Escape to Nibong Tebal

Escape to Nibong Tebal

By Darishinni Mathura

Has the hustle and bustle of the city life been wearing you out? Then why not plan a great escape to Nibong Tebal situated on the mainland of Penang!

The oil palm plantations and scenic attractions in the quaint town make up a big portion of the landscape in Nibong Tebal bordering Parit Buntar in Perak and Bandar Baharu in Kedah.

You could be overwhelmed looking at the many fascinating places in this countryside. So, it means it is important to know what you want to see to make your trip an unforgettable one.

A day trip is most recommended if you have Nibong Tebal in your bucket list. This is indeed the ideal place for those who are seeking a simple life of nature without being totally cut off from development.


People also come in droves to experience the mesmerising beauty of the synchronized twinkling of hundreds of fireflies along the mangrove forest of Kerian River at night. The mention of fireflies, you think of Kuala Selangor, but there is a place here that you can experience the same, if not better than the one in Selangor.

Enjoy a romantic sunset view on the boat ride towards the river mouth of the Kerian River to witness nature’s fairy lights flickering in the night.

Lucky firefly caught on camera

Be prepared for a rousing experience as you feel the cool breeze touch the warmth of your cheeks along the river.

You are allowed to take photographs but do note that the use of flash will scare all the fireflies away. You are also given a net to catch the fireflies but remember to let them go before you leave.


A short distance from Nibong Tebal is a jetty at a quiet little fishing village where the fishermen arrive in their boats to unload their catch, weigh them and sort everything out into large ice-filled barrels.

This village, known as Kampung Sungai Udang, has been around for more than 60 years. Due to its secluded location, there are few tourists except for those who stumble upon it by chance or those who come to watch the fishermen unloading their catch of the day.

The jetty is one of the major hubs in Penang for seafood to be brought in, sorted out and distributed to the wet markets and traders in various states.

Seafood galore at HK Restaurant.

Restaurant HK is on the second floor at the jetty building. It is a gem worth patronizing for seafood. The restaurant is open from 10am-4pm and 7pm-10pm daily. The prices are of course lower.

The option is to buy your own seafood fresh from the jetty and have it cooked in the restaurant. Yes! You pick your own fresh catch and have it cooked just the way you like it.

The popular dish is steamed fish with garlic, ginger, and tomatoes as garnish. Chopped chilies are added to spice things up.

Do not expect a fancy ambiance, air-conditioning or pretty plates in this open-air restaurant. It offers scrumptious food and a splendid sunset.


Locked doors in the Mansion

We do have something for the fearless. Your trip will not be complete without visiting the 99-door family mansion which is hidden deep in the overgrown oil palm estate. This is a must-visit to overcome your phobia because this bungalow is said to be haunted after its previous owner were murdered at its doorstep.

Pathways to the rooms in the 99-doors mansion

The 161-year old building is situated in the heart of an oil palm estate – Byram estate, a few kilometers drive away from town.

Moving inside this ornate mansion could leave you in awe witnessing the odd arrangement of five to six doors fitted into each room. It is rich in history too.

Formerly a British administrative office, the spacious structure of the mansion comprises of 10 rooms, a balcony, a dance hall, a living room and a kitchen.

You can roam around the mansion for as long as you want to but it is better to get back home before sunset to avoid being trapped in the dark.

Ownership has changed a few times. It is in ruins.