Pangkor Island / Malaysia



A Tropical Island

Pangkor, a smaller island on the western shores of Malaysia, is mostly covered with tropical rainforest, of which a good part is still primary. That's why there are so many species living on Pangkor: eagles, monitor lizards, otters, two kinds of hornbills, wild pigs, macaques, seasonally big turtles who lay periodically eggs at Pangkor's cost after they swam thousands of kilometers through the Indian Ocean, a great deal of snakes, many cats, some dogs, and, of course, not few mosquitoes. If you are very lucky, you can see a sliding lizard 'flying' from one tree to another in the jungle.

Pulau Pangkor

'Pangkor's West Coast with View on Pulau Giam' by Asienreisender

Pangkor Island's (Pulau Pangkor), west coast with view on Pulau Giam, one of many smaller islands shattered around here. Image by Asienreisender, 2005

On the western side of the island are, if the weather is fine, stunning sunsets to see.

Pangkor is clearly the only place in west Malaysia where it is worth to go when one wants to enjoy the nature and beaches. The most other parts of Malaysias west coast are industrialized and there is nothing interesting to do or to see. The east coast is very different from the west coast, but it's rather boring. It's dominated by Malayan villages without many Chinese or Indian inhabitants; the places are growing big and ugly, but they have nothing attractive. Although there are long sand beaches, the whole scenery is quite boring.

Pangkor's West Caost

Pangkors west coast. In the background lies Pangkor Laut. Image by Asienreisender, 2012

There is a ringroad surrounding the main piece of the island. Most of it's inner part is mountainous, partially very steep. Along the road, as always, urbanization is creeping cancerlike into the forest, but the steep slopes are impassable. If the forest will not be cut for the wood industries or burned, it might remain a tiny refuge for animals and plant species. On the Malaysian mainland urbanization grows in a rapid speed. Palmoil plantations, settlements and industries let the remaining forests disappear.

The best time to come here is around July, when the Muslims have ramadan and do not travel. Then it's rather quiet here, the beaches are mostly empty and there are no party activities around. Though, most of the restaurants are closed, but there are still some Chinese places to go for food. The most crowded time to come here is in December, when there are national holidays in Malaysia and half of the population is on the move. It's not easy then to get a room here, not to mention the room rates.


Hornbills at Pangkor's Teluk Nipah. There is clearly an overpopulation of them on the isle, because they are a popular tourist attraction and get fed by the locals. The big hornbills therefore are very seldom seen and never come close to people. They are also much fewer in number. Image by Asienreisender, 2012

Left of the main ferry pier (the 'jety') is Pangkor village situated, the island's urban center. Recently, shortly before 2012, the authorities built a roof above a part of the main road, which is 300 meters long. Quite bombastic for the small place. They also built a new, very big administration building, a bit outside of the village. A growing number of officials can now practice excessive idleness there. Partially there are sidewalks along the ringroad, but they are quite useless for pedestrians, because every 50 meters the planners put a big concrete flowerpot on them, which blockes the way. That's typical Southeast Asian - whatever they make, they have no concept and never get the point. Sidewalks are anyway in fact multi-purpose-stripes here. The authorities and city planners never care for pedestrians. They only care for cars, cars, cars and cars. Besides, I think, there is quite some money laundring going on here.

Malay Housing

A Malayan house near the Dutch fort on Pangkor. On the road which leads to the fort is a hamlet (kampung) which looks very colourful, and the houses look quite cozy. It gives kind of a Caribbean impression. Image by Asienreisender, 2012

There are 20,000 to 25,000 people living on the small island. The population is quite mixed-up. There are many Chinese and Malays, and a smaller part of Indians living here. The Chinese, as always, are dominant in business. But there are many simple food stalls run by Malays. Generally I can say they all are not too friendly. They are spoiled by tourism and just mean business, including the notorious cheating. I have heard some complaints from western tourists about the unfriendlieness of the local restaurant owners. I could add a number by my own.
The Chinese restaurants in the main village are not often visited by foreigners. When going there, they are quite ignorant; they are used only to Chinese custumers. And they have quite a certain, remarkable style of communication. Short, choppy remarks, loudly uttered. They speak so in English as well as in Chinese. Their English is hard to understand; it's therefore also called 'Manglish'. If one inquires, they still don't make themselves clear.
I couldn't recommend a particular restaurant here. Years ago there was an Indonesian restaurant at Teluk Nipah, which served excellent food and was full with guests every evening. Not being early enough there in the evening meaned not to get a free table. The only really successfull restaurant here. But they closed. Locals told me they were mobbed out by their neighbours.

Photocompositions Pangkor Island

Impressions from Pangkor Island

Pangkor Island is one of these spoiled tourist destinations who could be great but aren't, because everything is commercialized and meanwhile crowded. The small island with it's various luxurious resorts has even an own airport. Smaller propellor machines (1) land and start here once a day. Some of the passengers go to the resort at Teluk Belanda with it's private beach (17), others continue straight to the neighbouring island of Pangkor Laut.

Traditionally most of the island's inhabitants were fishermen (3) and many still are. There are a lot of fisherboats at the piers of the easter side of Pangkor. That's probably the coast which is calmer and safer, for most of the winds and storms are approaching from the western side, the open sea. As everywhere, the coasts and fishing grounds are overfished and it's more and more difficult to make an income with fishing for the smaller fishers. The big trawlers therefore get the lion's share and do a lot of harm to the fisheries. The whole industries are not producing sustainable. The bigger fish get extinct first. Catches as to see on image 14 are past, and many species already died out.

The east coast is either steep mountain slopes, covered with tropical rainforest, or it's a rocky ground. There are certain species living here, some date back in evolutionary history over millions of years. Image 7 shows a sea cucumber. The western shores are those with several sand beaches. This environment invites other species to live here. The otters (8) were a great surprise. There is a beach called 'turtoise bay' where every year big turtles go to lay their eggs, after they crossed the ocean for thousands of kilometers.

There are a lot of restaurants and eateries on the island. Those at Teluk Nipah have been relocated in 2012. Before there were many beach restaurants, simple, rotten, wooden places who offered Malay food and seafood, mostly barbecue. Not seldom one smelled a penetrant ugly stench when passing by. Hygiene is a problem in whole Southeast Asia, and these places didn't have running water. Nevertheless, seeing the fish nicely displayed (9, 10, 11), they are an eye-catcher for a hungry man.

'Photocomposirion Pangkor Island' by Asienreisender

The coasts of a tropical island (12, 13). The huge rocks are typical for the west coast of the Malay Peninsula.

Pangkor is an island in the Strait of Malacca; that means that a great deal of the world's trade is passing by here (14).

The ringroad leads partially through the rainforest (15), as here in the easter, mountainous part of the island.

At Teluk Nipah, directly at the coast, is a small tao temple. Everywhere are funny statues placed, some are from Chinese legends or fairy tales, others are from Walt Disneys world of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. Meditative music is played there all the time and worshippers come to pray and donate for their gods and spirits.

Part of the island's ecology are many monitor lizards (18). They are sometimes a shocking experience for newcomers, often mixed-up with crocodiles or aligators. Well, there are no aligators in Southeast Asia, and crocodiles are extinct on the coasts of most of the Malay Peninsula, with the notable exception of the long coasts of Burma / Myanmar, north of Kawthaung and particularly in the Mergui Archipelago. Monitor lizards learned to live with humans, feeding from their garbage, taking shelter in sewer tunnels. And they are harmless to humans, except they are set under pressure.

The old Dutch fortress (20) is the only 'cultural' sight on the island. The Dutch East India Company (VOC) was keen in exploiting the country's riches, here particularly the tin production.

In the southeast of Pangor is a Malay village which looks pretty nice with it's colourful wooden houses and plenty of the beautiful flowers around them (21, 22). It has a Carribean touch and one morning I accompanied a professional photographer to the place making some shots there.

Pangkor's sunsets are spectacular, and every evening it looks still different with a great variety of colours.

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The Tropical Rainforest of Pangkor Island

Bukit Pangkor, the peak of the biggest hill or mountain of the island, is in the background left (1), here seen from the small tao temple at the northern edge of Teluk Nipah.

Most of the island is still covered with tropical rainforest. That's more and more exceptional - most of the lowland rainforests on the Malay Peninsula fell already victim to the ever hungry and growing oil palm and rubber plantations. The steep slopes of Pangkor's mountains are not good for plantation economy, and the logging industries haven't butchered the nature here yet, for it's probably easier to butcher first elsewhere. Logging in the mountains is more expensive and less profitable than logging in the plains, so they go into the mountains when the plains are all done. But also without the grand logging companies the rainforest is cut more and more, and urbanization is eating it's way into the green (27, 28). The village on image 28 has occupied a valley which lies at the foot of Fu Ling Kung Temple, who is built already into the slope of a mountain.


'Leech and Secondary Infection' by Asienreisender

When entering the tropical rainforest with it's humidity one encounters another tease, who attacks in great number: leeches. Although it's always said they were completely harmless, I was so lucky to catch a secondary infection, probably directly transferred by the insect. It got worse every day and I had to treat it (with hydrogen peroxide).

A method to protect oneself from them is to pour salt into the socks. It's just that salt goes with the water, where they live in. Wearing long pants in the forest is anyway recommendable; to pack the trouser legs into the socks works well. However, in rainy days they crouch quickly over the whole body and find their way under the clothes... To get rid of them is possible with burning them with a lighter (they let go then) or scratch them away with a straw directly after they bit and are not firm yet.

Image and photocomposition by Asienreisender, 2009, 2015

From Teluk Nipah are two paths leading into the jungle. At the edge of the jungle the peak is still to see (2). Once being inside the green, orientation is a problem and a compass can help a lot.

Huge trees indicate the age of the forest. These are older trees, while further south there is a part of the forest where only thin, young trees are growing. That's clearly secondary forest. The tall trees have a huge crown but no branches below. They are specialized to absorb the sunlight and form the top layer of the tropical rainforest (4,5,7,9). Lianas appear very often in the jungle; they are parasitic plants who use the jungle giants as an access to reach the sunlight high above. In some cases the parasites strangulate the old trees and eventually kill them.

Big spiders appeare here and there, more often at the edge of the forest than inside. They prefer glades for their nets, because there is the chance higher to catch prey.

The yellow sign inmiddle of the forest tells that the forest is under protection and asks hikers to take care for the nature.

When hiking in the jungle, one starts sweating pretty much. The heat, the humidity, the strain of walking on a ground where one has permanently to watch out... Plenty of water is required for any even very short walk into the forest. Mosquitoes are attracted by the smell of sweat. Sometimes whole swarms approach the hiker, and one can't get rid of them anymore. They fly around the whole body and check where they can bite. Some are permanently buzzing around the head. The mosquitoes around image 8 are aedes albopictus, the notorious 'asian tiger mosquito', which is the vector for dengue fever. Plenty of them live at the long west coasts of the Malay Peninsula. Aedes albopictus is day-active.

The mosquitoes around image 18 are of the kind anopheles. Anopheles mosquitoes can transfer malaria, a classic tropical disease.

As well as mosquitoes there are also masses of ants in the forest. Many of the fallen trunks (12) in the jungle fall victim then to termits (11).

'Photocomposition Tropical Rainforest of Pangkor Island' by Asienreisender

Jungle tracks (13 - 18) - very seldom someone comes along here. They are from time to time cleared by officials who observe the nature; maybe there are also sometimes locals hunting in the forest - hunting means meat for free. The tracks are narrow and at many spots overgrown, so then one has to crawl for a few meters or to use a machete (19) to clear the path. The machete probably saved my life when I used it to lift a few twists under where was a pretty viper hidden (20). The picture is (not only) so shaky for I was trembling but because it's pretty dark on the ground of the tropical rainforest. For the plants it's a permanent struggle for light. Image 21 shows a part of a track which is overgrown with fern. Because of some more poisonous animals like cobras, centipedes, scorpions it's recommendable not to pass through here. One has to clear the path first.

Suddenly, in the mud, the footprints of boars (22). Continuing slowly and silently, the group of wild pigs didn't notice me before I saw them (23). Wild boars are certainly a reason for hunters to poach. One would think that's an activity for the Chinese then, because the muslim majority doesn't eat pork. But, hunting and eating are two different things, and a poached boar can be sold for 'good money'.

Orchids grow on branches, they are parasites as well (24). Hiking in the jungle requires a good sense for orientation, and an orchid like this is like a sign one should keep in mind for the way back. Fallen trees serve for the same purpose (25). And, after walking, walking, walking, eventually a stone indicates that the peak of the mountain is very close (26).

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Pangkor Island was for years a very fine destination. It's a tropical island in a half-way developed country in which I felt safe in recent years. It was also so that the people here were mostly friendly and I remember a number of good experiences I made here. Hiking into the jungle was always a great experience. I never ever met anybody else in Pangkor's jungle, and also never ever met a local who had an idea how it looks in the island's forests. The locals are very estranged and don't spent a thought for the nature. They mean business, and only business.

However, in the last years the situation changed considerably. Social change and development are progressing rapidly in Southeast Asia, and many things are getting worse. It is absolutely clear that all the Southeast Asian societies have a huge problem with drugs, namely metamphetamines. And the state institutions who deal with that, so far they can't ignore it anymore, respond in the usual styereotype and authoritarian manner. And fail. They fail, because stricter laws, beatings, imprisonment and death penalty don't grasp the problem at the roots. The idiotic state buerocracies act when it's far too late.

So, while Pangkor was a great place to go and to enjoy the nature and to meet interesting fellow travellers, it's getting more and more busy these days. The rising middle classes produce an often neglected offspring who come here for drug parties and action. Traffic is rising, and it's a major mistake to allow private vehicles on the island, particularly cars. Nevertheless, it seems that at least the forest remains still mostly untouched by the ongoing urbanization, thanks to the mountainous surroundings.

Click the chapters to access the photocompositions of Pangkor Island.

All images and photocompositions by Asienreisender, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015

Health Concerns

There are serious concerns about visiting Pangkor Island. It's not only that the place is not really safe (see below: 'A Raid on Pangkor'); it's also that I got several reports about tropical diseases transferred by mosquitoes, particularly dengue fever and chikungunya fever, also malaria. These health threats do not only concern Pangkor, but the whole coast including Penang and also further up Thailand's Andaman coasts. The consequences are not seldom really serious. Patients suffer a deep, long-term health impact, sometimes lasting a life long. Particularly in monsoon season mosquitoes appear in great amounts and are very aggressive. I personally didn't see so many mosquitoes like this time on Pangkor since long. They were a plague. In 2011 there were 19.900 registered cases of dengue fever in west Malaysia; 36 were fatal. 2010 there were 44,600 cases of dengue registered. I don't trust the statistics. I suppose, the real number is much higher. It's therefore highly crucial to take care by using mosquito repellents and other means of protection.

When coming from Thailand bring much of the stuff with you: repellents in Malaysia cost almost three times the price as the same products cost in Thailand.

Map of Pangkor Island

'Map of Pangkor Island' by Asienreisender

The tracks into the island's mountains are in a bad and ever changing state. Sometimes there is an expedition following them and chopping the paths free, but at last in the next rainy season the vegetation will overgrow them again. A machete is therefore a basic tool. Not having one means to be stopped by dense bushes or green of different kind. The question marks show parts of the tracks who were so overgrown and blocked repeatedly by fallen jungle trees, that I rather decided to go back.

There is also a path leading into the southern part of the island, but honestly, I didn't find it. Probably even more seldom people go here.

The locals anyway have no idea about the island's nature, since they are exclusively fixed on their businesses.


Teluk Nipah

Teluk Nipah

Sunset at Teluk Nipah. Image by Asienreisender, 2012

The best place to go seems to me Teluk Nipah, or Nipah bay, on the western side of the island. It's a small place there with a few hundred meters of white sand beach. A few years ago it was crowded with wooden booths, mostly foodstalls and souvenir shops; meanwhile it's cleaned up and a bit improved, but not too much. Now, in July and ramadan, it's fantastically quiet and the beach is almost empty. The only tourists around at the moment are a handful Westerners who come for one or two days only.


One of the notorious pink taxis on Pangkor. The lack of public transport and the dependence on the vans as the only mean of transport on the island is a misery, for the sake of some blunt driver jobs and profit. Its also pretty much a waste to drive with a van as a single passenger. Image by Asienreisender, 2012

There is no public transport on the island. One has to take one of the pink vans who act as cabs. Since they have a monopoly on the island, they make the prices. In the past it was 10 ringgits for the short drive to Teluk Nipah, now (2012) it's 15 ringgits. That's all but cheap, and the drivers additionally try to overcharge arriving tourists heavily.

In the past I always recommended 'Seagull Beach Resort' as a place to stay, what was once a really special place for meeting interesting, extraordinary people, but meanwhile it's seriously neglected and not running well. At the moment (July 2012) they renovate some rooms and throw the construction waste over a fence into the jungle. Partially they burn it there. Doesn't look nice, not to speak of the smell when it burns. Most of the rubbish remains half-burned and conserves in this state for long.
There is a wider choice of accommodation around; the cheaper ones are generally in a bad state. I tried Ombak Inn, what was quite well. In the price included is a nice breakfast which is comparable to a better hotel breakfast.


Hiking on Pangkor

In the Rainforest

Inside Pangkor's rainforest. Image by Asienreisender, 2009

Walking around the ringroad was a good thing in the last years. But, here as everywhere traffic is increasing; meanwhile there are so many motorbikes on the island, that it is a strain to walk the southern half of the ringroad. The northern part is still okay - but not save, as I had soon to learn.

At one place on Pangkor's western side are some straying dogs living in the forest. They bark to a hiker, but I always found them shy and harmless. Also all the many macaques here didn't do much trouble to me when walking around. Aside from the road are many monitor lizards in the bushes - if one comes close to them, they suddenly run away. Big animals, they are. This time I saw also monitor lizard baby - some 15 centimeters long only.
More interesting than along the road it is to hike into the rainforest. There are several tracks, and all are in a bad state because very, very few people do hiking into the forest. Therefore a machete is necessary to clear the path here and there. Clearing the way is a must - there are dangerous vipers here, and they might hide in the bushes and don't move when one is approaching. One can not go where he/she doesn't see the ground. Never go in the jungle where you can not see your feet anymore, is an old rule.


A dead, fallen tree. This trunk houses hundreds, if not thousands of mostly small species who are specialized in rotten trees of a certain kind. All these species play an important role in sustaining the rainforest and it's diversity. Image by Asienreisender, 2009

At the landside of Teluk Nipah is a small stream - it's called a 'waterfall'. 'Waterfall' is a big word for it, in fact it's merely water running down big rocks. Even in rainy season I wouldn't call it a waterfall. But Asians are more generous with that term than I am used to. Parallel to the stream there is a small jungle path, leading into the rainforest. It's getting steep up. Later one can turn left, hiking up to the ridge of a hill. At a right-turn there is a very small path leading straight on. This one leads straight down to the airstripe. The right-turn ends up at a clearing. There one has to go back the same way, it's a dead end and not possible to make it through to the west coast, so far I see.

An alternative is after walking upwards the mentioned stream, turning right there. One comes deeper in the jungle and some more tracks split up then. Here one can walk for longer; but it's crucial to remember the way one came from. When turning back in the jungle, everything looks completely different, so one must always remember some fixed points like a certain tree, a rock, a big root, a flower or whatever, particularly where tracks split up.
There is an east-west hike through the forest, passing by Mount Pangkor. Some years ago I tried to walk it, but the tracks were too abandoned. This time I planned to try it again, but couldn't make it. I came in trouble and had to leave the island earlier than planned.


A Raid on Pangkor

The northern part of the ringroad is the part with the least traffic. Walking there, I made a bad experience. Three young men, about 25 years old, approached with their motorbikes in a high speed. The first one, an Indian, targeted on me. I had to jump to the right, off the road, very close to the crash barrier to avoid being hit. I watched them disappearing behind the next curve. Next I heared a strange metal sound from there.

A Criminal

One of the three gangsters who committed the raid. All three guys were apparently from the middle-class. I gave the photo to the police, but they failed to catch the guys. This picture almost cost me my camera. Image by Asienreisender, 2012

I continued walking, but soon the three guys came back. Together with the Indian there were two Malays. They blocked the road in front of me. I tried to make a photo of one of them and his motorbike. He tried to take my camera and damaged it. I managed to keep the camera and let it slide into my trouser pocket.
The three blamed me for walking on the road. The road were only for cars and motorbikes, they claimed. I had to walk in the green - that were a Malaysian law. I replied that I wouldn't think so, but that the road were open for everybody. They weren't in the mood for listening other opinions. The Indian slaped me a few times in the face. They screamed at me, almost hysterically. They were extremely aggressive and had very red eyes. I guess, they were heavily drugged. The Indian blamed me then I had cursed his death mother. That was complete nonsense, I explained him that I had nothing less in mind than that. That only brought me a few more slaps. The guys pushed me around then.

For the effects of metamphetamines click the link.

Another motorbike approached. I waited until it was close, then went on the road and stopped it. There was a French tourist on it, Julien. I didn't hesitate and took place on his back seat while explaining, that this were certainly an extraordinary situation and I would need his help to bring me out of it. One of the three guys, the one on the photo above, took place in front of the motorbike and blocked the road. He turned the motorbike key to stop the engine running. Now they insulted Julien as well. Another vehicle approached, a small truck. I stopped the truck as well. The two Malays on it didn't want to stop first, but I could convince them to stay at the spot. They sat down on the crash barriers then and watched what was going on. They consumed it like a TV show, with a broad grin, but didn't interfere.

The three guys now forbade me to stop more vehicles. Now they wanted money from me. I claimed, I wouldn't have any money with me. Next they demanded the others to go and leave me alone with them. Fortunately they didn't go. The gangsters pulled me aside; when I resisted, I got a few more blows and were pulled rudely into their direction.
After a while I could make myself free again. I took seat on Julien's motorbike again. Eventually the guys gave the road free and let us go. Too many witnesses. The last thing I heared from them was that they would beat me up when seeing me again.

Hat off for Julien! Normally people would just try to escape such a miserable situation and keep themselves safe. Julien was really cool, preserved nerves and helped me out of the raid.

Next I spent more than an hour at the police station, making a report. I had made a hardcopy of the photo I had done and gave it to them. They just listened to my story, but didn't ask me a single question. I had to write a report then, which the officer in charge barely could read. And that was certainly not due to my handwriting. I proposed to go with them driving around the ringroad for identifying the three guys. But they declined it. Two of them went out on their motorbikes. I didn't hear of any result of that. And, I would say, they didn't take any serious action.

Somewhat later, just back at Teluk Nipah, I saw the Indian again, passing by on the road on his motorbike. He recognized me as well, reduced speed but then reconsidered and accelerated again. There were other people around and he was alone this time. I quickly went back to my resort and asked the owner to follow him, to check were the Indian was going and to inform the police. But he was scared and let him go. He only brought me back to the police station; but the policemen were still unwilling to take anymore action. I am pretty sure it would have been possible to catch the guys with their support. The gangsters might have felt so confident because they knew that the police wouldn't act against them.

I myself couldn't do anything anymore on Pangkor Island, because I simply wasn't safe anymore. It was late afternoon already; I spent a last night on Pangkor and left the island next morning. This event happened on July 31th, 2012.

Besides I heared there were much theft on Pangkor. Stealing from people at the beach when they are in the water. Or passing by on a motorbike and snatching for bags, cameras etc. Seagull Resorts manager told me a story of a young Australian woman which met an exhibitionist.
Two days before I myself saw another young man sniffling glue out of a plastic bag. That was near the southern end of the island. He also acted strange when I passed by, wanted me to disappear, shouted something I didn't understand. Even somewhat later still, from a distance, he shouted at me. But he was alone.

Well, summed up, Pangkor is not safe. There seems to be a bigger drug problem among youngsters and a considerable rate of crime. Probably it's tabooed, because drug addiction just 'doesn't happen' in a pious muslim society. Only unbelievers take drugs. The whole atmosphere on the island in general appeared quite aggressive to me. There are apparently serious tensions under the surface within the population.

The Dutch Fortress

The Dutch fort on Pangkor. Restaurated and styled park-like, it's, so to say, Pangkor's main sight. Image by Asienreisender, 2012


The Dutch Fort

The only sight on the island is an old Dutch fortification, built in the year 1670. It was designed to store the tin, which was mined in Perak, until transporation. In 1690 it came to a local riot, when Malays destroyed the fort. The fort was then rebuilt in 1743; five years later it was abandoned.

In 1973 it was restored as a historical monument; in the last years it was further improved by the square in front of it and some smaller details. It's such a tiny building, that I imagine that there were some more buildings around, above all baracks and, probably, an outer wall or at least a wooden fence around it all. The wooden parts are then, as always in the tropes, gone with the time.


The Treaty of Pangkor

In 1874 the British colonial power, which was very interested in the tin mines in Perak, could gain advantage over the struggle of several parties in Perak. A Raja Abdulla, who claimed to be the king (sultan) of Perak, but was ousted by a rival, made an agreement with the British. He would agree to be king (raja) under British conditions and factually control if they would support him to come on the throne. There was also struggle between two secret Chinese societies, who both tried to gain control over the tin mines, but no side could push through. One of both parties seeked for British help as well and agreed to major concessions for the British. The treaty of Pangkor in 1874 was an important step in expanding the British colonial position in Southeast Asia, particularly over whole Malaysia.


Pangkor Laut

Pangkor Laut

Pangkor Laut with Pangkor Laut Resort on it. Image by Asienreisender, 2012

West of Pangkor there is a smaller neighbouring island - Pangkor Laut. It is and since long was a holiday island for the rich. The rich want to be among themselves and not bothered by the average crowd. Therefore it's only possible to enter this private island with an expensive permission of Pangkor Laut Resort, the only resort there. Besides the room rates there are quite high - definitely out of the budged of an average tourist.
It's said that there are nowadays mostly rich Chinese businessmen and very few Westerners on Pangkor Laut. Well, about such a place there are naturally many rumours.

Asienreisender Up to the top!

Published on August 3rd, 2012

Pangkor Island

Last update on March 16th, 2015