There is something about this sleepy beach town between Malacca and Kuala Lumpur that has kept us going back every year for the last three years. Some head there for the beaches, others for the water villas. We’re not big on beaches, neither have we splurged on the water villas (yet!).
For us, it’s a combination of the beach, food, small town charm and laid back vibe. Luxurious days of doing nothing, planning nothing, and deciding on a whim what we want to do. We spent four nights there this time, slightly shorter than our last trip, but it was enough because we now know exactly where to go for our favourite food, what we want to do and where to go for what we want to buy.
So, why we like it:
1) The sea view
For slightly over SG$100 a night, we got a room with a splendid sea view where we could watch the sun set each evening.
We stayed at Avillion Admiral Cove, (not to be confused with the more up-market Avillion Port Dickson which has water villas). We enjoyed our stay last year and decided to go back there again this time even though it’s slightly further from the main town. I loved the brand new rooms when we stayed in the newly renovated vista wing last year. This time we tried the unrenovated view wing because it had a bedroom partition (World Cup for the hubby…). Rooms are bigger but older.
2) Yummy food
Jason, the foodie, has been wanting to return to Partner Food Center since we discovered it on our last trip. We headed there on our first night, thinking we would try other places for the subsequent days, but we ended up going back there every night.
The Yong Tau Fu is a must try. Apart from the usual fare of ladies finger, brinjal, bitter gourd (all my favourite veggies) stuffed with fish paste, they have a bunch of long beans in fish paste as well (it’s at the top of the picture). That was Jason’s favourite.
The bowl of savoury soup is served with our choice of noodles, topped with minced meat and bean sprouts. The tasty noodles coated in dark sauce and sesame oil could be a meal on its own.
The nasi lemak there is excellent as well, especially the chilli which has chunky sliced onions.
Other food we enjoyed there – ban mian (handmade noodles), popiah, and the mixed vegetable rice stall which had the best braised meat and ladies fingers we’ve ever eaten. Both my kids are now fans of ladies fingers. :)
If Partner Food Centre was our favourite dinner place, Chuan Huat Coffeeshop would be our favourite lunch place.
The reason I declare it a close second to Partner Food Centre – the dried tossed handmade noodles. I order it without the lard – it’s just as yummy.
Here’s the aunty cutting the dough on the spot.
It is most satisfying to see picky-eater Shannon devour the bowl of noodles like there’s no tomorrow.
To escape the sweltering heat, especially when we end up having a late lunch, we also look for anywhere with air-conditioning. No food courts and such there. We tried Kenny Rogers (picture below) located at the newish PD Waterfront this time. There is also a Starbucks, Secret Recipe, and McDonald’s.
3) Small town shops
There are no big time malls. So we spend our afternoons driving around Port Dickson looking for small, interesting shops while Shannon naps in the car. Our favourite are the old bookshops and the interesting stationery they have. Jason and I hop out to check it out, while their Papa waits in the car with sleeping Shannon. Then we swop places. There are also household goods stores where we’ve unearthed some good bargains. Port Dickson was also the place I bought Shannon’s birthday party pack stuff last year. Not this year though… Frozen hasn’t made it’s way there! We also make a mandatory coffee stop for their Papa’s mid-afternoon caffeine kick. We drive around various coffeeshops in search of the local thick, fragrant coffee, some even with a slightly chocolatey taste for some reason.
Giant opened an outlet there a couple of years ago, it’s probably the biggest supermarket they have. I don’t know about the locals but we cheered when we saw it there on one of our recent trips!
4) Evening swims, beach walks
We were at the beach almost every day during last year’s trip, and we adults came back with sand fly bites. The kids were fine though. This time, we spent most of our evenings in the hotel pool, and went to the beach just once. We picked shells, found lots of baby crabs, and even wanted to kayak but could not find the guy in charge. Maybe next time!
5) Chillin’ good time
TV, more TV. We don’t have cable TV at home, so they got their fill of the Disney channel there. They watched movies, cartoons in between the football matches.
It meant that I had plenty of time to read. I should have brought more than one novel. Jason finished several of his Diary of the Wimpy Kid books, while their Papa and I finished one book each. Good days!
Another shot of the sunset before we left Port Dickson for Malacca. And just in time too, we got a whiff of the haze the morning we were due to leave.
Til the next time!