|Emerald Bay, Pangkor Laut Resort|
Indeed, Malaysia really has nice resorts and Pangkor Laut is no exception. It's not just the peaceful, serene environment - the service is great and the staff friendly and helpful. Pangkor Laut is known for its Sea Villas where the villas are built over the water in the traditional style of the Malay fishing village. But we chose to stay in the very comfortable Hill Villas, which provide great views overlooking the resort.
|Hornbill snacking on a snail|
Indeed, Pangkor Laut has its own unique indigenous species here. Most noticeable were the hornbills, which cluster around the swimming pool and nearby cafe. These are Oriental Pied Hornbills, and there is a veritable flock of them. These hornbills are a little smaller than the hornbills I saw in Sabah and much more used to human company. There is another species of hornbills on the island but we did not see them.
Our resident naturalist told us that he was trying to encourage the hornbills to breed on the island. That was why he put up a few of these little houses, for them to nest. In the wild, she will select an appropriate tree to nest
in and her mate will peck out the hole for her. In this case, there is no need for any tree. The male brings the material, the female builds the nest, enclosing herself within. This keeps the eggs safe from predators (including man). She lays 2-3 eggs, of which typically only one hatches. In all, the female will incubate the egg for about one month, and then stays there for another two months whilst her loyal, loving mate brings her and the hatchling food. Talk about confinement! When the hatchling is big enough, she will break open the nest and they all will fly away together.
The island is also famous for its spa .... we had a free massage in our package so we didn't make use of any other services. But we did go for the yoga and tai chi classes.
Where we spent most of our time on the resort was the beach. The beach is really so idyllic, with white, soft sand, where the fragments of corals and sea shells can be found. The water is reasonably clear and clean, and because the shore slopes every so gently downward, it is quite shallow even some way out. The surrounding trees provide shade for the deckchairs (unless you are a crazy ang moh who doesn't know enough to come out of the sun) so even in the heat of the afternoon, it is comfortable and breezy. The nearby bar offers snacks and drinks.
On the food - well, this is a resort and there are no alternatives since the resort is the only one on the private island. So whilst it is tasty, it is also quite pricy. Shall we say that my favourite meal was the buffet breakfast spread (especially the Indian booth which offered roti canai or prata every morning, plus another yummy Indian pancake/bread like roti jala, apom or chapati - this changed on a daily basis). Other than that my favourite meal this trip was the taugay chicken and kway teow we ate at Ong Kee in Ipoh just before we went to the airport.
|View from our Villa in the morning|
All in all, it was a great and restful holiday. It's not that straightforward to get to (we flew to Ipoh, then took a 90-min taxi ride to the Pangkor Laut jetty on Marina Island, from which we took a speedboat to the resort). Total travel time (including the hour we spent checking in at the jetty and having lunch in a nearby coffee shop) we spent having lunch before the speedboat left the for the resort was about 5 hours (1.25hour flight, 1.5hour taxi journey, 20 minute speedboat). Not too bad actually.
For more photos, do check out my Flickr photos here.