Exploring the Malaysian city of Kuantan

Sunset along river in Kuching, Borneo

Sunset along river in Kuching, BorneoIf you’re preparing your itinerary for a personalised Malaysia holiday, it’s well worth taking a day or two to explore the beautiful city of Kuantan. The 17th largest city in Malaysia, Kuantan is the capital of the state of Pahang and one of the prime tourist spots on the East Coast. Offering everything from beaches, waterfalls and mosques, Kuantan is a wonderful place to explore on your Malaysian adventure.

What to see and do in Kuantan

Kuantan is a popular stop-off for those travelling across Malaysia. The second biggest port in the country, Kuantan is also a base for bus services. While many people continue their journeys without taking a moment to look around, it’s well worth devoting a few hours to discovering the beautiful sights Kuantan has to offer. This is a city that hasn’t made a concerted effort to impress tourists and there’s an authentic feel, which is alluring for those intent on seeing the real Malaysia. For a city that doesn’t feature heavily in the guidebooks, there’s plenty to keep you busy. Highlights include:

Teluk Chempedak Beach

If you fancy recharging your batteries and enjoying the feel of the sun beating down on your skin, a trip to Teluk Chempedak Beach should be just the tonic. Widely regarded as the best of the local beaches, this is a beautiful spot to relax and catch some rays.

Sultan Ahmad Shah State Mosque

Kuantan is home to the Sultan Ahmad Shah State Mosque, an impending structure, which dates back to 1991. Featuring ornate spires and regal domes, this is a truly beautiful building, which is beguiling both on the inside and out. The design pays homage to Ottoman-Moorish influences and the mosque can hold at least 8,000 people at any given time. Located in the city’s business district, this is an attraction that is easily accessible to tourists.

Panching Cave

Approximately 25 kilometres from downtown Kuantan, you’ll find Panching Cave and Pandan Waterfall. The cave is a sacred place for Buddhists and it houses a series of statues, including a giant 9-metre long reclining Buddha. After exploring the underground caverns, watch the torrents cascade at Pandan waterfall and take a refreshing dip in the natural pools.

Cherating Turtle Sanctuary

A short drive from Kuantan, you’ll find the Cherating Turtle Sanctuary. Built-in 1972 to protect the local Leatherback turtle population, the centre opened to the public in 1998. Visitors are welcome at night and staff inform tourists when turtles arrive at the shore to lay their eggs.