Living with intent, social engagement, learning, growing, giving
The only resort that I’ve ever used was on Koh Samui when I was 15 and visiting family in Thailand, so when we booked into Teluk Dalam resort on Pulau Pangkor I didn’t know what to expect. The resort has a great series of 3 swimming pools that provide hours of entertainment for our children, breakfast is included and offers a large array of options, and the accommodation is in separate bungalows which affords the type of privacy that is desired by families. It’s situated on a beach but it’s on the Straits of Malacca so the water quality is highly dubious. The resort is getting a bit run down with leaking toilets, faulty taps etc but otherwise it’s perfect for a quiet holiday. Most of the other guests are Malaysian families with young children so I feel sorry for the few European couples here because they have to put up with all of our children.
After a large breakfast, our children befriended some other kids and played happily while we read our books on the beach.
Afterwards we set off for a jungle trekking adventure and on the 2 km walk to get to the trail head we passed over Pangkor Hill which is a pretty steep climb and at times hair raising because of the lack of footpaths or even shoulder on the busy and narrow road that passes around the island. Along the way we saw monkeys feeding from native fruits, dogs scavenging in rubbish, a recycling station where the recycling was evidently being sorted but it wasn’t obvious what else would happen after that. Next to the small recycling station was a large and revolting rubbish pile with plenty of scavenger dogs and disgusting runoff. We also saw a fishing boat in dry docks being repainted.
We started the jungle trek up a steep clay track but it had rained constantly last night and the track was alive with leeches making desperate lunges to attach to us and we were quickly infested and bid a hasty retreat to the road where we risked the traffic to rid ourselves of the leeches.
We passed small fishing villages with cemeteries dug into the opposite hillside and small roadside shrines, all of which looked Chinese. We also passed a ship building yard with two ships under construction and a large supply of fresh smelling wood.
We were intrigued to encounter a satay fish factory that appeared to dry fish, coat it with salt and chilli and package it. There was a large visitor shop and we enjoyed selecting a few items from there including delicious dried mango. Worryingly for the hygiene of the dried fish that we had just bought, the toilets on the jetty emptied directly into the sea.
Our next stop was for lunch in a roadside stall where the signs were only in Chinese characters and the serving women couldn’t understand what we wanted even if I pointed to the picture and thankfully we were rescued by a helpful Malaysian Chinese tourist who translated for me. The serving woman was incredulous that our children would only order plain rice but in the end we got what we wanted and it was delicious.
On the final stretch to Pangkor township we watched goats grazing by the roadside, dogs and monkeys scavenging in rubbish and chuckled at an advertisement for A Moral Uplifting Society.