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A daytrip to Pangkor

If you talk to F about my hometown, he’ll tell you right away that there is not much there. And he’s right. Here, you either work, eat, shop or sembang (chit chat); there is a distinct lack of interesting attractions and activities when you’re used to the kind of variety found in many European towns of similar size. Still, for me, it’s home, and I’ll happily stay for a spell without having much to do except searching for the next best eat. For a small town, it kinda rocks that way – outsiders come here for delicious snacks and meals.

Perhaps the most “exciting” thing one can do is to visit the nearby Pangkor Island, an island inhabited primarily by a thriving fishing community but in parts have been developed for tourism. It is a short ferry ride over from Marina Island or Lumut (this takes a wee bit longer) and once arrived, there is no shortage of shocking pink taxi-vans in waiting to take you on a 2-hour island tour.

Pangkor Island

Pangkor Island

Pangkor Island

Pangkor Island

We visited Pangkor on a quiet Monday with some of our family guests (here to attend my cousin’s wedding) and of course, we piled in one of the taxi-van at the standard price** and jounced our way around the island in the old, non air-conditioned people carrier. The tour comes with number of key stopover points including the Old Dutch Fort, the Fu Lin Kong temple with a miniature replica of the Great Wall of China, and one of the beaches. The only thing I stipulated to the driver was to not bring us to any sea produce manufacturing/packaging shop since we didn’t intend to shop.

** I’m telling you, I am no longer capable of bargaining things in Asia, because I feel it unfair given my purchasing power after exchanging Euro for RM and the amount bargained down is quite unlikely to even get me a bag of chips in McDo in Paris but makes a difference to the locals.

Pangkor Island

Pangkor Island

Pangkor Island

Pangkor Island

The driver/guide rattled off a bunch of facts in Mandarin about the island and the places we would see, while I scrambled to translate them to the only non-Mandarin speaker, my dear F. No easy task, since we were seated at the far back and it wasn’t as if he had a microphone. Remember, the windows were wide opened too so we weren’t stifled with heat, thus suffice to say voice transmission just wasn’t optimal. Somehow, between catching the facts and translating them, I managed to retain next to zero information myself… (gosh, holiday brains)

We had a 30-minute stop at the Fu Lin Kong to walk about and to take some photos, and we had absolutely no idea where our driver went in this time. When he got back, we continued the journey through the west of the island to get to the different bay with beaches (a few minutes stop at each), headed back through the village in order to continue south to the Old Dutch Fort (a 15-minute stop here). Two hours flew by. We were keen to be back at the beach for the afternoon so we asked to be dropped off for lunch at the village, and for the driver to drive us back to the beach an hour later.

Pangkor Island

Pangkor Island

Pangkor Island

Pangkor Island

Pangkor Island

Pangkor Island

We picked the Pasir Giam Beach as our resting spot, for it was quiet and calm and there was also a large tree with several hammocks for us to use. A boatman managed to persuade F to pay for a ride out to Pulau Giam nearby, dangling the carrot of “amazing snorkelling spot” so off they went, together with my cousin A. The boys came back an hour later, disappointed, as the water was just too murky that day to see much. I was, however, rather pleased with my afternoon nap in the hammock.

All too soon, we found our driver arriving to pick us up so we won’t miss our ferry back to the mainland. Afterall, there was another big family dinner planned that evening, and I, for one, wouldn’t miss it for the world. This time, it’s really not all about the food, but also for the family time that I rarely get nowadays. I grew up in a large and rowdy home, and every so often, I find myself missing fiercely this beautiful chaos that is filled with so much love and warmth.



Category: Asia, Malaysia, Travel

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2 scribbles & notes

  1. med says:

    hehehe…i think i’ve been to sitiawan once for emily’s cousin wedding dinner and pangkor maybe twice…or was it just one time…hmmm….but yeah, the beach and sea wasnt anything to shout about

    its better at pangkor laut though…the one managed by ytl…private so of coz its pricier…can try that next time u guys are back ;) never been there myself yet but gotten pretty good reviews from my friends

    • Lil says:

      hehehe, not sure if we can afford pangkor laut and yes, we’ve heard many good things too but a bit too luxurious for our pocket ;)

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