I recently went on a weekend break to Lumut/Pangkor Islands. "Is there anything else there besides satay fish?!" were some of the questions I got. So, I'm sharing some tips on what you can do for your next Cuti-cuti Malaysia holiday!
- The trunk road from KL to Lumut is actually a pretty nice and wide road and some say, faster than using the toll roads. I got fantastic directions from Alan (thanks!) and I got there with no problems at all.
- From KL, get onto the Federal Highway to Klang and turn off at Jalan Kapar heading for Teluk Intan. It's a straight road all the way from there, passing quaint little fishing towns like Kuala Selangor, Sekinchan and others where you can stop for a delicious seafood brunch or lunch!
- Do be careful of the Bagan Datoh junction (where you have to turn right towards Teluk Intan) as there are no clear signs to Teluk Intan and we went on a scenic drive to Bagan Datoh! After Bagan Datoh, you'll start seeing signs to Lumut and Pangkor.
- We stayed at Swiss Garden Damai Laut. You'll see lots of signs leading to the resort from Lumut. Basically you'll have to head for Kg. Acheh towards Lumut Port and over 3 bridges before coming to the main turnoff into the resort. Be careful, the road is rather winding going into the resort.
- Swiss Garden is a pretty little place with lots of activities, some paid and some free. You'll need to check with the front desk what activities are on for that day. It doesn't have much of a beach but there's a lovely tiny strip of shady beach just a flight of stairs down from the pool.
- The road to and from the resort to the main road is rather narrow and winding and there are hardly any streetlights (sneaky!) so you'll probably end up having to eat within their resort if you don't fancy a drive out at night.
- Lumut's a small town which most people use as a hop-off point to Pangkor. However, a short drive away from the town will take you to a nice little cove called Teluk Batik which was filled with locals when we were there. It has lots of stalls selling ice-cream, all kinds of snacks and beach stuff. The best part for me were the free deckchairs scattered all over the beach. Nothing like the ones in Phuket which you have to pay for!
- A short drive in the other direction will take you Sitiawan, another small town. What I loved here were the mango stalls lining the roads in an area aptly named as 'Mango Paradise'. Perak is famous for their mangoes and you'll find all kinds here for a pretty decent price.
- Nearby is the predominantly Chinese Kampong Koh area, famous for none other than the lip-smacking, garlicky Kampong Koh chilli sauce which goes so well with dim sum!
Off to Pangkor:
- Swiss Garden runs it's own ferry service (RM28) for a return to Pangkor which is about 15 minutes away. Otherwise you can head into Lumut Jetty to have a choice of 3 ferry companies (Mesra Ferry, Duta Pangkor and Pan Silver) for RM10 for a return trip. Mesra Ferry is one of the best ferry services and I found it very comfortable and stable during the 25 minute ride.
- The ferry will make a stop at Sg. Pinang Kecil, a little fishing village on Pangkor before stopping at the main Pangkor jetty.
- There are heaps of motorcycles for rent and pink Barbie taxi vans lining up to take you around. The vans were offering RM40 per pax for 2 hours while we managed to get a motorcycle for RM15 for approximately 5 hours. It was an experience indeed as the last time I'd been on a motorcycle was when I was a wee tot!
- If you opt for a motorcycle, RM2-3 will be more than sufficient to take you around the island! The good part about having a motorcycle is having the flexibility to stop off at any beach you come across. The roads can be a little winding and the northern part of the island has a little hill which can be a bit of a steep incline.
- We stopped off at 3 main beaches - Pasir Bogak Beach, Teluk Ketapang and Nipah Bay Beach.
- Pasir Bogak is the nearest beach to Pangkor town. I believe it's usually crowded during peak periods but while we were there, we had the entire beach to ourselves! It's the closest beach to Pangkor Laut Resort - the 6 star award winning resort by YTL and allows us minions a great view of the very expensive resort! It being off-season, there weren't any stalls open. There are some big trees on the beach which provide a nice shade for those not so keen on burning themselves! If you're bored, there are some boat rides and snorkelling trips available.
- Teluk Ketapang is my favourite beach! Nestled in between Bogak and Nipah Bay, it's set away from the main road by a grassy field. It's very quiet and isolated but beware of monkeys who might steal stuff from your motorcycle if you're not careful! There are some nice rocks around and a small little pool where you can dip your feet. And some kindly people have strung up hammocks between the trees so have a lie-on while watching the day go by.
- Nipah Bay Beach is touted to be one of the most beautiful of all beaches. Boat trips, kayak and snorkelling are available and quite a number of stalls line the street. If you're lucky, you'll see the famous Pangkor hornbill. Otherwise, relax on the shady beach in a hammock or on one of the few swings made by the local. It's a lovely playground and a nice way to re-live your childhood while swinging!
http://www.damailaut.com/ - Official website of Swiss Garden Damai Laut
http://www.pulau-pangkor.com/index.html - Fantastic reference point for Pangkor and more!
http://www.pangkor.com.my/ - Official site for Pulau Pangkor