pangkor, malaysia

Another island. Yet another perfect getaway for a weekend, without hopping on a plane!

1. History
According to wikipedia, Pangkor was a refuge for local fisherman, merchants and pirates — unfortunately no Johnny Depp’s or Orlando Bloom’s… Or Sam Claflin’s!

2. Getting There & Around
To get to Pangkor, you have a couple of options: by plane, by car or bus to Lumut, then get a jetty to the island.
Malaysian Airlines and Firefly are the two airlines that fly to Pangkor, taking off in Subang’s Airport, a couple of Km outside KL, and costs can go up to 400RM.
By bus it will cost you less than 30RM, and takes about 4hours to arrive to Lumut.
We drove to Lumut, taking about 2h30/3h to get there, through the highway to Ipoh, then turning left to the coast. When arriving to Lumut, you can park the car in the city right next to the jetty, just don’t forget to pay the parking at the local shops.
The jetty is quite cheap, 10RM two ways ticket, and takes around 40min to reach Pangkor Island.

Once you reach Pangkor, you can easily get a taxi to your hotel/chalet.
To drive around the island, we rented motorbikes, for 40RM each. You should have the international driving license, so that is easy to rent a bike in Asia, because sometimes they don’t let you rent it with your own country’s license. It’s important to check if you have gas, cos most times you only have enough for 1Km, so go straight to the gas station.

Its worth it to get a bike, cos its easier to travel in the island, and you can take a tour in Pangkor, got the other beaches, etc..

Coral beach was our choice, its very calm, beautiful beach, amazing water, and you can take a kayak to a really small island in front, and enjoy being even more isolated!

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3. Accommodation
As far as accommodations go, there is a big contrast between very low budget “chalets” and 5 star resorts.

We stayed near Coral Beach, in a budget room, with very very basic services. If we compare it to the general Asian standards, it was not bad, we had a clean enough room, clean sheets, air-con and tv. Most rooms in Malaysia have only one electric plug, so its important to always carry a “double”. The bathroom, as in typical malaysian budget rooms, was a all-in-one-space bathroom and shower, meaning, a very small bathroom, where the shower is right next to the toilet and basin, so everything gets wet once you have a shower… So slippers are mandatory!! Many of these budget hotels don’t have towels, shampoo, or toilet paper, so go prepared. Mosquitoes have a very exquisite appetite for Westerners – take mosquito repellent!

Now, if you want something fancier, a friend of mine stayed in Pangkor Laut Resort. Its in the small privately owned island of Pangkor Laut, you’ll need to get a ferry from Marina Island Pangkor, nearby Lumut. One way trip costs 80RM, it takes 15 minutes to get to the Resort, and the good thing is there are a few time schedules during the day.

Pangkor Laut Resort is fantastic, you have different types of rooms, either bungalows by the sea, or villas by the “jungle”, the rooms are beautifully decorated, with the Asian Beach style we love so much.

Its a bit expensive – Asian-wise, but absolutely worth it!

4. Activities
Everything to do with the sea, snorkeling, kayak rides, waverunners, that banana-pulling-thingy, etc…

Snorkeling wise, is not as nice as Tioman, or the any of the East Coast islands, but its still pretty good, and either way definitely better than Europe!

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5. Flora & Fauna

As everywhere else in Malaysia, the green in Pangkor is gorgeous and everywhere…

Then… There are Monkeys.
Monkeys everywhere.
Monkeys hitchhiking.
Monkeys checking out the girls in bikinis.
Monkeys stealing food.
Monkeys stealing food and eating in the middle of the road.
Monkeys stealing food and eating in the middle of the road, while controlling if any car is gonna run them over.
Monkeys stealing food and eating in the middle of the road, while controlling if any car is gonna run them over, plus fighting for the bigger burger.
Monkeys.
Lots of Monkeys.

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6. Eat & Drink
We basically only had one actual meal, dinner at a pretty nice restaurant, lots of seafood rice, and… I have no idea of the name of the restaurant (sorry!!!)! I kinda know where it is, South from Coral beach, on the main road by the coast… New building, kind of minimalistic design.

Because we only stayed for one night, we didn’t have time to find any bars..We ended up taking our own stash of alcohol, we bought some bottles, and that was the best idea we had!

Overall, Pangkor is an amazing little island, great for a weekend getaway!

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