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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.

Emerald Bay, Pangkor Laut Resort, Pangkor LautThis 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.

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who's been there
Audley Travel specialist David

Start planning your tailor-made trip to Pangkor Islands by contacting one of our Malaysia specialists

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

    Our expert guides to exploring Pangkor Islands

    Written by our specialists from their own experiences of visiting Pangkor Islands, these guides will help you make the most of your time there. We share both our practical recommendations and the best ways to appreciate Pangkor Islands at its best.

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    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.