Saturday, October 17, 2009

If you go to Tanjung Tuan, beware the monkey!

Last weekend I was in Port Dickson for the Bagan Pinang by election, and had some free time on Saturday afternoon. Having had enough of the campaigning antics (of both sides) for a while, I decided to go to Tanjung Tuan (also known as Cape Rachado) for some peace and quiet. It was not far from where the MAFREL's operation centre was. My Mum used to tell us about the times when, as a child, she would visit the "keramat" at Tanjung Tuan with her family. According to legend, Parameswara, the founder of Melaka, is supposed to have been buried somewhere there.

In those days, the only way to get there was by boat, which would have to navigate past the dangerous whirlpool and turbulent waters off Tanjung Tuan, which have claimed many lives. Of course, nowadays one can get there easily by land. Just go south on the coast road to Melaka, and turn right at the junction, just after Si Rusa, which is clearly marked "Tanjung Tuan" and "Blue Lagoon".

I parked near the Ilham Resort, and entered the gates to the Tanjung Tuan Recreational Forest.

Visitors have to sign in at the guardhouse before proceeding further

From there, I walked along a winding tarred road through the jungle, right up to the lighthouse.

The Tanjung Tuan lighthouse is impossible to miss.

Unfortunately, it is off limits to all by order of the harbourmaster of Melaka. Apparently, Tanjung Tuan is under the jurisdiction of Melaka, not Negeri Sembilan. From the front of the lighthouse, there are paths leading down to the beach. I chose to take the path leading to Pulau Intan.

The steep and uneven steps leading from the lighthouse down to the beach

It took me about 25 minutes to get to the beach from the entrance. The beach and view was well worth the trek: not another human in sight; just the sun, the sea, the wind and the sand!

I suppose Pulau Intan is only a pulau at high tide!

Even though the shore was somewhat muddy (not surprising given the mangroves nearby), the water was clean (definitely cleaner than the rest of PD), and perfect for a leisurely dip. However, one needs to be careful of the rough rocks on the beach and under water.

As I was enjoying the cool water, I saw that a monkey was calmly going through the contents of my knapsack! As I rushed back to the rock where I had left it, my simian friend decided that he needed my bag of toiletries, and took off up a nearby tree with it!

If you happen to see a well groomed monkey with a dazzling smile in Tanjung Tuan, you'll know which one it is!

What's a little toothpaste, soap and a toothbrush between distant cousins, especially since Evolution Day is just around the corner? I wish that I had had something more nutritious to share.

From the beach, the Sumatran coast is visible, just 38 kilometres away.

If BENDERA had wanted to attack Peninsular Malaysia by sea, would this have been the nearest spot for them?

Ships in the distance

Beyond this headland lies the beach opposite Pulau Masjid

I really would have liked to have explored more, especially the beach opposite Pulau Masjid, the "keramat Tanjung Tuan" and Hang Tuah's "footstep" and well, but they will have to wait for another trip because it was time to get back to the noisy world of humans. There were the final ceramahs to attend that evening! Stay tuned for more stories from Bagan Pinang,

Malaysian Heart

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