This is it. The place I’ve been talking about, dreaming about. The place that brought Luciano Pavarotti to tears. The privately owned island consisting of one resort off the coast of Malaysia. Pangkor Laut.
Tuesday we took a 4 hour bus ride from Kuala Lumpur to the coastal city of Lumut where we boarded a boat to take us to the island, the whole time nervous it wasn’t going to live up to my expectations. What if Pavarotti was just a cry baby? What a disappointment that would be. Well folks, I’m here to tell ya, he’s not. I was barely able to hold it together myself. The place is heaven. All memories of the toilet/shower combo quickly disappeared after one look at the stone bathtub that was soon to become my home.
The island is only 300 acres, with the resort, spa, and restaurants on the eastern side of the island and the gorgeous, appropriately named Emerald Cove beach on the west side. The majority of the forested island remains undisturbed, teeming with monkeys and hornbills. We had seen a hornbill in the aviary at Kowloon Park in Hong Kong and had been struck by its exotic appearance. To be sitting at breakfast one week later and have the same type of bird join us at the table trying to get our food was really incredible. Jolian yelling, “Oy!” to shoo the bird away, also really incredible.
The physical beauty of the island was breathtaking. The resort was luxurious without being stuffy. The atmosphere was very relaxed. The food was delicious. I really have no complaints, and if you know me, I always have some complaints. Well, I take that back. I do have one. Why does it have to be halfway around the world from where we live making it nearly impossible for us to return?
We spent three glorious days and nights at Pangkor Laut, including Thanksgiving. I can’t think of a better place to spend the holiday. While we didn’t have turkey, stuffing or football, we did have a perfect day of swimming and delicious dinner at Uncle Lim’s restaurant that included out-of-this-world duck spring rolls.
Now my only worry is, did we peak too soon? How the hell am I going to go back to budget accommodations?