Sungai Pandan Waterfalls, (also sometimes called the Panching waterfalls) is situated about 25 km from Kuantan, Pahang. It is a popular picnic and recreational location for Kuantan dwellers and those staying in the surrounding areas.
The beautiful cascading waterfalls and the cool, slightly light green (color of pandanus plants - the reason for the name) and clear waters forming the streams along sandy soil amidst verdant jungle surroundings make for an attractive getaway for city dwellers to relax and pass away the time, especially during weekends.
The Sungai Pandan ("Pandan River") Waterfalls is part of the Sungai Pandan Forest Reserve ("Hutan Lipur Sungai Pandan") that encompasses an area of about 25 hectares. This forest reserve, an untouched treasure, is home to several species of tropical trees including a few species of the pitcher plants.
Getting there from Kuantan town, take the Kuantan – Kuala Lumpur main highway. Just after the Malaysian Air Force Base which is on the right of the road (about 17 km from Kuantan), you will need to make a right turn at the traffic lights to the Panching and Sungai Lembing road.
From the turn, after driving about 5km you will reach the signboard for the Sungai Pandan Forest Reserve ("Hutan Lipur Sungai Pandan") and turning left you will initially drive into an oil palm plantation and quarry road.
After about 3 km of winding through the small two-lane tarred road you’ll reach the entrance to the Waterfalls.
The car–park there is ample during the week-days, but during week-ends and holidays, they won’t be enough and you will find cars parked all along one side of the small two-lane road.
It is therefore advisable that you come early, in the morning instead of after lunch time, to avoid congestion and parking problems, especially during the public holidays.
Sungai Pandan Waterfalls resort is ideal for family picnics and outing.
Companies sometimes hold their family days there. Camping sites are available, so bring along a tent if you like.
Bring your bar-b-que set for grilling and roasting the chicken and meat. And don’t forget the mat.
Just lay the mat on the sandy grounds beside the streams and then just relax and enjoy yourself.
Let the children swim, splash and have fun in the sand and the cool waters at the lower ends of the stream flow where the water level is low and ideal for small children.
Adults can just wade and take a cool dip at the waterfalls area further up. The huge rocks and boulders could be slippery, though, so do take care. But the water-pools enclosed by the rocks are just deep enough to swim and bathe.
Do not, however, climb the rocks to the waterfalls as they are steep and very slippery and therefore very dangerous. Watch the warning signs there as precious lives have been lost before.
If you do not like to bathe and swim in the cool waters, you can instead take a leisurely walk across the jungle trails and paved steps at the area and explore the numerous tall timber trees and flora that make the green jungle there.
You can perhaps identify the tall dipterocarp tree species of keruing, meranti and damar that are endemic in the area.
Tapirs, small animals and some species of birds can also be spotted in the trees.
Going further uphill to the top you can see the small stream that is the source of the uninterrupted supply of waters for the waterfalls. Along the way there are a few rest-huts to stop and view the surroundings.
Take the suspended bridge on top of the rocks and across the stream in front of the waterfalls. And snap with your camera the beautiful cascading waterfalls. They shine a brilliant white against the morning sunlight.
And also take photographs of the huge rocks and boulders below them. The clear waters of the Sungai Pandan Waterfalls are somewhat slightly greenish, the color not only of pandanus plants but also of the verdant surrounding jungle. They are an amazing sight.
Nature is always beautiful whichever way we look at them.
Parking lots are available, but during long weekends and holidays they may not be adequate.
A small musollah is located near the lower part of the stream for Muslims to pray.
Changing rooms and toilet facilities for male and female are available there.
There is also a small gift and souvenir shop and some small stalls selling snacks and drinks.
Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed the trip to the Sungai Pandan Waterfalls near Kuantan, Pahang.
Besides the popular beaches and delightful beaches, the vibrant night markets, and the enlightening river-cruise, this trip to the Sungai Pandan Waterfalls and Forest Reserve will make your stay in Kuantan, Pahang truly enjoyable.
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