Published on Nil | by wikivoyage.org
Kuantan is the state capital of Pahang, on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. With over 500,000 people, Kuantan is the largest city on the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. There are a number of places in and around Kuantan that are worth visiting.
- 1 Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Airport (KUA IATA) (is about 15 km southwest of the city). The airport is served by Malaysia Airlines and its subsidiary Firefly. Flights to Kuantan come from Kuala Lumpur (KLIA), Penang and Singapore.
2 Terminal Kuantan Sentral (Kuantan’s long-distance bus station, new in August 2013) is several kilometres from the city centre, at Bandar Indera Mahkota (basically, in the middle of nowhere). A rapidKuantan bus (#303, RM2) will bring you to the city local bus terminal (3 Hentian Bandar), or taxis to the city centre will cost about RM20.00.
- To/from Kuala Lumpur: Kuantan is about 3.5 hours from Kuala Lumpur by bus. Fares are around RM22.
- To/from Cherating: Catch a Sihat Bas or Mira heading for Kemaman and get off along the main road at the Cherating turn-off. The journey may take about an hour. In Kuantan, catch the buses at the local bus station on Jalan Besar. From Cherating, walk out onto the main road and wait for any Kuantan-bound (south-bound) bus.
- To/from Singapore: Transnational operates a twice-daily bus service from its Beach Road office (as of May 2014) Travel time is 6 hours, with a stopover in Larkin terminal (JB). For a cheaper alternative, go to Larkin and book the bus from there instead.
The Karak Highway and East Coast Expressway connect Kuantan to Kuala Lumpur, and the distance of approximately 250 km can be covered in 3-3.5 hours. The East Coast Expressway is served by evenly distributed stop-over areas that are equipped with toilets, sundry shops and food stalls. You may exit at either the Gambang or Kuantan exit. Both expressways are toll roads to travel the entire journey via the expressways costs RM27.60 for a car.
Federal route 2 also links Kuala Lumpur to Kuantan. As it is an ordinary road, it has no toll. However it is a somewhat slower route than the expressway as there are traffic lights along the way and a lower speed limit.
Rapid Kuantan, the local bus service, was established in December 2012, and has an expanding network of about 13 routes. The central hub is at Terminal Makmur (the old long-distance bus terminal). Important routes for visitors include 200 (to Teluk Cempedak Beach), 303 (to Terminal Sentral Kuantan), 400 (to Pekan) and 500 (to Sungai Lembing). Most routes operate approx. hourly.
- Teluk Chempedak, 5 km northeast of Kuantan, is a lovely beach with facilities for watersports, including boating and kayaking. The Kuantan Hyatt Hotel is located on Teluk Chempedak itself. On the left side of Teluk Cempedak beach, there is a long boardwalk (built over rocks and boulders) that connects to a second beach.
- Beserah, around 7 km from Kuantan city, is a village that is famous for fresh fish every day! You can buy fresh fish at wholesale prices here. A well-known local product, salted fish, is also available for sale here.
- Balok, a beach that is famous for wind surfing, is 13 km north of Kuantan. Swiss Garden Resort & Spa is located on Balok Beach. The resort delicately embraces traditional features with the incorporation of “anyaman” style décor in its fittings creating a unique atmosphere and perfect balance between luxury and homely familiarity.
- Batu Hitam is a special beach where all the stones are black or dark in colour. It is still under development.
- Taman Teruntum, a mini zoo, is near Taman Teruntum next to the Kuantan golf course. It also offer Nite Zoo.
- Pulau Ular– There is a legend associated with this island. It is about how snakes helped the villagers to keep pirates away (Pulau Ular means Snake Island in Malay). Nevertheless, they were conquered by the pirates eventually. These events are believed locally to have happened during the 11th century. There is a village called Sungai Ular (Snake River) on the mainland, between Cherating and Balok.
- Sungai Lembing town is where one of the world’s largest underground tin mines (now closed) is situated. Approximately 40 km northwest of Kuantan, you can get here by bus, taxi or by car. There is a good museum which has lots of information pertaining to tin mining. The building in which the museum is located used to be the residence of the manager of the tin mining company. There is an interesting “hanging bridge” (jambatan bergantung) located north of the Tin Museum. You can reach this bridge – which is a little difficult to find – by going north on the narrow, winding road at the base of the entrance to the Tin Museum. Locals and tourists alike trek up Bukit Panorama (Panorama Hill) for a glimpse of sunrise and a magnificent view of the natural surroundings in the early morning hours.
- Panching Caves (also known as Charah Caves) are located in a limestone mountain on the Kuantan-Sungai Lembing road at the small village of Panching. There is a large statue of a Sleeping Buddha here. Entrance fee: adults RM2, children RM1, parking fee of RM2 for cars.
- Pahang Buddhist Association Temple is just outside Kuantan town on the Kuantan-Sungai Lembing road. It has a large statue of the Buddha and a park with a pond, fish and tortoises at the rear.
- Berkelah Falls (also known by locals as the Ninth Mile Waterfall) is located near the Kuantan airbase of the Royal Malaysian Air Force or TUDM (Tentera Udara DiRaja Malaysia) and 14 km away from Kuantan on the Kuantan-Gambang road. To get to the waterfall, turn right at the traffic lights at the Kuantan-Gambang road just after the airbase (if you are coming from Kuantan). The waterfall is located in the Hutan Lipur Sungai Pandan (Pandan River Forest Reserve). Entrance fee RM1 for adults.
- The State Mosque is in the heart of Kuantan.
- The Kuantan River Esplanade – this small esplanade is located just behind the offices of the Kuantan Town Council building next to the Kuantan River.
- Taman Gelora, about 3 km from Kuantan along the way to Teluk Cempedak, is a beautiful park called Gelora Park. Various sport activities can be carried out here including jogging, aerobic dance, tennis, beach volleyball, etc. You can admire lotus flowers here too.
- Teluk Chempedak beach night stroll
- Cherating – Sunrise on the beach
- Cherating – Turtle sanctuary. This is seasonal. Head towards Club Mediteranee and it’s just at that resort’s entrance.
- Kuantan River Cruise. There are several a day.
- Fireflies tour. Done at night with a battery powered boat down the river. You’d need to organise this through one of the local travel agents.
- Learn to Kitesurf at Balok Beach. Possible all year round but best from Dec – Mar
- Water Park The biggest water park at East Cost at Bukit Gambang Water Park.
- Kuala Terengganu 3/4 hour bus ride north.
- Pekan, the royal town of the state of Pahang. The Pahang State Museum is located here. You can also catch a glimpse of the palace of the Sultan of Pahang in Pekan.
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