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Pahang’s capital and Malaysia’s second largest port is not an obvious tourist stop even though the city has good dining possibilities and nearby beaches at Teluk Chempedak and, 28 miles north, at Cherating. Kuantan’s most striking sight is the Masjid Negeri, the giant mosque facing the central "padang" (grass square). It looks particularly spectacular when illuminated in the evening. Short cruises along the Sungai Kuantan past fishing villages and mangroves are also available. If you’re looking for traditional Malaysia then head 30 miles down the coast to the small town of Pekan, seat of the sultans of Pahang. Here you’ll find regal ...

Pahang’s capital and Malaysia’s second largest port is not an obvious tourist stop even though the city has good dining possibilities and nearby beaches at Teluk Chempedak and, 28 miles north, at Cherating. Kuantan’s most striking sight is the Masjid Negeri, the giant mosque facing the central "padang" (grass square). It looks particularly spectacular when illuminated in the evening. Short cruises along the Sungai Kuantan past fishing villages and mangroves are also available. If you’re looking for traditional Malaysia then head 30 miles down the coast to the small town of Pekan, seat of the sultans of Pahang. Here you’ll find regal buildings around a grassy padang, several picturesque Chinese-style shophouses as well as a Hindu and Buddhist temple. The Chief’s Rest House dating back to 1925 is an atmospheric place to stay. A possible inland trip is to Tasik Chini, 12 connected lakes known for their profusion of lotuses – as well as the possibility of a Loch Ness-style monster. The lotuses bloom between June and September but sadly environmental issues have caused this botanical display to be much less pronounced than it used to be. Even so, the lakeland area offers orang asli (native people) villages and wonderful trekking country.

Simon Richmond
About the Expert

Simon Richmond has written Rough Guides to Malaysia and Japan; Lonely Planet guides to India and Russia; and adventure travel guides for Frommer's on Australia, India, South America, and Southeast Asia.

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Simon Richmond for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Kuantan is the state capital of Pahang, the 3rd largest state in Malaysia. It is situated near the mouth of the Kuantan River and faces the South China Sea.
  • Language: Bahasa Malaysia (official), English and Chinese
  • Currency: Malaysian Ringgit
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    March to October