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Saturday, 28 November 2015

Malaysia: Top Things to Do and See in Kuantan


Kuantan, the capital city of Pahang, lies just some 240 km northeast of Kuala Lumpur. Its location, together with easy access via highway (just a 2.5-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur), makes it an easy trip from the capital of Malaysia. Boasting beaches like Teluk Chempedak (which is located in the city itself) & having Cherating on its doorstep, Kuantan is a popular weekend destination, especially among those from Kuala Lumpur who crave for some east coast beach holiday. What else is there in Kuantan, however? For this instalment of “Top Things to Do and See in…” with a local perspective, Ramble and Wander has invited Danial Ariff of Dan on the Road, a Malaysian travel blogger who grew up in Kuantan, to share his list of things to do and see when visiting his hometown.

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Kuantan is one of those places quite often overlooked by travellers because it lies in the middle of the spectrum – not as vibrant as bustling Penang yet not too tranquil like Kuala Terengganu. As it goes through a development boom, the people still holds on to the city’s warm and easy-going East Coast vibe. Kuantan, to its inhabitants, is like Goldilocks’ preference to baby bear’s warm bowl of porridge – just nice.

And the following are some of the places & things that I believe make the city nice:


Teluk Chempedak


Photo © danontheroad.wordpress.com

Affectionately known as “TC,” this action-packed beach is great for people-watching and a quick dip in the South China Sea. There’s also a boardwalk with scenic views connecting TC to Teluk Tongkang, a cove more suitable for campers. Here’s a secret: behind the public toilet at Teluk Tongkang is a 10-minute trail across the jungle that will lead you to another secluded beach, complete with an abandoned World War II pillbox left by the British.

Address: Teluk Chempedak, 25050 Kuantan, Pahang | Map



Restoran Hoi Yin’s Curry Mee


Photo © danontheroad.wordpress.com

Skip the McDonalds and Starbucks in Teluk Chempedak and make your way to Restoran Hoi Yin by the hillside to sample one of the best curry mee in town. The aromatic curry is packed with all the goodness a bowl of noodles has to offer, from fresh cockles to generous amounts of tofu. This mom-and-pop shop has been a mainstay for decades so expect heavy crowd on weekends.

Address: Restoran Hoi Yin, No 31 Jalan Teluk Chempedak, 25050 Kuantan, Pahang | Map



Sultan Ahmad Shah Mosque


Photo © danontheroad.wordpress.com

Sultan Ahmad Shah Mosque is rightfully located in the heart of the city. Overlooking a vast field, this landmark is inspired by Ottoman-era mosques with its geometrical patterns and predominantly blue and white colors. The best time to enjoy the beauty of this mosque is during the month of Ramadan when you can buy delicious meals at the nearby bazaar and join thousands of locals breaking fast on the field.

Address: Masjid Sultan Ahmad Shah, Jalan Mahkota, 25000 Kuantan, Pahang | Map



Ikan Patin Gulai Tempoyak


Photo © danontheroad.wordpress.com

Nothing is more endearing to Pahangese than Ikan Patin Gulai Tempoyak, the state’s unofficial cuisine. Silver catfish caught from the Pahang River is cooked in a fermented durian stew, where the fatty flesh of the fish pairs up perfectly with the distinct flavor of the durian. There are a number of ikan patin joints in Kuantan but Akob Patin House trumps them all. Do come early to get the best pieces before the rest of the lunch crowd does!

Address: Akob Patin House, Lorong Haji Abdul Rahman 1, 25000 Kuantan, Pahang | Map



Cherating


Photo © danontheroad.wordpress.com

A former off-the-beaten-path backpacker haven, Cherating is slowly reinventing itself to be a surfer’s paradise. About 45 minutes of Kuantan, Cherating still has that laid-back charm of a seaside village devoid of any massive developments. The beach’s lagoon is conducive for surfing during the monsoon season, attested by Cherating hosting an annual international surfing competition since 2011.

Address: Cherating, 26080 Kuantan, Pahang | Map

Read also: Itinerary for Cherating | Turtle Sanctuary in Cherating



Kula Cakes’ Mango Cheesecake


Photo © danontheroad.wordpress.com

You wouldn’t expect to find a lot of cake shops in Kuantan but Kula Cakes stands up well to its Klang Valley counterparts. Their mango cheesecake hits all the right notes: the firm yet creamy cheese is topped with a sweet and slightly zesty mango slices dipped in mango puree. Do make a note to eat at the nifty courtyard beside the store and admire their funny painting of the “Cookie Monster meets The Great Wave of Kanagawa”.

Address: Kula Cakes, A96, Jalan Besar, 25000 Kuantan, Pahang | Map



Sungai Lembing


Photo © danontheroad.wordpress.com

A former tin mining town 40 km northwest of Kuantan, Sungai Lembing is an idyllic town that has seen better days. Now, there’s a cute row of shop houses lining the main street and a single gas pump acting as the only petrol station. Visit the nearby tin mining museum and if you’re adventurous, make your way into the recently re-opened mine shafts. Nature lovers could also hike nearby Panorama Hill for a gorgeous view of the town.

Address: Jalan Sungai Lembing, 26200 Sungai Lembing, Pahang | Map




Ana Ikan Bakar Petai


Photo © danontheroad.wordpress.com

A trip to the east coast wouldn’t be complete without a seafood dinner. Ana Ikan Bakar Petai specializes in fish char-grilled with sambal petai (chili paste with stink beans) wrapped in banana leaves. The result: a beautiful, beautiful mess. Ana Ikan Bakar Petai has two restaurants in the area and I’d recommend the one by the main road for its­­­ lesser crowd and faster service.

Address: Ana Ikan Bakar Petai, Jalan Tanjung Lumpur, 26060 Kuantan, Pahang | Map

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Have you been to Kuantan? What do you like most about the city? What are your top things to do and see there?

If you are going there, do check out these hotels in Kuantan.


Are you on Pinterest? If you are, use this photo to bookmark and/or share this blog post ;)



Dan is a Kuala Lumpur born Malaysian travel blogger who grew up in Kuantan, Pahang. A never-ending traveller, Dan claims that he "will travel far for food and food will make him travel far". You can follow his travels & food adventures at Dan on the Road.

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Ramble and Wander has been inviting fellow Malaysian travel blogger friends to share their knowledge and insider info, through a guest post, about places and things they would personally bring their guests to see, do and try in their local area. This is the sixth of such guest posts.

For other travel blog series on "Top Things to Do and See in...", click here.

For other blog entries on Malaysia, click here.


21 comments:

Comments and feedback are always appreciated. So do leave one or two if you have the time. Thank you!

  1. What a great summary of things to do in Kuantan. Very helpful for anyone planning a visit and especially for travellers like me who like to anticipate and try all the local food.

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    1. Thanks! I love to try out food in smaller cities and towns because more often than not its a family run business and locals take pride in their "culinary institutions."

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  2. I like Malaysia, and from this place you showed really the highlights! I'm just a bit sad, that I missed mango cheesecake...

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    1. You're not alone. I haven't tried it myself, haha! I think I need to nag Dan for some the next time he goes back to his hometown.
      :)

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  3. The mango cheesecake was such a surprise to see on this list! I'd definitely be up for tasting some of that cake over the durian catfish stew. Great tip about the path and secluded beach behind the bathrooms at TC. Local tips like these are always the best, so thanks for sharing!

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    1. The durian catfish stew is an acquired taste - it's heaven for those who love freshwater fishes and durian.

      As for the secluded beach, I'd love to share it since it's a hideout for my friends and me when we were still in school.

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  4. Out of these things to do, the Mosque is my favourite. Looks beautiful!

    Can't say no to the cake, though! ;)

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    1. I love mosques architectures and can spend hours just taking photos. Haven't been to this one but would certainly love to drop by one day and take lots of photos too.

      And then have a break with the cake. :)

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  5. Interesting read. I think Malaysia would be one of the most unique destinations to visit some time. Loved all the gorgeous scenery and things you listed, yet somehow I cannot quit thinking about that mango cheesecake. You see where my priorities lie. LOL

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    1. One mango cheesecake is definitely not enough! Haha

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  6. You had me at mango cheesecake! Looks like a place I'd really enjoy tasting my way around.

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    1. I was surprised when I first read Dan's recommendation, which included the cheesecake. Very unconventional, to say the least, ha ha! It certainly intrigued me enough to make a note of this to stop by the place the next time I'm in town.

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  7. Everything looks so delicious! Thanks for the great summary of things to do and eat.

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    1. Nothing's better than some hometown comforts!

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  8. The curry mee looks a lot like Laksa! All the pictures make me miss Southeast Asia terribly!

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    1. It does look like the Sarawak Laksa but like many mom-and-pop shops, the ingredients that make up the curry is a family secret.

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  9. We're visiting Malaysia next year for a few days before heading off to Philippines - I was looking for destinations near KL that we could squeeze in and now that I have come across your post, I think Kuntan is perfect for this. I would love to visit it just to eat all that food! I have pinned the image to save for later :D

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    1. I'm glad this post managed to persuade you to visit Kuantan!

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    2. Nice! Hope you'd enjoy KL & Kuantan!

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  10. Hai, what a great review on kuantan. Tq bro.

    Actually, i want to suggest you for a day trip to camerom highland which also located in Pahang, Malaysia.

    ReplyDelete
  11. nice, I need this review

    ReplyDelete
 
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