Kuantan is a tropical getaway with an economy driven by its tourism sector. The administrative and commercial capital of Pahang, Kuantan’s timber and fishing industry also play vital roles in the local economy.
Said to have been founded in the 1850s, Kuantan was known as Teruntum Village in its early days. Back then its economy was driven primarily by fishing but the late 19th century saw the arrival of Chinese miners and traders who oversaw the expansion of Kuantan’s township. At the same time, as a result of this progress, nearby tin mining areas such as Gambang and Sungai Lembing were also developed.
Kuantan is the second biggest port in Malaysia but there’s a limited variety of things to do in the city. Home to picture perfect beaches that merit a visit such as Teluk Chempedak and Balok Beach, Kuantan also plays host to a few beautiful waterfalls including Jerangkang Waterfall and Sungai Berkelah Waterfall. If you’re here on the weekend, check out the horse races at the Indera Makota Indoor Stadium.
Located 15 kilometres north of Kuantan, Balok Beach is known as the best place along this coastal strip for windsurfing and is also the venue for the annual windsurfing regatta – the Kuantan Challenge. Between May and September, there’s a good chance you can see turtles laying eggs on the beach.
Opening Hours: 24 hours daily
Location: 15 kilometres north of Kuantan
The highest point in Peninsular Malaysia, Gunung Tahan – ‘gunung’ means mountain and ‘tahan’ means endure – stands at 2,187 metres and is located within Taman Negara. Part of the Tahan Range, the mountain is popular among local climbers and a certain level of stamina is required to scale Mount Endurance as it is considered by many to be the one of the toughest treks in the peninsula.
Highlights: Mutiara Taman Negara Resort
Location: Taman Negara National Park
Tel: +6017 982 8538 or +6012 700 8014
Accessible from the KL-Kuantan road, Jerangkang Waterfalls is situated approximately 30 kilometres after Maran. From the car parking lot it’s only a 15-minute walk to the first of the falls – according to locals there are a total of 43 separate waterfalls in Jerangkang. There’s also a lovely campsite that is the perfect spot for an afternoon picnic or an overnight camping trip.
Location: Kampung Paya Bungor
Spread across 126 acres of swampland, the Royal Pahang Golf Club is the perfect place for you to swing into action. The 18-hole championship course is located near Kuantan Town and is an especially challenging green due to the cool sea breezes that blow through here especially during monsoon season.
Location: Jalan Padang Golf, 25250 Kuantan
Tel: +609 567 5811
The longest river in Peninsular Malaysia, the 459-kilometre Sungai Pahang is a beautifully winding river that starts out at the confluence of the Jelai and Tembeling rivers in the Titiwangsa Mountain range and drains into the South China Sea. The river is the site of the Sungai Pahang International River Rafting Expedition held in April/May each year – be sure to stop by here to catch sight of the rafts as they begin their journey.
Location: Sungai Pahang
One of Kuantan’s star attractions Tasik Chini – a series of 12 interconnecting water bodies – is a beautiful lake located approximately 100 kilometres from Kuantan. Malaysia’s second largest lake is home to the Jakun people – one of its orang asli tribes. One of the myths that surround Tasik Chini revolves around a Loch Ness-like monster that guards the waters. You can fish, canoe or simply trek through the surrounding forest to explore its rich ecology especially its varied birdlife.
Highlights: Second largest natural lake peninsula Malaysia. Stuff of myths and legends in a series of 12 lakes.
Location: Chini Town (100 kilometres from Kuantan)
One of Kuantan’s highlights, this strip of white beach stretches all the way down the coast. Crowded at night, it is located six kilometres east of Kuantan; Teluk Chempedak features several walking tracks that wind along the park jungle area on the rocky outcrop from the northern end of the shoreline. From November to around February the beach break around here draws in local surfers. You can indulge in a variety of water sports such as windsurfing, sailing, jet skiing and swimming.
Location: Five kilometres from Kuantan town