Pangkor Island: A Seaside Paradise

Tourists in Malaysia tend to think first of Penang and Langkawi where beachside getaways are concerned, but if a more untouched, more serene vacation spot of that sort is desired, the better destination is arguably Pangkor. Pulau Pangkor (Pangkor Island) is not very large, being only 8 square kilometers in total, but it is nevertheless unrivalled as a low-key, relaxation-focused seaside spot in the country.

There is a lot to see in Pangkor that makes clear just how different it is from its rival Malaysian getaways. Perhaps the best example would be one of the main attractions of the place, the fishing villages of Sungai Pinang Kecil, Kampong Teluk Kedi, and Sungai Pinang Besar. These villages look as they have for literal decades, almost as though they were frozen snapshots of the island’s earlier days. Standing upon one of the fishing village houses, looking out at the sea from a porch sitting on high stilts while snacking on fresh seafood, one can almost imagine oneself transported to a time when Pangkor was not yet touched by modernity.

The hand of others is present in the island, though. Consider the Dutch Fort, a 17th century relic. The Kali Amman Temple is here too, the sole Indian temple of notice on Pangkor. And then there is the Batu Bersurat, the 10.7-meter-long Tiger Stone, with the mysterious carving on it of a tiger bearing a child away, signed “VOC” (which may well have meant the Dutch East India Company).

But what should really bring people to Pangkor would be the beaches. These are some of the best and quietest beaches in the country—so quiet, in fact, that many of them see barely a person during weekdays. Not that this should be considered an arraignment of their virtues: there are beaches here that sport not only turquoise waters but also powdery and golden sands. From Teluk Nipa and Coral Bay to Pasir Bogak, you will find a wealth of sand-bordered-waters worth your while here, as well as the fine (and in some cases, 5-star) accommodations to go with them. Comfort comes first here, as well it might: for the tourists of Pangkor come to it in search of a different beach experience, one that does not seek to mask discomforts in noise or overdone revelry. In Pangkor Island, true luxury and leisure can be found.

Kali Amman Temple – The Most Important Hindu Temple in Pangkor Island

Located in Sungai Pinang Kecil in Pangkor Island, the Sri Pathira Kali Amman Temple is known as the biggest and the only Hindu temple of any significance in the place. It is also recognized as one of the two Hindu temples in Malaysia that provide entry to the shrine of the Hindu goddess Kali, facing the sea. The entrance of the shrine fronting the sea is something quite uncommon, particularly on Hindu temples. The other temple is situated in Penang Island. Based on Hinduism, Kali, who shares the same image as Amman, is the wife of Lord Shiva. She is also known as the goddess of strength, protecting the people from evil, and her animal symbol is the lion.

kali amman temple

Kali Amman Temple in Pangkor Island – Malaysia

The Kali Amman Temple in Pangkor Island, which is lead by the Paribalana Sabha, is a rather simple and austere single-celled shrine facing the sandy beach. It has minimalist architecture, with its towering Shikhara or the steeple of the temple and the temple hall. There are various deity statues inside and other sacred relics. It houses several traditional Indian artworks, architecture and sculpture. The temple head pujari is Venketaraman Sharma, a portly young man who finished his education in England and has done his priestly training in Chennai. The temple is a very important place for the Indian locals to have a place for worship. It is also the center of the annual Thaipusam celebration and the Kaliamman- Kuan Yin Festival where both Chinese and Indian devotees prepare for the celebration by performing their vows, worship and prayers in the temple. [Read more…]

Discovering Fu Lin Kong Temple – Biggest Taoist Temple in Pangkor Island

Situated on the east coast of Pulau Pangkor, the Fu Lin Kong Temple is the biggest Taoist temple in the island. There are a number of Chinese locals in Pangkor Island following Taoist teachings. The temple is the center of worship of Taoism in the island, the religion that follows the teachings of Lao Tze, a great Chinese philosopher. The temple is located in Sungai Pinang Besar village, at the bottom of Pangkor Hill. It is one of the most popular Chinese temples in Perak and every tourist visiting Pangkor should take a glimpse of the scenery and colorful landscapes surrounding the temple. Every year, more and more Chinese tourists visit and pray in the temple to acquire blessings from God. Other tourists from different countries also visit this famous temple because of the natural and beautiful surroundings that are ideal for photo activity.

fu lin kong temple

Fu Lin Kong Temple in Pangkor Island – Malaysia

Looking from afar, the Fu Lin Kong Temple radiates tranquility, its serene image nestled against the rocky forest and tall pine trees. Before entering the temple, you will see large white rocks are beautifully arranged before it and the dense flora and fauna behind the temple that evoke nature at its most serene. The Chinese temple, which was just refurbished, is a must-visit place because of the several attractions found within the temple vicinity. It is brilliantly painted with gold, green and crimson and attractively decorated with crafted stone sculpture of sinuous dragons and Chinese deities. The architectural style of the temple is highly ornate, with Chinese architectural design. It is crowned with a pagoda-style roof. [Read more…]

Useful Guidelines to Secure Your Health in Pangkor Island

A Pangkor Island vacation won’t be complete without any knowledge of their medical services, health issues and common illnesses occurring in the island. Health information is very important, particularly for first-time visitors who never have had the actual experience of staying there. In terms of health in Pangkor Island, there are no major health threats in the area, except for dehydration, common colds and other minor illnesses that are very common in tropical countries.

 

hospital in pangkor island

Hospital Seri Manjung in Pangkor Island – Malaysia

Visitors from several American and African countries are required to show yellow fever vaccination certificate. This is required upon arrival from countries under Yellow Fever endemic zones and those infected areas, except for children below one year old. It is also recommended although not required to be vaccinated with Hepatitis A and DPT (diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus). Cholera, malaria and smallpox have largely been eradicated; yet, to be safe, it is better to apply some anti-mosquito cream or spray during early morning and late afternoon. Wear long sleeves to protect yourself during day periods where mosquitoes are active. Health in Pangkor Island is maintained by several health clinics including two Klinik Desa in Sungai Pinang Kecil and Teluk Kecial and Klinik Kesihatan in Pulau Pangkor. In case of serious emergencies, Hospital Seri Manjung in Perak is the best place as it is heavily sponsored by the government, having several advanced medical technologies to cater to grave illnesses and injuries. [Read more…]

Experience the Beauty of Nipah Bay – the Cleanest Beach in Pangkor Island

Locally known as Teluk Nipah, the stunning Nipah Bay is one of the most beautiful beaches in Pangkor Island. The tranquility and cleanliness of Nipah beach are just the common reasons that separate it from other beaches in the island. Coral Bay is another separate beach although many people tend to forget that they are separated due to its proximity. This beach boasts stretches more than hundred meters of white sand and since it lies in a bay, the beach is quite secluded.

nipah bay

Nipah Bay in Pangkor Island – Malaysia

Located on the west coast of Pangkor Island, Nipah Bay has quite calmer water than other Pangkor beaches because of the surrounding land blocking the waves and strong winds. Hence, it is a perfect place for swimming and family picnicking. The clear turquoise water is warm and shallow, making it a very safe place for families and kids having fun at the beach. In fact, during low tide, people are able to wade across to Pulau Giam, the nearby island, around 100 meters away from the bay. The neighboring islands in front of the Teluk Nipah are Metangor and Giam Islands and these islands also brag of pristine beaches and raw nature. [Read more…]

Giam Island – The Favorite Snorkeling Spot in Pulau Pangkor

Located about a hundred meters from Nipah Bay, Giam Island is a popular spot every tourist should not miss when visiting Pangkor Island. It is one of the 2 popular smaller islands fronting Teluk Nipah that are known snorkeling stops. The other neighboring island is Mentangor Island. It is very popular for snorkeling and even picnicking for families.

giam island

Giam Island in Pangkor Island – Malaysia

Although Nipah Bay is very popular in Pangkor, the most beautiful beach can be found in the islands including Giam Island, which can be swum during high tide or can be crossed by foot during low tide. You can also charter a kayak to paddle out on both islands of Giam and Mentangor. Besides swimming and enjoying the beach, wading across the island during low tide is one of the most exciting activities you could and should try. When you’re on this activity, head off to Pasir Giam Beach in the morning where the tide is still ankle-level. Also, pay careful attention to the rising tides. Obviously, you don’t want to be stranded in Pulau Giam. There are a lot of tourists wading across so just check the crowd movement when it’s time to head back. While walking across, you’ll come across some stunning, colorful corals and aquatic life including seaweeds, sea cucumbers which are popularly sold in town for its healing properties and starfish. For nature lovers, it’s the perfect moment to snap some close shots of these creatures when the water level is still extremely low. [Read more…]

Pangkor Island Historical Site: Discovering the Remnants of the Old Dutch Fort

Locally known as Kota Belanda, the historic Dutch Fort in Pangkor Island is located in Teluk Gedung, on the southern part of Pangkor town, particularly southwest of the island. According to Dutch records, the old fort was originally called Dindinghs Fort, named after the Dindingh River, the major river in the district of Manjung, Perak. The Fort plays a huge part in the history of Pangkor Island and the entire Perak province. It is also a significant historic monument in memory of the bravery and courage of Malay warriors against foreign possession of their land.

pangkor island's dutch port

Dutch Fort in Pangkor Island – Malaysia

Because of the location of Pangkor Island, it was a suitable site for the Dutch to build a garrison for their weapons and supply of tin. Long before, the state of Perak was once the main producer of tin in all of Malaysia. Hence, to take over and monopolize its trade, the Dutch Fort in Pangkor Island was built to block their competitors from trading in Perak. Built in 1670 by the Dutch East India Company, the Dutch were the first inhabitants of the island and the island was mainly used to prevent the English from occupying the place. According to William Dampier, the Dutch Fort resembled a house with thick walls made of stone and a towering height of about 30 feet and covered overhead. [Read more…]