Home to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and KLIA2, Sepang is the main gateway into Malaysia for most overseas visitors to Malaysia. Modern highways flanked by lush green estates — this is the Malaysia that they see when they first step into the country.
But the state of Selangor is more than just the airports. It forms a large part of the Klang Valley/Greater Kuala Lumpur Southern Growth Corridor.
It is home to Malaysia’s first smart city Cyberjaya and the first Digital Free Trade Zone in the world. The F1 International Circuit is also located here. These are juxtaposed against its natural green and coastal environment, giving Sepang a future-forward yet serene vibe.
Said to be named after the Sepang tree, the district of Sepang borders Hulu Langat, Kuala Langat, Petaling districts and Bandar Baru Nilai in the state of Negeri Sembilan. On the south of Sepang is the Melaka Straits. The district covers Dengkil, Sungai Pelek and Sepang towns.
Most people just pass through Sepang and it may not even cross their minds to visit the place.
What’s there to do in Sepang? For Klang Valley folks, it is a mere 30-40 minute drive from Kuala Lumpur city which makes the place ideal for a weekend outing.
Here are some ideas for a day out in Sepang:
8:30am: Start by having the first meal of the day when you arrive in the morning. There are numerous choices in Dengkil, Sungai Pelek or Sepang town.
9:30am: Sepang International Circuit — With bellies filled, head off for some fun go-karting at Sepang International Circuit (SIC). There are all sorts of packages ranging from just experiencing the circuits on a quick tour and a 10-minute go-kart ride for the rookie to endurance races. There is even an option of creating your own formats. The Go-Kart Quick Experience offers a 10-minute fun ride on a choice of a Series 1 Kart for beginners or a Series 2 Kart for the more experienced and Series 3 Kart for the professionals. Prices start from RM40 per person for the Series 1 Kart.
For a feel of a real race, come with a group of friends and take part in the Go-Kart Race Adventure Experience which starts from RM150 per person. Designed like an F1 race, there will be Practice, Qualifying and Final rounds with marshalls and race management included. The 12-lap race experience usually takes about an hour.
Then there is the longer Go-Kart Endurance Race for the Le Mans experience where the aim is to get as many laps in within 60 minutes. Price starts from RM300.
Experience what it's like behind the wheels on the track and feel the shot of adrenalin once the lights go green.
Do note that the guided circuit tour takes about 90 minutes and is only available on weekdays. It covers visits to the Grandstand, the Paddock, race control room, media centre and even to the National Automobile Museum. Price for an adult is RM60.
11am: National Automobile Museum — Cap off the motor racing experience with a visit to the National Automobile Museum where various classic race cars are on exhibit such as The Brushmobile made in 1904, the Ford Speedster made in 1923 and the Alvis Tourer made in 1935.
A good part of the two-storey museum is dedicated to the country’s achievements in the automotive industry. Entrance is free.
12:30pm: Aunty Aini’s Garden Cafe — Everyone must be famished after the excitement at the race tracks. Just 10 minutes away (about 7-8km) from the Sepang F1 Circuit in Kampung Chelet, Nilai, Negeri Sembilan is Aunty Aini’s Garden Cafe which is known for its local Malay fare such as masak lemak cili api as well as Western dishes. Celebrity chefs Gordon Ramsay and the late Anthony Bourdain have eaten here before — that’s how good it is.
3:30pm: Bagan Lalang — Set off for the beach of Bagan Lalang next. It will take about 40 minutes to drive to the beach, passing the town of Sungai Pelek. This beach is probably Sepang’s best kept secret. It may not have blue waters and fine white sand but it offers a unique rustic beach experience.
Bagan Lalang’s beaches are teeming with life, something beachcombers would appreciate. For instance, you could put your hand into the sand and feel around to dig up some lala or clams.
Fishing can also be done at a kelong in the middle of the sea but that would have to be an overnight activity.
There are public toilets and showers as well as stalls selling snacks and drinks.
6pm: Perahu, Avani Sepang Goldcoast — Sepang’s coastline is great for sunsets and you could savour one while having a sumptuous dinner at the Perahu restaurant at Avani Sepang Goldcoast Resort. You can dine under its traditional thatched roof or have a table by the beach where you can bask in the glow of the setting sun. Perahu serves BBQ buffets on Friday and Saturday, with an a la carte menu on other evenings.
Avani Sepang features luxury water villas that are built to form the shape of a palm tree extending out into the sea. Besides its F&B offerings, guests can also relax at the Avani Spa, take part in watersports or go on an eco tour such as a mangrove river cruise. Bicycles are also provided for guests to ride around the property.
Also in Sepang:
Paya Indah Wetlands
Alternatively, nature lovers could also pay a visit to the Paya Indah Wetlands in Dengkil and visit its resident hippos or just enjoy the 450-ha wetlands. Activities include cycling, nature walks, bird-watching, hippo feeding, croc feeding and others.
The wetlands is located next to the ELITE Highway. Travel from Kuala Lumpur will take about 45 minutes.
Mitsui Outlet Park
For those who prefer to stay indoors, how about shopping? Indulge in some bargain shopping for high-end off-season brands at Mitsui Outlet Park, or combine it with [email protected]
The outlet mall has expanded recently and there are now more brands than ever on offer. You could also have a meal there at its popular food court or restaurants.
Did you know? — Dragon fruit
Sepang is also known for its dragon fruit. Many of the dragon fruit orchards in the country are located in Sungai Pelek. Once you enter the town on the way to Bagan Lalang, you will see numerous dragon fruit stalls along the main street. Some of the orchards here welcome visitors where you can learn more about the fruit and buy some of the fresh fruit as well as its by-products to take home. Buying the fruit here ensures freshness and sweetness.
Serenia City shines in the heart of Sepang
The Sepang district in the southern part of Selangor is well-known for hosting high-octane activities in its internationally-renowned racing circuit. Surrounded by mostly oil palm plantations, the Sepang district is also home to the country’s main aviation hub comprising the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and klia2.
In the thick of all the action is the serene oasis that is Serenia City — a 1,775-acre master-planned township development by Sime Darby Property. Development of the well-connected township dubbed as the Garden City of KLIA began in 2013 with an expected completion date of 2035.
To be developed in three main phases, the freehold township is divided into five precincts. The three precincts of Aman Serenia, Bayu Serenia and Puncak Serenia serve as residential components while Cipta Serenia and Citra Serenia are light industrial and the township’s town
The site for Serenia City was once known as Ampar Tenang Estate, a tea estate that evolved into rubber and later, oil palm plantations.
In paying homage to Ampar Tenang Estate as an important local tea plantation in its heyday, the Serenia City development concept was inspired by the cultivated tea plant Camellia Sinensis.
This inspiration is creatively reflected in the Serenia City logo, which symbolises sunlight (source of life) surrounded by tea leaves, all of which are rendered in red to portray the energy and vibrancy of the township.
“Serenia City is also built to be sustainable, not just environmentally, but to be able to provide its residents an evolving city that constantly changes with the times,” says Sime Darby Property General Manager of Business Unit 2 Mohd Idris Abdullah, who oversees the development of Serenia City and Bandar Bukit Raja in Klang.
The main draw and unique point of this township is its accessibility. For a start, it is connected via several major highways such as the North-South Expressway Central Link (ELITE) where there is a direct link via the Bandar Serenia Interchange, Maju Expressway (MEX) and the North-South Highway that makes driving to Kuala Lumpur city a breeze. Additional highways connecting the township include the Putrajaya-Cyberjaya Expressway (FT29) which leads to the Dengkil bypass and also to Puchong. Frequent flyers living in the township can also rejoice since KLIA and klia2 are only a short distance away.
In terms of rail, the Salak Tinggi Express Rail Link (ERL) station is in close proximity to connect commuters to KL Sentral, KLIA and klia2 — the airports are only a stop away from Salak Tinggi station.
“With such convenience, a significant portion — about 30% — of the freehold tract is dedicated to commercial and light industrial properties,” Idris says.
Serene and green
There is no shortage of greenery and open spaces here, with 190 acres allocated for interconnected parklands spread across the township. Cycling and pedestrian paths meander through these parks, in addition to 12 lakes.
At the heart of Serenia City (Citra Serenia) lies the 25-acre central town park that is equipped with ample facilities and amenities ideal for the community. Among them are an amphitheatre, multipurpose sports courts and retail spaces.
Meanwhile, an adventure park caters to adrenaline junkies with proposed camping grounds, extreme activities and trails nestled among lush vistas.
“All these promotes a walkable community and a healthy and liveable township,” says Mohd Idris.
They are also in line with the developer’s commitment to sustainability. Furthermore, the roads in Serenia City follow the natural contours of the land to minimise the need for major earth-cutting, thus preserving the natural landscape.
Sime Darby Property will also aim for some of its commercial buildings to be compliant with the Green Building Index (GBI) Malaysia.
Other amenities in the township include the upcoming The Horizon Village Outlets which lies close to the town centre. Also close by is Xiamen University which is the first overseas campus set up by a major Chinese university. Other educational institutions no more than 15km radius away include Heriot-Watt University, UiTM Dengkil, Manipal College, UKM Bangi and more.
Demand for properties in Serenia City proved unrelenting. Its Serenia Arina double-storey link homes saw a more than 91% take-up rate over a single launch weekend (as of late August 2019).
With its myriad facilities and an abundance of parks and greenery, Serenia City ensures a vibrant, connected and sustainable township well into the future.
Sepang F1 Circuit
64000 KLIA, Selangor
E: [email protected]
T: +603 8778 2222
Aunty Aini’s Garden Cafe
Batu 16, Jalan Sepang
Kampung Chelet, Nilai,
T: +606 799 1276
Avani Sepang Goldcoast Resort
No. 67, Jalan Pantai Bagan Lalang, Kampung Bagan Lalang, 43950 Sungai Pelek, Selangor
T: +603 3182 3600
E: [email protected]
National Automobile Museum
Sepang International Circuit
T: +603 8787 4759 / 1499
Mitsui Outlet Park
64000 KLIA, Selangor
Tel: +603 8777 9300
Paya Indah Wetlands
Department of Wildlife
and National Parks, KM 4,
43800 Dengkil, Selangor
This story first appeared in Live! 2020 magazine. Download your copy of the magazine here.