Pulau Pangkor is a beautiful, not too touristic, small fisherman island in Malaysia. It’s an island with crystal clear blue seawater, a jungle, monkeys and hornbills. Especially the locals are enjoying this island over the weekends and during holidays. During the week it’s a more quit and peaceful place.
Tranquil Coral Beach
The village Teluk Nipah offers all kinds of accommodation and makes it an ideal base from which you can explore the island. As a girl, you can swim in your bikini, but there will be people staring at you; not because it’s not allowed, but according to the Malaysian standard it’s inappropriate. As a well-mannered Muslim women you should wear a jogging outfit in the ocean. At a small distance from the busy beach you can find Coral Beach. After walking and climbing a few hundred meters over some boulders you have your private tranquil tiny beach. With high tide you have to walk trough the water with your bag held above your head, if this is too risky you have to wait until low tide. If you want to spend a day on the beach don’t miss Coral Beach because it’s a very beautiful spot with a real ‘tropical atmosphere’. When you go snorkelling you can’t find the coral like the name indicates, but it’s a good place to relax. There is the change you will be there all alone! Your own tropical beach, just perfect! When the water rises during high tide the beach disappears and your belongings are only safe on a boulder. We were even the lucky ones who saw a monitor lizard of 1.3 meter passing by. He was strolling along the beach, with his typical slow way of walking. So when we said you have the beach completely for you own, it’s exaggerated.
Donald Duck on holy ground
When you walk from Teluk Nipah to Coral Beach you will pass some temples decorated in a way we found slightly weird. When you like it kitsch this is the right place. Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse and the Mermaid are all present on the holy ground. We still don’t know why these figures are popular and often used to decorated temples, as it is not common to use those items to adorn European churches, anyway it’s interesting. You can find a lot of monkeys on the beach of Teluk Nipah. They like to steal water bottles from the baskets in front of the motorbike when you’re not watching. We saw it happen. So keep an eye on your water and food! You can spend all day watching the monkeys, you might learn their robbing techniques, which could be helpful to prevent this from happening to you. At the end of the afternoon hornbills swarm the town. The locals feed them, so they won’t go anywhere.
With the scooter around the island
The island is pretty small, if you like you can walk around. We took a scooter, which can be rented from many hotels. In two up to three hours you can drive around the island. There is a tiny Dutch fort to admire, on the other side of the road there is some ancient Dutch ‘graffiti’ engraved in the rock. The Lonely Planet has it’s own explanation and clearly didn’t put any effort in doing some research. They wrote an extremely bad story about a lion holding a kidnapped Dutch baby. Anyway you are looking at the Dutch coat of arms and the trademark of the East India Company (Dutch: Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, VOC) . The Dutch company which had trade posts throughout Asia. You can find several restaurants on the island where you can eat a lot of fish or something else if you don’t like it off course. Pangkor is a nice island to relax and do nothing.
How to get to Pulau Pangkor?
There are buses going to Pangkor from many Malaysian cities, including Kuala Lumpur. You can take the bus to Lumut and from Lumut a ferry brings you to Pulau Pangkor. Be sure you are on time in Lumut, otherwise you have to stay the night in Lumut and take the ferry in the morning. Most hotels ask a high price for the quality they offer; they know you don’t have a choice. Lumut is nothing special, so try to avoid this.