In Malaysia, it is very easy and comfortable to travel between touristy hot spots: There are shuttles and connections and people practically carry you from place to place.
|Sultan Ahmad Shah State Mosque, the state mosque of Pahang.|
It’s getting far more complicated and time-consuming as soon as you leave these beaten paths. It’s not impossible, it just takes some detours and a little more time.
However, due to this, I skipped some destinations along the east coast I initially planned to visit. Basically, Kuantan was the only place left on that list.
|Obviously, the casual attire for the whole family looks different from what you get at the GAP.|
You notice it immediately: People, men and women alike, in Islamic attires – it was the first time in my life that I saw completely covered women. And completely means even the eyes: Eyes covered, not with a net like Afghan burkas, but with a black veil.
Also, most shops have signs in Arabic, restaurants serve halal food, and boutiques all kinds of headscarves.
|A headscarf store – everything you see hanging here is headscarves. The demand must be overwhelming.|
This means that as a woman, especially a solo travelling woman, you almost have no chance to do things “right”.
Anyway, even in Kuantan, being the capital of Pahang state, is not very liberal and open. People do look at you in a funny way. Remember the demographic figures I gave you in my post on Ipoh, located on the west coast? Well, the over 400,000 inhabitants of Kuantan consist of almost 80% Malay and only 18% Chinese and 3 % Indian; it’s almost exactly the opposite.
|The skyline of Kuantan – with minarets as high as a skyscraper.|
However, Kuantan is pretty important for the Malayan industry and also transportation – it has a port and an airport – and a bus station located about half an hour from the city center; which is valuable info if you have a specific bus to catch since the street can be incredibly jammed at rush hour.
|Dried fish and shellfish, one of Kuantan’s main industries.|
You can actually do some pretty good shopping since Kuantan has a couple of modern malls.
|The mighty Kuantan River – seen from the hotel’s rooftop terrace.|
You can also take a cruise on the Kuantan River – and you can take the cheap city bus #200 that takes you all the way to the Teluk Cempedak beach.
|Empty, clean, and easy to reach: The Teluk Cempedak Beach.|
Here you can either enjoy the deserted white beach or the seafront park Taman Teruntum a small Zoo.
|These little fellows are not inhabitants of the zoo but were simply hanging out at the bus station.|
Best place to sleep:
Best place to eat:
There is a variety of nice restaurants and good eateries in the neighborhood of the Berjaya Megamall – don’t ask me where the Mega comes from, but yes, it’s a big mall.
I liked the food at Ayam Penyet – although it’s a chain and totally fast food-ish, however, Malayan fast food-ish. They are located at the mall’s southern corner.
Jalan Tun Ismail
Phone: + 60 – 9 – 513 14 08
They are open daily from 10 a. m. to 10 p. m.
Then go to the main post and take your pick!