A miniscule clutch of islands in the Strait of Malacca, the Pangkor Islands were once the base for pirates and Dutch armies. Today, they’re a peaceful tropical retreat where you’ll hear the chattering of monkeys and cries of birds rather than cannon fire.
This archipelago, which is barely large enough to support the label, includes Pangkor Laut — a tiny private island that only has one hotel, the Pangkor Laut Resort. The rest of the islet is pristine rainforest, making it a good place to explore the region’s flora and fauna.
The hotel itself respects the land, with wooden bungalows that seem to merge into the forest and open roofs that let trees reach to the sky. As a guest, you’ll find that the surrounding jungle teems with life, including long-tailed macaques and pied hornbills in the trees. On the sugar-soft beaches, you can glimpse white-bellied sea eagles overhead and see monitor lizards sunning themselves on stone outcrops.
The hotel offers guided trips to the archipelago’s largest island, which is only about half the size of Heathrow Airport. Pulau Pangkor means, loosely translated, ‘beautiful island’, an apt description for the powdery sand beaches and warm, sparkling waters.
The small village of Sungai Pinang Besar has two brightly painted temples that, taken together, illuminate Malaysia’s blend of cultural influences. At the foot of Pangkor Hill, you’ll find Fu Lin Kong, a Chinese Taoist temple. Closer to the water, you come across Sri Pathira Kaliamman, an Indian Hindu temple.
The Dutch also left a mark on the island, which you can see at the Dutch Fort, or Kota Belanda, a ruined brick stronghold that’s slowly disintegrating back into the jungle. From here, the Dutch tried to keep other ships at bay in a vain effort to dominate the worldwide tin trade.
Best time to visit the Pangkor Islands
Sheltered by Sumatra, the Pangkor Islands are a year-round destination, with balmy temperatures, sunny skies and cool breezes in any season.
Suggested itinerary featuring Pangkor Islands
This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in Pangkor Islands, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.
Map of Pangkor Islands
Places & hotels on the map
Places near Pangkor Islands
- Cameron Highlands 99 kilometers away
- Penang 139 kilometers away
- Fraser's Hill (Bukit Fraser) 144 kilometers away
- Kuala Lumpur 173 kilometers away
- Belum Rainforest 176 kilometers away
- Taman Negara National Park 210 kilometers away
- Langkawi 255 kilometers away
- Malacca 293 kilometers away
- Perhentian Islands 309 kilometers away
- Kuala Terengganu 312 kilometers away
- The East Coast 313 kilometers away
- Redang Island 327 kilometers away
- Tioman Island 433 kilometers away
Accommodation choices for Pangkor Islands
We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Pangkor Islands. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.