Probably most of you have never heard of this small town named Sekinchan before. Located in Sabak Bernam District, Selangor State of Malaysia, Sekinchan is famous as a small fishing village and rice producer. In fact, it is one of the main producers of rice in Malaysia, hence giving the nickname ‘the rice bowl of Selangor’. The name ‘Sekinchan’ apparently means ‘village suitable for plantation’ when loosely translated from Mandarin. Sekinchan got a recent boom of tourism because of a romantic Hong Kong Drama called Outbound Love filming a scene in the town.
The town which lies on the west coast of the Malaysian peninsula, 95 km northwest of Kuala Lumpur, would be best reached by car in 1.5 to 2 hours from Kuala Lumpur. You can reach Sekinchan by public transportation that goes from Kuala Lumpur, but they take many stops along the route hence requiring a longer time (2 to 2.5 hours). We recommend that you drive from Kuala Lumpur if you want to take a day trip to Sekinchan, Malaysia.
Image Credit: Jackie Chin on Unsplash
It wouldn’t be legit to visit Sekinchan without enjoying and then taking a few (or a lot!) photos on their paddy fields. But please be reminded that the beautiful scenery is not there at all times of the year! The best time to go Sekinchan are the times when the paddy fields are lush green, which is from the middle of March to May or the middle of September to November, or just before harvesting season when the paddy fields turn golden, which is around the end of May or November.
Riding a bike is definitely the perfect way to explore a small town like Sekinchan in a relaxing manner. You can rent a single-person bike or family bike (for 4 persons) from the most reliable bicycle rental shop: AMG Bicycle Renting Sekinchan. They also have electronic bikes for rent at a higher price. But you have to be careful when riding because there are no dedicated bike lanes in Sekinchan.
Ever wondered how your rice gets into your plate? You can find out at Paddy Processing Factory. The factory is actually a running rice-processing facility (where you can see the actual machinery they use to process and sort the rice) with a museum gallery and shops selling rice products and snacks. The entrance fee is RM5. It would be a great place for you and your kids to learn the entire process of planting, harvesting, and processing paddy.
This Sekinchan beach is not really nice for swimming (the water is murky, the sand is not white and covered with lots of seashells, not barefoot-friendly), but it sure is a great place to fly kites, get some vitamin-sea vibes like watching the sunset and enjoying the fresh sea breeze. Please note, though, that it is better for you to bring your own kites rather than buying them over there.
Near the beach, there is Sekinchan Wishing Tree: a banyan tree clothed with threads of red with coins on them. Although we may not be participating in this, the tree is undeniably an Instagram-worthy spot.
Ah Ma House (“Ah Ma” means grandmother in Chinese dialect) is actually a bakery that specializes in traditional Chinese biscuits with an ambiance that makes you feel like you go back in time featuring a display of old antiques like furniture, kitchen utensils, cameras, house appliances, etc. If you are lucky, you can even see the traditional way of making kuih kapit. Other than kuih kapit, they also sell bahulu, kuih bangkit, pineapple tarts as well as souvenirs, fresh prawn and fish crackers, and other selection of local snacks.
Across from Ah Ma House, there is Sekinchan Ocean Gallery, a maritime-themed museum showing traditional and modern fishing techniques used around Sekinchan with an eatery called Kampung Atuk inside.
Find another instagrammable spot at this small café. This increasingly popular café is built from a repurposed old school bus on top of a container next to the paddy field. The cafe serves alcohol but you can still visit it for a great view of the paddy fields around it. Of course, to see the oddly placed bus in the middle of the field too!
Image Credit: @kentwongbug on Instagram
Cheap and Fresh Seafood
There is no way you can visit Sekinchan without eating fresh seafood, with less than RM200 for 6-8 people. We have compiled for you some of the notable seafood restaurants in town: Restoran Lembah Bernam, Restoran Bagan Sekinchan (signature dish: lotus leave steamed pomfret fish), and the once viral Faridah Mentarang Bakar. However, you might want to ask if the dishes are halal if you are wary.
Alternatively, you can also eat fresh seafood at Bagan Pasir, Tanjung Karang on your way to or from Kuala Lumpur. The place is known not just for the restaurants, but also as a fisherman village where you can see fishermen bringing their catch of the day (you seafood lovers can also buy some fresh seafood there).
What can be better than having a refreshing mango smoothie on a hot day?! At Mango King, you can enjoy the freshest and sweetest mangoes and mango smoothies (RM6/cup). They also sell mango ice cream, snacks like rojak, and other beverages; perfect for the in-between meal bites. You can also bring home their huge mangoes, the size of a person’s forearm, for RM8/kg (price may vary).
Sekinchan Padi Box Homestay is the most popular Sekinchan homestay having recycled freight containers as its building structures. This eco-friendly accommodation is not only stylish but strangely comfortable with adorable colorful décor and plenty of open areas to get some sun and admire the rice paddies. They have rooms for two, four, and six people (all facing paddy fields), so you do not need to worry if you traveling in a large group. They also have bicycles, a pool table, and a Nintendo set in the common room or lounge area.
Image Credit: Farm Ville Cafe and Homestay on Facebook
There is also another homestay worthy of staying: Farm Ville Cafe & Homestay Sekinchan. Having the same architectural concept as Padi Box (except that the containers here painted all red), this homestay can become your alternative in staying in Sekinchan. They have extra features like a mini-golf area, a small kids pool, a trampoline, and a garden.
Image Credit: @iza55 on Instagram
If you are planning to stay the night at Sekinchan, you will not want to miss stopping by Kuala Selangor (30 minutes-drive south from Sekinchan) where they have this tour to the Malaysian version of Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats called Sky Mirror (a natural phenomenon when the seabed in a particular area emerges for a few hours in several days a month when the tide is low creating a mirror-like reflection of the sky). This 3-hour tour will take you from Jetty Kuala Selangor to the Sky Mirror where you can take fantastic memorable pictures. It is recommended to check the availability of this tour in advance.
They also have other tours such as the Blue Tears (caused by bioluminescent algae that lights up when ripples are created) tour, Fireflies tour, and Eagle feeding tour.
In the departure area of these tours, there is Boat café, a rustic vintage cafe serving light snacks like fries, Korean fried chicken, nuggets, and fried chicken. It is a perfect place to chill and hang out while taking some pictures for your Instagram posts. We advise that you check with the cafe on their halal status.
If time allows, you might also want to visit Bukit Malawati for trekking and bird-watching at Kuala Selangor Nature Park.