Klebang Sand Dunes, Jalan Klebang Besar, Melaka (Google ‘Malacca Sand Dunes Carpark’)
GPS: 2.216384, 102.194318
As a destination attraction, Pantai Klebang Melaka offers beach picnics, kite flying, varied food trucks and coconut shakes. As of two years ago, photographers and Instagrammers have been making a beeline to Klebang Sand Dunes since the first desert-like landscape photograph went viral.
Located 15 minutes from Melaka city, at the end of the Klebang peninsula, these hills of sand are the result of land reclamation activities from a decade ago. Due to stability issues, beach front developments were abandoned, leaving many piles of sand 10m to 20m high, sitting idle on a land of emptiness.
A desert lake forms just inland of the sea
The man-made Klebang Dunes are also popular for bridal portraits and continue to draw photography enthusiasts (professional and amateur) to experiment on its blank canvas for dramatic photoshoots against the perfect backdrop of blue skies and white dunes.
Despite the lack of signboards, Waze brought us to the unnamed road between the Submarine Museum and Pantai Klebang, leading us to the unofficial carpark at the end of the road. From here, we walked, as cars are not allowed in due to soil instability.
As we walked, the terrain changed from gravel to sand populated with scrubby vegetation and spiky plants. About 1km and 15 minutes later, we reached the first of the dunes.
We scrambled up the 2m sand pile and were greeted by a surreal white desert stretching all the way to the sea. Against the setting sun, the silhouette of rounded humps along the coastline was truly awesome and very Insta-worthy.
The seafront dunes are bigger and taller. Just off the sea, a sizeable pool filled the valley creating a desert lake backdrop with greenery.
A healthy covering of grass can be seen on the mounds. Trees have sprouted, adding a dash of green to the pristine white landscape. If you look closely, you can even spot seashells washed up from the Straits of Malacca.
The ever-changing colours of the sky as the sun sets
Climbing the dunes is a not-to-be-missed experience as you will slide down a little with each step up, as the soft sand shifts under your feet.
Expect to work a little bit harder to cover the same amount of ground. That said, the sand is not as fine as the volcanic ash of Mount Bromo in Indonesia, and is manageable for beginners and less-experienced hikers.
Most people will adjust to the slide, finding the effort totally worth it for the views and that ‘top-of-the-hill’ feeling.
Map to Klebang Dunes
Perched on the highest dune just in time for sunset, we spent a satisfying half hour capturing the unique landscape of wind-crafted shapes as the sky transitioned from orange to red to purple. The cool breeze from the sea kept the temperature comfortable, creating a perfect outdoor ambience.
Getting off the dune was fun and effortless. Sliding our way down, the idea of tobogganing instantly came to mind. Without a second thought, I went up the next dune so that I could savour the invigorating moment again and I was not disappointed.
As night fell, we headed back to the cars. There are no street lights, so unless you have head lamps, be sure to get back before it gets totally dark
Slip-n-slide to crest the peak
Klebang Dunes is easily accessible as the terrain is mostly flat. Be prepared to walk 20 to 30 minutes to cover the 2km distance each way. Like a desert, there is no shade so early morning or late afternoon visits are recommended. Bring enough water, a hat and sun block.