25 November 2008

Pangkor Island Idle

After many a dramatic discussions in the details of the trip, we finally went for the weekend getaway.

There is actually nothing much to do on Pangkor Island, which makes it a really conducive environment for anyone who needs to run away from all the hustle and bustle of the rat race. The simplicity of the people and the pace of life grows on you. The hospitality is disarmingly familiar and warm, more so when you interact with the local Chinese with their thick Malaysia-accented Mandarin.

Getting to Pangkor Island does take patience. The coach ride from Singapore to Lumut Ferry Terminal (somewhere in Perak, Malaysia) takes around 10 hours. Thereafter, a 30 minute ferry ride to the private jetty of the resort.

Rooms in Pangkor Island Beach Resort can be booked online. The accommodations were pretty cheap for what is considered to be a luxury resort previously managed by Pan Pacific Hotels. The rooms were spacious, clean and comfortable.

The resort had a nice and clean private beach. Every morning, plenty of crabs would be foraging in the sand. While not as grand as the crab swarms that sweep through Christmas Island, it is still a sight to behold. The complimenting tropical rainforest ecology also lends a healthy number of hornbills to the resort that come by daily for fresh supplies of fruits.

The island's town can be covered by a quick tour on one of the pink passenger vans that serves the island. With quick stops to view the processes of creating dried fish, a wholesale centre, a Dutch fort and a temple or two, it is almost a gratuitous ride.

Alternatively, take a round-island boat tour for a different view of the island and end it all with a little bit of snorkeling. But don't get your hopes up too high, the water isn't exactly crystal clear all the time, not that it matters to the hungry fishes that will nibble at your outstretched hand.

Which is probably why so many guests would while the whole day away soaking up the sun and the picturesque view at the beach resort, occasionally interrupting the tranquility with a novelty activity or two.

In the evenings, the Golden Oriole Lounge and Bar is filled with live music performed by a Filipino trio. Quieter moments are available in the form of night fishing or just a good night's rest.

Well, enough about Pangkor. I guess it is time for me to plan my next beach getaway.

In the meantime, more photos from my Pangkor trip here.

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