It's a bliss to live almost next door to Pulau Pangkor in the Malaysian state of Perak! The island's name is translated as "Beautiful Island".
It is located on the west coast of the Malaysian Peninsular, halfway in between Penang and Kuala Lumpur.
Some of my friends say I live on paradise island when they see my pictures. And that is how I feel about it too!
What is the attraction?
Pangkor (pulau means "island") consists of nine islands. Only two of them are inhabited: Pulau Pangkor and Pangkor Laut.
For the locals the island is famous for the beaches such as Teluk Nipah, Coral Bay, Teluk Belanda and Pasir Bogak. The most famous local product of the island is ikan bilis (anchovies) and other dried fish products that are irresistable to the locals.
Paradise or not, I love it!
Foreigners are mostly attracted to the white sandy beaches and clear sea.
Many travelers do a bit of sight seeing around the island. There are a few good places to visit: the Dutch Fort with Tiger Rock, The Chinese Foo-Lin Kong temple, the fishing villages, ikan bilis (anchovies) shops and factories, shipbuilding and more.
Some travelers take a half day taxi tour around the island, others prefer to take a bicycle or motorbike to do it by themselves. It is very easy to do so on your own and most hotels rent out bicycles and motorbikes.
Quick Links: Pangkor, Lumut, activities and hotels
Other options are to arrange for a boat trip around the island, do some snorkeling, have fun for a banana boat ride, a jet-ski or canoes to explore the waters of Pasir Bogak and Teluk Nipah.
Or you just simply find a nice shady tree, have a drink, relax and enjoy the beach.
Other activities at Pangkor can include diving or fishing around Pulau Sembilan: a small set of islands 40 minutes from Pangkor itself. Further, you can go hiking over the island and visit one of the more remote beaches such as Teluk Segadas.
Quick Links: What to do around Pangkor
Lumut is the port to Pangkor and it has some attractions of its own. These include hiking, mangrove forest, golf or fishing at the water front or simply let your children play at the Lumut Waterfront with a playground and foodstalls.
Heck, there are even some heritage buildings in town.
Your only option to play golf is at the Swiss-Garden Golf Resort & Spa Damai Laut, 20 km from Lumut.
The Lumut/Teluk Batik area is also excellent for teambuilding as we use the jungle for certain activities and the beach at Teluk Batik for others.
One beach to explore is Teluk Senangin. And a bit further north you will find the Turtle Breeding Station at Segari. Both places above are not served by public transport.
Travel to Pangkor and Lumut
Pangkor is connected by air to Kuala Lumpur. The main bus connection is from Lumut, opposite of the jetty. There are buses to many main tourist destinations in Malaysia like Penang, Kota Bharu, Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bharu and Malacca and Singapore, check the getting there and away section to find the details.
There is an airport bus from KLIA to Sitiawan and from Sitiawan, you can take a 30 minute taxi ride to Lumut. This is the fastest way to reach Pangkor from KL. This is faster than going into KL to Puduraya bus station from KLIA and getting a bus from Puduraya to Lumut.
Other Malaysian Islands accessible from Pangkor/Lumut
I would like to inform you about other places to visit with Pangkor/Lumut as the starting point. These places include: Ipoh (with Kellie's Castle), Taiping (and the mangrove forests of Matang and Kuala Sepetang), Kuala Kangsar, Kampar (with Gua Tempurung), Bruas, Teluk Intan (with Pasir Salak) and Sitiawan.
All these places are within a vicinity of roughly 100km from Lumut and are accessible by public transport although some are a bit more complicated than others to reach. See the daytrips section for details.
Other Malaysian Islands
Pulau Pangkor is not the only island in Malaysia. That's why I have included a section about some of the more popular islands and tourist destinations: Penang, Langkawi, Perhentian, Redang and Tioman. These destinations are all served by public transportation from Lumut. Check the section for other Malaysian islands.
Pangkor, like most of Malaysia is a very safe place to be. That said, petty theft happens everywhere. I suggest you to use money belts, or in the safety locker if your room has one. Always lock the door of your room and don't walk around with the dollar bills dropping out of your trousers.
The main health issue in a tropical country as Malaysia is getting sunburned. I have added a section about health issues here.
If you go hiking, the trail to Bukit Pangkor is clear, no guide necessary but you will need proper shoes, sport shoes will do, sandals arel not.
The beaches are very safe for young children to play.
I visit the island almost on a weekly basis, after all, I live so close by. Even after more then 8 years, I still see new things, new places, even new beaches.
Diving at Pangkor
It's possible again! Since late 2011, Quiver Dive Team have a dive team ready to show you the beauty of Pulau Sembilan.
Don't dismiss Sembilan Islands, the quality of underwater wildlife here is great and includes a wide range of nudibranches, turtles, leopard sharks, lesser barracudas, trigger fish and even the pygmee seahorse!
Quiver Dive Team have leisure dives (3 dives a day) and technical dive course available.
Not many people do it but it's a great trekking across the island. Here is more:
Traditional Cooking Class Penang
The Traditional Cooking Class Penang includes a wet market tour and will teach you to cook Malay and Nyonya food, the traditional way. Occasionally Nazlina will do special roti canai classes.
A little town north east of Lumut/Pangkor has more to offer than most people know!
The bus from KLIA
Finally we can offer a faster and almost direct bus to Pulau Pangkor via Sitiawan (10km from Lumut).