Refreshing cool breeze blowing in from the Straits of Malacca and the relaxed environment was one of the reasons for choosing this tiny seaside village as a colonial beach resort. Sir Frederick Dickson who 'founded' PD, was a leading official in the Straits Settlement during the 1880s. He had been searching long for a suitable deepwater port. To reduce transportation costs, he was hoping that he could shorten the travelling time from the interior tin mines at Sungei Ujong to the coast by setting up a port at PD instead of using the old, winding land route all the way to Klang.
Before Sir Dickson came along, all there was of the place was a small village called 'Arang', of which the villagers made their living from burning wood in kilns. Arang means 'charcoal'
At Kota Lukut, a mere 7 km from Port Dickson, stands the fort of Raja Jumaat, a renowned nineteenth-century Bugis warrior. The fort was built in 1847 to control the lucrative tin trade in the area. The road along the Malaysian coastline is very lovely and resisting to stop for a rest and a swim is almost impossible. Vendors along the road offer thirst-quenching drinks of coconut water and sugar-cane juice. Another rewarding site is the lighthouse at Cape Rachardo, built by the Portuguese in the 16th century in order to guide ships to the safety of Malacca's harbour. The lighthouse is still functioning today, and visitors can ascend its narrow spiral stair to the beacon, which offers a magnificent view of the coastline of Sumatra. The Cape is also a popular stopover point for migratory birds. From September to March, flocks of sparrows, honey buzzards, and swifts can be seen here, together with birds of prey, such as hawks and eagles.
To catch a glimpse of the locals at 'work', a night market comes alive every Saturday at an open car park next to the Petronas Petrol station on 4th mile. Lots of snacks, food and produce to buy for the weekend stay over.
The oil industries generate a huge number of heavy traffic comprising of oil tankers plying Port Dickson and other parts of Peninsular Malaysia.