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 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 Pangkor Islands itinerary
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 61 miles away
- Penang 87 miles away
- Fraser's Hill (Bukit Fraser) 90 miles away
- Kuala Lumpur 108 miles away
- Belum Rainforest 110 miles away
- Taman Negara National Park 130 miles away
- Langkawi 159 miles away
- Malacca 182 miles away
- Perhentian Islands 192 miles away
- Kuala Terengganu 194 miles away
- The East Coast 195 miles away
- Redang Island 203 miles away
- Tioman Island 269 miles 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.