Kuantan & around
Kuantan is the administrative capital of Pahang, which is the largest state of Peninsula Malaysia in terms of land area. Pahang is mostly covered by dense jungle and a mountainous interior.
After the fall of Melaka, Pahang was ruled by the sultanate of Johor. It was captured by the Sumatran Acehs in the 17th century and established its own sovereign rulers in the 19th century. In 1888, the state joined the British protectorate.
The chief port of Pahang and the east coast of Malaysia fronts the South China Sea at the mouth of the Kuantan River. From here, rubber and rubber products produced in commercially oriented, government managed estates are shipped to international markets.
Sights & Activities
Stay at a beach resort: Beaches with fine white sand and moderate surfs stretch in both directions north and south of Kuantan facing the South China Sea. Quality of resorts range widely from Club Med Cherating to relatively run-down establishments serving the domestic market.
Hang out with locals at Cherating: The most happening beach on the Malaysian mainland are found in this village about 30km north of Kuantan. The village has a small selection of restaurants serving seafood and a travel agency that can arrange tours to attractions in Pahang.
Chill out at Teluk Chempedak: The resident beach of Kuantan town is a popular destination for locals. With its souvenir shops, fast food restaurants, walking trails and sheltered bay, this is a pleasant place to while the afternoon away.
Take a short excursion around town: Although there is not much to offer, you can still shop in the Berjaya Megamall, cruise down Sungai Kuantan and appreciate the architecture of Masjid Negeri, the largest mosque in the east coast.
Drive to Tasik Chini: Largely unexplored and yet to be established as a tourist attraction, the second largest freshwater lake in Peninsula Malaysia can be reached in about 3 hours drive from Kuantan, passing scenic traditional kampungs and oil palm plantations.
To get to Kuantan by car, take the East Coast Highway from Kuala Lumpur in the same direction as Genting Highlands. The highway crosses the central Malayan range and extends 250km into Kuantan. Toll charges estimates RM27.60.
Pahang remains largely undeveloped so it is difficult to get around without your own private transport. Roads are predominantly single-lane so if you are caught behind slow moving trucks (pretty often), be prepared to overtake. There is little illumination at night.