Looking for sun, sea and fun on the west coast of Malaysia? Then Pulau Pangkor is the place for you. This island has an area of 18 km² and has dense inland jungle and a number of relaxed beaches. I visited Pulau Pangkor on my 2 week Malaysia itinerary and can recommend it to anyone looking for peace and nature!
Things to do on Pulau Pangkor
Pulau Pangkor is a popular destination for Malaysians on the weekends. It’s a bit more crowded, more lively and just a bit more fun on the weekends. There are also nightmarkets on weekends where you can eat tasty and cheap street food, but also stock up on souvenirs. But the island can also be visited during the week, when it’s nice and quiet.
It’s highly recommended to rent a scooter and discover the island by yourself. There’s little traffic and the area is very beautiful. There are a number of Hindu and Chinese temples on Pulau Pangkor including the Sri Pathirakaliamman and Fu Lin Kong. Both temples are free to visit.
Of course you visit an island for the beaches. And fortunately there are a number of wonderful beaches on Pulau Pangkor.
Pantai Pasir Bogak is the closest to the town where you arrive by boat. There are plenty of eateries on this expansive beach, as well as accommodations. It’s also one of the most crowded beaches. If you drive more to the north, you will arrive at Pantai Teluk Nipah. In the evenings on weekends there is a nightmarket here.
A little further north is Coral Beach which is considered one of the most beautiful beaches of Pulau Pangkor. There are only a few eateries here of which Daddy’s Café is a must-try.
The northernmost beach is Pantai Teluk Dalam in the village of the same name. This isn’t a very beautiful beach, but it’s fun to drive around. For example, continue towards the small Teluk Dalam Lookout Point and follow the road further north to arrive at a ‘deserted’ beach. Watch out, because the road to this beach is of very poor quality (at least when I was there).
Also drive all the way south through the east coast until the road comes to a dead end. Somewhere between the houses is a jungle path that leads to Pantai Teluk Segadas, an abandoned paradise. However, it’s definitely not recommended to walk this path during the rainy season, because believe me, there are hundreds of mosquitoes chasing you. So it’s recommended for the dry season! On the way I also saw a number of giant monitor lizards shooting away and a few monkeys.
What I found one of the coolest things about Pulau Pangkor was the many hornbills. These beautiful birds have their breeding ground on the island. Several species occur, namely the great hornbill and the oriental pied hornbill.
The great hornbill is one of the largest species and is not easily seen, but with a bit of luck you can sometimes see this bird flying over, especially in the morning and evening. The oriental pied hornbill, on the other hand, is a lot less shy and can also be fed. For example, you can feed these hornbills at Sunset View Chalet around 6:30 PM. The birds come flying to grab the fruit from your hands. Incredibly cool!
In addition to these impressive birds, there are also many monkeys, namely macaques (where are they not ..). These monkeys can be quite cheeky when they see you have food, but luckily they generally leave you alone. It is therefore strongly advised not to feed them.
As I mentioned earlier, there are also many monitor lizards on the island. These reptiles can grow quite big, but they are not dangerous if you just leave them alone.
Where to stay on Pulau Pangkor
There are several places to stay overnight. So you can stay in the town where the boat arrives (Pekan Pangkor), but I would not recommend this.
The nicest place to stay is in my opinion near Teluk Nipah. Recommendations here are Nazri Nipah Camp (for backpackers), Pangkor Waterfall Beach Resort (cheap guesthouse) and Nipah Guesthouse Pangkor (private bungalows).
It is also nice to stay at Pantai Pasir Bogak beach. There are several guesthouses and homestays here.
How to get to Pulau Pangkor
To reach Pulau Pangkor, first take the bus to the harbor town of Lumut. Then you can buy a return boat ticket for 14 RM to the island. The boat goes between 6:30 AM and 8:30 PM.
The boat first stops at the village of Sungai Pinang Kecil (here mainly locals get off the boat) and then sails to the town of Pekan Pangkor. At Pekan Pangkor you can get off the boat (otherwise you will sail back to Lumut) and you can take one of the many taxis to your guesthouse. You could also rent a scooter here.