Tanjung Tuan

Tanjung Tuan, also known as Cape Rachado, is about 18 km from Port Dickson is a forest reserve popular with visitors for its quiet beaches and nature activities, such as bird watching. The cape is essentially a hilly coastal rainforest with mangrove swamps and short stretches of beach lining the base. The famous Blue Lagoon beach is located right next to Tanjung Tuan, along with a few resorts and holiday bungalows.

Historically, Tanjung Tuan was an important sighting ground for the Portuguese forces that conquered Malacca. They built a lighthouse at the peak of the hill in 1528 to guide friendly vessels to the port while keeping an eye out for enemy ships. The lighthouse, a bright white in colour, still sits on the summit today in its original state. It continues to fulfill its function today with the assistance of a revolving radar transmitter.

The waters off Tanjung Tuan was also the site of a historical battle between the Dutch and Portuguese naval forces in 1606. While most people would identify Tanjung Tuan as a tourist attraction of Port Dickson, the cape actually falls under the jurisdiction of Malacca, though it used to be under Negeri Sembilan.

The entrance to the hill starts from near the Blue Lagoon just next to the Ilham Resort. A gravel road begins from here that leads all the way up to the lighthouse, but cars are prohibited from entering, so park outside the gate. From here, it is a moderate walk to the peak where you can catch an amazing view of the Straits of Malacca, along with an outline of neighbouring Sumatra on a very clear day. Whirl pools can be seen in the waters along with coral reefs and fishing boats. From the lighthouse, a jungle trail (now paved at most parts) leads to Pulau Intan and Pulau Masjid, two beach areas on opposite sides of each other along the cape. Pulau Intan is the more beautiful stretch of beach, with fine white sand, crystal clear waters and beautiful rocky outcrops.

Pulau Masjid, on the other hand, is more of a mangrove swamp, though there is a stretch of beach with coarser sand than Pulau Intan. Pulau Masjid also has several flat rocks with large footprint-like imprints on them, believed to belong to Hang Tuah, a famous warrior from Malacca from ancient times. From Pulau Masjid, a short jungle trek through the forest leads to a series of steps that lead back to the gravel road, forming a loop. While exploring the coastal forest on the trails, visitors and tourists can look out for wildlife and admire the different species of trees, most of which have labels that signify their species name and industrial use.
Entrance to the forest trails in Tanjung Tuan        

Bird watchers from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore love to visit Tanjung Tuan to observe raptors on their annual migratory routes. Some of the birds found here include eagles, kites and peasants along with mammals, reptiles and amphibians. A hidden jungle trail also leads from a hut at the southern end of the Blue Lagoon, which passes by an isolated beach before splitting into two directions; the left leads to the gravel road while the right comes out next to the lighthouse.

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