Canoe around Pangkor
Canoe around Pangkor, possible? crazy? worth? dangerous? Questions we will talk about on this page. But why would you want to go around the island at first?
Pangkor island has, as I usually explain it, two faces: the east part of the island which is primarily industrial. Here you find the local fishermen, industrial ice factory to supply the fishermen with ice for their ships and it's here where most of the about 20.000 locals of Pangkor live. On the west side of Pangkor you find the hotels, beaches, restaurants and other tourist holiday activities. This trip would show me both faces from an unusual perspective: out of a canoe.
Mr. Goh from Explore the Wilderness (see our team building pages) invited me to join him and a visiting group he was doing a 3 day tour with. The idea was simple: get a canoe at Teluk Batik, cross the straights in between the mainland and Pangkor and follow the Pangkor coastline. We expected it would take us about 7 hours.
To have the benefit of the cool morning we had to get out early. Mr. Goh picked me up at 6.15am, we had breakfast and then went to meet the group. We brought the canoes to the beach, got in and went off.
The first part was probably the hardest as we were canoeing against the current. Not that there was a lot and as we were still fresh and the morning was cool, we made nice progress. Our group consisting of 9 canoes passed Pangkor town and by the time we reach the other site of the straights we had already passed the villages of Sungai Pinang Kecil and Sungai Pinang Besar.
As we were not in a race, we took our time, went around the curves to the bay of Teluk Dalam. The new Hi-Q farm and resort finally begin to take shape. The project, in 2006 proudly opened by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi took quite some time but now the whole in the mountain starts to show progress.
At the beach in front of Pulau Pelandok
Our first major stop would be at a small beach on the far north side of Pangkor in front of Pulau Pelandok. The beach is inaccessible in any other way then by boat. The hills are steep, rocky and it seems there are even no timber trails here. This part of Pangkor is Forest Reserve area.
The first 35% or so of our journey had been done and it was time for a cooling swim and lunch. The beach was very small but beautiful. Some took rest in the shades under the trees while others enjoyed themselves in the cool water.
After a while everyone was fresh again and we continued our journey along Pangkor.
Pulau Pelandok was soon behind us and we saw now eagles, with nests high up in the trees flying above the sea searching for fish to catch.
The green of the hills and the variety of the trees and vegetation every time amazes me. It always seem to me that wherever you look, you different trees in different colours of green.
We passed now the bay of the Pangkor Island Beach Resort, Teluk Belanga on the way to Coral Bay, Teluk Nipah and Pulau Giam. We went now a lot faster as we had the current with us.
Pulau Giam is a small island in front of Coral Bay and Teluk Nipah. The water here is very bright and lots of small fish swim around. Not for nothing many visitors to Pangkor take a boat and a snorkel to visit the little island.
The sign board of Pulau Giam asks visitors to keep the island clean and surprisingly, it seems people take it serious as Giam is still immaculately clean.
We had another break here for cooling down, looking at the fish and eat a little more.
From Pulau Giam we had a great view to Coral Bay and Nipah Bay. I was told that at low water, one can even walk from Coral Bay to Pulau Giam (though I have never done).
We went back to our canoes and continued our journey, which would end at Teluk Segadas, on the southern part of Pangkor.
But we first had to pass Teluk Nipah, Teluk Ketapang and then Pasir Bogak with Pangkor Laut on our right site. We saw far out in the open sea ikan bilis boats fishing but we also became a little tired by now. It wasn't far anymore to Teluk Segadas.
View from Pulau Giam to Coral Bay
By now it was quite high water so much of the beach was now underwater. Thus it seemed as if Teluk Segadas was totally hidden.
Teluk Segadas is still very nice but it gets more and more visitors who drop their rubbish everywhere. No one cares about the junk and the monkeys do the rest. The last time I was at Teluk Segadas, it was a little paradise beach. Unfortunately, if no one takes the responsibility, this beach will be in a short time a rubbish dump. As well as Pulau Giam is kept clean, as bad Teluk Segadas is going to be. To me, after such a great day in the canoe, this was a deception. However, our journey around the island by canoe was a big success. We all enjoyed it.
Unfortunately for me, my part of the program had ended. The group would camp at Teluk Segadas beach to continue the next morning with a rope course and a short visit to the Dutch Fort (Kota Belanda) and Tiger Rock.