If you are looking to have an all-encompassing holiday that will take you to world-class islands, hill resorts, miles and miles of sandy beaches and mysterious lakes, look no further than the state of Pahang.
Pahang is Peninsular Malaysia’s largest state and is a treasure chest waiting to be discovered. Every kind of visitor will have the opportunity to enjoy the numerous attractions the state has to offer. Just take you time and soak in the sights and sounds.
Kuantan is easily accessible by road. The journey from Kuala Lumpur is 260km while it is about 325km from Johor Baru. If you wish to travel by air, Malaysia Airlines schedules daily flights between Kuala Lumpur and Kuantan. Flights are also available between Kuantan and Tioman Island. Meanwhile, the railways link Pahang through Mentakab and Kuala Lipis from Kuala Lumpur and Kota Bahru. In addition, there are many buses and taxis that provide services from most major towns to Kuantan.
Cherating is located about 47km north of Kuantan, the capital of Pahang. It’s the perfect place to escape from the busy lifestyle of the city. From luxury five-star hotels to wooden chalets, you will find your kind of accommodation dotted along the beach amidst traditional village environments.
Cherating is also host to Asia’s first Club Med and it promises loads of fun and adventure. After the sunset, fun beach bars come alive and you will not want to miss out on the party.
Located five kilometres from Kuantan, Teluk Cempedak features various pubs, dining spots and luxury hotels. Water sports like sailing, surfing and skiing are popular activities here. A brief jungle trek through the Teluk Cempedak Forest Reserve brings you to Pelindung Beach, another treasure to be enjoyed.
This unique fishing village is a must-visit for arts and crafts lovers. You will be amazed by the handicrafts and exquisite batik masterpieces. It is also the place popular for its mouth-watering salted fish. Berserah also is special because this is where fishermen have trained their buffaloes to transport fish from the shore to the processing area – unlike the usual picture of the animals soaking in padi fields or drawing heavy carts.
Balok Beach is located 15km north of the capital and is a fantastic spot for fans of windsurfing. In addition, holidaymakers love to retreat to this haven of cooling sea breezes, swaying casuarinas, fine sandy beaches and clear blue seas.
Just a few kilometres north of Cherating lies this beach where giant leatherback turtles come ashore at night to lay their eggs. The season to witness this event is between July and September.
Located near Kuala Rompin district, this serene beach is very much untouched and secluded. International standard beach hotel Lanjut Golden Beach Resort is situated here. There are also smaller hotels and chalets here and the most popular activity is freshwater prawn fishing.
Pulau Tioman Marine Park
This popular tourist destination comprises nine islands. Pulau Tioman is the largest measuring 32km long and 19km wide. The other islands are Pulau Labas, Pulau Sepoi, Pulau Gut, Pulau Tokong Bahara, Pulau Chebeh, Pulau Tulai, Pulau Sembilang and Pulau Seri Buat. Tioman comprises six settlements namely Salang, Air Batang, Tekek, Paya, Genting and Nipah.
This paradise on earth boasts of sparkling seawater, unending soft white sandy beaches, rows of inviting palm trees, amazing waterfalls and cool sea breezes. Its coral gardens are a myriad of colours and its underwater life simply amazing. It is the place you want to be to get away from the busy city life.
Tioman also features some of the best dive sites in the world. Diving in clear blue waters over fantastic coral reefs teeming with marine life is definitely not to be missed. Cuttlefish, moray eels, blue spotted stingrays, damsel fish, sea anemones, cardinal fish are just some of the friends you will make while exploring this wonderland.
For extra adventure, divers can opt to explore the underwater caves around Pulau Chebah and some of the best reefs near Pulau Sepoi and Pulau Labas. Pulau Tulai and Pulau Renggis are also worth a visit.
These islands can be reached within an hour’s boat ride from Pulau Tioman. The island has accommodation ranging from chalets to luxury resorts. Other facilities include camping sites, a convenience store, a post office, a police station, souvenir stalls, moneychangers and restaurants. Although the island is open all year round, the best season for diving and snorkelling is from April to October.
There are quite a number of beautiful waterfalls in Pahang. These spots are perfect for picnics, camping or taking a refreshing dip. Lata Jarum, located about 30km from Raub town, is an established picnic spot with numerous rapids flowing into a pool of crystal clear water. Let the view take your breath away and a dip into its cool waters will surely rejuvenate the tired body and soul. The Lata Lembik Waterfall, also located near Raub town has an interesting rock formation and this waterfall is still very much in the heart of a rainforest. Another waterfall worth visiting is the Bukit Telaga Waterfall, 15km from Fraser’s Hill. Other popular waterfalls include the Sungai Pandan Waterfall, which is about 29km from Kuantan and the Bekelah Waterfall, 60km from the state capital.
This lake is about 125 ha in size and lies among 12,000 acres of lush tropical jungle. It is Malaysia’s second largest natural lake. Located about 100km south of Kuantan, it is actually made up of 12 freshwater lakes. Lake Chini is blessed with tranquil and captivating sceneries and boasts many natural wonders. Its lush wilderness supports more than 130 species of plants and several hundred animal species and its calm, cool water is home to 144 species of freshwater fish.
Myths and legends have drawn curious visitors from all over for years. One of the popular stories is the ‘Chini Monster’, which some say is an ancient dragon-like creature. It is believed that the monster lives in the lake and guards a lost city made up of gold. This city is believed to be an ancient Khmer City that was once situated at the lake.
Fishing is an activity enjoyed by tourists and locals alike due to the abundance of freshwater fish found in the lake. You can also observe the Orang Asli and their interesting way of life at their settlement in Kampung Gumum. Hiking up Chini Mountain or indulging in a river safari would be an experience for the adventurous.
Located in southwest Pahang, Tasik Bera is the largest freshwater lake in Peninsular Malaysia. This 35km long and 20km wide lake is home to 328 species of flora, 200 species of birds, 50 mammals and more than 95 species of fish. It is an ideal place for nature enthusiasts as activities include fishing, trekking, boating and kayaking.
Taman Negara is one of the oldest rainforest in the world – said to be more than 130 million years old. It is Malaysia’s premier national park and the largest in the country, covering over 4,343 square kilometres (434,300 ha). The park is a sanctuary to countless species of flora and fauna. These species can be observed from many hides, namely Tahan, Tabing and Cegar hides. Visitors can camp at these hides after sunset to observe nocturnal animals. If luck is on your side you may spot fireback pheasants, barking deer, tapirs, sun bears, long-tailed macaques, white-handed gibbons, wild ox and the rare Sumatran rhinoceros.
The park is proud to offer visitors the longest canopy walkway in the world. It measures 25km high and over 400 metres long. Visitors can see rare plants that are only found at the canopy level of the forest.
Gunung Tahan, which rises 2,187 metres above sea level within the park, is the highest peak in Peninsular Malaysia. Fans of mountain climbing will certainly find this mountain an exciting challenge.
There are also scenic trails like the Tahan Trenggan trail, Neram trail and the Bukit Teresak loops. All these trails are excellent for jungle trekking and offer wonderful sights of what Mother Nature has to offer. Cave explorers would find Gua Daun Menari and Gua Telinga delightful. Other fun activities are visiting the Orang Asli settlements and going on a boat ride on Tembeling River.
Kenong Rimba Park
Kenong Rimba Park, which spans 121 square kilometres offers breathtaking waterfalls, clear mountain streams, exciting caves and abundant of flora and fauna. Nature and adventure lovers will find this park a haven. Favourite activities here include bird watching, animal spotting, trekking, caving, fishing and swimming.
Gunung Tapis Park
This wonderful nature park is located 16km from Sungai Lembing. It has many waterfalls, rapids, hot springs and wildlife. There are camping sites here too. The picturesque Mount Tapir Waterfall cascades from a height of 15 metres and is the biggest waterfall within the park. If camping is not your cup of tea, the Sungai Lembing Tapis Resort offers comfortable and modern accommodation.
Cameron Highlands is fondly known as the ‘Giant Green Carpet of Malaysia’. It stands at 1,829 metres above sea level and is the largest hill resort in Malaysia. Its cool climate makes it ideal for tea, fruits, vegetables and flower farms. Ringlet, Tanah Rata, Brinchang, Trinkap, Kuala Terla and Kampung Raja are townships within the highland.
This hill resort also features Robinson Falls, the Rose Garden nurseries, vegetable farms, flower, strawberry and honeybee farms as well as the Sungai Palas Tea Estate. Meanwhile, visitors can also visit Ye Olde Smokehouse, which was built in the colonial era and still remains as is today.
Taking long walks and trekking are favourite activities among visitors here. Some unique species of flora and fauna can be spotted along these trails, a must-do in a nature’s lover’s list. Hiking to Gunung Brinchang, Gunung Beremban and Gunung Jasar will add a tinge of adventure to your holiday. There is also an 18-hole golf course here.
Rising 1,542 metres above sea level, this hill was named after Scottish trader Louis James Fraser. This serene and tranquil hill used to be a weekend retreat for British officers before Independence. More than anything, Fraser’s is famous for bird watching – it has over 260 species of birds.
The fresh mountain air and rich vegetation make walking around the hill pleasurable. Picnicking and swimming are some of the things you can do at the Jeriau Waterfalls. Visitors can also go on pony rides or admire the lovely flowers in nurseries.
Some golfers visit the hill resort on weekends to enjoy a game or two with friends and business partners. There are two golf courses here – a nine-hole and an 18-hole, both designed by Frank Hemmant and Roger Davis respectively. Other facilities include a sports complex, a children’s playground and a roller-skating rink.
Tekam Plantation Resort
This resort spans over 2,000 ha and comprises coffee, fruit, coconut, cocoa, oil palm and rubber fields. Offering educational tours where visitors can visit the plantations and caves, other experiences that can be enjoyed include rubber tapping, cocoa, coffee and tropical-fruit picking and oil palm harvesting. The best season to visit the fruit nurseries is from July to September when durians and rambutans are abundant. Meanwhile, Sungai Tekam is a good area for fishing. Convenient and comfortable lodgings like chalets are available, as are F&B outlets and recreational facilities. The Indera Mahkota Agricultural Park, located about 10km from Kuantan is another agricultural resort worth visiting.
Berjaya Megamall is the largest shopping centre in the east coast with five levels within the building measuring about 150,000 square feet. Retail outlets that offer a wide variety of choices cover the lower ground floor to the second floor. Entertainment centres are on the third floor while ample parking is available on the fourth and fifth floors.
Pasaraya Hugo is another shopping destination that features 290 retail outlets with a 33-lane bowling alley and an amusement centre. Fast food chains, restaurants and a food court that offer delicious recipes can also be found here.