Pangkor Island - Pulau Pangkor is an island off the coast of Perak in north-west peninsular Malaysia, reached by ferry from Lumut (a small coastal town that links to Ipoh or from Sitiawan). It has a land area of only 8 square kilometres, and a population of approximately 25,000 islanders. It is heavily promoted as a low-key tourist destination by the Malaysian government, but fishing and fish products remain major industries.
Historically, Pangkor was a refuge for local fishermen, merchants and pirates. In the 17th century, the Dutch built a fort in an effort to control the Perak tin trade. In 1874, it was the location of a historic treaty between a contender to the Perak throne and the British government (The Pangkor Treaty), which began the British colonial domination of the Malay Peninsula.
Pangkor is famous for its fine beaches and a mix of low budget to 5 star accommodations. Teluk Nipah and Coral Bay on the north west of the island is extremely popular with travellers from Europe. The quality of sand is far more superior in the Pasir Bogak Beach as compared to elsewhere on the island. The sand is golden brown, quite similar to most leading prime beaches. In Pangkor Island, be sure to see:-
- Pangkor Town
- Dutch Fort at Teluk Gudang
- Batu Bersurat (inscribed stone) - also known as Tiger Rock due to the etching found on this huge granite boulder. The rock measures about 10.7m long and 4.6m wide and stands at 4.3m tall, and today, there is a pavilion built to shelter it. Batu Bersurat is located close to the Dutch Fort, in Pangkor Island. The etching shows the picture of a tiger carrying away a child. There are also two round-shaped leaves, and the letters "If Carlo 1743" and "VOC". The "VOC" probably refers to the Dutch East India Company. There are several theories about the inscription. One sinister version of the tale claimed that the Malays and Bugis kidnapped and murdered a Dutch dignitary's son in 1743, in revenge of the ill treatment of the Dutch to the locals. When the Dutch looked for the boy, the locals made up a story that they saw the boy was snatched by a tiger. In commemorate to such incident, the Dutch soldiers etched such inscription.
Where to Eat in Pangkor?
- Village Seafood Restaurant. A popular Chinese seafood restaurant recommended by the locals. Nice and cheap. Walking distance from the Puteri Bayu Beach Resort.
- Daddy's Cafe - newly open restaurant at Coral Bay, and Pangkor's only on-the-beach restaurant. Local and international cuisine. Very friendly service just in front of a superb beach.