Daytrips at the mainland: Perak
Although Pangkor has great beaches, there's a lot of things to do on daytrips with Pangkor and/or Lumut as a base. I have collected some good tips for you where to go if you feel you want something different.
All are possible to visit for just one day since they are in a range of about 100 km from Pangkor Island. Transport is not difficult to arrange too.
We have set up some tours on the Malaysian mainland. You can do these trips in half - or even a full day if you feel this.
Get a bicycle or a motorbike to explore the island. But let's first see what you can visit in a radius of about 100 km from Pangkor.
So on this page we will focus on the State where Pangkor is located in: Perak. Here is a list of towns in Perak, each has something special to offer.
Further there are two other beaches which are worth a day visit. These are:
Sitiawan is not a town that requires you a long time. There's little of interest here. The main reason to visit is to the direct bus to KLIA airport in front of The Store shopping mall. And if you have to, you can do some shopping here.
The only reason to visit can be the Chinese cemeteries. Especially during the Ching Ming festival this is worth the effort to come here. More about those graveyards, you can read here.
In between Sitiawan and Kampong Koh is a nice Buddhist temple. It's a fairly new temple with Thai and Chinese features. There is an active Buddhist society in Sitiawan who do their very best to keep the temple in good shape. A visit is well worth. Read more details about this Thai-Chinese Buddhist temple here
Special activities around Lumut
Around Lumut there are some things to see and do which are worth to explore. River fishing, the way the local people in the kampong do is different from other ways of fishing with rods and nets. Read more about river fishing around Lumut.
Around Lumut there is quite a bit of beautiful mangrove forest left which is worth to visit in a small boat. Just outside the town you can be as far away from civilization as you can imagine. Just you and your company and the wildlife in the swamps. Great experience and easy to combine with a check on the local fishing activities in the Dingding river. Read more about the mangrove forest park outside Lumut.
Ipoh is the state capital of Perak. It is a the third biggest city of Malaysia with a population of over 600.000 people. Ipoh was never a real mining town. However, it owes the mining industry a lot on its existence.
In the late 19th century the city was known by the British as Epoh. The name however originated from a local tree known as pokok ipoh. This particular plant is known for its tree sap. This sap is poisonous and it was used by the orang asli in their blowdarts.
Ipoh's old town has quite a bit of heritage shop houses. Some are nicely restored, others are in dire need. Nearby Ipoh you will find the one street town Papan with some heritage shop houses that need restoration.
Ipoh is famous for its fruits (pomeloes, peanuts and durians from the Ipoh area are famous throughout Malaysia) and its cuisine. Ipoh natives claim that the water in the area makes the food especially tasty. The water here is relatively hard due to Ipoh being located amongst a large karst formation. Also, many Malaysians know Ipoh for its excellent and very varied Chinese food.
And Ipoh is quite famous for it's castle. Kellie's Castle (sometimes spelled as Kelly's Castle), just 15 km out of Ipoh is worth a visit. The castle has a long and quite sad story which you can reads here.
Kampar, at 90 km from Lumut is a charming little town that, at first sight little offers to visitors. But as it goes in Malaysia, once you know what you are looking for, you find it an intriguing place. The town itself is about 80% Chinese. Food wise you will not be disappointed with the roti kari ayam (halal), a bread with inside chicken curry.
In the neighborhood you will find the Gua Tempurung caves, the longest caves in Malaysia. Few people visit and it's a real shame. Even for someone like me who is not much "into caves", it was a fascinating experience, every THREE times I went!
Other options to do are the spectacular white water rafting, fishing in the nearby leftovers of the tin mine industry or go for some jungle treks and see the biggest flower in the world.
There are no direct buses from Lumut to Kampar. You have to take a bus to Ipoh and change to a bus to Kampar.
Here's another great city for one of your daytrips. Taiping is sometimes called the Town of Everlasting Peace. This is because of its slightly cooler climate (a bit in the hills) and tranquil surroundings which creates a relaxed atmosphere.
Taiping is located 95 km north of Pangkor and Lumut. It is a great day out to visit this old city that has roots that go back to the early days of the tin industry.
All over the city you will find traces back of the old days in the form of colonial buildings. It is a very Chinese town with long streets and shops decorated in Chinese style.
The city once was the administrative center for the Sultans until Ipoh and Kuala Kangsar took over this role.
One of its pride and joys is the Taiping Zoo. Here you find over 1200 animals of 160 species in a natural setting. The zoo was established in 1961 and is owned by the Taiping Municipal Council. The zoo is located at the Taiping Lake Gardens and is open daily from 8.30am to 6pm. The zoo has a unique Night Safari which is open from 8pm to 11pm on weekdays and until midnight on weekends and public holidays.
Just 15 km away from Taiping lies the sleepy town of Kuala Sepetang where you can visit the nature mangrove reserve park, a great visit, trust me. Many people in the village depend for their business on the mangrove forest, either in fishing or in the charcoal factory. Here's more about the Kuala Sepetang (in fact, it's the even tinier village of Matang) charcoal factory of Mr. Chuah and his family who have this business since the 1930's.
Once the beating heart of Perak, nowadays a nice day (or afternoon) out if you stay at Pangkor. Kuala Kangsar is much smaller then Ipoh and less busy. There are some nice colonial buildings and early 20th century palaces of the various sultans in town. And for that reason is Kuala Kangsar still called the Royal City.
The Sultans of Perak used this town as their administrative centre since the mid 1800's. The British have used Kuala Kangsar too for the same purpose. Even the Japanese during their occupation in the Second World War had a headquarter in Kuala Kangsar.
The main object of visit is the Mosque, a beautiful building just outside the city center. Nearby is the Sultans palace, a museum and gallery.
Kuala Kangsar can be done in a day trip combination with a visit to the town of Pantai Remis.
It is not far from Pangkor and Lumut and therefore easy to do on a daytrip. Pantai Remis is a sort of "One Street Town". The town is located 35 km north of Lumut on the sea side. On the way north you will pass the little town of Segari in the hills. Around Segari are some beaches, very remote and seldom visited by foreigners.
Main reason to travel this way is the Turtle Breeding station which is located 15 km from Pantai Remis (10 km before the town center there's a junction to visit. Here's more about the Turtle Breeding Station in Segari.
The turtle breeding station is located at Pantai Pasir Panjang, a beautiful beach.
There's not a lot of reasons to stay in Pantai Remis town although there are several decent and cheap hotels. If I have to stay in Pantai Remis, I usually stay at the Lam Seng Hotel, at the northern part of town.
Just north of Pantai Remis is located the little town of Panchor. It is a very Chinese little fishermen village. Many of the houses here are build in the sea water although there are no beaches here. Most people have a boat and almost all live one way or another on the fishing industry. This means, they are either fishermen or work i.e. own a fish farm.
If you are lucky one of the fishermen is willing to take you on his boat to go out on the Straits of Malacca. I went there once... read here what happened that day.
Teluk Intan is located 70 km south of Lumut and Pangkor. The original name of the city is Teluk Mak Intan which was changed into Teluk Anson by sir High Low in the high days of Raj. Only in 1982 it was changed into Teluk Intan (Diamond Bay).
Teluk Intan contains quite a few colonial building but the city's pride and joy is a leaning tower which is described as the Tower of Pisa of Malaysia.
Further there are the Raja Muda palace, the Hock Soon Temple and countless shop lots in and around the city center worth to explore.
It's certainly worth an overnight stay
There are direct buses from Lumut and many other cities in Malaysia. Check our bus to Pangkor page for details.
At Pasir Salak modern Malaysia history started. The Malaysian government build here a very nice complex of buildings to remember those who fought for the freedom of their country. There's a memorial for J.W.W. Birch, the first Resident for the British occupiers and an excellent museum.
Further you will find some excellent examples of traditional Malay style houses. A big recommendation to visit Pasir Salak. For more information, please visit our Pasir Salak page.
A bit of a problem. Your best bet is by taxi since it is 65 km away from either Pangkor or Ipoh. There is no regular bus service. You can go to Teluk Intan and from there take a taxi.
Teluk Batik is in Malaysia known as one of the best beaches around Pangkor. It is easy accessible for locals but without your own transport you have to use a taxi.
Teluk Batik is a pleasant beach although not as clean and as nice as the beaches on Pangkor Island itself.
Also, since the beach is so popular, it is usually busy, even during the weekdays. The question is why go to a beach as Teluk Batik if there are some excellent beaches on Pangkor. The reason for a daytrip can be to see and enjoy with local Malaysians a day on the beach.
Getting to Teluk Batik
The easiest way is by taxi. it should not cost more then a handful of ringit.
Teluk Senangin is not much visited by tourists but its is a great destination for a daytrip. In fact, when you are staying at Teluk Dalam you have a view on Teluk Senangin on the main land.
Teluk Senangin is not a very developed beach. During the weekends it can be a bit busier, especially during holidays and then the food stalls will be open. Locals come here for a daytrip and a picnic at the seaside. However, during week days the beach is all yours.
You can stay here though during the week there will be hardly anything to buy around as the food stalls will only be open in the weekends. Here are some photos of Teluk Senangin.
There are no buses to Teluk Senangin. You have to take a taxi which will take about 30 minutes from Lumut. Since it is a bit off the beaten track you have to arrange something with the taxi driver to pick you up later.
If you have your own transport, take the road out of Lumut to Taiping and The Damai Laut. After about 15 km you will find a junction to the Swiss Garden Resort and Damai Laut Spa. Take this junction and follow the road for another 5 km. You have arrived in Teluk Senangin.
Do not confuse Damai Laut with Damar Laut. If you take the junction Damar Laut, you will end up straight in front of Lumut on a dirty muddy riverbank.
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.
Map of Perak
Tua Pek Kong Chinese temple Pasir Panjiang
Add to this bike/motorbike journey a visit to the Tua Pek Kong Temple, near Pasir Panjiang, one of the few Chinese temples facing the Straits of Malacca.
South Perak does not include many places worth a visit but Teluk Intan should have your attention. Not only for the famous Leaning Tower but also for it's long and very visible history:
Taiping in the late 1950's
We, from Pulau Pangkor.com are always curious what Malaysia looked like in the past.
Mr. Brain Patton who was stationed in Taiping send us some awesome pictures.
Turtles in Malaysia