December 2016


“ Unless you’ve been trained as a mountain goat, it’s best to go slowly! ”

Chapman’s Challenge The Pangkor Laut Resort and Spa is proud and protective not only of its natural heritage, but of its dramatic history too. That’s why, on 13 May 2016, it launched the inaugural Chapman’s Challenge, a 3.8-kilometre run around the resort, followed by 2.4km of steep jungle trails and a 1,000-metre swim in the placid green waters of Emerald Bay. I was lucky enough to be one of the 108 competitors to take part in the inaugural event, and to spend the weekend discovering Pangkor Laut and its many wonderful offerings.

Our long weekend began with a buffet lunch at the resort’s Feast Village, followed by a preview of the jungle trail part of the race: a taste of what was to come early the next morning. The steep slopes and uneven terrain would make for a challenging run, and, as the resort’s General Manager Ross Sanders pointed out in the briefing later that night, “Unless you’ve been trained as a mountain goat, it’s best to go slowly!” Steep climbs, however, often make for stunning views, and this was no exception, with breaks in the trees exposing beautiful vistas down below.

That evening, we saw even more gorgeous island scenery, this time from the water. We cruised around the island on the hotel junk, drinking in the sunset as the captain regaled us with anecdotes of famous guests and love-struck staff, and a family of sea otters frolicked on the rocks. Dinner was Nyonya (Peranakan) and Hockchew Chinese-style cuisine at Uncle Lim’s, which stood out not only for the excellent food (the stir-fried squid is not to be missed), but also for its unusual architecture. Sitting atop a giant rock overlooking the sea, it’s built in the shape of a giant parasol and is bedeckedwith lanterns.

181 DECEMBER2016

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