Weekend Trip to Kuantan From KL – 14 Best Things to Do in Kuantan

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Palm Beach Kuantan

Plan your next beach getaway to the beautiful city of Kuantan, capital of the state of Pahang. Kuantan, one of the largest cities in Malaysia and the biggest city on the East Coast offers a relaxing escape from other bustling cities in the country.

Explore the many interesting places in Kuantan, including the Masjid Negeri Pahang, Mini Zoo Taman Teruntum, and Taman Esplanade. Dive into the crystal clear waters of Teluk Chempedak Beach, witness the beauty of the city with a 360-degree view at the Kuantan 188 Tower, trek through the lush tropical rainforest, and admire the cascading Sungai Pandan Waterfall.

If you’re craving a vacation filled with splendid sights and majestic wonders, the city of Kuantan is a must-visit destination!

Menara 188 Kuantan; a must-see on your list of things to do in Kuantan.

Where Is Kuantan, Malaysia?

Kuantan is located on the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. And it is 156.6 miles (252 km) from Kuala Lumpur, a 3-hour car drive (approximately).

We first visited Kuantan for a long weekend in February when the city was just coming out of the monsoon season. We really enjoyed the drive; it took us over the highlands, which was quite a windy road, and then straight into Kuantan. We stopped for a break at about the halfway point and ended up driving for less than three hours. We didn’t encounter any traffic, but we heard that it can take a bit longer when there’s heavy traffic.

A sign at a rest area with an abundance of fruit and snacks en route Kuantan.
A rest area halfway between Kuala Lumpur and Kuantan

Why Visit Kuantan?

Why did we visit Kuantan? Because of the beautiful beaches, laid-back atmosphere, and resort-like charm of the town. There are plenty of sightseeing spots and attractions for families to enjoy, including the seaside park and mini zoo. Kuantan is also a great place of discovery for religion, history, and art, from the popular Sultan Ahmad Shah Mosque and Lao Zi Temple to the Kuantan Art Street and Natural Batik Village. Also, the immersive nature experience that will take your breath away, such as the Kuantan River Cruise, Bukit Panorama, and Sungai Pandan Waterfall.

As Kuantan is also easily accessible and just a short drive from KL (eliminating the need for flights), it is a great place for people who love going on road trips, especially when they can enjoy the nice scenic drive to Kuantan.

Road Trip from Kuala Lumpur to Kuantan

TIP: Click here for The Ultimate Guide to the Best Audiobooks for Family Road Trips to keep the whole family entertained during your road trip.

How to Get to Kuantan From KL?

There are several ways to travel to Kuantan from Kuala Lumpur:

  • By private driver or GrabCar – Hire a private driver or book a GrabCar for the most convenient option. This way, you don’t have to worry about the logistics of your trip. Travel time via private driver or GrabCar is 3 hours.
  • By car – You can also drive there yourself if you want a nice family road trip. First, take the road Jln Damansara, continue to E8, take exit 833-Kuantan from E8, then follow Route 231 until you reach Jalan Tun Ismail.
  • By plane – Another option is to fly from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) to the Sultan Ahmad Shah Airport (KUA) in Kuantan. It is a 50-minute travel time via plane, and flight prices start from RM 98.00 at the time of writing. Click here to check the latest availability prices.
  • By bus – A budget-friendly option to travel to Kuantan from KL is to take a bus at the Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS). The bus will take you straight to Terminal Kuantan Sentral. Some bus companies that offer rides to Kuantan are Adam Express, Maraliner, Mayang Sari Express, LA Holidays Travel, and more. Prices start at RM 20.00.

TIP: Click here to read our ultimate guide to using Grab in Kuala Lumpur

Best Time to Visit Kuantan

The best time to visit Kuantan is from March to September. If you’re a summer child and a beach bum, the best time to go is during Summer, from June to August. Summer is also the peak season in Kuantan, so keep that in mind if you want to avoid the crowds. But it’s the perfect time to bask under the sun, enjoy the beaches, and explore other attractions.

We visited in February and enjoyed three sunny days in Kuantan. We might have gotten lucky as we heard that there were heavy storms in the two weeks before our trip.

White sandy beach in front of Hyatt Regency Kuantan Resort

If you plan to visit in September, you can also celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, known as the Mooncake Festival or Lantern Festival, in Kuantan.

Top Things to Do in Kuantan

Here are the top attractions in Kuantan you don’t want to miss!

Kuantan 188 Tower

The iconic Kuantan 188 Tower will stun you with its 360-degree overview of Kuantan! Challenge your fear of heights at the Skywalk Experience, where you’ll hang hands-free on the side of the tower.

Take daring photos while you’re 104 meters above the ground at the Sky Deck, or visit the Mat Kilau Digital Gallery at the Observation Deck.

The tower also boasts a Garden Terrace, where you can get breathtaking views of the South China Sea, mangrove forests, and Kuantan City. Lastly, bring home a souvenir from the Lobby & Gift Shop.

Click here to buy your tickets online.

The TV tower in Kuantan, Malaysia offers breathtaking views of the cityscape. Tourists can visit this iconic landmark to enjoy panoramic views of the city.

Taman Gelora Kuantan

Go for a relaxing nature walk at Taman Gelora, a seaside park perfect for jogging, walking, or Zumba activities. Locals love it for its peaceful atmosphere.

It has a nice jogging path, gazebos and picnic spots for social and family gatherings, and a small playground to keep kids busy. Several food stalls at the food court also cater delicious local food. It’s a must-visit spot for people who enjoy al fresco dining.

For nature lovers, you can appreciate the clump of matured casuarina trees, the lotus pond, and the shallow lake. Watch out for the group of monkeys, though!

Colorful Taman Gelora sign in Gelora Park Kuantan

Teluk Cempedak Beach

Teluk Cempedak Beach, also known as Pantai Teluk Cempedak or Palm Beach, is a famous beach in Kuantan. It’s easily accessible, just a few minutes from the city center, and always kept clean and maintained.

The white sands and the refreshing sea breeze make it the perfect place to rest and rejuvenate. If you’re visiting on a weekend, expect the beach to be crowded.

Plenty of fast food joints like KFC and Mcdonald’s, as well as local eateries and shops, are available all around. Beware of the monkeys roaming around, and remember not to engage or feed them.

An aerial view of Pantai Cempedak near Hyatt Regency resort in Kuantan.

Lao Zi Temple

Visit this charming Taoist temple located 13 km from the town. The Lao Zi Temple pays homage to Laozi, the founder of Taoism. It is home to the longest dragon statue in the country, the Golden Dragon Structure, which is 823 meters (2700 feet) long.

To get to the temple, you’ll have to enter the dragon statue first by entering its tail and walking until you reach its end, the mouth of the Dragon.

Inside the dragon walls, you’ll find several paintings and a 5000-word scripture of Tao Te Ching: The Book of The Way And Virtue. Additionally, the temple houses statues of different deities, goddesses, Chinese Zodiac animals, and even Laozi himself.

A large golden dragon statue at Lao Zhi Temple, a must-see attraction while visiting Kuantan.

Sultan Ahmad Shah State Mosque

Sultan Ahmad Shah State Mosque, or Masjid Sultan Ahmad Shah, is Pahang’s state mosque. It’s a modern-style Malaysian building adorned with a large baby blue dome in the middle and surrounded by four more small domes and towers. It’s a beautiful place of worship with a gorgeous interior, including stained glass windows, soft pastel wall colors, and stunning Islamic architecture.

Sultan Ahmad Shah State Mosque in Kuantan

Mini Zoo Park Teruntum

Mini Zoo Park Teruntum is one of the many interesting places you should take your kids to in Kuantan. It’s not the typical zoo as it combines a traditional zoo and animatronic animals.

Love dinosaurs? Mini Zoo Park Teruntum brings you a Jurassic Park experience like no other! Marvel at the wide variety of giant-sized dinosaurs, from the T-Rex and Triceratops to the long-necked Brachiosaurus.

The mini zoo also features an Immersive Explorer where you can chill with dinosaurs and fly with Pterodactyls through the VR world! There are also indoor and outdoor interactive games, perfect for children to explore.

Click here to buy your tickets online.

Mini Zoo Kuantan

Taman Esplanade Kuantan

Taman Esplanade Kuantan is the perfect place to go strolling with your kids as it’s a car free boulevard. This riverside walkway spans 1 kilometer and is nestled beside the Kuantan River. It’s well-equipped with lamp posts and facilities like a children’s playground, a food court, picnic spots, and more.

Try the Malay cuisine and Pahang food specialties offered by the food outlets at the food court. You can also fish at the river or enjoy the spectacular sunset.

Taman Esplanade, Malaysia - Kuantan.

Kuantan Art Street

Enjoy the lively and vibrant atmosphere at Kuantan Art Street, where you can glimpse the local art. The best time to visit is on sunny days so you can take beautiful pictures of the various street art.

It’s a great destination to immerse yourself in the culture of Pahang. There are also several coffee stalls lined up in the street.

Kuantan Street Art

Sultan Abu Bakar Museum

Explore Pahang’s rich history at the Sultan Abu Bakar Museum. This heritage building is home to a century’s worth of history of Pahang. It contains many antiques and artifacts, including Chinese pottery and glass items. The museum features various exhibitions, such as the history of the ancient Royal Family, a collection of Malay art and manuscripts, and the diverse people who lived in Pahang.

Natural Batik Village

Natural Batik Village is Malaysia’s own Batik paradise. It’s a shopping store that sells everything from Batik arts and crafts to Batik clothes and dresses. You can also join the Batik workshop, where you can learn about the process of Batik art.

Kids will also get to color a pre-designed pattern and bring it home as a souvenir. Aside from the workshop, there are plenty of Batik souvenirs to buy, available for any budget.

Sungai Pandan Waterfall

This gorgeous waterfall in the Sungai Pandan Forest Reserve, located 13 km away from town, will make your visit to Kuantan all the more worthwhile! It’s considered the largest multi-tiered waterfall in Peninsular Malaysia.

Parking spots are easy to find, and you must pay a small fee to enter. Kids can take a cool dip at the end of the stream as long as with supervision. Meanwhile, adults can enjoy the cascading waterfalls. Rocks can be slippery and dangerous to climb, so take extra precaution.

Aside from taking a dip, you can also have a family picnic and use the barbecue pit.

Kuantan River Cruise

Go on a wildlife spotting adventure at the Kuantan River Cruise. It’s a great activity for families, couples, and even solo travelers.

The boat will tour the 500-year-old mangrove forest reserve, where you can spot wildlife like crocodiles, otters, eagles, and lizards. Also, you’ll learn about the fishing industry in Kuantan. The tourist guides are well-knowledgeable, attentive, and friendly.

If you take the night tour, they’ll take you to the best crocodile and firefly spots. The Kuantan River Cruise will show you a different side of the charming coastal city of Kuantan.

Kuantan Skyline

Bukit Panorama

Bukit Panorama, or Panorama Hill, is a picturesque nature trail in Kuantan with scenic views. The best time to hike Panorama Hill is early morning. If you’re lucky, you’ll see the beautiful sunrise and admire the breathtaking view above the sea clouds. Ensure to warm up beforehand and bring water and snacks because the hike involves a long flight of stairs. The climb can take anywhere from 30 to 50 minutes.

Pantai Batu Hitam

Pantai Batu Hitam, or Black Rock Beach, is another wonderful beach in Kuantan. The name ‘Black Rock’ came from its unique feature of stones varying from shades of gray to black covering a beach segment. It’s a beautiful place to relax, walk, picnic with the family, or catch the stunning sunset.

Where to Stay in Kuantan (For Families)

TIP: Click here to read our Hyatt Regency Kuantan Resort Review.

We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Kuantan Resort, which offers a perfect stay for families. This beachfront resort in Kuantan is next to the Teluk Cempedak or Palm Beach, a popular spot for travelers to hang out.

Monkeys at Pantai Cempedak

We highly recommend getting a room with a sea view so you can wake up to the gentle sea breeze and the calming sound of the waves.

Sunrise in Kuantan

There are plenty of amenities and facilities for families with kids, including a Kid’s Pool, two outdoor pools, a Game Room, and beach access. However, the sea has a strong current, so kids are not recommended to play or swim in the sea.

Hyatt Regency Kuantan Resort Kids Club

Is Kuantan Worth Visiting?

Absolutely! A weekend trip to the captial city of Pahang from Kuala Lumpur promises a delightful mix of relaxation and adventure. With its accessibility, diverse attractions, and resort-like charm, Kuantan is undoubtedly worth a visit for anyone seeking a memorable getaway experience.

Kuantan offers something for everyone, whether you’re into adventurous activities or simply lounging by the beach or pool. From exploring cultural landmarks like Masjid Negeri Pahang and Lao Zi Temple to basking in the natural beauty of Teluk Chempedak Beach and Sungai Pandan Waterfall, there’s something for every traveler.

So, pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable escape!

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About Marlieke Kemp-Janssen:

Marlieke is the mom of a four-year-old girl and, together with daddy, they love living in and exploring Kuala Lumpur. As well as being the founder of Kuala Lumpur with Kids, Marlieke is a digital marketing consultant who has helped small businesses grow through her company Aureum Hospitality Advisers.

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