Thank you so much to all my readers for loving this one-day trip series. I have already shared “One day in Lisbon coastal capital of Portugal“ written by Danni. Today I am happy to introduce one more guest post “One Day On Pangkor Island in Malaysia” by Jub, sports & cat lover, and a travel blogger.
Having spent a few months in Malaysia I was excited to be invited to Pangkor Island for the day. Pangkor Island is a little island in between Penang and Kuala Lumpur. Accommodation options are somewhat limited on the island, which makes it perfect for a day visit.
The island (a.k.a. Pulau Pangkor) can be used to break up the journey between Penang and KL, or what many locals do, use the island as a day trip from Kuala Lumpur.
Pangkor Island, a.k.a. Pulau Kapas, was once a key player in the tin mining boom throughout the Perak province before becoming an island known as a fishing island with several fishing villages still dotted around the island today.
How To Get To Pangkor
You need to catch a ferry from Lumut, ferries run from both Marina Island o Lumut Ferry. Ferry schedules vary, but you shouldn’t need to wait longer than 40 minutes.
To get to Lumut, buses regularly depart the main bus terminals from Ipoh, Butterworth and Kuala Lumpur.
Best Time To Visit Pangkor Island
While the islands on the east coast suffer from big seas from November to February, you can visit Pangkor Island year-round thanks to Sumatra helping protect the island from the elements as well as the Malay Peninsula.
If you try to visit during the week, as the weekends and school holidays push the domestic visitor numbers skyrocket. Islands are always better when you don’t need to share the beach.
With so many great island destinations surrounding Malaysia, the islands here often get overlooked. Yet, with so many gems like Pangkor Island and Kapas Island, you can still get off the tourist path, which is why I highly recommend you pencil it in.
How To Get Around Pangkor Island
You have a few options, all viable to complete a full day of exploring the island. You can rent a scooter, bicycle or a pink van taxi. If you choose one of the former two, make sure you at least take a quick ride in a pink van. They are a pretty unique idea!
One Day On Pangkor Island in Malaysia
Pangkor is a small island with a mountainous interior. You’ll be sticking to the road close to the shoreline for most of the day to do the following activities.
EcoMy, an NGO has started to implement programs to help the locals keep the island ecologically sustainable with the inevitable increase in tourism. This was great as my visit saw the island in great condition, which I hope it remains.
Enjoy The Beaches
The locals have managed to keep the beaches clean, thus far and they are some of the best in the country. The main beach is Pasir Bogak, but you’ll be heading there towards the end of the day so just stop at any that takes your fancy as you explore the island.
Snorkeling & Other Water Activities
The area also available off Pasir Bogak, but depending on the number of people on the island, water activities can pop up elsewhere. Palau Pangkor has a number of smaller islands off the coast, which are awesome to take a snorkeling tour too.
Explore The Jungle
For a small island, Pangkor has lots of wildlife, particularly birdlife. There’s no need to bring any crazy hiking gear, but you can’t take short 1-2 hour hikes on a number of trails to get a taste for the Malay jungle.
Hang Out With Hornbills
If you haven’t seen a hornbill before, the picture above puts two and two together, right? During the day you might see some about, but 45 minutes or so before sunset, head down to Pasir Bogak and you’ll find the hornbill come to hang out and snag any snacks the local shop owners have to spare.
Explore Foo Lin Kong Temple
The temple isn’t your usual temple, it felt more like a maze to me complete with miniature great walls. Given the size of the island, you’ll stop by here at some point. Make sure you head to the top of the temple grounds for the best views. Don’t let the stairs intimidate you.
Now that you’re at Pasir Bogak, grab a bite to eat from one of the street stalls and enjoy the sunset from the beach. The beach area comes alive as the temperatures start to lower creating a pleasant, fun atmosphere just like you’d imagine island life to be.
Jub, hailing from New Zealand, has been traveling the world for a few years now. His travels have slowed down to where he often finds himself staying in one city for a month at a time. This slower travel seems to help him uncover gems like Pangkor, often only talked about by locals.