Ok, the weekends come around again and you're not sure what you want to do or where to go?
Well, if you are from KL and staying in Seremban for the weekend or you are a local you could consider taking a drive on the road from Seremban towards Kuala Pilah on Federal Highway 51, because not only is there a lot to see and do, there are some great traditional food and drink options, and we all know Malaysians love to eat!
You also get to travel across what is said to be the second highest bridge in Malaysia, Bukit Putus Viaduct, which is 48 meters high and has some great views of the jungle.
So hop into your car and check out these five things-to-do on the way to Kuala Pilah.
1. ULU BENDUL RECREATIONAL PARK
Malaysia gets super hot and there is no better place to cool off on a steamy day than the river and pools at Ulu Bendul Recreational forest, just a 15 minute drive from Seremban via the Highway 51 .
You can swim in the large man-made public pools, built like normal swimming pools or use the natural pools which locals and visitors have have created by damming the flow of the river. Lying back in your personal pond, relaxing watching butterflies flutter overhead really does lower the stress levels.
Whichever you prefer, it is a great place to unwind but be warned, weekends can be very busy.
Guests can stay overnight at chalets in the park and can make reservations by calling the Kuala Pilah Forest Department at 06-481-1036.
They can also visit the snake and herbs parks, which are a bit rundown, and climb the famous Gunung Angsi — all for free.
There are plenty of food stalls and restaurants nearby to buy lunch or breakfast as well as stalls selling knick-knacks and swimming paraphernalia.
2. RESTORAN WARISAN'S TRADITIONAL NS FOOD
You may be getting hungry by now and if you like traditional Negeri Sembilan food like Daging Salai Lemak Cili Api, Smoked Beef Curry, which uses the traditional Negeri Sembilan methods of smoking the beef then Warisan Restaurant is the best bet to satisfy your cravings. It would be an understatement to say the food is good, as a mat salleh I love the delicate balance of flavour and spiciness you can find here.
If the smoked beef doesn't tempt you then perhaps some Kapah Masak Pedas - Shellfish in a Spicy Sauce- is more to your taste which you can wash down with a fresh coconut shake. The menu is large with rice and noodle dishes to seafood delights available.
Whatever you choose, the Warisan serve up very nice Negeri Sembilan style food and the restaurant is situated amidst rice fields in the Terachi Cultural Village at the junction of Federal Highway 51 and the N29 connection road to Seri Menanti.
It overlooks some paddy fields and has several horses in paddocks which children can pet, but the food is the highlight here, so definitely stop in and try it out.
Also keep your eye out for the many stalls on the roadside selling smoked roast duck,itik salai, as well as many fresh vegetables and fruit including dragon fruit, petai and honey.
3. TERACHI MEGALITHS and MINANGKABAU HOMES
Just past the Restoran Warisan is the quaint Minangkabau village of Terachi which is home to a collection of ancient megaliths that nobody really knows how long they have been there - it could be hundreds but they may possibly be thousands of years old.
Kuala Pilah is known to have a lot of megalithic sites but this collection, just before the village of Terachi on Federal Route 51 is a great example of "Batu Hidup," literally "Living Stones."
The megaliths are believed to be sacred but the origins and purpose of them still remains obscure. Locals call them living stones because they appear to grow over the years, which may be the erosion happening around them as they are dug into the side of a hill.
The Terachi megaliths are in a cemetery on the right hand side of the road as you drive to Kuala Pilah, so look out for the sign, Tapak Megalitik, just before the start of the village after you pass Restoran Warisan.
If you are interested in viewing other megaliths there are many near Port Dickson at Pengkalang Kempas which are dated back to the 1400's and include a stone with a hole in it that was supposedly a lie detector. Defendants had to put their hand through the hole and were asked questions. If they lied the hole closed onto the hand.
If you want to read more about that click on the link here https://www.serembanonline.com/port-dickson
Also keep an eye out for some of the beautiful open shuttered Minangkabau houses dotted along the road, some with their steeply shaped roofs like the horns of a buffalo. There is a wonderful variety of designs and colours of these homes along the way to Kuala Pilah.
4. SERI MENANTI
Seri Menanti is home to a timber palace that has been converted into a Royal Museum and is something you must see whilst in the area.
The palace was constructed for the local sultan or Yang DiPertuan as he is known in NS, between 1902 and 1908. Inside the palace are various items belonging to the royal families over the years, including photographs, letters, bedrooms, costumes and weapons of the era.
Believe it or not this four-storey building was constructed without any nails using only hardwood rods to piece the locally cut timber together - it is truly amazing to see and then walk the steep indoor stairways to each level. A terrific place for a photo as the gardens are well-maintained and picturesque.
The roof of this palace is typical Minangkabau architecture with steeply curved buffalo's horns on each end representing a protective symbol of the palace.
Two local Malay carpenters, Tukang Kahar and Tukang Taib are responsible for building the palace which has 99 posts including four that are 67 feet long.
Don't miss seeing this architectural marvel as it is truly fantastic and the items on display are worth seeing and reading about.
5. LADANG ALAM WARISAN
Ladang Alam Warisan describes itself on it's Facebook page as "a place to embrace the living environment of the traditional Malay people and customs," which it is- it is also a great place to learn both archery and traditional horseback archery with training for beginners right up to advanced levels available.
"Stay, relax and unwind in the tranquility of this natural ambience" is also the credo of this place which regularly hosts traditional events, weddings and archery competitions.
The farm has birds, deer, horses and other animals for the children to pat and feed and offer drinks and food for sale. Ladang Alam Warisan is in Seri Menanti so check out their FB page 'Ladang Alam Warisan' for their opening hours, archery training schedules and events.
The traditional events are fantastic with a wonderful array of costumes, action and musicians to keep you entertained if you are spectating.
So when you have a spare day, turn off the TV and take the drive, take the family, and enjoy the ride which also offers road stalls with barbecued roast duck, fresh petai, honey and countless other food, drinks and crafts.
Do drive safely along the windy roads as Sunday afternoons become very busy in the afternoon.