Pulau Pangkor

© 2011 Tiago Marques

“As I gaze upon the sea! All the old romantic legends, all my dreams, come back to me.” ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Journal, 07-12 December 2011. Pulau Pangkor, Malaysia.


For nearly a week, my world was a simple place.

There was the Nazri Nipah Camp hostel, with the hammocks and the gentle camaraderie. There was the street shops nearby, where I could buy groceries and other necessities and have my meals.

And a short walk to the right there was Coral Bay, the beach where I lingered in lazy days reading, writing and sunbathing by the Andaman Sea.


There was Jose (“Pepe”), the med student from Chile who didn’t seem to have a single bone of malice in his body, and lazy travel stories by the beach.

There was Ron, half Dutch half Indonesian, who owned a sky lantern business in Chiang Mai and was passing through Pangkor on his regular visa run. Some great conversations and insights tempered by cold beer.

There was Susana and Carlos, the couple from Portugal who were passing by Pangkor on their yearly holidays in Southeast Asia, and who I randomly bumped into at the nearby mini market. How wonderful it felt to hear Portuguese again!

And then there were the Muslim people swimming in the sea with all their clothes on, and me and Pepe puzzled, not entirely sure if they did it out of cultural reasons or because they don’t like to look tanned. Ultimately, the cultural reasons theory won.


I never actually bothered to explore Pulau Pangkor. My brain shut down as soon as I felt the cool Andaman waters. Something about the sea always reminds me of home and childhood holidays, and relaxes me.

But I guess that’s what travelling is meant to be – switch off, tune in and be in the present.


• Tarynn, for advising me to visit Pangkor and even which hostel to stay in – I actually got the last free bed on that corner of the island, thanks babe.
• Pepe and Ron, for joyful chats and insights.
• Pangkor and the Andaman Sea.

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