Pulau Pangkor

David & Valerie Allen
Sun 19 Dec 2010 08:32
04:12.69 N   100:36.07 E

Monday, December 6, 2010.

We completed our first overnight "sail" in Malaysia.  Other than the three-hour thunderstorm during the night, we had no trouble with fishing nets.  We were very lucky.  We decided to stay at the right hand side of the shipping channel and only had one ship take up its anchor and pass in front of us.  It was very polite and signalled its intentions by horn.  It was a bit crowded in the narrow channel passing out of Port Klang to the north when four other boats were making the turn along with us, but we encountered no worries.  MOONSHINER travelling on the left side of the channel DID find miles of nets.

We were also very fortunate in that a cruise ship went straight up our chosen rhumb line.  Thus, we knew, if any of the hundreds of fishing vessels had placed nets there, they would have effectively disappeared before our arrival!

When we reached Pulau Pangkor we noticed two naval vessels circling about.  Apparently there are over 6,000 naval personnel and their families here as this is the centre for piracy control in Malaysia.  It really adds to the feeling of security!

It was necessary to call James Khoo at Pangkor Marina Island  before arriving as there are vast undredged shallows which must be crossed over to enter the marina.  A pilot boat was sent for us. 

What an amazing sight greeted us!

Pangkor Marina Island marina 

This is a brand new (not quite finished) marina and James is trying to make it known.  He could not have done more to make us feel welcome.  Everything is clean and the docks don't separate.  Staff are ready to help at any time.  Fuel is not yet available at the dock, but Affie, James' helper will arrange  to have jerry jugs filled at a local petrol station and returned to your boat.  Laundry is taken away and returned in very clean condition.  (We were DESPERATE!)  There is a ferry next door which will take you to the smaller island with the town of Pangkor on it for very reasonable prices.   James was wonderful to us.  When he heard we were going to take a taxi into town to the Giant Supermarket, he offered us a lift into town, waited for us to finish, and then showed us places we would never have found otherwise.  We stopped at a special bakery where bread is cooked over a wood fire.  This is the way it is cooked in Tanjing (sp.?).  The rolls are round and flat like a bagel.  The sweet  plain type are a little lighter and puffier.  There are also ones baked with onion and (our personal favourite) some filled with BBQ pork.  (James, and many other Chinese residents are Christians and can eat pork- AND sell beer- despite this being a Moslem country.)  This bread lasts a long time and was what his grandparents carried for nourishment when they were walking out of China many years ago.  He also took us to an out of the way Chinese restaurant where we enjoyed a scrumptious lunch.

The marina is part of an enormous resort and residential complex which is going up very quickly.  This is a model of what the resort will eventually look like.

Plans include a summer camp for children, a water theme park, an underwater restaurant and much more.

At present, this residential apartment building is being run as a Best Western Hotel.

the present hotel- later to become a residential apartment when the larger hotel is finished..  We stayed  here while we were on the hard.  The apartments are huge and clean.  Breakfast is included.  Normally the rates are 299 ringgit per night.  For marina patrons the cost is 199 ringgit (about $60.00).  The staff are incredibly attentive and friendly.

The entire complex will be designed around a manmade lagoon.  The pool is mostly finished at present and a small lagoon is beyond it.

pool and lagoon at the hotel

The haul out area is under construction and a lot of dredging is going on.

the haul out area- still in a primitive state, but it is advancing rapidly

James and his staff arranged for the boat that was already being serviced on his forklift-type haul out trailer to be removed so that they could work on ANGEL.  The work was done quickly and efficiently.  We were very pleased with the results.  The haul out trailer was totally new to us.  There is no separate tractor, it is self-propelled.  The "forks" slide under the hull on each side of the keel and then air hoses are inflated to keep the boat level and stable.  The boat is raised to a height of ten feet above the ground.  All our bottom work was done on the ramp.  Instead of waiting for the 10th to haul out, we were put back in the water on the 10th with glasswork and bottom painting (patchwork) completed.

the haul out trailer with the immobilizing "airbags"

With ANGEL safely out of the water receiving loving care and dave and Dick gainfully employed making sure we are not the first boat to sink because of a faulty toilet. Sara and I ventured to Pangkor via the ferry.

The ferry is a private one (a way to get around permit problems by not setting it up in competition with the main ferry company running to the mainland).  It is necessary to purchase an annual membership (5 ringgit) and then the return fare is 10 ringgit.  It is VERY popular and there is always some excitement.  We watched as staff members tried to wrestle a motorbike ashore with no ramp- just a set of steps!

The ferry arrives in Pangkor in about 10 minutes.

view from the Pangkor ferry

This is obviously a holiday destination with heaps of merchandise geared for souvenir collectors.

street outside the ATM machine

Around the corner we discovered (and heard) the local mosque.

Pangkor mosque

I couldn't manage to get a photo without a motorcyclist's helmet.  Motor scooters are everywhere.  You even have to be careful on the sidewalks while looking at merchandise.  They travel there as well!

Beside the mosque was a very well populated cemetery.  Dozens and dozens of these little urns shared this tranquil spot.

While exploring on foot as we didn't have time for an island tour, we scaled the hill to this building complex.  We don't know what it was, but the name was certainly intriguing...

We all need moral uplifting at one time or another!

There were bushels and bushels of many kinds of dried fish for sale everywhere.  If that doesn't appeal, there were also several restaurants and bakeries.  Dave would have loved to have some roti prata- with gravy!

We were very thirsty and went to a Chinese shop with a terrace where they sold beer.  We shared our table with a couple from Sweden who were just beginning an extensive tour of Malaysia.  While we were talking, Sara spied two hornbills in the electrical wires above us.  We didn't hear their call (the traffic was too noisy), but they were a magnificent sight.


We had to run to catch the ferry- in fact they were letting go the lines when we came dashing up- but they waited for us.  At the terminal on the other side, I took a mother-daughter picture with the mother's camera and the two of them posed for me as well.

mother and daughter

These are the faces we saw everywhere in Malaysia, especially on  Pulau Pangkor.   (Note the little Malay girl logo on the little girl's dress- we saw this on other articles of clothing and on backpacks as well).  We have loved visiting this spot and will find it hard to leave tomorrow, but we ARE looking forward to a couple of days in Langkawi before setting out for Phuket.