Perfectly pleasant Pulau Pangkor

It was a rotten night of sleep with the snorer and being conscious of disturbing Colin below if I turned over on the top bunk. Up by 9 after less than 5 hours of sleep, I was a little cranky. Colin and I discussed whether it would even be worth it to go to Pulau Pangkor to spend time on the beach, as it meant another 4-hour-long bus ride, and the weather forecast said there was a 60 percent chance of rain. But I wanted to go; I wanted to swim. I did not want to get on the bus without having breakfast, which we did at 10 a.m. before Colin pulled me off when I started crying and blubbering about not having a postcard for my grandma.

It turned out there was another bus leaving at 11. No big deal. That’s just enough time for me to have a chicken curry pastry and a 奶茶 and grab that postcard.

Here are my journal scribblings for the following two days, which were among the best of the trip:

Met Samuel and Sarah from France on the bus -> two very quiet dinners for me. Rain during the ferry ride over—ferry sunk low in the slate gray water with the weight of the people and flies aboard.

Seagull Hostel vs. Sunset View Chalets. No actual sunsets, but I’m sure our host would have done that had he been able to.

He's much friendlier than he looks, just a bit camera shy. Colin Cam

Kayaking through waist-deep water. Trying to snorkel with rotten swimmer’s goggles, surrounded by women in headscarves clothed from wrist to ankle, laughing at one another’s attempts at swimming with the bulky life vests. I wish I’d at least worn my life jacket—I felt very naked in my bandeau bikini. Water too murky to see anyway, so we made a speedy exit.

Too slow! I'm pulling! Colin Cam

Monkey encounter (finally!) on Man Beach, a bit frightened when it ran right up to our kayak where I was standing with the stuff. Tried to eat Colin’s shell, which he’d wrapped in the bag from our banana bread ball breakfast.

"Hello ma'am, this is just a routine inspection." Colin Cam

"What is it you're doing over there? That bag looks awfully delicious--I mean suspicious." Colin Cam

Hmm, this seems a bit hard to be food. "Alright, your story checks out, folks. On your way." Colin Cam

Chinese temple surrounded by amusing park on Coral Beach, more monkeys and the first Malay I’d seen picking up litter.

Colin Cam



Feeding bananas to the hornbills, then the never-ending slideshow of Malaysian bird pictures—“Done already?” asks our host.

The owner of the chalets has been feeding the hornbills every evening for seven years. They show up every night without fail.


Rambutans in the sea and rambutans from our host. “Take five pieces each; I bought too many.”

Scary sea urchins. Colin Cam

Lovely fruit. Colin Cam

Colin climbed the coconut tree, and we had coconut milk as fresh as it gets on our deck, safe from the rain dripping through the begonias.

Mediocre breakfasts; unlucky dinners—too much squid— but at least my feet are in the sand; mostly yummy snacks (too-die-for banana bread balls); excellent lychee nilk tea.

Bushy green hills shrouded with wispy clouds, filled with leeches after the rain. No, thank you.


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