Hint: There is more than Siew Pao there.
Despite being one of the more recognizable towns in Malaysia, Seremban remains relatively low key. Weekend travellers looking for a short getaway would often throng the usual destinations but skip Seremban. Yet, like most of its more ‘popular’ counterparts, Seremban offers excellent culinary delights, outdoor activities and rich history to sink your teeth into.
The fact that it is only about an hour’s drive or less from most places in the Klang Valley should offer it some advantage but yet, Seremban still remains relatively low key to most local travellers.
As such, we thought we owed it to you to highlight some fun facts about Seremban that you need to know. Perhaps you will consider Seremban as a possible destination for your next Malaysian holiday or maybe even live there one day? (or soon)?
#1 It may have been the birthplace of Yee Sang
There have been many varying claims on the origins of ‘Yee Sang’, the popular festive dish we ‘toss’ during Chinese New Year here in Malaysia. One account follows Loke Ching Fatt, a Chinese immigrant who came to Malaya and settled in Seremban whose twist on a China dish in the 1940s gradually gave birth to the ‘Yee Sang’ we all recognise and love to toss during Chinese New Year.
Seremban’s rich culinary leanings is not just a history lesson, though. Even until today, the town is known as a popular destination for food.
Mention Seremban and most of us will immediately think of the ‘Siew Pao’. Yes, it’s true Seremban is still known for that buttery pastry with sweet pork filling but the historical town has other things up its unique culinary sleeve as well.
There is the famous Yee Kee beef noodles for those of you looking for some red in your meat and a bowl of gamey goodness.
Then there is something a little more left-field and niche in the ‘Mee Hoon Sotong’ at Hiong Kee, which is pretty special with its well-cooked vermicelli swimming in a seafood-based broth.
Now you know where to find it too!
But if it’s seafood you like, you should look no further than the delectable baked crabs at Seremban Seafood Village. It’s a dish rather unique to Seremban and out-of-towners are known to travel far and wide to get a dose of these tasty crustaceans.
#2 14,000-year old artefacts were found in Gua Pelangi
Historical accounts of settlers and communities living and thriving as early as the 1800s in the area we now know as Seremban are aplenty but none more so than the recent discovery that humans settled in the caves of Gua Pelangi more than 14,000 years ago. A team of archaeologists from Universiti Sains Malaysia recently excavated stone tools which proved the existence of an early human settlement in the caves.
The cave is already a huge tourist attraction, with Facebook groups such as the ATOA Pasoh Caves offering tours to experience the cave’s rich history as well as the impressive flora and fauna in its surroundings.
If nature and culture is your thing, Seremban is knee-deep in things it can offer you. There is the Jelita Ostrich Farm, considered to be Malaysia’s first Ostrich farm, for you to get up-close and personal with one of these majestic birds. See the video below of one family’s experience at the farm.
If you are busing in for a day’s visit, The Lake Gardens is a great place to kickstart your trip, offering gorgeous walks and being a stone’s throw from other popular sites.
There are also many popular biking trails collected online that you can tap into if you wish to head down to Seremban the slower, more scenic way. There are also various hikes you can do if you wish to experience the Seremban outdoors, most notably the hike up Gunung Telapak Buruk to check out the actual wreckage of a World War II aircraft.
Just walking around Seremban town, you get a strong sense of culture, with Lorong Seni being the biggest beneficiary of the street art fad sweeping this nation.
Update: We’ve gotten a heads up that the Jelita Ostrich Farm is currently closed. If ostriches are really your thing, head to PD Ostrich Show Farm instead. It’s only about a 35 minute drive from Seremban.
#3 It has a sister city in Indonesia
Many people may not know this but Seremban actually has a sister city in Indonesia called Bukittinggi (since 1986). Located in the Minangkabau Highlands, Bukittinggi is the third largest city in Western Sumatra with a population of roughly 124,000. Historically, Negeri Sembilan and Seremban in particular, have been influenced by the ‘Minang’ people who migrated and settled down there – this happened in the 16th century when there was a massive migration of the Western Sumatera Minangkabau people throughout Southeast Asia.
Having this Indonesian town as sister city lends credence to Seremban’s rich multi-cultural history. One only has to look at the architecture of some of Seremban’s buildings and traditional homes to see the heavy influence of the Minangkabau roof designs which are usually dramatically curved to mimic a water buffalo’s horn.
Speaking of building architecture and local history, there are numerous other iconic structures in Seremban worth mentioning. There is The Church of the Visitation, the oldest parish in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur since 1848, which was built to serve the growing Catholic community who resided there then. The church resides strategically as a prominent part of Seremban’s town centre and has often been described as ‘one of the most beautiful in the mission’ – a must visit for tourists.
Not forgetting the famed Centipede Temple (also known as Then Tzee Khoon) located at Bukit Jong. This 140-year old Taoist temple has been attracting devotees from all over Malaysia for decades. The origins of the temple’s name go back to a legend concerning an ungrateful man who God punished by turning him into a ‘rock ship’ on Bukit Jong.
A centipede was always seen beside the rock and legend has it that the centipede was the reincarnation of the man’s mother. Hence the name of the temple. Devotees believe if you spot a live centipede on the temple grounds, you are in for a spot of good luck!
These structures are proof that Seremban retains a rich multi-cultural history that extends even until today.
#4 It’s only about an hour away from Pavilion, KL
Most people may sort of know that Seremban is not that far from the Klang Valley, but exactly how close is it? A quick look at Google Maps on a working day reveals that barring traffic, Seremban is really only a 56-minute drive away from Pavilion, KL.
Those of us who work in the heart of the city would know that it is possible to frequently sit in traffic within KL for a lot longer than that. So driving down there really takes a lot less effort than most of the other popular Malaysian destination towns/cities.
For those that are contemplating moving to a quieter town away from the hustle and bustle of KL, Seremban offers, in a way, the best of both worlds. It may be situated in a different State but Seremban is really only just less than an hour away from the shopping haven of downtown KL. In fact, if you’re a little lazy to drive, the KTM Komuter can take you directly from Seremban straight to KL Sentral in just 13 stops within 80-90 minutes.
Best of all, with recent upgrades in the Klang Valley rail system including the new MRT Line 1 and LRT line extensions, you can enjoy easy accessibility to the whole of Greater Klang Valley as the Seremban KTM line is seamlessly integrated with these sister rails.
View the whole integrated transport magic here.
#5 Its spawned sequels in Seremban 2 and 3
Seremban, as a town, is still growing and developing and this is proven by the rapid development of new zones, namely Seremban 2 and Seremban 3 in the western parts.
These new townships offer new amenities such as a wide range of shopping malls, new schools, a campus for Universiti Teknologi MARA and a wide range of new housing developments. You can even check out some dinosaurs at Hill Park in Seremban 2. I’m sure the kids will love it.
Seremban is set to be accorded city status at the end of 2019 and with that, there are a lot of plans to further develop it in the future. Most notably among all is the 30-year Malaysia Vision Valley project encompassing the Seremban-Nilai-Port Dickson growth triangle which will comprise residential, business, manufacturing and education cum sports facilities. These are indeed exciting times for Seremban.
So does reading all this make you feel like living in Seremban? Well, you can today and we have just the development for you.
Cadena Terraces is a development in Ara Sendayan. Located just a ten-minute drive away from Seremban 2 and 3 and about 20-minutes away from Seremban town, the development offers an opportunity for purchasers to experience the best of both worlds.
With modern-designed homes situated within a contemporary sanctuary, Cadena Terraces homes are tailored to city folks who are looking for a home away from the bright lights of the city but without being too remote.
The fact that it is located within a guarded enclave offers people living there an opportunity to experience what it is like to have an open-concept living without sacrificing on security. The area it is developed in will offer residents fresh views of greenery and an opportunity to have a comfortable rest away from the stresses of modern life.
For a better idea of what the development offers, visit their website or check out the video below:
Edited by Reena Kaur Bhatt