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.
Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Airport (IATA: KUA) is a about 15 km southwest of the city. The airport is currently served by Malaysia Airlines and its subsidiary Firefly. Flights to Kuantan come from Kuala Lumpur (KLIA), Penang and Singapore.
Kuantan's long distance bus station (Terminal Kuantan Sentral, new in August 2013) is inconveniently located several kilometres from the city centre, at Bandar Indera Mahkota (basically, in the middle of nowhere). A Rapid Kuantan bus (#303, RM2) will bring you the old central terminal (Terminal Makmur, beside Stadium Darul Makmur), or taxis to the city centre will cost about RM20.00.
- To/from Singapore: Transnasional 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.
- To/from Kuala Lumpur: Kuantan is about 3.5 hours from Kuala Lumpur by bus. Fares are currently around RM22.00.
- 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.
Opened in 2004, the Karak Highway and East Coast Expressway connect Kuantan to Kuala Lumpur, and the distance of approximately 250 kilometers 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 located 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 located 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 RM2.00. Children RM1.00). Parking fee of RM2.00 for cars.
- Pahang Buddhist Association Temple is located 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 nine miles 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 RM1.00 for adults.
- The State Mosque is located 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, Located 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 located at Bukit Gambang Water Park.
- Salted fish or keropok (dried fish crackers) at Jalan Besar.
- East Coast Mall, Jalan Putra Square 6. The largest shopping mall on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, with AEON Big and Parkson as its anchor tenants.
Local Salted Fish supplier: Hasil Laut Kiah Kee
Address: Batu 8, Jalan Gambang Tel:609-5382455 Coordinates: 3°46'1"N 103°13'23"E
Some recommended buys are salted fish, dried or roasted cuttlefish, satay fish,dried shrimps, dried mussels, dried scallops, fish /prawn / cuttlefish crackers etc.Most tourists will drop by this shop to purchase some local produce as gift for relatives or friends.
- Berjaya Megamall, Jalan Tun Ismail. 10:00 - 22:00. It was among Kuantan's first batch of "big" shopping malls. It houses a McDonald's, a KFC, a Pizza Hut as well as Parkson departmental store.
- Kuantan Parade, Jalan Haji Abdul Rahman. 10:00 - 22:00. Anchored by The Store supermarket.
- Akob Patin House (Town centre, Tapak PCCL, off Jalan Besar, on the river side of Sungai Kuantan), ☎ . Serves a variety of river fish like kerai, tengalan, and patin.
- Crocodile Rock Pizza & Grill, Lorong Dato Mahmud 1 (Off Jalan Telok Chempedak), ☎ 09-567 5707. 17:00-24:00, closed M. Perhaps the best Western restaurant in Kuantan, set in an old colonial-style bungalow in a wonderful garden setting. Live music & jamming on Thursday nights. Reservations advisable for larger groups.
- Little Croc Deli Cafe, No 47 Jalan Telok Sisek (Past Caltex petrol station), ☎ 09-516 5707. 08:30-17:30, closed M. Excellent Western breakfast or local favourite of "nasi lemak" at reasonable prices. The lunch menu includes pizza, spaghetti, salads, sandwiches.
- Kosma Hotel, 59 Jalan Haji Abdul Aziz, right in the middle of town. Rooms have air-con, TV, prayer rug and attached bathroom with hot/cold shower, free Wifi available. Double room RM 50, triple RM 60 and family room (two double beds) RM 80.
- Greenleaf Hotel, No. 60-62, Jalan Bukit Ubi, 25300, ☎ 609-515 9966, fax: 609-513 3072. Newly renovated Hotel with all new beds and facilities. In middle of town. Rooms are RM94 and up, and have new air-con and attached bathrooms.
- Kuantan Backpackers, No. 39, Jalan Tun Ismail 5, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. No-frills hostel by a row of shophouses opposite the Pasaraya The Store supermarket, one block away from the Stadium bus station. Room rates range from RM28 (8 bed dorm, no air-con) to RM35 (8 bed dorm, with air-con) . Has shared bathrooms with hot/cold shower, free Wi-Fi and a kitchen.
- Vistana Hotel. Business hotel.
- Grand Continental, Jalan Gambut.
- De Rhu Beach Resort, 152, Sungai Karang, 26100 Beserah, ☎ . The beds can hold 2 adults + 2 children. The rooms are big. Breakfast is included. Rooms cost from RM130 upwards.
- Mega View Hotel Kuantan. In central Kuantan, next to the bank of the Kuantan River.
- Duta Sand Beach Resort. White sandy beaches and just right beside fish village. Located at Jalan Berserah, on the way from Kuantan City to Balok Beach. Reasonable price by walk in MYR 188 and below (wooden chalet)
- Riverside Boutique Guesthouse, No. 47 Jalan Telok Sisek (after Caltex Petrol Station), fax: +609-516 5707. A small hotel providing comfort in a friendly guesthouse in the centre of town. Room rates from RM138 net.
- M.S. Garden Hotel, ☎ 60-095118888, fax: 60-095177558, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A large 4 star, class hotel in the centre of town opposite the Berjaya Mega Mall with big rooms including breakfast. Multi-lingual with English spoken, all facilities including WiFi, swimming pool, restaurants, exercise centre etc.
- Hyatt Regency Kuantan Resort, Telok Chempedak Beach, 25050, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Designed in the style of a traditional kampong (Malaysian village), the resort has 330 rooms and suites featuring: garden or sea views, patio or balcony, high-speed internet access. Facilities: Bayou Spa, pools with poolside bars, tennis courts.
- Swiss-Garden Resort & Spa Kuantan, 2656-2657, Mukim Sungai Karang,Balok Beach, 26100 Beserah (13 km from Kuantan, very near Kuantan Port), ☎ 609-544 7333, fax: 609-544 9555, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 1500hrs, check-out: 1200hrs. On Balok Beach, this is an international class beach resort offering an idyllic retreat for the urbanite traveler. Deluxe Garden View RM 245++ to Executive Suite RM 695++.
- Zenith Hotel, Jalan Putra Square 6, Putra Square, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Currently the largest hotel in Kuantan. Located opposite East Coast Mall and next to the Sultan Ahmad Shah International Convention Centre.
- 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.