An enchanting scenery in Pangkor IslandPangkor is recognized as one of the most beautiful islands in Malaysia. Its magnificent beaches, clear blue water and serene surrounding are well known to tourists, including those from abroad.
As a fishing port, Pangkor is also known for its marine products such as fish satay, anchovy, dried fish and grilled fish. These specialties draw many visitors to the island, especially during school holidays and weekends.
On my recent trip to the resort island, I found that Pangkor is undergoing major developments. A waterfront is being constructed at Teluk Nipah, one of the popular spots among picnickers. New shop houses are also being constructed at Pangkor Town, which was once dull and so traditional in nature. Along the beach of Teluk Nipah too, many chalets and eateries are sprouting, boasting of fresh seafood.
The white sandy beach at Teluk Nipah
But, one of the drawbacks of the island is the price of food, which is considered too expensive for the average visitors. I had a shock when told by a stall operator that a plate of four small fried squids cost RM10. A seven inch grilled Talang fish costs RM15. In most places, that plain-tasting fish of similar size would have no takers if it is sold above RM2. Many simply walked away after enquiring about the price of seafood at the stalls. It is acceptable if lamb chop, chicken chop or beef steak are expensive on the island, but not fish. In fact, Pangkor would have more visitors if the “ikan bakar” is sold at more reasonable price.
I am fully aware that the era of low prices for most things are now over. It is a global phenomenon. But when food and services are offered at a highly unreasonable price, there would surely be few takers. In the long run, business would be down and the sellers would have ample time to snooze at their stalls. Maybe, they have no choice but to reap profit as much as possible to make up for the weekdays when the island is deserted by visitors.
BalangLama: But one thing is certain: Pangkor is a beautiful and romantic island