Pangkor Island (Pulau Pangkor), one of the most popular holiday destination in Perak, welcomes visitors with its serene golden beaches, crystalline blue waters and cool refreshing breeze. Located off the shores of Lumut town, about 90km southwest of Ipoh, this island definitely makes an ideal gateway. Modern facilities and a wide range of sun and sea activities such as scuba diving, windsurfing, fishing, and snorkelling are available.
The name Pangkor actually originates from the Thai word 'Pang Ko' meaning 'Beautiful Island'. This is a very apt description for this island in the sun. The people of Pangkor are mostly fishermen (who catch mainly cuttlefish and anchovy) and local traders who live in a chain of villages that thread along the eastern shores facing the mainland. Spread along the 7-km stretch of coastline are the quiet Malay kampungs (villages) of Teluk Dalam, Sungai Pinang Kechil, Kampung Masjid, Teluk Kechil and Teluk Gedung.
Other notable sites in Pangkor Island are:
Pangkor Batu Bersurat
Batu Bersurat literally means 'the Stone of Inscriptions'. Carved on this particular huge bolder are sketches of a tiger carrying a child, two round-shaped leaves along with the letters,'If Carlo 1743' and 'VOC,' an acronym for the Dutch East India Company . The sketches were believed to be the work of grieving soldiers in memory of a Dutch dignitary's son who went missing whilst playing near the stone in 1743, during the reign of Sultan Muzaffar Syah III (1728-1756). One version of the tale was that some of the Malays and Bugis, who disliked the Dutch for ill treating the locals, kidnapped and killed the boy.
Dutch Fort In Pulau Pangkor Island
Located at Teluk Gedung village, south of Pulau Pangkor, the 330-year-old stone foundation of a Dutch Fort built in 1670 remains one of the Dutch Fort strongholds against pirates and local Malays. Actually, during the Dutch occupation in the 17th century, tin supplies from Pangkor and the mainland were stored in this fort.
As time passed by, the locals who were unhappy with the treatment of the Dutch destroyed the fort sometime in 1690. This is not the end because the Dutch then returned in full force to rebuild the fort. Following that 60 soldiers were commissioned to protect the fort until 1743, when it was finally abandoned after a local warrior, Panglima Kulub, and his followers attacked it. Later in 1973, the National Museum undertook its reconstruction to restore as much as possible the remains of the fort and retain its historical significance and heritage.
A privately owned island, Pangkor Laut is the second largest of the nine islands that make up Pulau Pangkor. Pangkor Laut mirrors the dream of a tropical paradise with white beaches and crystal clear waters. An exclusive luxurious resort named after the island stands on the eastern side of the island. Part of the resort is nestled within the lush hillside while part extends over the water.
The outstandingly beautiful Emerald Bay lies on the western side of the island. The name is probably derived from its emerald-green water, and combined with the soft, white sand that covers the stretch of beach and the green vegetation that form the backdrop, it's no surprise this beach is regarded the finest beach in Perak.
Pangkor Island Guide Getting There
The only way to Pangkor by sea is via the Lumut Ferry Terminal. It takes approximately 40 minutes by ferry from Lumut Ferry Terminal to Pangkor Island; the fare is RM4. However, if you are a guest at the Pangkor Island Beach Resort, then your ferry ride costs RM6, as you will be docking at a private jetty on the north side of the island. Pangkor is also accessible by air. The airport is located at Teluk Dalam and it can accommodate only light aircraft. Berjaya Air has one flight on Fridays and Sundays from Kuala Lumpur.
Pangkor Island Map