Location : Pulau Pangkor, Perak, Malaysia.
I made two trips to the island of Pangkor with almost 10 years in between for the same reason, the hornbills. The biggest difference between the 2 trips was the first trip the camera I brought along failed me completely. The other difference was heartbreaking too. I could not see the rhinoceros hornbills anymore for the second trip. I remember I could hear the loud squawking and flapping of this larger species as I was riding a bike along the more forested hills of the island and of course also at the Sea View Resort during feeding time. But sadly, not anymore. The only consolation was that the smaller Pied Hornbills were still around but lesser in numbers. They are a lot more shy now. They used to fearlessly pick crumbs from under my breakfast table at the roadside foodstalls. Their friends could have possibly migrated to other islands like Pulau Ubin of Singapore where it recorded a sudden increase of Pied Hornbills.
There are several ways of getting to Pangkor Island :- 1) KLIA 2 by Star Shuttle bus 2) By Star Shuttle bus from TBS terminal in KL 3) By Sri Maju bus from Butterworth PenangAll buses stop at Lumut bus terminal which is a short walk from the waterfront where the ferry terminal is. Ferry ride is about 45min.
Pangkor island is one destination where you do not need advance reservation or tour guide. It is best explored on your own with a motorcycle. You may check into Sea View Hotel if you just want a convenient experience of watching the hornbill feeding by the boss himself, the legendary badminton doubles player Datuk Tan Yee Khan. Or you may put up at budget Sunset View Chalet in a modern Malay village in Telok Nipah which offers feeding too. Both have very nice beaches.
Our first stop was at the best coffee in town when our bus mate, Madam Beh who happened to be a local, insisted on buying us.
After which we had a good tour of the just completed Fu Lin Kong Temple (福临宫) somewhere in between a densely Chinese housing estate and a hill.
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