Kuantan situated along Kuantan River and facing South China Sea is the state capital of Pahang. To be exact , the city is situated right between Singapore and Kota Bharu. Reputed as the 9th largest city in the country, it has over 600,000 people with more than 50% Malay.
Facts about Kuantan
- Currency: MYR (Malaysian Ringgit)
- Dialling code: dialling to land lines will require you to use the +609 while mobile numbers will maintain their respective prefixes based on their telco providers.
- Airport: Kuantan is served by the Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Airport.
- Airport Tax: applies for both domestic and international flights
- Distance from airport to city centre: The airport is about 15kms away from the city centre of Kuantan
- Temperature: Kuantan experiences temperature between 26 and 35 degrees Celsius
- Climate and Weather: Tropical with high humidity
- Common languages: Bahasa Malaysia, English Language, Chinese and Tamil
From the airport, getting to the city center is available through ride-sharing apps like Grab and Uber. You can hail a taxi which will cost you from RM25. Bus services are available but is more recommended for the locals. Around Kuantan, you can use the Rapid Kuantan bus service that can get you around the city with ease or hail a taxi from most major locations.
Highlights of Kuantan
As one of the top tourists destinations in Malaysia, Kuantan hosts quite a lot of interesting places to visit. This include:
- Teluk Cempedak beach – About 10 minutes drive away, its one of the most popular places to go for some sun, sea and sand
- Beserah beach – this is on another direction which is about 10 minutes away as well. You can buy wholesale fresh fishes here.
- Taman Teruntum – the place to go if you like golf. There is a Nite zoo here for the kids too
- Sungai Lembing – Home to one of the largest underground tin mines in the world, it is not far from Kuantan but is a must-see when you are here
- Berkelah Falls – a pristine place to visit if you like peace and be close to nature. Known as Ninth Mile Waterfall as well.
Foods around Kuantan
You will naturally find a lot of interesting foods around Kuantan, mostly local snacks. When you are here, make sure that you find food like:
- Keropok Lekor – Something every local will tell you to try. They can be found anywhere around the city centre
- Sata – A type of fish paste and usually taken with juice
- Otak-otak – one of the common favourites among locals, this fish paste barbecued with wrapped leaves are simply delicious
- Satay – Barbecued meat dipped in peanut sauce. Zul’s satay is among the most popular here
Entertainment around Kuantan
For night life, you might not find a lot of options around Kuantan but you can head out to places like:
- Lorong Sri Kuantan
- Lorong Tun Ismail
Took over as administrative centre from Kuala Lipis
The state’s administrative centre used to be in Kuala Lipis but shifted to Kuantan several years before the country achieved independence. According to the National Physical Plan 2005, Kuantan would become a centre and hub for tourism, commerce, trade and transportation in near future. Due to its strategic location facing South China Sea, Kuantan has always been the economic and commercial hub for East Coast Peninsular.
Home to top tourist attractions
Rapid development in Kuantan started a couple of years ago with the announcement of mega projects such as:
- Bukit Gambang Water Resort
- Kuantan Sentral
- Putra Square
- and Kuantan Port City.
You can easily get to Kuantan by bus, car or plane. Bear in mind that getting around town is a major issue because locals reported that it takes about two hours for a bus to complete the intended route. Hence, visitors and tourists should hire a cab or rent a car if you are planning to travel in and around town. Some of the main attractions in Kuantan are long stretches of white sandy beach, cascading waterfalls and Bukit Gambang Resort City.
Tourist Attractions in Kuantan
Some of the not-to-be-missed white sandy beaches in Kuantan are Teluk Chempedak, Beserah, Balok and Batu Hitam. Located about five kilometres northeast of Kuantan is the charming Teluk Chempedak ideal for thrilling and exciting watersports such as kayaking and boating. If you think Teluk Chempedak is crowded, fret not because visitors can always walk to a nearby boardwalk that connects to a second beach. Balok is yet another captivating beach suitable for wind surfing.
Tourists can choose to stay in Kuantan Swiss Garden Resort & Spa located along the beach because you’ll definitely be amazed with the delicate style décor that makes you feel at home. The amazing stones black in colour at Batu Hitam beach will blow you away.
For sightseers who are looking something else other than white sandy beaches, these places of interest are highly recommended – Pulau Ular, Sungai Lembing town, Taman Teruntum, Berkelah Falls, Panching Caves and Kuantan River Esplanade. Families with kids should pay a visit to Taman Teruntum as this mini zoo promises an unforgettable experience. Check out the world’s largest underground tin mines in Sungai Lembing town. Berkelah Falls is an enchanting and captivating waterfall perfect for picnic while Panching Caves features a huge sleeping Buddha.
Transportation around Kuantan
As Kuantan is a major city here, it is connected with other states through major expressways, train services as well as on air. Within Kuantan, taxis are easily available to accommodate the tourists who visit here on a daily basis. Taxis can be flagged down at most locations around the city, at hotels, shopping malls, commercial centers and others.
In terms of bus services, there are public bus stops located most major roads which are services by the RapidKuantan bus services. The Kuantan city center offers many areas of interest where the RapidKuantan service connects with interesting places like Bukit Gambang Waterpark Resort and Teluk Chempedak, a very popular seaside resort area not far from here.
As the main economic center of Pahang, Kuantan has several institutes of higher learning from both the public and private sectors. Here, the Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Polytechnic is among the most popular public institutes in Malaysia while the IIUM or International Islamic University Malaysia has 2 branches here in which one is located along Jalan Hospital while a newer one is located in Indera Mahkota. The UMP of Universiti Malaysia Pahang is located at Gambang while privately owned Open University Malaysia has a branch here as well. Apart from that, Kuantan houses Olympia College, Institut Kemajuan Ikhtisas Pahang (IKIP) College and several others.
Entertainment and Commercial areas
As a coastal town, Kuantan is very popular for its seaside resorts in Teluk Chempedak and many along the Jalan Telok Chempedak. In within the city, shopping is very popular in places like the most recent East Coast Mall along Jalan Putra Square 6, the Berjaya Megamall at Jalan Tun Ismail, Kuantan Parade and the oldest shopping mall here, Teruntum Cmplex while there are others like Kuantan Plaza and hypermarkets like Giant, Kamdar and MyDin.
The main commercial areas of Kuantan are encapsulated around the city center like the Sri Dagangan Business Center. Here, there are shoplots, retail outlets, apartments and condominiums with hotels like MS Garden Hotel, Grand Continental and Vistana operating not far from the business center while The Summeset Colonial Hotels and Villas are around the Kuala Rompin vicinity.
The government and public departments are located in the city center not far from Berjaya Megamall. Wisma Persekutuan is located along Jalan Gambut which is where many of the public schools here are located. Here, the LKPP Negeri Pahang is located together with the Ibu Pejabat Polis Kontinjen Negeri Pahang while over around Jalan Masjid is the Bangunan Tabung Haji and Muzium Tokoh.
As a tourist town, Kuantan is very dynamic with traffic flow throughout the day and night. It is predominantly a safe city to go around on foot although the quieter areas like Jalan Gambut and Lorong Tun Ismail areas should be avoided at night. Jalan Tun Ismail which is the main road in front of Berjaya Megamall is a usually very heavy with traffic during the day while at night; it is a common place for illegal motorcyclists or Mat Rempits who carry out their activities here.