THE GHOST TOWN ISLAND OF MALAYSIA, PULAU PANGKOR

Imagine us… in a ghost town with just hornbills and plastic bottles!

Pangkor feels like coming to an island where one day many people were living and traveling to… now it looks pretty abandoned. Not much is going on over there.

If you need to relax on a quiet island with a few restaurants, a supermarket and mainly locals, Pulau Pangkor is for you!

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Pangkor Island

How to go to Pulau Pangkor from Kuala Lumpur

By Bus – The cheapest way to travel around

In Kuala Lumpur (KL), find the buses at the TBS (Terminal Bersepadu Selatan).

The buses are driving every 30 minutes from KL to Lumut. The ride takes about 5 hours and cost 27 RM ( 5,70 €) per person.

You can check the schedules, prices and how many seats are left on these two websites: www.easybook.comwww.busonlineticket.com 

If there are still many places available, you don’t need to book online. Just buy your ticket at the TBS.

Good To Know: It’s really easy to find a bus at the TBS. They have counters in the entrance which sell tickets for all the bus lines, just ask for a bus ticket to Lumut, pay there, and head to the gate. Really easy, and really good organization.

If you already booked online and you are wondering how to print your ticket – because you need to do it – don’t worry just do it at the bus station. They take 1 RM ( 0,21 €) per ticket – Easy.

We drove with the company “Arwana Express”, easy ride. The bus is super comfy. It’s not equipped with toilets but it stops on the way. So if you need to use the bathrooms or buy snacks, no problem!

When you are at Lumut’s bus terminal, just walk 200 meters to buy your ferry ticket to go to Pangkor. It’s 14 RM ( 3 €) per person. Keep your ticket for the way back it includes the round trip (One-way journey: 30 to 45 minutes).

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The ferry

The ferry is going from Lumut to Pangkor from 6:30am till 8:30pm, every 30 to 45 minutes. The ferry makes the first stop at the jetty SPK (Sungai Pinang Kecil), and then at the Pangkor jetty (the town).

If you are going to Pasir Bogak or Teluk Nipah, go out at the second stop: Pangkor jetty.

From the jetty, you can take a taxi. The prices are written on a sign. It costs 16 RM (3,30€) to go from Pangkor town to Teluk Nipah.

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Pangkor Pinky Pink Taxi

How to go to Pangkor from Langkawi

Take the ferry from Kuah to Kuala Perlis, it’s 18 RM ( 3,80 €) per person (1h15 crossing). Website Langkawi Ferry.

Then, in Kuala Perlis grab a bus to Lumut, same price 18 RM. The bus ride takes about 5-6 hours.

In Lumut, grab the ferry to Pangkor. It’s 14 RM (3€) per ticket (the round trip). Keep your ticket for the way back. (Journey: 30 to 45 minutes)

If you are going to Pasir Bogak or Teluk Nipah, go out at the second stop: Pangkor jetty.

Check the schedules and prices on these websites: www.easybook.comwww.busonlineticket.com 

How to go to Pangkor from Penang

Take the bus in Penang Sentral to Lumut, it’s about 18 RM ( 3,80 €) per person. The ride takes about 3 hours.

In Lumut, grab the ferry to Pangkor. It’s 14 RM (3€) per ticket (the round trip). Keep your ticket for the way back. (Journey: 30 to 45 minutes)

If you are going to Pasir Bogak or Teluk Nipah, go out at the second stop: Pangkor jetty.

Check the schedules and prices on these websites: www.easybook.comwww.busonlineticket.com 

Pangkor Map

Map Pangkor

Where to get Cash?

The only banks on the island are located in Pangkor town, around 5 km away from Teluk Nipah.

Where to stay?

We do recommend you to stay at Teluk Nipah. We find that’s the best area of the island, near restaurants, and beaches.

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Teluk Nipah

When we arrived in Pangkor, we stayed 2 nights in Nazri Nipah Camp. They have small “bungalows” for 40 RM (8,40 €) per night – with fan and shared bathroom – apparently, it gets really hot inside.

They also have basic rooms with AC and private bathroom for 80 RM/night (16,80 €). We chose this option even though I find the price too expensive for the quality of the room.

But the hotel is a good place to hang out and meet travelers – if there are people 😅

Where to find long term accommodation with negotiable prices?

We walked around Teluk Nipah for a half day to find “long-term accommodation” at an affordable price. Many people were asking 80 RM (16,80 €) per night, which was not possible for us!

One hotel offered us a room for 8000 RM/month (1600 €) hahaha, thank you but that’s our accommodation budget for 8 months in Asia!

But anyway, after visiting a few places, we finally found a room with everything that we needed: quiet private room with balconies, views over the jungle, private bathroom, fan, AC, access to the kitchen, laundry included, 2 minutes walk from the beach and restaurants – and for the reasonable price of 1000 RM/month (210€) which is 33 RM per night (6,90 €). Easy, Peasy!

So – we stayed at Seagull.

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Seagull

Pangkor Inn Chalet was also offering us this price.

And Nazri Nipah Camp was asking 1200 RM/month (252 €).

Camping

If you have your own tent, it’s also possible to camp for free in Pangkor. You can set up your tent under the trees in front of the beach. There are public toilets where you can have a shower for 1,50 RM (0,30 €) – and you can load your devices in the restaurants nearby.

We met two guys who did exactly that for around one month.

Where to eat

During the week, you don’t have many choices for eating in Teluk Nipah but don’t worry there are always 2-3 restaurants open for lunch and dinner.

The prices are really low – it’s about 6 to 10 RM (1,20 – 2,10 €) per meal. Easy!

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Main Street, Teluk Nipah

Buffet

For lunch, we ate nearly every day at a local buffet – you’ll find this place at the end of the main street of Teluk Nipah – direction Pangkor town.

The average price for 2 people: 10 RM (2,10€).

I do recommend you to eat the “Kerabu”, salad with cucumber, pineapple, red onions, and chili. A delight!

Thai food Restaurant

For dinner, we often ate at Thai Food restaurant – the big one at the corner of 2 streets – you can’t miss it. Adrian loves the Ayam Kunyit (chicken turmeric) with rice, Telur Mata (fried egg), and Sambal Belacan (a really spicy sauce).

Price for this meal: 11,50 RM (2,40 €).

Don’t ever try the burgers 🍔

We took away burgers from a street food place…

SO-  whatever you choose, beef, chicken or veggie – it’s a frozen thin perfect “round” mixed with 3 sauces – a ton of sauce! Never again, the taste was even worse than a Mac Do burger 🤢

The best Roti Canai of the island (Breakfast)

Find the best roti canai in front of the Historical Dutch Fort (in the heart of the island).

Roti Canai is a typical breakfast here in Malaysia. It’s kinda similar to crêpe, served with dhal – vegetable soup with spicy sauce.

THE BEST ROTI we have ever had in Malaysia!

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The restaurant is on the right side of the picture ↑

Our host took us there to show us the most delicious one in whole Pangkor. It’s 1,20 RM (≃ 0,25 €) per roti and it’s a delight!

Open in the morning until 10 to 11am, depending on how busy it is.

Closed on Friday

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The Chef

Where to drink beers

Daddy’s Cafe is the only restaurant on the island where you can enjoy a beer right on the beach, which is really enjoyable.

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Beach, Daddy’s Cafe

Daddy’s Cafe has an occidental menu, with occidental prices – so we never ate there.

Good to know: We heard that Daddy’s Cafe is the perfect place to watch the sunset. Unfortunately, in February-March, the sun goes down behind a small island. So you can’t enjoy the sunset from there! At least you can enjoy a cold beer! 🍻

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Sunset, Daddy’s Cafe

PS: You also can find beers in the supermarket of Teluk Nipah 😉

Renting scooter

Renting scooter can get pricey in Pangkor. We asked a few people, and they were asking us 50 RM (10,50 €) for 24h – double the price than in Langkawi.

So after negotiating – we found a scooter for 30 RM (6,30€) for 5 hours – which was totally enough for us – we even had time to drive twice all around the island!

So don’t hesitate to ask around!

You also can easily hitchhike from Teluk Nipah to Pangkor Town if you need/want to.

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The Pilot & our Pinky Pink Scooter

WHAT TO DO IN PANGKOR

   → What to do in Teluk Nipah?

Walk to Giam Island

At low tide, have a walk from Coral Bay to Giam island. Wear flip flops or water shoes to cross with ease – it’s full of dead corals. Please watch your steps, there are lots of sea cucumbers and some beautiful pieces of colorful coral 🙏

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Giam island
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On the way to Giam island

Pay it forward

Pangkor has a real problem with garbage. The currents are bringing tons of plastic every day! We even have seen a TV and a washing machine on the beach – just terrible! Grab rubbish bags in your hotel or in a restaurant, and give a hand to clean the beach.

And please – say NO to plastic bags, straws, bottles…

Nearly everywhere in Malaysia (hostels, shops), you can refill your reusable water bottle for a few cents.

Thanks!

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The problem is real!
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Do what you can…

Admire the wildlife

Eagles, monitor lizards, monkeys, and the famous Hornbills can be seen everywhere around the island. We even have seen a wild boar during our stay! Nice Nice Nice 😍

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Hornbills
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Sweet Monkeys
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Monitor Lizard

   → What to visit all around the island?

Rent a scooter for a day or half day and explore the island. Make a few stops to enjoy the views BUT first start with an awesome Malaysian breakfast!

Breakfast

Start your island tour by trying the best roti canai of Malaysia! Remember, the restaurant is located in front of the Dutch fort. It’s open till 10-11am & closed on Friday.

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Roti Canai

Have a look on the Dutch Fort

The Dutch constructed this fort in 1670 for storage and protection of supplies, and to control trade in the Malay peninsula. 200 years later, the Fort was left abandoned.

Now, it’s a tourism site.

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Dutch Fort

Floating Mosque “Masjid Al-Badr Seribu Selawat”

Take a shot from the Floating Mosque. Be aware that Unfortunately, we can’t show you the inside because as None-Muslims we aren’t allowed to enter.

Find the floating Mosque 750 meters from the Dutch fort.

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Floating Mosque

Chinese Temple “Foo Lin Kong”

Visit the Chinese Temple. The entrance is free. Walk around and enjoy the details of the temple. They build a miniature of the Great Wall of China, that’s kinda “cute” 😅

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Chinese Temple
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Chinese Temple

Be aware that there is a small dirty pond with hundreds of turtles which are “stuck” altogether. We reported that to @SPCASelangor & @veterinarmalaysia via Facebook – maybe you can do the same – and maybe one day they will be free or living in much better conditions…

Thanks again!

Indian Temple

Oops, my phone turned off, we don’t have any pictures of the Indian Temple, but you can have a stop there and absorb the fascinating & colorful architecture.

How long to stay in Pangkor?

Well, depending on your timing and your plans. Basically, you can explore the complete island in one day, but you can also take your time to relax, enjoy the quietness and clean the island! 😉

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Pangkor

PS: we stayed for one month in Pangkor – It’s really quiet during the weekdays (many shops and restaurants are closed) and during the weekends, more people are coming and everything is open.

ENJOY!

On the way to Georgetown? Don’t miss our Useful Tips here!

Heading to Langkawi? Check out our Freaking Travel Tips here!


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 Amandine & Adrian @whynotabroad

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