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How to get to Pangkor

How to get to Pangkor

The island itself is accessible by ferry from the small town of Lumut, a boat ride of approximately 10 minutes. A return tickets costs RM14 and leaves every 30 minutes. There are three different boat operators at Lumut Jetty. They all bring you to Pangkor Town (2nd stop). Mesra Ferry is the best of those three, as you get to sit on the outdoor upper deck and watch the scenery. If you have reservations at Pangkor Island Beach Resort; you will use a different ferry. The same goes for Pangkor Laut reservations; they too have their own ferry service to the resort.

History

History of Pangkor Island

In past times; this area used to be the center for piracy. The pirates had their home ports in the Pulau Gedung Hills, Gua Lanun (Pirates' Cave) and Batu Perompak (Pirates' Rock) on the island of Pangkor. Many ships/boats were taken over and robbed of their goods and products. The Dutch were active here in the times of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). People were especially keeping themselves busy with the tin industry, until the British took over. In 1670 the Dutch built a fort (also for protection against the locals and the higher powers of that time) at Tiger Rock. During the British rule the name has temporarily been Monkey Island. Later the island was named Pulau Aman (Peaceful Island) before it regained the name Pangkor.

Attractions and activities

Attractions and activities on Pangkor Island

Below a list with attractions on the island:

  • Water sports and other activities are plenty around Pangkor Island. Especially around Bogak beach and Nipah beach there are numerous operators that offer banana-boat rides and Jet Ski rental. Around Giam Island you can do some decent snorkeling; though you can't compare it with snorkeling on islands like Redang and Perhentian.
  • Pangkor Town is a nice place to visit as there are many great local restaurants where you can enjoy typical dishes originating from the island itself.
  • Fu Lin Kung Temple is a Taoist temple that has been build at the foot of Pangkor Hill nearby the town of Sungai Pinang Besar. Another Chinese temple that you can visit is the Lin Ye Kong Temple; nearby Teluk Nipah (at the end of Coral Bay).
  • Kali Amman Temple is the only Indian temple on the island; especially interesting to visit during the two big festivals of Deepavali and Thaipusam.
  • You can arrange a nice offshore fishing trip through your hotel or resort; though this can be quite pricy. You can also arrange a boat with local fishermen for a day.
  • Pulau Jarak is quite a boat ride away from Pangkor, but it is worth the trip. Here you can find great marine life. The small island itself is perfect for a secluded day trip.
  • You can do some light jungle treks around the island. The best one, the Pangkor Hill Trek, starts at Bogak beach and takes you all the way to the eastern side of the island (to Sungai Pinang Kecil). Most jungle hikes only take an hour or two. Always notify your resort or guesthouse owner that you are off to do a jungle hike.
  • Another fun thing to do is to rent a boat for the day to go around the island. A speed boat is an option; but a normal boat is way more fun as you have more time to enjoy the scenery. A more strenuous option would be to rent a canoe for the day.
  • Southwest of the island, nearby the small town of Teluk Gedung, you can visit the Dutch Fort (also known as Dindings Fort or Kota Belanda). The Dutch built this small fortress to get more grip on the tin mining industry in the 17th century. The fortress was used to keep foreign ships at bay, in order to control and monopolize the worldwide tin trade. The Dutch Fort currently is an historical monument.
  • Batu Bersurat (Tiger Rock or Historic Rock) is a huge boulder with historical inscriptions on it. The inscriptions refer to a child and a tiger and is dated '1743 I.F.CRALO' together with the initials of the 'VOC' which refers to the Dutch East India Company.

"The story behind Batu Bersurat (Tiger Rock) is about the child of a Dutch dignitary, who played by the rock, disappeared with no trace and it was presumed that a tiger had taken the child. However the villagers said that it wasn't the tiger that had taken the boy, but more probably angry Malays, who wanted to rid Pangkor of the Dutch. The Dutch could have also chiseled this incident on the stone depicting the Malays as a tiger." Sabrizain.org