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Oct 24, 2010

Caravan at Si-Rusa Inn, Port Dickson

With Chun See's "Good Morning Yesterday " blog about his first packaged tour in 1970, it reminds me of a last minute trip with former colleagues sometime in the 1970s to Port Dickson to fill up a vacant seat on the chartered tour bus.

On a Saturday afternoon about 40 years ago, my former colleague, Ronald Lam, invited me to join him and about 10 other of his friend to visit Port Dickson in Malaysia. One of his friends had made a last minute cancellation of his booking for the group tour.

It was sort of an impromptu arrangement for me and I was not quite prepared for the trip.

Anyway it was a getaway just for the weekend, so I agreed to fill the vacancy in a mini-bus which fetched us directly from our office in Robinson Road at about 1 pm.

The mini-bus was driven by an elderly, seasoned driver who was speeding like nobody's business the moment we crossed the causeway and cleared the Johor Bahru immigration checkpoint.

After travelling for like 5 hours non-stop, we had still not reached our destination. The winding road in some hilly areas was pitch dark. And the driver was speeding like hell...

It was almost midnight when we arrived safely at Port Dickson and got into a caravan with double-decker beds. I was so tired at the end of the journey and slept like a log.

When I woke up early in the morning, I thought it was raining heavily outside the caravan.

It was only when I opened the window of the caravan that I discovered that it was a bright sunny morning; and the splashing sound was caused by the waves lapping onto the beach; so close to where our caravan was parked....

The scene which met my eyes was beautiful. It was wonderful to be so close to the sea.

This photo above shows me reading a book in the caravan. It was my first trip to Port Dickson. Unforgettable!

The space in the caravan is very small, so we spent most of our time at the beach where we had our meals picnic-style. The mini-bus driver whom we call 'Uncle', helped us to buy food from the Port Dickson market.

The caravans are permanently stationed at the compound of the Si-Rusa Inn, Jalan Pantai 11.2 km, Port Dickson, Negri Sembilan, Malaysia.

Port Dickson has a long stretch of lovely sandy beach.

However, there was no proper sewerage system; and the exposed drain flows from Si-Rusa Inn to the open sea. It was an eye-sore which marred the beauty of the beach.

We rented 3 caravans for our group at RM100.00 for each caravan from Si-Rusa Inn for only one day. Checked out at about 2 pm and took the mini-bus to tour the marketplace in Port Dickson on our way back to Singapore.

It was an interesting getaway for the weekend on a shoe-string budget.

Si-Rusa Inn is no longer in business.

The doors of the caravan were opened during the day, with a make-shift wooden staircase placed under the lower platform, as shown in this photo.

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Blogger Lam Chun See said...

Ah hia, you don't look like you are having a holiday. So stern looking. More like the bouncer or life guard. LOL.

In the old days, when we travelled north we often bypass Port Dickson because we normally go via the main highway which was some distance away. But had heard a lot about it.

But in recent years, with the completion of the N-S Highway, and connecting roads, it is very convenient. In the 90's, I went there frequently to conduct some TQM training for the Petronas Dagangan Group. Drvoe there alone in my trusty Toyota Corrolla.

October 24, 2010 at 7:10 PM  
Blogger Thimbuktu said...

You're very observant, brother.

I guess my look during young days was too serious and seldom being angry with the world. Should have attended your TQM training and have a broader outlook at life then and be more relaxed.

I've changed a great deal the older I grew. LOL

October 25, 2010 at 9:31 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi James Seah,
Pleasantly surprised u kept such old pics. I've lost mine . Have vague memories of PD trip. It was sooo long ago.How u remembered so many details? Yeah frm the pics u sure look like a "virgin chicken" .. very serious on yr 1st trip.

Ronald Lam

October 26, 2010 at 1:15 AM  
Blogger PChew said...

In 1975 I drove my Volgswagen with my family to Port Dickson and stayed one night in a chalet at Si-Rusa Inn. Our main destination was the Singapore Government Holiday Bungalow at Fraser's Hill.
James, thanks for the memory.

October 26, 2010 at 10:29 AM  
Blogger Thimbuktu said...

Thanks Philip. Appreciate if you have some photos of Si-Rusa to email me and post to this blog. There were too few memorable photos in my possession during my first trip to Kelantan.

My next blog on Fraser's Hill when I could dig up from my old photo albums. Not many though ;(

October 26, 2010 at 3:37 PM  
Blogger professor said...

Looking at your 70s photos James, your tinted glasses remind me of my time too. I think it was fasionable to wear tinted and plastic frames. Tinted and metal frames. Mayb you should blog about the spectacle fasion then?

October 26, 2010 at 3:44 PM  
Blogger Thimbuktu said...

Hi Ron. Its a pity that you lost those old pics of PD which would then be the "memory aids" to trigger memories. How about any of your friends in that tour group?

Little by little, piece by piece, our "oldies" could track back fond memories...including days of my "virgin chicken" days ;)

Thanks Ron.

October 26, 2010 at 3:45 PM  
Blogger Thimbuktu said...

Thanks Professor. As your observant and keen eyes as always, you have commented about the spectators fashion during the 1970s.

Unfortunately I have very poor fashion sense and don't often follow fashion trends since my young days.

I am more interested to get hold of "memory aids" of old photos to blog and recover fond memories of young days. Many of those activities photos taken with friends and colleagues in the past have thrown away and gone forever.

October 26, 2010 at 4:23 PM  
Blogger ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Spending 2 nights at PD not so many years ago, we chanced upon a concert by Johnny Tillotson (Poetry In Motion/Judy, Judy, Judy).

It was a surprise. Thirty ringgit to see the man whose song we love so much.

My wife enjoyed the concert too.

October 26, 2010 at 9:21 PM  
Blogger Thimbuktu said...

You're right Andy. Things in PD getting more costly now compared to my visit there 40 years ago.

Prices are soaring too in the more ulu places in Kelantan.

October 27, 2010 at 12:38 PM  
Blogger Lam Chun See said...

Actually last year I visited Port Dickson with my brother Zen and sister and her husband. We had dinner at a restaurant next to a Chinese temple. The food was very nice and cheap. But even at the hotel there were lots of flies :(

But the beaches were still very beautiful; but we did not into the water as we were just passing throug.

October 27, 2010 at 8:21 PM  

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