Pangkor Island is one of the many islands that you could visit when you are in Malaysia. It is located in the state of Perak, off the coast of Lumut district; a naval town of Malaysia. Due to its strategic location and deep sea, there is a Navy Base situated nearby the Pangkor Island. The nearby town has also benefited from the strategic location as more industry related to shipping and ports have been growing up until now. It used to be a sleepy town for Palm plantation industry, however, for the past five years; it has evolved into an emerging new city of the north.
With that being said, you don’t have to worry, even though the industry is growing, the pristine and beautiful water of Pulau Pangkor is still being kept beautiful to suits its name ‘Pangkor’ that said to be originated from the Thai phrase ‘Phang Ko’ which means – Beautiful Island.
Pangkor Island is the home to a fishing community that makes their living by harvesting the bountiful sea which situated along the Strait of Malacca, which is a very busy trade channel that connects the west and the east. The most popular catch here in Pangkor Island is blue-eyed anchovies, which normally being processed as dried tiny fish, unlike the anchovies that you may find elsewhere. This type of anchovies is usually considered as a very premium catch due to its taste and its delicate size. Therefore, do not forget to look for it when you visit this island.
Apart from that, thanks to globalisation and modernization, Pangkor Island has gained its popularity as one of the top destination for an island vacation, especially in the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Of course, there are more popular islands located on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia and in Borneo, but, Pangkor Island could be considered as a less touristy island which is perfect for a quiet getaway or even better spot for a honeymoon trip.
As for its geographical feature, Pangkor is can be considered as a mountainous island, in which the highest point above sea level is about 1216 meters (Pangkor Hill). Therefore, for you that may be interested with a casual hiking during the holiday, it is a great idea to hike your way up, in fact, this might be the best way to enjoy the majestic view of Pangkor Island.
How to get there?
Like other island vacation, you need to get yourself to the jetty that transports people from the mainland to the island. There are two jetties that provide ferries and shuttle boat service. They are;
1) Lumut Waterfront Jetty – GPS Coordinate (4.236754, 100.632338)
2) Marina Island Jetty Complex – GPS Coordinate (4.212993, 100.602129)
These two places are the gateway to your amazing island vacation. I would recommend you to spend maybe one day at the mainland. It is because Lumut and/or Marina Island themselves are quite an interesting places to visit. Just look at this beautiful sunset view from the Marina Island Jetty!
There are a lot of activities that you could do at Marina Island, they have a great water park named as Frenzy, which will be a great place to kick off your vacation before actually going to Pangkor Island. The admission fee for this park is very cheap – Just RM20 (about 4USD). Insanely cheap.
Plus, one of the main attractions in Marina Island apart from the typical water sports and activities is fishing. It is a very popular spot for fishing. In fact, there is a very popular accommodation here named Rockbund Fishing Chalet that overlooks the water which is a perfect place to stay even if you do not do any fishing.
Believe me, your vacation to Pangkor Island should start before you actually stepping foot in Pangkor Island. Oh, before I make you confuse, Marina Island is not an actual island, in fact, it is a man-made reclaimed land that could somewhat be considered as ‘an island’. In case if you are interested in staying at the Rockbund fishing chalet, you may proceed with the booking and read the guest reviews here at Hotels.com. The average price per night is only about 40USD per night.
Back to actual topic – How to get to these two jetties?
Assuming that you are coming from Kuala Lumpur
- By Car
You can drive all the way from KL or any other parts of Malaysia to the jetties above. It will be the most convenient way if you decided to hire a car. The advantage of renting a car is obviously you will have a flexible schedule thus you can afford to make stopovers at different cities along the journey. But, you have to consider the price to park your car at the designated car park along your stay. It is not that expensive though. You will reach Lumut after a 3.5 Hours drive from KL.
- By Bus
For travellers and backpackers that do not mind hopping on the public transportation, you can always choose to ride a coach from KL to Lumut. The bus station is merely 2 minutes walk to the jetty. You will be dropped off exactly in front of the Lumut Waterfront. So, if you want hassle free journey, then buy your ticket to Lumut at Terminal Bersepadu Selatan in KL.
- By Train
This will be a more elaborate route. Get yourself from KL Sentral terminal to Batu Gajah station. This may be the route you take if you want to visit Ipoh first. Then, you need to hire a cab to the jetty, but it is quite far, about 1-hour drive, thus, mind that the cab’s fare will be quite significant.
Which Jetty to choose?
It depends actually. The best thing to do is to is to make sure you include the price of your hotel or accommodation with the jetty transfer. Most hotels and chalets offer this service, be sure to check and ask first. However, in general, it takes about 10 minutes ferry ride if you board a ferry to Marina Island, as compare to Lumut Waterfront that takes about 40 minutes. Price wise, it will usually cost you around RM10 for a ride while only RM5 is for children. However, some ferry provider may charge more. Please check and compare the price at the jetty terminal.
Arrival in Pangkor Island
Once arrived in Pangkor Island Jetty, you will have a few transportation options;
- Pink Van (Pangkor Taxi)
This is the common option that most people choose once in Pangkor Island Jetty. It is because the fare is very cheap. This Pink Van could be used for two purposes; either to tour around the whole island or going to your hotel. It can accommodate 7 to 8 people per trip and the fare will be RM10 to Pasir Bogak or RM20 to Teluk Nipah (Just remember these two places, bear with me)
- Rent a Car
You can rent a car for an average rate of RM80 per day. Not recommended though, it is better to arrange jetty transfer with your hotel
- Rent a Motorcycle/Moped
With only RM30 per day, you could rent a motorcycle for a day. This is without a doubt the best option of all if you want to have a tour around the whole Pangkor Island. It gives you the freedom to wander around and to go wherever and whenever you want. I definitely suggest you to at least spend a day touring around the island by using motorcycle. Just be sure you take your time to get familiar with the moped and the safety requirements first.
Pangkor Island Hotel
In general, there are two main part of the island that you want to spend your time with. The most happening area is Pasir Bogak and the next one is Teluk Nipah. Generally accommodations in Pasir Bogak are more lavish and upscale while the ones in Teluk Nipah are usually chalet-based accommodation. By staying in these two areas, you will have a lot of eateries options and convenient stores to ease out your stay. In addition to that, by staying in chalet, you will most likely get special price (guest price) to perform water-based activities like kayaking, boating and jet-skiing. Make sure to check your chalet facilities prior to booking.
You can check these hotels and book them through Expedia.com here. Most hotels are very affordable especially the chalet-based resort. You can find hotel as cheap as RM50 to RM250 per night, which equal to 12USD to 55USD per night. Therefore it is safe to say that this island is extremely affordable and very suitable for budget travelrs. By the way, I suggested Expedia.com as they usually offer a lot of discounts and surprise deal. Be sure to check them out.
Just to name a few notable and popular Pangkor Island Hotel choices;
- Joe Fisherman Inn – Teluk Nipah, 21USD/night
- Coral Bay Resort – Pasir Bogak, 25USD/night
- Seaview Pangkor Resort – Pasir Bogak, 25USD/night
These are all budget and cheap hotels with great value for money. Oh, one more tip, if you stay in Teluk Nipah, be sure to ask or find for speedboat that go to Pulau Giam, which is another small island facing Teluk Nipah. You will be amazed with the beauty of the corals when you snorkel your way through its crystal clear water.
Pangkor Laut Resort a truly sublime 5-Star Hotel
I think I purposely save this last bit of Pangkor Island just because it is the real reason that makes Pangkor Island so great. This is the epitome of beautiful resort. A 5-star hotel which the late Luciano Pavarotti declared as a paradise on earth due to its mesmerizing quality. This resort has also previously voted as ‘Number One in the World’ by Condé Nast Traveller. You will be amazed and greeted by wooden buildings that blend seamlessly into the forest, with walls curve around foliage, and roofs open up to allow trees to continue on their journey to the sky. It is going to be a vacatin that you will never forget.
As this is a 5-star hotel, you can expect an extended service from them. They can provide land transfer to and from the main attraction tourist destinations all over Malaysia with an extra charge as follwing.
|Kuala Lumpur International Airport to Marina Island Pangkor or vice versa||MYR 900|
|KLIA2 to Marina Island Pangkor or vice versa||MYR 900|
|Kuala Lumpur city to Marina Island Pangkor or vice versa||MYR 800|
|Subang Airport to Marina Island Pangkor or vice versa||MYR 800|
|Ipoh Airport to Marina Island Pangkor or vice versa||MYR 400|
|Penang to Marina Island Pangkor or vice versa||MYR 1,100|
|Cameron Highlands Resort to Marina Island Pangkor or vice versa||MYR 800|
|The Majestic Malacca to Marina Island Pangkor or vice versa||MYR 1,100|
And if you want a complete luxury experience, you can also charted their speedboat to and from the Marina Island Jetty with extra cost. The average price per night to stay in this resort is only 280USD. It is a bit steep but it is worth every cents especially for a romantic vacation and honeymoon escape. You can get more information about booking and read the guest reviews here. For your information, this resort attained superb review mark in Expedia.com with whopping 96% mark.
So, I hope that this guide will open up your mind to travel to this part of the world that maybe less explored by the travelers around the world. Whether you want to make it a budget travel or a lavish glamarous honeymoon vacation, Pangkor Island got them all. You just have to get on to that plane and make your way here!
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