23 Nov 2007
Seagull Resort, Nipah Bay, Pangkor, Malaysia
Hotel
A$19.50/£8.25 night
4°13'51.81"N 100°32'50.98"E
1 Room

 

We had intended to move on from Pangkor after staying at the Seaview for 4 nights, but whilst riding around the island on a motorbike we stumbled across Nipah Bay. It looked beautiful and a little more lively than Pasir Bogak and we saw the sign for the Seagull Beach Village Resort. We were sucked in by the WiFi reference on the sign and checked it out. What we found was a small resort consisting of cheap hotel rooms and even cheaper (A$13/£5.50) cabins. We didn't look inside the cabins - we were told if we liked the rooms we wouldn't like the cabins. It looked like some of these, if not all, shared bathroom facilities.

The rooms were very basic - probably the most basic we've stayed in so far - but clean. Lots of solid dark wood on the stairs, balconies and floors, but partitioned walls between rooms mean it may be a little noisy if you get inconsiderate people next door. The WiFi was excellent and free, and there was a television with 3 satellite channels - in reality a full range of satellite channels and you just had to ask if you wanted a different channel to show.

The bed was comfortable enough and the chairs, both in the room and on the balcony, were very comfortable. There was an effective air conditioner and a ceiling fan and an electric shower with fairly good pressure. There was a canteen offering basic breakfasts and fried rice and noodles throughout the day for no more, if not less, than the cheapest food stalls we've found in Malaysia, and tastier than any of the alternatives we tried outside. There was also a refreshment corner with boiling water, coffee and tea on a help yourself honour system - so cheap they would barely have covered costs. Soft drinks, beer and ice cream were also available to buy at the same prices you pay in shops on the island. Iced water with lemon and orange cordial seemed to flow all day - someone would bring you a glass as soon as you sat down. Filtered drinking water was available downstairs - just fill up your bottle. There was no fridge in the room, but there was no problem leaving the milk (and Peter's beer) in the canteen kitchen. There was a washing machine, use of which incurred a nominal charge, and plenty of washing lines complete with pegs to get everything dry.

Hotel room

The office had a fair selection of books to borrow in all different languages and a computer with internet access. Day trips and other activities could also be arranged. In the canteen building there were comfortable chairs and sofa's and a tv. There was also a pool table, dart board, table tennis table, good sound system and board games. Outside there was a volleyball court and footballs lying around just asking to be kicked. There were mats for lying on the beach, inflatable toys for playing in the sea and umbrellas for sun and rain. Best of all, there was no charge for anything, just a request to return whatever you borrow.

The resort is something of a retreat. About 500 meters from the beach, it could be a thousand miles away. One of the last buildings on the laneway, there is virtually no traffic. Backing onto quite thick jungle, the peace and quiet in the grounds are disturbed only by the birds and monkeys. Waking up to the sounds of the animals is soothing - being woken by two or three monkeys having a fight on the roof isn't quite as soothing, but it's all part of it.

Nipah Bay itself was a bit of a disappointment. It may have had plenty of people and stalls, but the eating was far from great. There were lots of food stalls and beach side canteens selling cheap but very mediocre food. Over the road from the beach, the couple of local restaurants and canteens were just as mediocre and expensive for what you got. Very disappointing that seafood was limited, expensive and not very good, and the food we did have was quite bland. There were several water sports shacks that seemed to be doing a roaring trade (especially those with big inner tubes), and lots of stalls selling cheap beachwear, inflatable toys and sarongs. There were 3 mini marts which, unlike Pasir Bogak, were very expensive and didn't have much beyond beach basics. A tub of Pringle,s which on the mainland was RM3 to RM3.50 in mini marts was RM7.90 here. I know it isn't a lot of money and about half what we'd pay in Australia or England, but it's more than 100% more than everywhere else in Malaysia.

Probably the best part of the resort were the people. Run by KC and Edward (who's English is the best I've come across in Malaysia), the organisation was very casual, which only added to the very relaxed atmosphere. They were both very friendly and incredibly helpful. Nothing was too much trouble - they constantly ensured that everybody was happy and had everything they needed, and were a mine of local information.

I don't know if we'd go back to Nipah Bay, but if we did we'd definitely stay at the Seagull. It isn't fancy and it isn't on the beach, but it really is a great place to stay.