Our Adventures on Pulau Pangkor, Malaysia


Pulau Pangkor (Pangkor Island) is a small island off the west coast of Malaysia. Its only about 8 square kilometers and about 25 thousand people live there. Most of those people make their living in the fishing industry. If you want a low key tropical island to hang out on Pulau Pangkor may well be what you’re looking for.

The tourist area is primarily based around Nipah Bay which is a short taxi ride from the port. The ferry stops at two place on Pangkor. You almost certainly want the second. Just follow the crowd.

There’s an abundance of modest guest houses where you can stay for a suitably modest price. Don’t expect luxury. Its all pretty basic but we didn’t spend much time in our room anyway. There are at least one or two very expensive resorts around but they’re either on adjacent islands or safely separated by jungle from the couple of hundred of ratty travelers (like us) who populate Nipah Bay at any one time.

The beach is very nice although the bay to the north of Nipah Bay is worth the two minute walk. A mixture of boats and rental jet skis make actually swimming in Nipah Bay less pleasant than it could be. The tourist focused businesses seem to be mostly staffed by young men who are frequently bored, understandably, and resort to zooming back and forth on boats and jet skis through areas where people are swimming without much apparent regard for either their safety or the overall disruptive effect this has on the tropical island ambiance they would do well to cultivate. The jet skis struck me as particularly absurd. I didn’t ever see them being used by a tourist. They mostly seemed to serve as a way to amuse the staff of the jet ski rental places to help them pass the day. A few minutes walk gets you to a much more serene beach.

the beach to the north of Nipah Bay

There’s not an enormous amount to do on Pulau Pangkor but maybe thats the point. We fell into a routine of preceding each of our main meals with a swim. Wake up, morning swim, eat breakfast etc. By the time you swim and eat three or four times the day is pretty much over.

click to view full size

So forgive us if this video isn’t terribly exciting. We spent our time on Pulau Pangkor eating and bobbing in the ocean. It was lovely :)

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About Andrew

Andrew is a computer programmer and one time TEFL teacher. He is part of the Moodle development team producing course management software for schools and universities all over the world. He checks Tanya’s spelling and produces youtube videos of variable quality.