The state of Negeri Sembilan is located in the southwest corner of Peninsular Malaysia. It is famed throughout the region for its Minangkabau-style architecture, which reflects the influence of its first inhabitants from Sumatra.
Negeri Sembilan’s capital is 64km (39 miles) south of Kuala Lumpur. Journey time from Kuala Lumpur by car is about 30 minutes. Seremban Lake Gardens is one of the town's most attractive features, it has two beautiful lakes, one of which has a floating stage where cultural shows are performed. The State Mosque, which has nine pillars to represent the nine districts of the state, overlooks the tranquil gardens.
The Cultural Handicraft Complex at Labu Spur houses the Negeri Sembilan State Museum. Historical artefacts representative of the state and its inhabitants are on display in this museum, built entirely from wood.
Port Dickson is on the coast, about one and a half hour’s travelling time from Kuala Lumpur and 32km (19 miles) from Seremban. Malaysians flock here from the city at weekends, but with 18km (11 miles) of beach there is always plenty of room. The bays are fine for all kinds of watersports and fishing and there are facilities for water-skiing, motor cruising and deep-sea fishing. The water quality is not always good, though, and the sea around the beaches is often too shallow for decent swimming. The only real tourist attraction apart from the beaches is the Tanjong Tuan Lighthouse, where the coastline of Indonesia across the Straits of Malacca can be made out on a clear day.
The Fort of Raja Jumaat (a 19th-century Bugis Warrior) is 7km (4 miles) from Port Dickson, in Kota Lukut. Remains of an old royal palace and a royal burial ground can be viewed, along with the remains of the fort, built in 1847 to control the tin trade in the vicinity. Pedas Hot Springs are 30km (18 miles) south of Seremban. Visitors wanting to take the restorative waters will find bathing enclosures, dining and recreational facilities.
The city of Malacca may only be 2 hours by road south of Kuala Lumpur, but it is centuries away in ambience. Old men in fishing boats still cruise up through the centre of the modern city with the catch of the day, which can be enjoyed in the city’s excellent restaurants. River cruises that open up the city’s history are increasingly popular. Founded in the early 15th century, Malacca remains predominantly a Chinese community, although there are many reminders of periods under Portuguese, Dutch and British rule; some of these can be seen in the Malacca Museum. Architectural remains include the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple in the centre of the city, the gateway of the A Formosa Portuguese fortress, St Paul’s Church with the grave of St Xavier, the Stadthuys, the Dutch Christ Church and the Tranquerah Mosque, one of the oldest in the country. There are several international hotels in Malacca, augmented by a fully-equipped resort complex 12km (7 miles) outside the city.