Historically, Pangkor was a refuge for local fishermen, merchants and pirates. In the 17th century, the Dutch built a fort in an effort to control the Perak tin trade. In 1874, it was the location of a historic treaty between the British government and a contender for the Perak throne (The Pangkor Treaty), which began the British colonial domination of the Malay Peninsula.
Pangkor is famous for its fine beaches and a mix of low budget to 5 star accommodations. Teluk Nipah and Coral Bay on the north west of the island is extremely popular with travellers from Europe. The quality of sand in the Pasir Bogak Beach is far superior to that elsewhere on the island. The sand is golden brown, quite similar to most leading prime beaches. There are a few resorts in Teluk Nipah or Nipah Bay.
Since the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami in Indonesia, Thailand and to a lesser extent the West Coast of Malaysia in December 2004, there have been fewer local tourists visiting Pangkor.
In 2006, a biotechnology centre, a joint venture of Global Hi-Q Malaysia S/B and Hi-Q Bio-Tech International (Taiwan) Ltd began operations with initial investments of RM100million (USD30m). Their operations include fish farming and aquaculture, and the first harvest is expected in 2009.
Just next to island of Pangkor, there is a smaller island called Pangkor Laut Island
Pangkor was previously a favourite refuge of fishermen, sailors, merchants and pirates, and was an important site from which to control trading in the Strait of Melaka.
A Dutch fort was built in the 17th century to monopolise tin trade in Perak and to protect the Perak Chieftan against Acehnese and Siamese incursions, but the Dutch were soon driven out by the local ruler when the promised protection did not materialise.
In 1874 a contender to the Perak throne sought British backing and signed the Pangkor Treaty, as a result of which James WW Birch was installed in Perak and thus began the