Pangkor Island is in Perak, on the west coast of peninsular Malaysia, about 100 km west of Ipoh and halfway between Kuala Lumpur and Penang.

Fu Ling Kong Temple


Dutch fort

Pangkor Island is a relatively small island with total surface area of about 8 km².


Pangkor was previously a favourite refuge of fishermen, sailors, merchants and pirates, and was an important site from which to control trading in the Strait of Melaka.

A Dutch fort was built in the 17th century to monopolise tin trade in Perak and to protect the Perak Chieftan against Acehnese and Siamese incursions, but the Dutch were soon driven out by the local ruler when the promised protection did not materialise.

In 1874 a contender to the Perak throne sought British backing and signed the Pangkor Treaty, as a result of which James WW Birch was installed in Perak and thus began the British Colonial era on the peninsula.

Pangkor's economy was once reliant on fishing, and fishing and dried fish products are still a major industry for the island. The famous satay fish originated here.


Although Pangkor is less well-known than Penang, Langkawi, and Tioman, the Perak state government is making efforts to promote it as one of Malaysia's main tourist destinations. It is a popular local resort and can get very crowded at weekends and on public holidays, however the beaches are almost empty during the week. It has some of the west coast's prettiest and most tranquil beaches, authentic Malaysian fishing villages that have changed little in 50 years, and some great local food (especially the seafood).

In 2005 the Malaysian Ministry of Tourism expressed support for a local developer of the new Marina Sanctuary Resort Project. A RM50 million tourism and infrastructure loan was sought by the developer to boost the tourism in Pangkor Island by providing improved ferry access into Pangkor. This program is claimed to have the potential to bring an additional 2 million tourists into the sleepy island ever year. There are some concerns about ensuring the protection of the natural environment and laid back nature of the island should projects such as this proceed. The project involves the creation of a man made island, reclaimed from the sea and with a total area of 316.9 acres. It is sited 400 m from the mainland's shoreline. The current development is structured into 5 phases and will take a period of 10-15 years to completion.

The island also supports an emerging fish farming and aquaculture operation.


The east coast of the island faces the mainland and is a continuous strip of residential villages, including Sungai Pinang Kecil (SPK), Sungai Pinang Besar (SPB) and Pangkor Town, the major centre of population.

The road that runs along the east coast of the island turns west in Pangkor Town and crosses the island to one of the most famous beaches on the west cost of the island, Pasir Bogak (about 2km from Pangkor Town).

From Pasir Bogak, the road runs north to the village of Teluk Nipah, where most of the budget accommodation is located. It then goes to the northern end of the island, past through the airport to a site where the Pangkor Pan Pacific Hotel located. This is the location of the famous Golden Sand Bay (Pantai Puteri Dewi) in Teluk Belanga. Next to Teluk Belanga is Teluk Dalam where the third Pier (Pan Pacific Jetty) in Pangkor Island located. This pier is exclusively for the guest to Pangkor Pan Pacific Hotel only.

After Teluk Dalam, the road turns to the east and finally join to the road on the east coast in Sungai Pinang Kecil, completing a full ring.

Beside the simple ring road mentioned above, there is only one branch off in Pangkor Town where the road runs southward to Teluk Gedung and Teluk Baharu.

In Teluk Gedung is the 17th century Dutch fort and the Batu Bersurat (Written Rock).

Get in

By plane

Pangkor Airport, pictured in 2008

Pangkor Airport (IATA: PKG) is not currently served by scheduled airline operations. Previous services operated by Berjaya Air between Kuala Lumpur and the relatively new airport on Pangkor were suspended on 3 May 2010. Pangkor Airport, was previously served by flights from Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport (IATA: SZB)

CORRECTION - There is a service using Berjaya Air to Pangkor/K.L. though it is at the moment fairly seasonal. Check with the airline.

By ferry

With the recent development of the private resort island Marina Island Pangkor, you will now need to take a 7 min ferry ride to Pulau Pangkor saving you hours of waiting compared to the existing ferry services from Lumut. From the private jetty, ferries and private charters depart regularly to different parts of Pangkor Island. Since, it is a private resort, all ferry passengers must be a member of the resort to board the ferry services.

A payment of a RM5 annual fee for a single membership and RM10 annual fee for a family membership category is required. Only 2 way ferry ticketing is available. The first departure is at 7:15AM, the last is at 8:30PM. Departure are at hourly for the non-peak period and during peak periods departures are at 15 min intervals.

The existing and the oldest mainland settlement is the town of Lumut, an attractive, laid-back place about 7 km away. Buses from KL and other places will drop you off at the bus station next to the pier.

There are two major ferry stops for the residents in Pangkor island; the SPK Jetty in Sungai Pinang Kecil and the Pangkor Jetty in Pangkor Town. Tourists should stop by the 2nd pier, Pangkor Jetty as this is the main township in Pangkor Island and is closer to the various beaches on the west coast of the island.

The 3rd pier, the Pangkor Island Beach Resort Jetty (formerly Pan Pacific Jetty) at Teluk Dalam, is exclusively for guests of that hotel.

Get around

On the island, unmetered taxis (microvans) are widely available they are bright pink and are at the airport and in Pangkor Town once you get off the ferry, or ask your hotel to call one for you. Agree to the fare amount before starting your journey.

Motorbikes are readily available from many man that stand at the exit of the main jetty. Since they are unregulated, the cost will vary depending on your negotiating skills. Some may ask for a deposit, but if you quickly say no, they generally accept. The rough pricing is RM30 for a manual and RM40 for an automatic per day.


The sun sets over Pangkor Island



The beaches have clear water and almost white sand. Though the water seems to be clean, the beach is littered with plastic debris and driftwood. The island has some waste management problems, as can be seen in the southern part at the huge waste dump and at the small villages where sewage is discharged into the sea. Some travellers have reported sea lice.








Go next

Nearby islands include include Pangkor Laut Island, the private resort island Marina Island, Giam Island (Pulau Giam) and Mentagor Island (Pulau Mentagor). The latter two are uninhabited.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, January 20, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.