Melaka Weekend — Cape Rachado Lighthouse

We originally planned to go to Port Dickson, but we didn’t make it there because we spent more time at Cape Rachado Lighthouse than we had planned to.

There’s some history behind the lighthouse. It is said to be the oldest lighthouse in Malaysia, dating back to the time of Portuguese rule in the 16th century, that is, the 1500s. It got taken over by the Dutch in 1641, and then by the British in 1824.

Although you have to cross the state border into Negiri Sembilan, and it is only 18km south of Port Dickson, the lighthouse is managed by the Melaka state.

Cape Rachado, also known as Tanjung Tuan, is also a nature reserve. Many migratory birds stop by here as well. There are two popular tourist beaches here, called Blue Lagoon (Tanjong Biru) and Pantai Cermin (Mirror Beach). The Google Maps photos are lovely, so it’s a pity we didn’t go there.

Nonetheless, our goal was the lighthouse itself. Online articles tell us it’s a 2km walk up a steep slope, then a rather flat path, and it takes 15 minutes. We don’t know how fast you need to walk to cover 2km in 15 minutes, but it’s certainly faster than our walking speed.

The guide is quite accurate though. We really did walk a steep slope, followed by a much flatter path. It’s a tarmac road, so no worries about hiking on a trail. Yet.

The last stretch is a flight of stairs and then we reached the lighthouse. There seemed to be a path with stairs leading down somewhere that we didn’t know. We hung around, took some photos, then a couple of ladies came up from the mysterious stairway.

We asked them what was there, and they told us it leads to a beach that is very ‘cantik’, which means beautiful. But they also warned us that the trail is slippery.

We decided to head down the trail. There were many steps down, about 350. Some were proper concrete steps, while others were tree roots. In most parts where the steps were the steepest, there was a handrail to hold on to, although we had to be careful of ants.

We finally reached the bottom of the 188-metre hill. In comparison, the tallest hill in Singapore is only 164 metres tall.

The beach was… okay. It’s nice in the sense that it’s fairly untouched by humans, unlike other coastal areas we’ve seen. And it was normal sea-coloured, not coffee-coloured like we saw back in Pontian.

We took some photos of the area, and also walked out to what is called Pulau Intan. We wondered why it’s called ‘Pulau’, which means island, because it didn’t seem like an island to us when we climbed out to it.

We later came to learn that Pulau Intan is accessible only during low tide, and when the tide rises, it gets cut off from the mainland. There is another island like this in the Tanjung Tuan area called Pulau Masjid, that is also only accessible during low tide.

The trail we took is called the Pulau Intan trail. There are apparently two beaches here, one on each side of Pulau Intan. We didn’t know this, so we visited only one of the beaches.

There are also macaques in the area, so you need to be careful of your belongings.

Beware of monkeys!

On our way back, we came across a family with small kids. All of them were wearing slippers, and we expressed our admiration for them coming to hike in slippers. They said that when they came, they didn’t know that they were going to hike either, or else they would have been better prepared.

We made our way down to the car park, all of us famished from our unexpected hike. Hungry, we googled for a nearby ‘zi char’ restaurant and ended up at Restoran Jing Ji Seafood Restaurant. We don’t know why they included the word twice in the signboard. But the food was unexpectedly delicious… or maybe it’s just that we were all so hungry. It was very affordable too, at RM75 for the four of us.

Satiated, we headed to our next destination.

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