Wednesday, January 31, 2018

PANGKOR ISLAND...EM.......WALLAWEH...

Seeking for Tranquillity in Pangkor Island.
I have no plan for this school holidays. My mind focused on the family gathering as my lovely mom had just passed away on 1st November 2017 at her 72. For me she was not old enough but couldn’t survive after falling from her bed on the 2nd Aidilfitri celebration. At a glance, my mind figured on my late father who had passed away at his 82, 21 years ago, 6 month before I completing my study in Teacher’s Training Colleague. The gathering was to hold a ‘kenduri’ or ‘small recitation and prayer’ for her 40th day. Two weeks before the event, my wife and I had rushed to Kuala Lumpur seeing my second sister who fell from the steps while away from my youngest sister’s house. My youngest sister just three days discharged from an operation as pregnant outside the womb. What a sadness month have covering our family, I thought…ouhhhhhh seeking the wisdom behind the grief. On the 9th December, all siblings have gathered, gave words and did the chores together. Then, after exchanged views and promises they were all slowly asked permission to drive away, one family to Kuantan and the two others to Kuala Lumpur. They have had let me, my brother and the eldest sister (different mother) stayed at the folk.
After two weeks, my wife suggested to have a rest out of the hustle and bustle area that we’re facing every day. “After we send Aiman (my nephew) to Kuala Lumpur, would you mind to Pulau Pangkor”, she said. “Let us be there”, I smiled and sipping my hot coffee……emmmmmh, what a lovely taste, like a glass of coffee in “The Coffee Bean” indeed. On November the 18th we went to Kuala Lumpur and stopped hours at the Mines Shopping Mall, Kuala Lumpur for supporting The International Book Exhibition. We both bought 6 books and another book for Aiman. We arrived at 11.30 pm and rushed out for bed. The next morning at 7.00 a.m. we drove away after saying love to all.
We entered the north-south highway. The cool weather and peaceful views have soothing the mind. It took more than 4 hours to exit ‘Kg. Gajah’ route in Perak. We arrived at Lumut 1 hour later. It was a port to Pangkor and located in the Manjung District, Perak. I drove slowly at the surrounding area and seeing some interesting attractions. These included its clean garden with flowers as fences, mangrove forests, golf course, clear sea water, beautiful children playground and food stalls. Some heritages buildings have also gave special effect and cater the mind. I stopped my car and started surfing the internet. From the google search engine I could also find info for some attractions in Perak. They included Kellie's Castle in Ipoh, The Mangrove Forests, Zoo and Lake Garden in Taiping, Gua Tempurung in Kuala Kangsar and Pasir Salak in Bruas. Next, The Lumut Teluk Batik beach (excellent for certain activities like team building and jungle trekking) and The Turtle Breeding Station at Segari. As our first plan was for Pulau Pangkor, so we quickly parked the car at the mainland area. It costs RM10 per-day.  Then, we started dealing with the trip to Pangkor Island at the Tourism Centre nearby.
At 2.45 p.m. we took a public ferry to Pangkor Island with RM14.00 per-person for two ways (return tickets). There are public ferries and private ferries depart from the old Lumut jetty and from Marina Island jetty to Pangkor Island. The ferries service start from 7.00 am till 8.30 pm for every 30 minutes and the riding time takes 30-45 minutes. As mentioned by the staff, there are two stops at the east side of Pangkor Island. The first stop is at Sungai Pinang Kecil jetty for local residents, fishing-people, and guests for some guesthouses and homestay tourists. The second stop is at the most popular places for tourists, Pangkor Town Jetty. Here, we can find numbers of shop lots and government buildings. The taxi and van services are available, while airplanes service the island from Pangkor Airport only. The tourists can also rent the motorcycles and cars for their own comfort.
We arrived at the Pangkor Town jetty at 3.20 p.m. and quickly took a motorcycle we rent for 2 days for RM70. We rode to Nipah Waterfront Beach Resort in just only 10 minutes from the jetty. We parked our motorcycle and got the key at the receptionist centre in a wooden budget chalet. The chalet was like a traditional Malay house. Oh….., felt reconciling because we could also indulge the beautiful serene golden beach, blue waters and cool refreshing breezes from our room. I read the flyer and the info gave the impression that Nipah Waterfront ideal for family vacation and gathering. It offers the guests comfortable and stylish furnished with the lower rates and more accommodation facilities. As stated, Nipah Water Front promotes 5 units of Standard Room (Sea View), 6 units of Standard (Side View), and 2 room family units. It can accommodate 30-40 people at any one time for all 13 units available. The facilities provided in all rooms are air-conditioner, Astro TV, mini fridge and bathroom in the (hot & cold shower). Then, we took a rest for couple of hours before carry on the next activities. We have a tea-break hour and next at 8.00 pm we had our dinner at the sea-food restaurant nearby, enjoying the sound of waves and cool refreshing breezes with the locals and foreigners. Here, the night time is very crowded especially on weekend. They have leisure time, indulge the seafood cuisine buying things and so forth.  After took a round at the surrounding area, we then went back to the chalet.
We started the second day by riding the motorcycle for the entire island. We enjoyed the other one main beach namely Bogak Beach (Pantai Pasir Bogak). Then, we entered the Pangkor Historical Museum and the Floating Mosque, seeing Batu Bersurat, the Dutch Fort (Kota Belanda) with Tiger Rock, the tombs in Kampung Teluk Gedung and Tortoise Hill, the Foo Ling Kong temple and the Sri Pathirakaliamman temple in Sungai Pinang village. The others were the fishing villages, anchovies’ shops and factories, and ship-building. The whole journey took around 5 - 6 hours and very exciting but for those who are not the locals’ residents and willing to ride motorcycles must be courteous. 4 areas of its 8 square kilometres route were very dangerous. The first 3 areas were along the way Teluk Nipah and Pasir Bogak and the top extreme one was located along the way from the Sungai Pinang Kecil to Teluk Nipah. The route was very steep, zig-zag and falling sharply. There was very quiet and no people lived at this 2 kilometres of forest reserve. Owhhhh….. we felt ‘dag-dig-dug’ in our heart after could greatly survive to all the obstacles. New experienced…..no words for minutes and rushed out to the food stall in front of our chalet, had lunch and moved in for rest. 
In the evening, we just walking along the beach, stayed at the nearby water front restaurant and seeing people enjoying their water activities such as banana boat, fishing trip, jetski, kayak, scuba, diving, snorkelling and a short boat riding to the nearby islands. Then, we both walk away just off the main street, towards the end of alley-ways near the borderline of the forest reserve. Then, we moved to witness a flock of hornbills flying in for hand-outs and left out by local operators. We saw some local people feed them with bread or papaya fruit and quickly snapped pictures. These hornbills looked shy, seem to think that there may be truth or people want to catch them. Tonight, we have our dinner at the same sea-food restaurant before moved to bed as early 10.00 pm with zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz dream. 
  
Tommorow morning, “Honey, let us have our breakfast and ready to leave”, I said.  We both, in a quick mode stayed for the ferry to Lumut as early 12.30 at Pangkor jetty. Goodbye, Pangkor Island, it was a nice visit and hopes we’ll be in next come …….mph….wallllla.
From my observation and experienced after did a ride for the entire island, this area (Teluk Nipah) was the most popular stop.  The second was Bogak Beach. Most people stayed here and get very crowded on weekends and school holidays. At this time, the prices are bit-highest but during the weekdays the beaches are almost empty. I got this info from one of the stall owner itself. There were large numbers of chalets or budget hotels located here. ‘All in one’ like restaurants, stalls, prayer building, offered numerous goods souvenirs booths, etc. Accommodation here caters much to the middle to lower-ranged budgets and can be a little disappointing to those who have something of a romantic notion of island getaway in mind. Chalets, restaurants and motels line the streets. It's jam-packed with tourists during the peak seasons. The main road lies between the beach and the motels and chalets, so don't expect to get any rooms on the beach itself.
The Pictures And Place Of Ours
       
General info: Pangkor Island is a fabulous island in the Straits of Melaka. The jungle-clad hills of the interior or most parts are fully-forested, though, are virtually untouched is a very nice place to visit. Pangkor Island lies in the north-west coast of Penisular Malaysia,  halfway in between Penang and Kuala Lumpur is only 8 square kilometres with approximately 25,000 populations. People come to Lumut and taking a ferry to Pulau Pangkor.  All ferries from Lumut stop at Sungai Pinang Kecil (SPK) before reaching Pulau Pangkor Town, so don’t get down at Sungai Pinang Kecil (SPK), there is no taxi at Sungai Pinang Kecil (SPK), you have to get down at the second stop in Pulau Pangkor Town. Return tickets (valid for one month) on all three boats cost RM14 per-person; just check which service is leaving first. Reminder that there is no bridge  connecting the island to the mainland because there exist a policy to control the number of vehicles on the island partly due to no real necessity and partly due to space constraints. This has brought about much positive effects in preserving a natural environment free from toxic fumes, dust, noise, congestion and traffic hazards. All these have contributed to the preservation of wildlife in the tropical rain forest where many rare species still exist with 65 reptile’s species and 17 amphibian species or a total of 82 herpetofauna species (the reptiles and amphibians of a particular region, habitat) including hornbills and monitor lizards.