Monday, 24 December 2007
Museum Walkabout In Port Dickson
Over the long weekend I went to my wife's kampong to celebrate the haj festival and took the opportunity to go to a museum visiting round in Port Dickson. More famous for its beaches, you would not usually think of going museum visiting there but since it was a short trip and we were already tired from the beach trip to Kijal previously, I thought my family and I should finally take the opportunity to visit the Lukut Museum and Army museum that we tend to ignore in our previous travels to Port Dickson.
The Lukut museum now incorporates the entrance to Kota Lukut fort itself so do not be misled by the road sign that shows the the fort to be further up the road. Although on the surface the museum looks well maintained, I am afraid that the fort itself is in disrepair with the signage virtually non existent. So what is left are basically remnants of the forts and ex-water storage pits that is quite dangerous if you do not take the necessary precautions. In fact I had the rare experience of releasing a monkey that fell into one the water pits by shoving a bamboo pole I found in the area into the pit so that he can climb it to get out. On the museum building itself, the exhibits was interesting but there were only three small galleries to look at so the visit can be done within half an hour only. The sad part was that only two galleries was dedicated to the history of Lukut while the other featured the royal lineage of the Negeri Sembilan royally that I felt was inappropriate to be located here.
After the museum visit, we went to have a short visit to the beach before visiting the army museum. We went to our regular eating place at the Pee Dee cafe at Batu 4. Even after visiting a small temporary shopping arcade set up there for the holidays we still had much time to spare so we crossed the road and visited the beach. My kids were only able to play the sand at the beach as we did not prepare swimsuits but I must say that the local council had done a good job rehabilitating the beach as the sand there was now soft and white instead of muddy as it was some time ago. They must have dumped quite a lot in order to turn the beach into the condition it is today. We even found a piece of coral and a beautiful sea shell at the uppermost side of the beach, that shows marine life are returning to beach.
We spent an hour at this beach before we proceeded to the army museum that was my main purpose of visiting Port Dickson actually. This was an excellent military museum, with well thought out galleries and displays although some of the interactive audio visual aids was out of order. My daughters loved the galleries, especially the walk in armoured cars exhibits located at the side of the museum buildings. I must say amongst the four branches of Malaysian Armed Forces museums that I have visited, this museum is the best followed by the police, navy and the distant last the air force. It may even rate a return visit for a more leisurely look at the exhibits there. At that time I would also make time to visit the related Royal Armour Corps Museum that I somehow missed during this trip that is another part of the Port Dickson museum circuit. So who said that Port Dickson is only good for the beaches eh.