A hideaway holidays
Driving to Pangkor Island by the old coastal road is easy. I was amazed at the change. When driving there in 2004, the road was narrow with heavy traffic but now it's wide and good. Taking the NKV we exit before Sg. Buloh to take the Kuala Selangor route. Sign boards are plenty and clear, indicating Tg. Karang and Teluk Intan. We arrived at Lumut jetty well before the morning 11 o'clock hotel ferry leave the jetty. Jin parked the car at the multi-storey car park for 3 days. Lumut town has also expanded and buzzing with tourists activities. Since it was Sunday the normal public ferry was loaded with local holiday-makers. The Lumut Local Council should build more toilets instead of the 4 cubicles now. We checked in the Pangkor Island Beach Resort which formerly known as Pan Pacific Hotel at the jetty and our luggage was taken care of from then on.
Pangkor Island Beach Resort is situated away from the busy town , about 3 km. No restaurants, shops nearby and walking to town the town beach was pleasant but quite tiring. Priya was waiting for us. After we were settled in our room we walked around the hotel to familiarize ourselves. Since the 4 of us shared a large family room, there was hardly place for me to do my prayer. Unfortunately, the surau of the hotel was tucked away at the back area. So I have to ask permission to use the emergency treatment room for my prayer, which is just a few doors away from our room. The treatment room was in a shamble, more like a store room with smell of cat urine. I wonder, how can it be a treatment room for the sick if the condition is so appalling. Since my prayer doesn't take much time, I left immediately after I've finished.
Pangkor Island Beach Resort is situated at a cove with calm waters and tantalizing sunset. It's so private and clean. The sand is soft and the sea is shallow. No public is allowed in unless they are guests of the hotel.
Away from the main building, is a few high-end wooden bungalows. The back is a backdrop of green forests, making it look serene and peaceful.
In the evening, we decided to take the 3 km walk to see the nearest town. The walk itself was pleasant but on returning we had to take the van-taxi for the 6 of us costing RM95.00. I like to see the colourful Malay village with flowering garden but felt sad to see the neglected staff quarters. The management doesn't seem to care about the welfare of its lower rank staff. My friend had an unpleasant encounter with one very senior staff. Since the GM was not around, she happened to ask help from the second man, an Indian man, to turn on the TV to see the tennis tournament. With a sullen face, he turned it on with not a smile or a glance even though she thanked him. What an arrogant man! From feedback, I gather the senior management staff needs human relations training badly. They shouldn't be working in hotel industry if they do not know manners, common curtsy and humility. The three friends of mine left the lounge with disgust.
By the way, the food is really good. Congratulations to the chefs. The breakfast spread is varied and the restaurant is superb.
One interesting attraction in this hotel is the presence of many pied hornbills - black body with heavy light yellow beak. The hotel has feeding sessions in the morning and in the evening. Before the feeding time they will fly down in big numbers and guests could feed them with fruits. They make quite a loud sound as if they are happy.
Another attraction is the peacocks. There are about 6 of them when I counted. The males are magnificent and colourful. The females are rather plain. One male peacock, David, will wait at Priya's balcony in the evening until she returns to her room. He has been doing this faithfully since she came to work. As an animal lover, I think, the peacocks, the hornbills and the rascal monkeys know that. and they reciprocate. I witnessed an interesting peacock ritual when they are in heat. A young male peacock was chasing after a female peacock which showed no interest in him. The male peacock clucking opening his beautiful feather and did a wooing dance to no avail. The female peacock just ignored him. Poor glamorous fascinating male peacock. Hope he succeeds one day.
On the way back to our respective homes, we stopped at Bukit Melawati to see the silver leaf monkeys. I have always love them. They are polite, non-aggressive and quiet. The babies are unbelievable, orange in colour and they change colour as they mature. We met Nathan who has been there for 16 years interacting with the silver leaf who seem to understand what he says in Tamil. He sells little bunch of kacang panjang for tourists to feed the monkeys. But in feeding them you must not show all the bundle, just take out one and give it one by one and hide the rest in your pocket. A family of Australian tourists seemed to have great time playing and feeding the silver leaf monkeys. Jin shrieked with fright when one silver leaf jumped on her back. I just love feeding them even though they climbed all over me.
Priya arranged for us to do sightseeing the island.
I was surprised to see history happened in Pulau Pangkor when the Dutch built a fort. Conflict with Siam and the Malays drove them away leaving the fort to the locals. There is also a boat building industry beside dried sea food industry which is well known in Malaysia. The trip around the island was good but I was not impressed with a dried fish processing factory. Obviously, hygine, cleanliness and tidiness are not their priority. I promised myself not to eat the dried sotong anymore.
Thank you Priya for being our gracious host. This is indeed a cheap holidays for us seniors by enjoying your staff discount. I hope you will be successful in your chosen career.