Kuantan, the capital city and main administrative center of the state of Pahang Darul Makmur, lies on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, about 170 miles east of Kuala Lumpur - the capital city of Malaysia - and 215 miles north of Singapore.
It is situated on the banks of the Kuantan River, facing the South China Sea.
This town is the gateway to the delightful East Coast states of West Malaysia.
You can travel north along the coastal road to the states of Trengganu and Kelantan.
And further up north towards the borders of Thailand, or westwards to Kedah and Penang Island.
Although Kuantan has grown into a bustling modern town in line with the rapid development of Malaysia, it still retains its delightful cultures, traditions and values, making it a modern yet traditional town.
Populated mainly by the Malays, Chinese and Indians, you will also find in the outskirts, communities of indigenous people ( known as "Orang Asli" in Malaysia), some living the modern way while others maintaining their traditional lifestyle.
From Kuala Lumpur, the town is about 3-4 hours drive by car, accessible either via the new North-South Highway that bypass towns along the way, or the older route passing through relatively quiet towns and villages.
Or if you’re coming from Singapore, you can also take the scenic coastal road from Johor Bahru to Mersing passing through Kuala Rompin and Pekan and then up north to Kuantan.
This route winds through verdant forests and small coastal towns, and a stretch of beautiful quiet beaches at Rompin and Lanjut.
By Bus and Taxi
There are many express bus services operating from Singapore and from all the major northern and southern Malaysian towns to this capital town of Pahang. The fares cost less than RM50.00 (US$1.00 = around RM4.20) depending however on the standard of the coaches and the distances to travel.
From Kuala Lumpur, the Transnational, Plusliner, Sani, Bulan Restu and Nice express buses and coach services operate daily from the TBS (Terminal Bersepadu Sentral) at Bandar Tasik Selatan.
The bus terminal in Kuantan is at Bandar Indera Mahkota and there are feeder buses by RapidKuantan to Kuantan town center and surrounding areas.
Taxi services are also available from the southernmost city of Johor Bahru, Kuala Lumpur and all major towns for slightly more fare.
AND BY AIR ...
Alternatively, if you prefer to fly, it will be just a short 45 minutes from Kuala Lumpur ("K.L.") to the Sultan Ahmad Shah Airport, a modern, albeit small, airport, located about 15 km away from town.
The Malaysian-owned Malaysia Airlines("MAS"), operates daily flights to and from Kuala Lumpur airport.
COMING BY TRAIN?
Well, VERY SORRY, you can’t, not directly. Although the KTM trains from the north and south criss-cross Peninsular Malaysia, they unfortunately don’t go to Kuantan.
However, if you are a keen train traveler, don’t be discouraged! You can still reach Kuantan by railway if you’re coming...
... from the south (Johor Bahru or Kuala Lumpur), or
... north (Kota Bahru or Kuala Terengganu),...
... just stop at the nearest train station at Mentakab town, about 140 km west of Kuantan.
Alight the train at Mentakab and from there, you can travel (around 2 hours journey) by bus or take the taxi.
GETTING AROUND AND ABOUT
Getting around in this town is no hassle. You’ll find taxis and the Rapid Kuantan town-buses plying every half hour, though you might find a few certainly seem to be in need of touch-ups and repair...urgh!!
An air-conditioned taxi from the airport to town normally costs less than RM30.00 per trip. And, it should not cost you more than RM20.00 per taxi trip to move around the town and its vicinities.
WHY NOT SELF-DRIVE?
And, if you possess a valid international driving license or certificate, recognized in Malaysia, take the bolder option - self-drive - and take your own sweet time to explore the many places of interests.
The Malaysian roads are good (but I can’t say the same for some of the drivers, though), and not to worry, Malaysia is relatively safe if you follow the common safety and security rules.
P.S. If you drive, do take note that driving in Malaysia is on the left side of the road – British style - not right, as in the American style.
You will find some reputable car rental companies in Malaysia with offices in Kuantan. They offer competitive and affordable rates and you can probably ask for the make of cars of your choice... but... please wait a minute... ...DO TRY THE MALAYSIAN CAR FOR A CHANGE !!!
While you are in beautiful Malaysia, why not try driving the Malaysian-made cars –- the PROTON or PERODUA brand. All models -–big (for families) and small -- are available and, don’t you worry, the vehicles are all of international standards, and definitely SAFE!!!
Finding suitable accommodation and hotels to stay in Kuantan is usually not a big problem.
This is because in the town and its nearby surrounding areas especially near the popular beaches, you will find a variety of international standard hotels catering for tourists, businessmen and the like.
In addition there are other smaller budget hotels, homestays and hostels to suit your financial budget.
Do check with the Tourist Information Center for a full list of hotels and accommodation available.
Visit this Pahang Hotels and Resorts Directory for hotels and resorts in Pahang.
If you want specific information on hotels and accommodation or have queries on getting around to places of interest in Pahang, or even those in Malaysia, there is a Tourism Malaysia Office and Information Centre in Kuantan to provide you with the information you want.
The new Pahang Tourism Office is at located the Malay Town section of Putra Square just across the East Coast Mall (Capital Mall) shopping center.
If you have enquiries, you can come to the Centre and meet the ever helpful staff, or telephone or fax the Tourist Information Centre Kuantan office at:
Telephone : 609-517 7111 /2/5
Telefax : 609-517 7114
e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
The Malaysian Tourism Office is also located nearby a few shoplots away.
If you need more information on Pahang state tourism, visit the State Tourism Information Center located at a unique Malay wooden traditional house, directly across the road opposite Kompleks Teruntum (Teruntum Complex).
This quaint wooden building used to house the Kuantan Club, the oldest social club in town.
When you enter the town from Kuala Lumpur, you can see the newly completed CDO high-rise building housing the Income Tax department or Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri (LHDN)
Further up you will find Kompleks Teruntum, the tallest building in this east coast town, just after the traffic lights near Hospital Tengku Ampuan Afzan (HTAA).
Across the road fronting Kompleks Teruntum is an MPK town padang (field) where you can see the huge and colorful "Welcome to Kuantan" billboard and a high flagpole with the white and black Pahang flag flying majestically.
The field is normally crowded with sports and social activities and events during the evenings and weekends.
Well, don't just stay in your room while you're in town...take a peek outside and enjoy the wonderful scenery.
Take a stroll and partake in the activities.
And you'll find that there are plenty of joyful things and activities you can do in Kuantan.
Or go to Jalan Masjid in the middle of Kuantan and visit the Pahang Arts Museum (Muzium Seni Pahang) where exhibits with themes are periodically held.
Take the exciting river-cruise on the River where you'll get to observe and walk through untouched mangroves swamp along the river bank.
Make a short afternoon visit and watch some lively traditional dances at the Taman Budaya Negeri Pahang at Jalan Teluk Sisek.
And if you wish to take a fast jog to burn your fats away or just have a leisurely stroll to exercise your eyes, this capital of Pahang has several recreational parks and a popular waterfalls spot with friendly facilities.
Or just go...SHOPPING!
So, pick your choice and enjoy Kuantan, the delightful gateway to the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
And as always, from me....
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