Pangkor, THE weekend getaway of the busy city Kuala Lumpur

Pangkor, THE weekend getaway of the busy city Kuala Lumpur

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It is Saturday morning 9 a.m., and we are waiting at the bus station. Our bus arrives and we take our seats in the bus, ready for take-off! When we are a bit outside the city, we almost feel the air change. Away from all the smog in Kuala Lumpur and away from all the traffic… on our way for our perfect weekend getaway. We are on the way to Pangkor Island!

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Pangkor Island is located on the west coast from Malaysia Peninsula; actually it is in between Kuala Lumpur and Penang in de streets of Malacca. The name of the island comes from the Thai ‘Pang Ko’, which means Beautiful Island. It actually concerns a group of islands with Pangkor as its main island, and next to that a trio of smaller islands: Pangkor Laut, Pulau Mentagor en Pulau Giam.

After a journey of 5 hours by bus (or 4 hours by car) you will reach Lumut. Lumut is a little fishing village where all the ferries to Pangkor depart. The ferry operates from 7.00 in the morning to 8 in the evening and departs every 45 minutes. You only have to buy a return ticket for RM 10 (3 USD).


When you arrive on the island after a boat ride of 30 minutes, you will see a lot of pink colored taxies. For only 5 RM per person (1, 5 USD) the taxi will bring you to your hotel/chalet/hostel. It can be very busy on the island with locals during the weekend or school holiday so I would recommend booking something in advance.

In my opinion, Nipah Bay is the best place to stay on this Island. Nipah is a little village with a lot of local restaurants and a stunning beach surrounded by thick jungle. Here you find cheap chalets and hotels with a laid back atmosphere. A busier part of the island is Pantai Pasir Bogak, especially during the weekends it will be packed with locals.

The best way to explore Pangkor Island is by motorbike as rental is only around RM25-40 per day. Make sure you bring your (international) driving license with you; otherwise you will not be able to rent the scooter. Roads on Pangkor can be quite treacherous and sometimes slippery (especially after rain) so you have to be careful when you are driving.

A must do when you are on Pangkor is making a visit to Giam island, which is located right in front of Nipah Bay. For only 10 RM for 2 ways (3 USD) the water taxi will bring you to the super tiny but beautiful island. We were the only ones there and it was absolute stunning!


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Another great thing about Pangkor… it is full with the most beautiful and rarest bird of Malaysia; the great Hornbill. You will see numerous of them flying around!
So, when you live in Kuala Lumpur and you have a weekend free? The best getaway is a visit to Pangkor Island! I will definitely come back soon as it is easy to reach, nearby, cheap and such a paradise!

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/// Written by Janieke Nieboer, Malaysia