Next to the beach of Nipah Bay on Pulau Pangkor are a handful of guys selling snorkeling outings. We said no for a few days before deciding we should shake up our routine of eating and lazing in the ocean by doing something/anything. The price seemed reasonable so off we went.
It was, well, it was disappointing. A few minutes in a boat saw us delivered to a smaller island just off Pangkor. The guy driving the boat made a big show of demonstrating that there were indeed fish. It felt weird and lawyer-ish. He made sure to demonstrate that there were indeed fish and then got us to agree that the fish existed. It was almost as if he was expecting us to argue the point later.
He dropped on us on a beach of this little island, said he'd be back in an hour then left us to explore. We quickly discounted the idea of spending that hour actually snorkeling. The coral was dead and, while there were indeed fish, they were not terribly remarkable. They seemed to consist of the same few bread loving species you see throughout south east Asia. It was all a bit underwhelming.
Other snorkelers were deposited on the island. The small boats delivering them were run, with their spinning propellers in the water, through groups of oblivious people face down in the water. That clinched it. We would get out of the water and explore the island!
The island itself was actually far more beautiful above water than below it. Once we got over the initial disappointment and feelings of being vaguely ripped off it was actually a nice little outing. We both managed to gain a little war wound along the way but the island was genuinely beautiful and we managed to have some fun. Just don't bother going in the water.