Saturday, 12 November 2011

Malaysia Info - Negeri Sembilan

Negeri Sembilan, which is just about 50 km south of the nation's capital, Kuala Lumpur, is one of the earliest tourism draws of the country. Thanks to the existence of a beach resort known as Port Dickson, it has received countless streams of visitors seeking fun and splash under the sun. With the completion of the Kuala Lumpur Seremban Highway which subsequently became part of the North South Expressway, accessibility into the state has improved considerably. One can also reach Seremban, the state capital, by rail and the town's railway station is one of the attractive landmarks in town.
Measuring 6,645 square kilometers, Negeri Sembilan offers more than just beaches. There is a little bit of everything for everyone, from the history buff right to the nature lover. A first time visitor to Negeri Sembilan would perhaps be drawn to the significant feature of a great majority of traditional houses which have the distinctive style of the Minangkabau people who had migrated across the Straits of Melaka from Sumatra centuries ago.
Their traditional houses consist of sweeping buffalo horn shaped roof peaks and such features have even been incorporated in newer buildings like the State Mosque and the State Secretariat Building. Interestingly, the Minangkabaus of Negeri Sembilan still practice the matrilineal social system known as the "adat perpateh" making the state the only one to adhere to such social norms.

It is the Minangkabaus who hold the key to the history of Negeri Sembilan. The Minangkabaus were immigrants from West Sumatra who settled in Negeri Sembilan between the 15th and 16th century, at the height of the Malaccan Sultanate.
They continued the practice of their rich cultural heritage, which continues on today in the form of the fascinating Adat Perpatih, a matrilineal system of rule and inheritance, unique only to Negeri Sembilan. The Minangkabaus and their adats, or traditions, and are indeed to be credited with Negeri Sembilan's many interesting aspects. This is clearly seen and felt even today, especially in the customs of marriage, ownership of property and dance forms.
The Negeri Sembilan that the early Minangkabaus knew was a rather loose confederation of nine fiefdoms in a secluded valley of the region. It was only in 1773, and with Raja Melewar as the Yam Tuan or ruler, that the 9 separate fiefdoms of Sungai Ujong, Rembau, Johol, Jelebu, Naning, Segamat, Ulu Pahang, Jelai and Kelang were unified.
Negeri Sembilan's modern history then began with British intervention in the districts of Sungai Ujong, Rembau and Jelebu. In Sungai Ujong, the British took the opportunity to intervene in the region's politics by taking part in and then ending, the conflict between Dato' Kelana and Dato' Bandar, which was affecting the trade of tin along the Linggi River. The British's support of Dato' Kelana was rewarded by the appointment of W.A. Pickering as British resident in 1874.
Come 1889, a treaty was signed between the Yam Tuan Seri Menanti and the four Datuk Undangs, installing the Yam Tuan as ruler of Negeri Sembilan, who was to be "aided" by Martin Lister as the first British Resident of Negeri Sembilan.

The ultramodern Kuala Lumpur International Airport at Sepang is a mere 30 minutes away from the state capital Seremban. With the completion of North-South Highway, NegeriSembilan is even more easily accessible from major towns in West Malaysia.
Tourists can also choose to take a train from Butterworth, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to Seremban, from where frequent buses travel to the popular beach resort of Port Dickson. The rail service to the east coast states of Pahang and Kelantan begins from the town of Gemas.

The better pubs and karaoke lounges are found in the more established hotels. The more popular pubs in Seremban offer a wide array of drinks and cocktails to suit the tastes of discerning drinkers. Top of the line karaoke lounges in Seremban are equipped with state of the art equipment including laser discs for these with a penchant for singing in public.

Over the years, shopping has become a fun thing to do in Negeri Sembilan, especially in Seremban. It has a string of modern shopping complexes and department stores which can satisfy even the most demanding of shoppers. These include establishments like The Store, Parkson, Seremban Parade, Seremban City Square and Centre Point. Duty-free items like exquisite watches and sophisticates photo-graphic equipment are widely available at competitive prices.

Eating out in Negeri Sembilan is usually an enjoyable experience as there is a large variety to choose from. Western foods is easily available in topnotch restaurants while local cuisine is found throughout the state. Chinese and Indian cuisine in Negeri sembilan also rank high among gourmets.
For those who love hot and spicy Malay food, the dishes found in Negeri Sembilan are usually done according to the Minangkabau tradition which often see a generous portion of "cili padi" (small hot chillies) being used. Among the hot favorite is "masak lemak cili api", a dish made from coconut milk blended with tumeric powder and group "cili api" added to fish, meat or vegetables. Another specialty of Negeri Sembilan is the "lemang", glutinous rice cooked in coconut milk and served with "rendang", a curried meat dish. These local delicacies can be found at many roadside stalls in the state.
There are several fine restaurants for dining in style at some of the hotels in Seremban. In addition, the town also offers other eating establishments which are within walking distance and serve a wide array of mouth watering dishes to suit every palate.

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