Pangkor Island is popular for its fishing industry, which started a time long past. The island is known to supply fresh fish in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur market. To add, a lot of processed seafood like dried fish and fish satay snacks are sold in different parts of Malaysia. If you visit the island, you can see the locals process of catching and preparing the seafood and you can buy some for yourself at the best possible prices. With the soaring growth of tourism industry in Pangkor, one fascinating must-visit place would be the Pangkor fishing villages on the east coast of the island. Visiting these villages offers a rare chance to know the fishing lifestyle and learn the local culture while enjoying the beaches and resort amenities.
While the west coast of the island concentrates on improving its tourism, the east coast remains the same with their customary fishing lifestyle. The fishermen’s village is a long strip of communities stretching to Pangkor town – chaotic yet full of interest. Although the places are small, they are worth the visit. There are three Pangkor fishing villages on the east coast, namely Sungai Pinang Kecil, Kampung Teluk Kecil and Sungai Pinang Besar. Majority of the people in Pangkor depend on fishing. The island lifestyle is very simple and laid-back. Before arriving at the Pangkor jetty from Lumut, you’ll pass by at the traditional houses of fishermen; some are even built in the waters on stakes. The fishermen’s houses are near to the docks. When returning home together with their catch, their wives, ready with their knives and basket, prepare their catch, which includes small and big fish and squid. The seafood is then dried under the scorching heat of the sun and later dipped in a thick sweet and spicy sauce. People with sensitive noses and stomachs should avoid the place since the smell is quite overwhelming.
If you want to learn the genuine culture of Pangkor Island, it is better to observe the daily domesticity of the local fishermen. Visit Sungai Penang Besar and discover the traditional boat-building expertise and the equipments they use to earn for a living. People in Pangkor fishing villages lies in scattered fishing settlements on the coast and their common catch, besides the big fishes, are cuttlefish and anchovy. In Sungai Pinang Kecil, you can find the Hai Seng Hin Satay Fish factory. Dried anchovies or, locally, “Ikan Bilis” is the main produce of Pangkor Island. Make a visit to the factory to have a good understanding of the whole process of production of dried seafood. You can also purchase directly from the factory where prices are cheaper.
Besides the Sungai Pinang fishing village strip, there are a few other Pangkor fishing villages in the island such as Sungai Udang, which is located between Nipah Bay and Pasir Bogak. There’s also a fishing village somewhere in Teluk Dalam, which is on the northern part of Pangkor Island. When visiting the island, don’t just stay on the beautiful beaches on the west coast. Take a trip to the east of Pulau Pangkor and discover a new interesting sight – the fishing villages.