In the Northeast of Peninsular Malaysia lies the small, beautiful island known as Pulau Pangkor. The total land area of the island is only 8 square kilometers, so getting around Pangkor Island doesn’t take more than a couple of days. There are a lot of interesting sights and attractions in the island, not to mention a wide range of accommodations. If you are exhausted with the hustle and bustle in the city, traveling to Pangkor is a great way to spend time relaxing your mind and body with sunshine, beautiful unscathed beaches and the serenity and tranquility of the island.
Most people don’t know this, but Pulau Pangkor is known as the fishing village of Malaysia. Most fishermen in the villages still have very traditional houses. Apart from enjoying the beach, you can visit the Sungai Pinang fishing villages, observe the locals and discover the culture. There are different transportation services available if you plan getting around Pangkor Island. Majority of your travel will probably be on land using different forms of transport such as car, taxi, bicycle and motorbike. You can also get around the entire island by boat and visit other close islands like Pangkor Laut.
Most of top resorts in Pangkor offer ‘around the island’ boat tour with snorkeling activities on a few popular sites like Pulau Giam, Pelandok and Mentangor. It is also possible to charter a boat and head to Pulau Simbilan if you are interested in fishing. Many beach hotels offer this type of island activities.
Surprisingly, you can rent a car in Pangkor Island that costs RM 70 per day. The car isn’t as fancy as you expect yet they are in good running condition. Another option is by taxi, which is cheaper at RM 40 (although the price varies depending on the season). The island has only one main road, encircling Pangkor Island. If you want to rent a taxi, they are easily identified by the all-pink color. The pink minibuses provide enough space to accommodate a family going around Pangkor. The round trip normally takes two hours and the trip is worth the cost since the driver can be your instant tour guide. Taxi drivers usually take you to some must-see attractions in the island. You can also charter a taxi if you plan to visit a specific beach. After spending the day on the beach, you can stroll around and eat out at different food stalls. Taxis are commonly seen in town and in beach resorts so there’s no problem in terms of transportation when getting around Pangkor Island.
Sometimes, it’s worth it to explore the island by yourself. Pulau Pangkor is practically small enough to explore everything on your own and one way is to rent a motorbike. Renting a bike is simple and it only cost RM40 for the entire day. There are several companies that offer bikes-for-rent. Some are found in front of the jetty in Pangkor while other hotels offer this type of service to their guests. When renting a motorbike, always check the brakes and gear if it’s functioning properly and head to the gas station. The circle road is approximately 20 kilometer so you might need more or less one liter petrol, but don’t put too much petrol in your tank: never put in more than necessary.
When getting around Pangkor Island, always be cautious on the road since there are steep parts and rough roads. Watch for stray dogs and Komodo dragons (Biawaks) lurking around the place. So far, the road is in very god condition although still quite narrow. Fortunately, there’s only very light traffic, making the journey around Pangkor smooth and easy.