Inside the ‘Sand Dunes’ of Malacca

Visiting the Sand Dunes of Malacca - An Abandoned Land Reclamation Site

“Do you know there are sand dunes in Malacca?” Cindy – a German traveller travelling with her partner asked me one evening. “Really? I have no idea,” I replied. Cindy said she was told by some of her local friends that there were white sand dunes in Malacca and she asked me if I would like to join them on a visit.

A few days later, we were on our way to these white sand dunes of Malacca. I was still skeptical about this place. We had read some blogs prior to our visit but we were not sure about the exact location. We hired a Grab taxi to reach a location that we presumed was the ‘entrance’ to the sand dunes.

When we reached the place, I was left surprised by the beauty around. Dunes made of thick white sand are spread across the strait of Malacca – some of them between 15 to 20 meters high. A small ‘pond’ is present between these dunes and some casuarina trees and weed have grown across the location.

Walking Towards the Sand Dunes
Walking Towards the Sand Dunes of Malacca

Locally known as Padang Pasir Klebang, this site is referred to as the sand dunes or the white desert of Malacca. These sand dunes are a result of a land reclamation project that started years ago. The project is abandoned at the moment with white sand spread across – giving this place an impression of being a desert or sand dunes. This site does not have an official name and is not present on the map. If you look at the map on your phone, it will show you that you are standing on water.

If you are in Malacca aka Melaka, I suggest you take a short trip to these ‘sand dunes.’ The location is beautiful, picturesque, and worth spending an hour – especially during the sunset.

How to Reach the Sand Dunes of Malacca?

However beautiful the sand dunes of Mallaca might be – the fact is that the place is not easy to find. Some visitors mistake the nearby Klebang Beach for the sand dunes or vice versa and often return disappointed.

Sand Dunes in Malacca Malaysia
Cindy Enjoying Her Walk on Sand

The sand dune site can be reached by hiring a taxi or renting your own bike/car. From Jonker Walk, a Grab taxi should cost you around 10 Ringgits one way. It’s around 20 minutes ride in a car to reach the entrance of the sand dune site.

If you are hiring a taxi, tell your driver that you would like to go towards the Submarine Museum. Once you are nearing the museum, ask the driver to continue driving towards Dataran 1malaysia and make a turn towards the Malacca Strait just before reaching the MBMB building.

Malacca Sand Dune Location

Ask the driver to drive you all the way to the end of the road and start walking straight. You should come across a barrier where you shall find some vehicles already parked. Some blogs suggest visitors to ‘follow the crowd’ – suggesting a lot of locals visit this place. When we reached there, however, there was no crowd to follow. There was only a bike or two parked around the barrier.

Continue walking along the unfinished road. From the drop-off point, it should take about 15 to 20 minutes of walk to reach the sand dunes site. There are no signs around, so you will have to find your way to the dunes. The screenshot below roughly shows the location of the sand dunes.

What to Do?

Once we found our way to the sand dunes, I took a look around to find white sand spread across the region. The place was beautiful, indeed. There were not many visitors around – just two groups of local youngsters busy taking photos and a couple trying to take their perfect selfies.

When you reach the sand dunes site, take some time to sit down on the sand and enjoy the view around you. Close your eyes and feel the chilly wind for some time. You can also take a walk all the way towards the Strait of Malacca and sit there for a while.

Sand dunes of Malacca
Sand dunes of Malacca

This place also offers tonnes of photography opportunities. So pull out your camera or phone and snap some good pictures. There’s no one watching, so have fun bringing out the weirdest pose you can.

If you are visiting this site during the morning hours, you might want to leave before the sun rises high. If you decide to visit this place during the evening time like we did, you can enjoy the sunset before you leave. Every visitor we could see had left right before the sunset. We were probably the only visitors at the time we left after sunset.

After reaching the point where our taxi driver had dropped us earlier, we booked a Grab taxi to reach our hostel.

Sitting in the Sand Dune of Malacca

Things to Keep in Mind

  • The best time to visit the sand dune site in Malacca is early morning or evening hours. You should avoid visiting the place during the hot daytime.
  • Carry enough water, sunblock, and hat with you.
  • Don’t leave the trash behind. There are no dustbins around. Please carry the trash back with you and throw it at the right place.
  • You might want to avoid wearing shoes like me or you will return with plenty of sand inside them. Consider wearing sandals or flip-flops.
Observing the Sunset from Sand Dunes of Malacca
Observing the Sunset

Visiting the Sand Dunes of Malacca: Summary

I spent about two and a half hours at the so-called sand dune site of Malacca along with Cindy and Simon. I spent most of my time sitting on the sand and relaxing. It was good to spend some time in silence and recalling some of those wonderful memories from my previous trips. After a warm welcome by a family in Kampung Ketek, it was a time well-spent at these so-called ‘sand dunes.’

We also took a lot of photos, of course, and witnessed the sun as it slowly disappeared in the strait of Malacca. We left the place after sunset – only to find we were the only visitors still wandering around. A Grab taxi ride came in handy to reach our hostel.

It shouldn’t be forgotten that the picturesque site of Malacca’s sand dunes is the result of a land reclamation project, after all. Similar projects across Malaysia have raised concerns over the effect on the environment and the coastal ecosystem. Such projects have affected local fishermen, too, and some locals appealed the authorities to stop such projects in Malacca as early as in 2009. It was recently announced by the chairman of Melaka Industry, Trade and Investment Committee that a number of such land reclamation projects will come under close scrutiny.

Have you visited the sand dunes of Malacca? What do you think about such land reclamation projects? Share your thoughts and experience with me! Looking for hotels/hostels in Malacca? You can find lots of budget-friendly properties across the town.

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