for adults; RM15 for children
- Opening times: 5 PM–10 PM daily
- Contact: 011-1925 4269 (Aripin)
Plantzania Ninja Park—Seremban
Plantzania is the first edu-eco science hub in Malaysia that incorporates a “5F” concept of “Farming, Foresting, Fun, Fantasy, and Fascinating”. They combine education, outdoor activities and nature experience suitable for both kids and adults alike. Plantzania Ninja Park provides a local kampung (Malaysian village) experience with a tour around the kampung. Apart from that, they offer a variety of activities that includes a Kids Ninja Warrior Challenge inspired by the television game show “American Ninja Warrior”; the obstacles here are designed to be suitable for kids 14 years and below. Traditional games like Gasing and Batu Seremban are also available for those who want to get in touch with nostalgia.
- Entrance fee: RM65 for adults; RM45 for children; RM200 for a family package of 2 adults & 2 children
- Opening times: Morning Session: 9:30 AM–12:30 PM; Afternoon Session: 1:30 PM–4:30 PM
- Contact: 03-3359 1166
Broga Recreational Fishing Park—Seremban
You might be wondering if this is another category error as we are talking about a fishing park in the food section, but this isn’t a mistake as Broga Recreational Fishing Park is a place where you can fish as well as enjoy delicious tilapia wrapped in aluminium foil and grilled over charcoal fire. They have many styles you can choose from, such as salt grilled, Nyonya or asam style, but their signature style is chilli padi with two different levels of spiciness. Apart from fish, they also serve a limited variety of mutton, duck, chicken and fresh saltwater prawns. They don’t serve pork, but they do serve alcohol, which is included in some dishes like their Sau Xin Chicken.
- Address: Lot 4242, Old Broga Road, 71750 Lenggeng, Negeri Sembilan
- Opening times: 11 AM–7 PM; closed Thursdays
- Contact: 012-300 9882
Restoran Wadi Ar-Raudhah—Seremban
If you like seafood but prefer something more traditional, Restoran Wadi Ar-Raudhah would be your best bet as they serve quite a number of traditional Negeri Sembilan dishes like Masak Lomak Cili Api—“lomak” is the Negeri Sembilan dialect for “lemak”. Apart from over 40 different kampung dishes, they also have chicken and lamb mandi Arabic rice, “shell out” style dinner, and steamboat grill buffet. They’ve been around for quite some time, and were even featured on programmes like ASEAN Heritage Food Trail with Chef Wan, Jalan-Jalan Cari Makan, Negeri Sembilan Food Trail and Geng Pagi Hot on Hot FM.
- Address: 1, 2, Jalan Seri Rahang 1, Taman Seri Rahang, 70100 Seremban, Negeri Sembilan
- Opening times: Monday: 7 AM–7 PM; Tuesday to Saturday: 7 AM–12 AM; Sunday: 5 PM–12 AM
- Contact: 019-350 8426
Soong Seng Kuih—Jelebu
If you’re passing by the small town of Titi in the Jelebu district, don’t miss the opportunity to try the traditional Chinese kuih here. One particularly popular seller is Soong Seng which operates from a shophouse, and apart from kuih they also sell nasi lemak, fried noodles and glutinous rice.
- Address: Jalan Belakang, Taman Desa, 71600 Kuala Klawang, Negeri Sembilan
- Opening times: 8 AM–4 PM daily
- Contact: 017-615 9659
There are no airports in Negeri Sembilan. The nearest airport is KLIA in Sepang, Selangor, from which you can take the bus to Seremban.
Buses are available from anywhere in West Malaysia that will take you to Negeri Sembilan. However, be prepared for long hours on the road due to traffic.
The Electric Train Service (ETS) by Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad a.k.a. Malayan Railways Limited (KTMB) stops at Seremban as well as Tampin, as does KTM Intercity with an additional stop at Gemas. KTM Komuter offers more options when it comes to travelling to Negeri Sembilan as it stops at the following places: Batang Benar, Nilai (with interchange to KLIA and KLIA2), Labu, Tiroi, Seremban, Senawang, Sungai Gadut, Rembau, and Tampin.
Eagle Ranch Resort—Port Dickson
As mentioned before, Eagle Ranch Resort is a Wild West themed resort. Although you can take part in the activities there without staying at their resort, you’d be all tired out after a day’s worth of activities there anyway, and what’s better than being able to head straight to a nice bed and bath to relax? They have a number of different styles of accommodation with unique themes such as teepees, bandwagons and log cabins.
- Contact: 06-6610 495
Seremban Stay & Rest Guest Home—Seremban
Located only 25km away from KLIA, Seremban Stay & Rest Guest Home is one of the most highly rated homestays in Seremban, if not the whole of Negeri Sembilan. Once you get there, you will see for yourself why almost everybody would arrive and leave quite satisfied: they have a wide array of amenities including a BBQ grill and utensils, three bedrooms that can accommodate up to eight guests (and that’s not yet including the sofa bed, which brings the count up to nine guests), and even an NES Classic Edition console hooked up to their smart TV! The best part of this is that you’ll be renting the whole bungalow, so you get to have the entire house all to yourself!
- Contact: 012-390 0344
And there you have it, these are just some of the places in Negeri Sembilan that we would like to highlight to our readers. Know of any other hidden gems in the area? Why not share them with the rest of the readers in the comments section below?
Your Gateways to Getaways,