**We’re in the midst of Malaysia’s Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) due to the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic; and because we cannot fly out of the country at the moment, many Malaysians are planning holidays within the country. It’s an unprecedented time to be a travel blogger, so I’m taking the opportunity to write more about my beloved country. Read more about my Malaysian travels here.
There are many fun day trips to be made out of Malaysia’s capital city of Kuala Lumpur. Sekinchan has always been a very popular choice — but I have to admit that even after so many years of traveling and starting this travel blog… I have yet to visit! Well, I guess now is just a good time as any; and I’m so glad I got to spend the day admiring the miles and miles of paddy fields, and dining on delicious seafood. All with my growing belly in tow (and it’s the bump’s first trip out of the house)!
The small town of Sekinchan is located in the west coast of Malaysia; in the Sabak Bernam district in the state of Selangor. The town is about a 1.5-2 hour drive from the capital city of Kuala Lumpur. Sekinchan is a fishing village; and is also a major rice producing area in the country, yielding one of the highest amounts of rice in Malaysia. Most people visit Sekinchan for a day trip, or a weekend getaway — and most spend their time taking photos with the beautiful paddy fields (the best time to visit is when it’s a beautiful green carpet — in the months of March-May and September-November); and dining on the tons of cheap seafood, all day long! If you’re staying longer; you can plan to venture out and visit the Sky Mirror and the Fireflies of Hulu Selangor.
The best way to get to Sekinchan is by car; as it makes it easier to get from one attraction/restaurant to another. However, public transport via bus from Kuala Lumpur is also possible — but it takes a longer time as you’ll have to pass by many stops before it reaches Sekinchan. And once you arrive in town, you can rent a bicycle and cycle around the area (bear in mind that it’ll be in the crazy heat).
One Day in Sekinchan
I went on my day trip to Sekinchan with my hubby, Fong; as well as our close friends Mei Ling and Choy. We were up as early as 6am, and got to their house at about 7am to carpool together to Sekinchan. I haven’t seen them for the entire 3 months of Malaysia’s Restriction Movement Order, so there was a lot of catching up to do on the drive to Sekinchan.
Breakfast at Restoran Sin Ming Kee
We arrived in Sekinchan at about 9am — just in time for breakfast. Our first stop was at a hawker centre near the local wet market, Restoran Sin Ming Kee. Choy swears by their delicious curry noodles, so that was what we were here to try! The curry noodles was thick and creamy, and topped with char siew (bbq pork), fishballs and dumplings. It is not the best I’ve tried, but still pretty good… and I enjoyed slurping on the curry soup. We also ordered a plate of chee cheong fun (rice noodles) and a packet of siew yuk (roasted pork) from an elderly lady selling it off a motorcycle. During my meal, I noticed a couple of popular vendors; there is a stall selling braised duck rice, and one selling porridge that drew in the crowds as well.
Miles and Miles of Paddy Fields
After breakfast, we decided to drive around the Sekinchan area to admire the vast expanse of paddy fields around the place. Because our visit was in June — most of the fields had already been harvested; so instead of a beautiful sea of green, we were mostly greeted with a carpet of brown. Not exactly beautiful for pictures, so we didn’t stop anywhere for photographs. However, I noticed many people parked and posing by the side of the road during my drive through the fields. Other than the paddy fields, there are also many ugly lone concrete buildings dotted around the fields — these are swiftlet houses, used for collecting birds’ nests.
After that, we made a stop at the only beach area in Sekinchan, the Redang Beach. It shares the same name as one of Malaysia’s most popular and beautiful East Coast islands — but it is nothing like it! Instead of white sand, turquoise waters and the smell of the ocean; you’ll be greeted by yellow sand, brownish waters, and the smell of fish. I wasn’t expecting much, but that whiff of fishy odour when I got down from the car really took me by surprise! Despite that, it was nice to see the sea again; and it is a popular place for people to bury their feet in sand, picnic, sip on a fresh coconut, or fly a kite.
Sekinchan Wishing Tree
Adjacent to the beach is a Chinese Temple that is known for its giant tree. People come from everywhere to take pictures and make wishes on the Sekinchan Wishing Tree. The entire tree is tangled with hundreds of red ribbons (that represents all the wishes), and is really quite a pretty sight. The Chinese Temple stands right next to the tree; where you can perform prayers, and also obtain a strand of red ribbon to make your wish. The threads are free; but there’s a donation box right next to it. You can then write your name and wishes on the cloth (a table and marker pens are provided) — Fong and I both wrote our names, as well as lots of wishes for our little upcoming addition!
And then it was time to fling the ribbon onto the tree. The red ribbon has two round metal coins on both sides to help hook it onto the tree. It is said that the higher up on the tree you tangle the ribbon on; the higher the chances of your wishes coming true. I have to say I got it pretty way up there on my first try! So let’s hope all those wishes come to pass.
The Fishing Village
Since we’re in a fishing village — why not take some time to observe the fishing docks where the old school wooden fishing boats come in after plying the seas for the day’s catch? The boats come in all sorts of colors; with an array of fishing equipment on board. It really is a different glimpse of life compared to what we’re so used to in the city. Choy even mentioned that he’d love to one day spend a week on these boats — for a fishing experience out in the open sea. All I could think of was how extremely hot it would be! The area near the waters of Sekinchan is also lined by lots of factories/warehouses that sort through the seafood that comes through it doors.
Seafood Lunch at Redang Station No.15
And also because we’re in a fishing village — we have to enjoy a seafood meal! There are many popular and well-known seafood restaurants in Sekinchan; like the Loong Hua Restaurant or the Cha Po Tion Restaurant. However, we decided to go slightly more rustic and dropped by the equally famous Redang Station No.15. The restaurant is located by the fishing village, and is built on wooden stilts over the water; so while enjoying a meal, we also get to watch life by the fishing village.
Our seafood meal was as fresh as fresh can get — it all comes straight from the boat into the restaurant. The restaurant serves nothing else but seafood (so no rice, no vegetables), and most of the food are either boiled, grilled or stir-fried. We ordered a plate of 10 huge mantis prawns, boiled tiger shrimps, clams in Chinese wine, bouncy fishballs and the restaurant’s signature seafood fried noodles. The meal was absolutely delicious, and it cost about RM180 (~US$40) between the four of us. Oh, and if you love fresh oysters, they serve that too!
The Paddy Processing Factory
After lunch, it was back to visiting the local attractions. Our next stop was at the Paddy Processing Factory. The factory is a running rice-processing facility; with a museum gallery, as well as shops selling rice products and snacks. The Paddy Gallery costs RM5 (~US$1.2) to enter — and it’s a great place for kids and adults alike, who’d love to learn the entire process of planting, harvesting and processing paddy. The rest of the Paddy Processing Factory’s main area is free to roam. The factory is located in the middle of the paddy fields in Sekinchan; but there’s also a small plot within the factory vicinity that I believe is for picture-taking purposes. It wasn’t harvested during my visit, so it was a luscious green and perfect for that paddy fields shot.
Ah Ma House
Another attraction in Sekinchan is Ah Ma House (Grandma’s House). It features a display of old antiques like furniture, kitchen utensils, cameras, house appliances and so on — all the things that you would usually find in your grandmother’s house. It was actually pretty nice going through some of these old nostalgic items, and it brought me on a trip down memory lane to my childhood days. The small shop also sells snacks and food items (some from back then), and new trinkets in olden designs. Other than that, there was really nothing much else to see; but since entrance is free, it doesn’t hurt to make a quick visit. There’s also a Kampung Atuk (Grandpa’s Village) just down the street from Ah Ma House — but we didn’t stop by.
Mango Smoothies at Mango King
We saved the best for last! Sekinchan is also known for the freshest and sweetest mangoes; and being a huge mango fan, I knew I had to leave Mango King for the final stop so that I could spend as much time as I wanted to select all the delicious sweet mango to bring home. Mango King is a makeshift stall located within the paddy fields area of Sekinchan; and sells mangoes, mango drinks, mango ice-cream and snacks. While there, I ordered a refreshing mango smoothie for RM6 (US$1.4) that was perfect for the hot and humid afternoon. I also bought mangoes, and though I can’t really remember how much the mangoes cost per kg; I know that I paid RM20 (~US$4.6) for 4 huge mangoes!
It was about 4pm by the time we were done at Sekinchan; and before leaving, we decided to make a quick stop at the new (and increasingly popular) N.16 Bus Cafe. It’s a small cafe that features an old school bus on top of a container, and is located next to the well-known Sekinchan Padi Box Homestay. We were too full to fit anything else into our stomachs, so it was just to have a look around and for some pictures.
We reached back home at about 6pm. Being pregnant at 7 months, the trip made me a little tired — but it was nice to get out and about, and to have a little ‘cuti-cuti Malaysia’ getaway. Sekinchan is indeed a great choice for a day trip out of the capital city; and I really did enjoy all that yummylicious eating!
Side Trips and Other Things to Do in Sekinchan
If you have more time and decide to stay a night (or two) in Sekinchan or the area around Hulu Selangor, there are other fun things to do as well. Here’s a list of things that I really hope to do in the future!
- Stay in containers in the middle of the paddy fields at the Sekinchan Padi Box Homestay.
- Take a boat ride through the mangroves to see the Kuala Selangor Fireflies.
- Visit the Sky Mirror, which is our Malaysian version of Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats.