Sunsets at five.

It felt like a heavy burden was lifted off my chest the moment the plane landed in the tiny airstrip of the Pangkor Island Airport. It was one thing taking off from the Subang Airport, where it was noisy as hell what with the place being under construction, and we had to wait for an hour or so for the plane to arrive. It was another thing taking off with a propeller airplane.

Yes, it was my first time hopping on such a plane, and as I took the seat in the 48-seater, I could not help thinking of that flipped and moss-grown yellow propeller plane in Lost, the one that got Boone killed off the show. It did no good to my senses too when I took my seat, and saw that the wall was agap and I could actually see the outside through the little crack. Scared the crap out of me too when the co-pilot pressed the wrong button and we were shooting down head first to the ground for like 3 seconds.

Don’t get me wrong. I do like flying and it was an experience flying in these old skool planes. My first experience just was not really smooth flowing. Heh.

The last time I was in Pangkor Island, I was cooped up in a resort I could not remember the name of for a church retreat. So that did not really count as being to Pangkor Island before, thus it was nice to finally get to go back there again and reset my holiday experience there. And boy, was it resetted.

A chartered bus – or truck, more like it – rolled up to the so-called airport and loaded us all up to bring us to Pangkor Island Beach Resort, which was a short journey because it was after all a small island and the resort was just practically at the backyard of the airport. On board, we were entertained for a while by the resident performers of the resort with Paris Hilton’s Stars. Meh.

Upon arriving at the resort, we were greeted by a band of kompang players and presentation of leis to each of us. I thought it was quite a nice touch to things. It almost felt like the plane had landed us in Hawaii instead, if not for the kompang band. Yet, the resort made an effort during our stay there to convince us that being in Pangkor Island is definitely a nice and quiet place for an island retreat.

We each had a room to ourselves, and all of the rooms – and I mean all – face the ocean. So, if you leave the balcony door open, you could hear the waves lapping against the shores. It was the best thing to hear at night.

However, beware of leaving your balcony doors opened for too long because Pangkor has got the meanest and cheekiest monkeys. Apon arriving into his room, my photographer, Yusman, opened his balcony door and immediately a whole family of monkeys rushed in and helped themselves to the complimentary food basket. One of them saw the shock on Yusman’s face that he even threw a banana back at him to cheer him up. That was the joke for the entire trip, but I bet none of us would like to be in Yusman’s shoes then when the monkeys attacked. So yes, keep balcony door opened with care.

Take it from me that Pangkor Island is a quiet island, literally, because there is not much life outslde of the resorts, especially at night. So, it was a perfect time for me to retreat back to my room after a sumptuous dinner and leave the TV off for the night. There was a sitting area by the balcony door, where I could hear the oceans on full blast as the fan spun quietly overhead while I caught up on lost chapters of Stephen King’s The Talisman.

It felt really serene. Like the world just fell apart somewhere out there, and I was in a refuge where nothing could touch me.

Every day, around 6.30PM without fail, a school of hornbills will start appearing around the premises. The resort has set up a hornbill feeding station for them, so they would just stop by and hang around the guests like they are part of the species. I have not actually seen anyone going up to them and patting them, so I do not know just exactly how friendly they are. But usually, I guess they are just there for seeing and snapping pictures. I do not get to see them everyday in the city, you see, so it was still a nice feeling being so close to their kind.

Asides from the hornbills and good food, and perhaps the notorious monkeys residing at the jungle next to the resort, one thing Mother Nature has blessed the resort – and the island – with is this.

Sunsets.

What more can I say but that it takes my breath away every dusk watching the sky leaks a fiery orange and red as it sets at the horizon. Holding a house-brewed cocktail in hand as you sat on the beach chair with a front row seat to such a panaromic show. As you breathed out, it felt like the troubles you have your back to means nothing more than blurry shadows. And that exhalation will take away your problems to the sinking sun, where they will disappear along with the sun as it sets.

It was a pity I had to leave the island and go back to work after two blissful nights of nothingness. It would be nice to stay there for a few more days and enjoy every inch of it. The people were nice there and they made you feel like you are at home. And the atmosphere made it feel like it is home. It could be the perfect place to be when one decides to drop out the face of the earth for a little while.

Also seen on VM @ Travel Talk.

++
Pangkor Island Beach Resort
Teluk Belanga
32300 Pangkor Island
Perak Daruk Ridzuan
Malaysia
T: +6 05 685 1091 / 1800 88 7777
E: reserve@pangkorislandbeach.com
W:  http://www.pangkorislandbeach.com

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