Every year in Bolivia, scores of tourist flood to the Salar de Uyuni to have their picture taken on the world’s ‘largest natural mirror’. The reflective qualities of the lake is such that any photo taken seems worthy of a travel magazine cover. In Taiwan, the coastlines of Matsu Islands light up with a shimmering blue that transports any who witness it to an other-worldly experience.
These phenomenon, however, are worlds apart and one would only need to have two separate trips to witness such beauty, right?
On the southwest district of Perak, bordered by the Perak River, lies the town of Bagan Datuk. Not always talked about, and certainly overlooked by tourists both foreign and local alike, this quaint fishing district is home to a wealth of mesmerizing experiences, including Malaysia’s very own ‘Sky Mirror’ and the fantasy-like ‘Blue Tears’ phenomenon.
To shed more light on Bagan Datuk and to give it the attention it deserves, here are some of its hidden treasures uncovered for tourists looking to find themselves transported to another country while immersing themselves in the local ambiance of one of Malaysia’s most underrated destination.
1. Bask in the Pulau Sembilan sun
A little further out of Bagan Datuk is Pulau Sembilan, a small island that’s about a 20-30 minute boat ride away from Bagan Datuk Jetty. This destination was once open to the public, but because of excessive tourism, the State Tourism has decided to regulate the amount of visitors to preserve the island, and accessibility has been restricted to only a few tour agencies.
This destination is an ideal spot to spend some quality time with your family on the beach and watch the sunset over the horizon for an unforgettable evening. But apart from the amazing sunsets, this island also holds many of Bagan Datuk’s attractions, including the Sky Mirror and the Blue Tears phenomenon.
2. Stand on Perak’s own Sky Mirror
You’ve probably heard of Sasaran, where you can see the Sky Mirror of Selangor – but did you know that Perak has its very own Sky Mirror too?
On this picture perfect beach, the water levels can get so thin that you could have your reflection off its surface just as you would in the salt lakes in Bolivia.
Go crazy with your imagination as you play with your reflection on this natural mirror unique to Bagan Datuk and take memorable photographs with your friends and families! Make sure to put on some bright and colourful clothes for the best reflective effect.
3. Watch the sea sparkle with the Blue Tear Phenomenon
Witness the waters of the sea glimmer with blue as the phenomenon known as ‘Blue Tears’ begin to occur at night. This occurs due to the millions of bio-luminescent planktons washed up ashore, which react with light to form a bright blue glow in Bagan Datuk.
4. Go clam digging
On the same beach, you are also allowed to hunt for your own clams! Once you’ve filled your bucket with fresh lala, you can always head to a nearby restaurant and request for the chef to turn your lala to a wholesome dish.
In the countryside, you may have farm-to-table; at Bagan Datuk, you have sea-to-plate! What better way to ensure your seafood’s own freshness when you’ve harvested them yourself.
5. Witness the Firefly Cruise
If the ‘Blue Tear’ phenomenon is not enough to amaze you, head on to the Firefly Cruise to marvel at another light show – this time by the buzzing fireflies. Watch at a distance as these light-emitting insects provide a light spectacle as they flash their bulbs from the distance. If you’re handy with your camera, you could capture some creative long exposure shots of the light trails they leave behind!
Read next: 20 Places to See Fireflies in Malaysia
6. Visit a quaint fishing village
Get acquainted with the local community around Bagan Datuk as you immerse yourself in the lifestyle of the fishing village. Learn about the community, observe their trade in fishing, and participate in their tours to fully get a local perspective of the people there.
7. Go mural hunting around the streets
If you’re looking for some insta-worthy shots, you’re in luck as Bagan Datuk is also home to spectacular street art, some of which depicts the modest living of its community.
While many would usually associate street art in Malaysia to those found at Penang, this town also has a collection of impressive wall paintings that are sure to feature well in your Instagram feed. Visit Kelab Anak Rantau Bagan Datoh’s (KERABAD) Facebook page to check out some of the wall arts that are displayed around town.
While doing this, you would also be highlighting the many beauties of Bagan Datuk and help in the country’s tourism!
8. Delight in fresh seafood
Naturally, if you have ever visited a fishing village, one of the best things to do is to indulge on freshly caught seafood. Bagan Datuk is no stranger to the seas, and their plethora of seafood does not fall short of other places. From crabs to prawns, fishes to the clams you’ve just harvested, send your tongue on a voyage to the seas as you fill your tummy with a variety of delicious seafood cooked locally by the people of Bagan Datuk.
Bagan Datuk truly possesses an undiscovered charm unique to its visitors. And though it is a lesser known spot for travellers, it nevertheless provides a thorough local experience of a fishing village in Malaysia.
Looking to experience Bagan Datuk and all that it offers? Book a 2D1N trip to Bagan Datuk with a local on LokaLocal for an adventure among the Sky Mirror, Blue Tears Phenomenon, Clams Digging and Firefly Cruise.
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