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Your guide to Kuantan
All About Kuantan
The sprawling green metropolis of Kuantan, one of the biggest port cities in Malaysia, is the state capital of Pahang. The city sits at the mouth of the mangrove-forest-lined Kuantan River along the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, overlooking the South China Sea. Beautiful sandy beaches, impressive architecture, and mouth-watering delicacies combine to make this a popular destination. The city is a fascinating mixture of modern developments alongside 1930s shops and colonial buildings.
The sleek design of the Menara Kuantan 188 observation tower dominates the skyline, offering sweeping views across the city and along the coastline. The tower is close to another architectural standout, the striking dome and four minarets of Masjid Negeri Pahang mosque, painted blue and white. Traditional stilted wooden kampung houses line the river as it heads to the sea and toward the enticing Pantai Teluk Cempedak beach. The beach is a haven for kite surfing and jet skiing, with clear waters lapping golden sand against a backdrop of casuarinas and pine trees at Taman Teruntum Park.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Kuantan
As Kuantan is on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, it is affected by the northeast monsoon season, which blows in from the South China Sea at the end of October or the beginning of November and lasts until March, when the region sees higher levels of rainfall. The weather remains hot and very humid throughout the year with little variation in temperatures, although it tends to be slightly cooler in January and February. Many visitors come to Kuantan to seek out Teluk Cempedak beach during the summer months, when the beach is at its most crowded on weekends. In April, there is a water festival that features an international fishing tournament, kayaking challenges, and sandcastle building competitions.
Top things to do in Kuantan
Sungai Pandan Waterfall
Witness the beauty of nature at the Sungai Pandan Waterfall about 20 minutes outside of Kuantan. A suspension bridge leads to a multi-tiered waterfall with water rushing down the large rocks, surrounded by tropical trees in a forest reserve. You can cool down with a dip in the pool underneath the falls, or set off on one of the hiking trails through the forest.
Sungai Lembing Mines
Traveling to Sungai Lembing gives you a sense of what the area was like when the region was a major tin producer. A heritage mining train takes you into the Sungai Lembing Mine, once one of the biggest tin mines in the world, where you can explore the history of this once-booming industry.
One of the best ways to experience the city is to go for a cruise on the River Kuantan. As you float along, you’ll pass mangrove forest reserves, and you may even spot crocodiles in the water. A highlight of the nighttime cruise is the chance to see thousands of fireflies light up the riverbanks.