In past times; this area used to be the center for piracy. The pirates had their home ports in the Pulau Gedung Hills, Gua Lanun (Pirates’ Cave) and Batu Perompak (Pirates’ Rock) on the island of Pangkor. Many ships/boats were taken over and robbed of their goods and products. The Dutch were active here in the times of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). People were especially keeping themselves busy with the tin industry, until the British took over. In 1670 the Dutch built a fort (also for protection against the locals and the higher powers of that time) at Tiger Rock. During the British rule the name has temporarily been Monkey Island.
Later the island was named Pulau Aman (Peaceful Island) before it regained the name Pangkor. Getting around on Pangkor Island The best way to explore Pangkor Island is by motorbike as rental is only around RM25-40 per day. Another option is by renting a car, though there are only a few places where this is possible. Sometimes you will get cheaper prices if you rent a motorbike or car from one of the employees at your resort; but do check up front how things like insurance and such are arranged. Better don’t take any unnecessary chances and just go for the trustworthy rental companies.
You could of course also consider renting a bicycle, but do know that some parts of the island have some steep climbs which can be quite strenuous in this tropical climate. Last option is to get around by taxi; but this does limit the possibilities of exploring the island a bit. On the other hand taxi drivers are quite knowledgeable so they might be able to take you to places unknown by tourists. There are no metered taxis on Pangkor Island. Trips are based on fixed prices. For example; a trip from Pangkor Town Jetty to Nipah Bay costs RM15. The best places to rent a scooter is at Pangkor Town Jetty or at Nipah Bay.
During weekends (or public holidays) it can be quite crowded on the island, and most of the motorbikes will be rented out. We have good experiences with Budget Resort and Flora Resort (both in Nipah Town). We paid RM32 per day, but normal price is RM40 per day (we rented one for multiple days during our stay). Always be careful when riding a scooter. Always wear a helmet. Make sure you bring your (international) driving license with you, otherwise you will not be able to rent the scooter. Never go too fast. Roads on Pangkor can be quite treacherous and sometimes slippery (especially after rain).
There are numerous beaches on Pangkor Island; an easy way to explore them is by motorbike (or taxi/rental car). Only a few of these beaches are popular among locals and tourists; especially during the weekends. The rest are secluded and unspoilt; during the week there is a big chance you will be the only one visiting the beach. Pantai Pasir Bogak probably is the most popular beach on the island. Another great beach is Nipah beach at Teluk Nipah; where you can find clear waters.
You can even snorkel in the area, as it is located directly opposite Pulau Giam which is the only island that is surrounded by corals (though snorkeling over here should not be compared with snorkeling at islands like Perhentian, Redang or Tioman). Snorkeling at Giam is inexpensive. Snorkeling gear including a return boat trip costs only RM15 per person. Other great beaches are Ketapang beach and Segadas beach (the secret beach).
Though Segadas beach is not that easy to reach (you need to walk from the small town Teluk Gedung via a short jungle trip to the secluded beach, which takes around 20/25 minutes); it probably is the most beautiful beach on the island. Pangkor has some great resorts There are numerous great resorts on the island. One of the most popular is thePangkor Island Beach Resort . This resort is especially great for families with children; as they have an extensive children’s program. All the guests get a daily newspaper where the activities for the day are described.
You can chose to join early in the morning to look for birds, or come to the Hornbill feeding platform where Hornbills are fed twice daily. Nearby the coastal town of Lumut you can stay at the amazing Swiss-Garden Resort Damai Laut . When we first visited the resort we didn’t know what to expect. We read stories up front that the resort is often very quiet and that it is especially renowned for its spa facilities and of course the fantastic golf course (18-hole, Par 72 championship golf course including a driving range).
Golf sport enthusiasts will have the time of their lives; as the golf course is rated among the best throughout Malaysia (and Southeast Asia). From the resort you have great views on the island of Pangkor that lies opposite the resort. A resort of a whole different class is the famous Pangkor Laut Resort . This is by far the most luxurious resort on the island (actually on a secluded island nearby Pangkor). The resort is often mentioned in luxury & lifestyle magazines; it is rated as one of the best resorts in Malaysia.
It is also one of the best places to visit during your honeymoon. Below a nice video of Pangkor Laut and the resort. Pangkor also has great guesthouses During one of our stays at Pangkor Island we spend a few nights at Nipah Guesthouse, winner of the Tripadvisor Travelers Choice 2012 award. This sure was a nice guesthouse and the owners are amazing people. In the same area, around Nipah Bay, there are many other guesthouses. Most of the guesthouses rent out motorbikes and most offer lunches for non-guests.