As the gateway to the east coast, Kuantan is the capital and center of administration of Pahang Darul Makmur, the largest state in Peninsula Malaysia. Besides fast becoming a well-developed town, its warm hospitality and friendly people are still felt the moment you set foot. This enchanting atmosphere plus Kuantan’s just as friendly weather, attract visitors to this quaint coastal town. Another aspect of the town that has become the proud of the state and the envy of others is its cleanliness. Kuantan is reputed to be one of the cleanest cities in Malaysia.
A small but lively city off the East Coast of Malaysia, Kuantan is also home to some of the nation’s most popular beaches, especially Cherating. The serene atmosphere and beautiful beaches attract visitors from all over the world, who come to enjoy the cultural enrichment, warm weather and gentle sea breeze.
Kuantan is one of the prominent cities along Coast. It has a young but rich Malay culture. Locals speak with a northern accent that resembles the neighbouring states, Terengganu and Kelantan. Traditional dishes and cultural elements from these two states can also be found at Kuantan.
Kuantan can offer you an opportunity to see some of Peninsular Malaysia’s most fascinating sights. From local museums to recreational parks and handicraft centers to pleasant beaches, Kuantan and its surroundings have it all.
Besides that, around Kuantan, there are many places dedicated to the preservation of nature, such as animal sanctuaries and horticultural parks. At there, you can engage in a whole range of eco-adventures as the state of Pahang is rich in rainforest and scenery. Hence, enjoy and learn when you visit each of these places, perhaps will be coming out with a better understanding of our living environment.
So, when you come to visiting Malaysia, make sure that you do not leave the East Coast out of your travel hit list. It is a Malaysian experience that you shouldn’t miss out!
Why Not Go
The capital of Pahang, Kuantan is a bristling city with peaceful scenery. The main attractions are the beaches that line Kuantan’s coast. Others than that is shopping for both modern and traditional commodities, trying out great seafood and experiencing the local culture. So, you shouldn’t go to this place for holiday if you don’t like these kinds of activities at all.
Kuantan has a variety of attractions for you to enjoy. Carpeted with fine white sand and clear blue waters beaches are the greatest lure of Kuantan, especially Teluk Cempedak. Teluk Chempedak is a wonderful beach which is just 5km away from Kuantan. The nature of its enclosed bay makes it perfect for water sport activities, which include swimming, surfing and also jet-skiing. The beaches are lined with casuarinas trees and are quite rocky at some places.
Others scenic beaches like Batu Hitam, Balok, Chenor, Pantai Sepat, Beserah, and Cherating also popular with vacationers in the city’s vicinity. Located 50 km north of Kuantan, Cherating is undoubtedly the most popular beach on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The sandy beaches are dotted with pleasant casuarinas trees and calm water, making it an attractive venue for backpackers, tourists and also locals. There is a turtle sanctuary near Cherating and Pulau Ular (Snake Island) is just a few kilometers away from Cherating.
Apart from that, Kuantan is also popular with its waterfalls, especially Sungai Pandan Water Fall. The other two are the Sungai Berkelah Waterfall and the Jerangkang Waterfall. There are three parks within the city, namely the Gelora Park, Teruntum Mini Zoo and Agriculture Park at Indera Mahkota. The 500-acre Jubli Perak Sultan Ahmad Shah’s Agricultural Park is a scenic combination of natural forest reserve, orchards, vegetable plots and fish ponds. Various types of local fruits like durians, rambutans, papayas, jackfruits, mangoes and papayas can be found at there. You can simply pluck and eat for a flat rate at certain seasons during the year. Besides that, there is a greenhouse to educate visitors on the agro-culture industry and a lot of live exhibits of flora in the arboretum.
Best Time to Visit
Generally, Kuantan experiences two seasons every year, the Dry and Hot Season and also the Rainy Season. During the Dry and Hot Season, the temperature may reach up to 40 degrees Celsius. However, the Rainy Season usually occurs from October to March. During this season, Kuantan can be very cloudy with a large amount of rainfall. Floods may occur during the rainy season. Possible flooding areas include the road to Sungai Lembing and also a few areas along the Kuantan River. So, the best time to visit Kuantan is in the mid of the year, preferably June and July.
Where to Stay
Kuantan as the state capital of Pahang has a wide range of hotels to suit every budget, all within, the town centre and easy reach of all amenities.
Cherating is the most popular places among backpackers. There are a wide range of budget motels in Cherating, which are mostly run by families, wooden huts set among the coconut groves by the sea, chalets to international class resorts. It is also a unique identity as a paradise for holidaymakers is untouched although development is progressively done on most of the beach areas.
Generally, it is highly recommended to stay at Hyatt Regency Kuantan Resort, Teluk Cempedak Beach. It is the best beach resort in Kuantan. It will be really enjoyable if your budget allows you to do so.
Where & What to Eat
Firstly, there are many restaurants and eateries that have mushroomed around Berjaya Megamall along Jalan Tun Ismail which serve local food at reasonable prices that you shouldn’t miss out.
Secondly, Kuantan is also famous with its Keropok Lekor, especially the ones sold by Mok Nah in Tanjung Lumpur and Pak Soh 2 in Sungai Karang on the way to Balok. The variant sold in Kuantan is slightly different with the ones in Kuala Terengganu. Keropok here is soft but crispy.
Thirdly, you shouldn’t miss out the chunks of chicken or beef on a skewer and cooked over a charcoal fire, namely Satay. In Kuantan, the tastiest satay can be found at the Zul’s Satay, which is located in a corner shop at the junction to Beserah from the Kuantan town (Teluk Cempedak road). Heading towards Teluk Cempedak from Kuantan, it is on your left hand side at the traffic lights.
And for Malaysian Chinese cuisine, you can find it at Jalan Penjara in Kuantan town. A corner restaurant named Hock Heng Baru serves delicious and reasonably-priced Hainan cuisine like Hainanese chicken rice. If you are at Hock Heng Baru, you must try their killer sour plum lime drink where they go the extra mile to blend even the sour plum flesh together with the limes to give the drink an extra sour taste.
Don’t forget to have the Curry Laksa at Hoi Yin Restaurant also. It is located in the row of shops on the left as you approach the Teluk Cempedak beach.
For Seafood Hunters, there is one uniquely seafood restaurant by the white sandy beach available along Jalan Beserah. Pak Su Seafood Restaurant serves a wide range of fresh seafood at affordable price. And the Stuffed Crab is a must try dishes.
Apart from that, you must not miss out Sata when you make your way to Kuantan. The fish was pasted and coconut wrapped in coconut leaves, then barbequed. It tastes good with fresh fruit juice.
At night, it is good to have a night stroll at the Teluk Chempedak, a lovely beach. And there are many restaurants and food stalls line the shore, open for business until midnight. They serve a wide variety of food and beverages.
My to do List
– visit Pulau Ular
– go to Sungai Lembing town
– have a night stroll at Teluk Chempedak beach
– watch Sunrise on the Cherating beach
– Nasi dagang
– Laksa Pahang
– Nasi Periuk Kera
Stay Away From
Stay away from the macaques when you are in Teluk Chempedak. Macaques are the naughty monkeys that are quick at stealing food when you do not aware it.
Getting there is pretty easy either by air or by road. However, the best way to get there is by air since there are direct flights from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, which takes about 45 minutes only. If you intend to drive there, the distance is about 277 km from Kuala Lumpur, which takes about 4 hours via the Karak Highway, and 325 km from Johor Bahru/Singapore. For a more scenic journey from Johor Bahru/Singapore, you may drive north along the coastal roads into Rompin, Pekan and then Kuantan