Sunday, August 28, 2011


Negeri Sembilan is a small but interesting state with a rich culture and history. It is about 50 km south of Kuala Lumpur. Negeri Sembilan which literally means nine states or districts is often identified with the pervasive influence of the minangkabau culture.

The Minangkabau people migrated across the Straits of Malacca from Sumatra centuries ago and their traditional houses consist of upswept roofs reminiscent of buffalo horns. Many of the state’s modern buildings are fine examples of this distinctive architecture.

A unique feature of the state is the Adat Perpatih, a matrilineal social system practiced by the present-day descendants. This system is evident in clan and marriage customs, property ownership and dance forms.

The state capital of Seremban is an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur and is a flourishing urban centre with several historic and cultural landmarks.

There is a wide choice of food and dining settings in the state from international cuisine at beach or golf resorts to open-air food courts selling local delicacies. For accommodation, choose from luxury resorts to modest family-run  inns or even homestays where you can live like the locals. Major hotels and resorts can be found in Seremban and Port  Disckson while smaller towns offer basic accommodation.

The capital of the state, Seremban, is only 40km away from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). Taxis, buses and car rental services are available from the airport to designated destinations in Negeri Sembilan. Buses and Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) Komuter trains also leave frequently from Kuala Lumpur to the town of Seremban.

Sri Menanti royal Museum

This former palace is classic showcase of minangkabau architecture and design. The wooden structure is an architectural wonder as no screws or nails were used in its construction. It is a repository of the regalia of the negeri Sembilan royal family, with exhibits such as costumes, ceremonial weaponry, bed chambers and documents on the royal lineage.

Port Dickson

The coastal resort of Port Dickson or PD is a popular weekend retreat on Peninsular Malaysia’s southwestern coast. Its sunny beaches, lined by tall coconut trees and shady casuarinas, are perfect for a short beach holiday. There are numerous locations here for family outings and picnics. Its famous  beaches, Teluk kemang and blue Lagoon, abound with watersports and beach activities.

Lata Kijang Waterfalls

This is one of the highest single drop waterfalls in Malaysia. Situated deep in the district of Jelebu, it is ideal for activities four-wheel drive. The two-hour trip through rugged terrain, traversing Orang Asli or aboriginal settlements and a plethora of wild plants, rewards visitors with the breathtaking sight of this waterfall.

Ulu Bendul Recreational Forest

This recreational forest is ideal for activities such as mountain climbing, jungle trekking, camping and picnics. Its verdant greenery and clear river water make it a favorite weekend retreat.

Cultural Handicraft Complex

Visit this complex, to view a building modeled like a traditional Minangkabau dwelling, Various examples of the state’s handicraft and historical artefacts are on display in this complex which preserves  Negeri Sembilan’s rich cultural traditions.

State Museum

Located within the grounds of the Cultural Handicraft Complex, the museum is an old wooden palace which has been reconstructed. On display are artefacts like weapons, brass and a tableau portraying a grand royal wedding.

State Mosque

This mosque was built with nine pillars to symbolize the nine districts in Negeri Sembilan. From here, one can enjoy a scenic view of the Seremban Lake and the gardens surrounding it. 

Wet World Pedas Hot Springs

The hot springs, about 15km from Seremban, is a delightful retreat for the whole family. Its two open-air pools are popular with adults and children. Attractions include underwater reflexology footpath, twin slides, wave pool and wading pool provide splashing fun for all.

House of Pendita Za’ba

Also known as Teratak Za’ba, this historic house chronicles the life and times of za’ba or Ta Zainal Abidin bin Ahmad, an icon of Malay literature and thinking who made many contributions in the economic, political and social fields. This house is another fine example of traditional Negeri Sembilan architecture with its raised stilts and long up-ended roofs.

Pengkalan Kempas Historical Complex

Situated 35km from Port Dickson, this complex houses the tomb of a renowned missionary from Sumatra, Sheikh Ahmad Majnun, topped by a hollow stone with Arabic inscriptions. An interesting feature here is the mysterious stone megaliths, referred to as batu hidup or living rocks.

Eagle Ranch Resort Sports Paradise 

Situated in Port Dickson, this retreat resembles a cowboy ranch and offers a variety of fun-filled activities. Enjoy horse riding and archery, or opt for thrills such as go±karting, canoeling and rafting.

Ostrich Farms

Drop by the Jelita Ostrich Farm in Seremban or the PD Ostrich Farm in Port Dickson to take a close look at these huge birds. Enjoy feeding the ostriches or watch other animals such as turkeys, rabbits and horses. The souvenir shop in the PD Ostrich Farm offers a range of rare and exotic products like Ostrich leather wallets and handbags, Ostrich feather dusters and a café serving healthy and delicious food items made from Ostrich meat like burgers and dried meat.

Army Museum

Port Dickson was home to the first Malay Regiment batch in 1933. As time went by, several army museums sprouted in PD such as the Muzium Angkatan Tentera Darat which showcases canons, tanks, locomotives and vehicles used during the war.


Nilai in the northern part of the state has become an important industrial area due to its proximity to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in nearby sepang district in Selangor. Shopping is also a favorite pastime here as there are countless shops selling various merchandises from textiles to decorative items.


Participate in a home stay programme to experience the local lifestyle. Watch interesting cottage industries such as traditional sugar-making, handcraft weaving or leam the art of rubber tapping. Try your hand at indoor games like congkak or participate in a colorful local dance.

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