Top 12 Things to Do in Pahang and Terengganu, Malaysia’s Hidden Gems

Top 12 Things to Do in Pahang and Terengganu, Malaysia’s Hidden Gems

Time to explore Malaysia's East Coast!

In Malaysia, many of the top destinations are found on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. A few examples that come to mind include Penang, Langkawi, Melaka, and Kuala Lumpur. 

However, did you know that the east coast also offers plenty of amazing experiences? Today, let’s check out some of the best things to do in Pahang and Terengganu, Malaysia’s underrated hidden gems! 

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Things to do in Pahang

Pahang is the largest state by area in Peninsular Malaysia. Known for its ancient rainforests, stunning coastlines, and alpine hills, Pahang is one of the top destinations to visit in Malaysia to experience the country’s natural beauty. 

Also read: Top Things To Eat In Raub, Pahang, That’s Not Durian

1. Escape the Malaysian heat at Pahang’s hilly locations

When it comes to Pahang’s most popular destinations, one need only look to the chilly climate hidden amidst the state’s rolling hills and mountains. Genting Highlands and Cameron Highlands are undoubtedly two of Malaysia’s most famous getaway destinations, boasting lovely autumn-like weather and plenty of unique experiences. 

In Genting Highlands, families can look forward to endless indoor and outdoor entertainment, especially with Genting’s new outdoor theme park — Genting SkyWorlds, finally open. In addition to fun rides in the misty outdoors, visitors can also enjoy plenty of good food and shopping at Genting SkyAvenue. 

cameron highlands

Image credit: TM Yap

Cameron Highlands, on the other hand, offers a more laidback experience, inviting travellers to bask in Pahang’s unique alpine climate. A staycation there often involves visits to the famous strawberry farms, the BOH Tea estate and the mystical Mossy Forest. 

2. Be transported to a French Village and Japanese Garden at Colmar Tropicale

A slightly more underrated highland destination in Pahang that most only locals know about is Colmar Tropicale in Bukit Tinggi. Like Genting and Cameron Highlands, Colmar Tropicale enjoys mildly cold weather but it is quite different from the two aforementioned holiday hot spots. 

Instead, this Insta-worthy attraction is famous for resembling a traditional French village, with its colourful buildings and numerous al fresco dining options. Surrounded by the ambient hills, Colmar Tropicale is every avid photographer’s dream. What’s more, further in, you’ll also find a zen-ful Japanese garden!

3. Explore the region’s most ancient rainforest at Taman Negara

Image credit: Moritz Spahn 

Sticking with natural attractions in Pahang, Taman Negara is a must-visit for all those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. 

Malaysia’s national park is so large that it straddles the border of three states, with the most popular region being in Pahang. What makes Taman Negara a bucket list-worthy location is that it is one of the most ancient rainforests in the world! 

Here, you’ll encounter plenty of unique flora and fauna as you explore the well-maintained trekking trails. For the truly adventurous, you can even opt to camp overnight amidst the lush rainforests. 

4. Discover the lovely town of Kuantan

Image credit: Ajal Arif

While Pahang’s most iconic attractions are its verdant nature escapes, don’t make the mistake of missing out on some of the major towns in the state!

Take, for example, Kuantan, the bustling capital of Pahang. Here, you can try out a variety of different experiences. You could hike up Bukit Panorama for an alluring sunset view, watch fireflies on a cruise along the Kuantan River, and learn about the rich history of the state at the Sultan Abu Bakar Museum. 

For foodies, you can find a variety of delicious local delicacies in the town, as well as visit the Keropok Lekor factory, where you can learn how Pahang’s famous cracker snack is made. What’s more, if you like coastal views, you can also head to Telum Cempedak Beach for a fun day in the sun or head to Cherating for a blissful staycation. 

5. Explore the natural beauty of Bentong


Another famous town in Pahang is Bentong, often known for its natural beauty, such as the Lentang Forest Reserve, the Bentong Hot Springs, and Chamang Waterfall. 

Durian lovers will especially enjoy a visit to this sleepy town during the durian season because of the many orchards that you can find in the area. After all, Bentong is famous for being one of the main sources of Musang King durians. 

In addition to that, you can also head to the main town area where you can enjoy a leisurely walk through mural-lined streets whilst sampling authentic street food. Thrill-chasing adventurers, on the other hand, can visit Bilut Extreme Park for a fun ATV ride. 

6. Hop on a scenic boat ride to Tasik Chini in Pekan

In comparison to Kuantan and Bentong, Pekan doesn’t have as many attractions to offer. However, one famous destination that it does boast, is the ever-beautiful Tasik Chini. 

This ambient lake is the second-largest freshwater lake in the country, providing a perfect respite from the worries of city life. Here, you can take a stroll along the lake to admire the beautiful floating garden, go fishing, or simply hop on a scenic boat ride. 

Apart from the beautiful scenery. Tasik Chini is also a location that’s steeped in folklore, with some believing that beneath the surface of the lake lies a sunken Khmer city. Unfortunately, diving isn’t allowed in the lake, so we can’t confirm whether or not the lake houses its own Lost City of Atlantis.

7. Fall in love with the beauty of Pulau Tioman

Image credit: Louis Gan

Malaysia is a country that’s blessed with plenty of idyllic islands. Many of them are extremely popular tourist destinations, like Langkawi and Sipadan. However, if you crave pristine coastal surroundings, head to Pulau Tioman

This secluded island is easily one of the most beautiful locations in Pahang, punctuated by its mixture of lush rainforests and glorious sandy beaches. Here, you can sunbathe on Paya Beach, visit ambient fishing villages, go surfing on the beautiful emerald waters, or simply hike through the lovely rainforest up to the summit of Gunung Kajang.  

Also read: 30 Things to Do in Pahang, Peninsular Malaysia’s Biggest State

Things to do in Terengganu

The state of Terengganu lies just north of Pahang along the eastern coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Famous for its pristine beaches and turtle sanctuaries, Terengganu is another underrated destination in Malaysia that’s worth adding to your travel bucket list. 

8. Marvel at the architectural wonder of the Crystal Mosque

Image credit: Leslie Yeoh

Despite Terengganu being more well-known for its coastal attractions, there’s also plenty to see and do in its towns and cities. For example, in Kuala Terengganu, you can admire the beauty of the Crystal Mosque, a majestic architectural marvel at the Islamic Heritage Park. 

Made of steel, glass, and crystal, the mosque gleams in the sunlight, a stunning sight on any day. There’s also the Floating Mosque. As its name suggests, this mosque, built along the Kuala Ibai River, appears as if it is floating on water during the high tide. 

9. Discover the rich multicultural heritage of Terengganu

Image credit: Airil Anuar

Speaking of the Islamic Heritage Park, did you know that it is actually one of Terengganu’s most popular attractions? Located on the island of Wan Man, this unique outdoor edutainment park is where you can learn about the rich cultural heritage of Islam. There are also mini versions of famous religious architectural wonders scattered around the park. 

Despite being a Muslim-majority state, Terengganu, like the rest of Malaysia, is a cauldron of multiracial coexistence. For example in Kuala Terengganu, you can actually visit Kampung Cina (Chinatown) to sample authentic Chinese cuisine and shop for souvenirs at the Pasar Payang Central Market. 

10. Go kayaking on the surface of Kenyir Lake

Image credit: Ashraf Radzi via Canva Pro

Away from the vibrant town of Kuala Terengganu lies Kenyir Lake (Tasik Kenyir in Malay), one of the largest man-made lakes in Southeast Asia. 

The purpose of the lake is to power the Sultan Mahmud Power Station. That said, even though it was built as a necessity, there’s no denying that Kenyir Lake possesses incredible beauty akin to the scenery you see on postcards. 

The surrounding area is teeming with wildlife and plenty of alluring natural vistas, including the locally-famous Lasir Waterfall. You can also admire the beauty of Kenyir Lake up close by kayaking on the water’s surface. 

11. Find your new profile picture at Kemaman Blue Lake

Image credit: Peiyee0510

One of the top hidden gems in Terengganu is the picturesque Kemaman Blue Lake, a hidden location that looks like scenery right out of a fairytale book. 

As the name suggests, the most striking feature of this spot is the deep blue lake. However, like Kenyir Lake, Keamaman Blue Lake isn’t a natural wonder. Instead, it used to be a gold mine in the past before operations ceased. 

While it takes some time and effort to access this hidden location, you’ll see that all that effort was worth it once you start filling your Instagram feed with your swoon-worthy photos! 

Also read: East Coast of Malaysia: Top 5 Attractions to Visit in Terengganu

12. Go diving and snorkeling at some of the best islands in Malaysia

Image credit: Abdelrahman Ismail 

Finally, Terengganu’s most prominent charm: its beautiful islands. Out of the many secluded locations, there are to explore in Terengganu, Pulau Perhentian and Pulau Redang stand out for their reputation as pristine dive sites. 

Perhentian Island, in particular, also allows visitors to turtle watch when the season is right! Apart from disconnecting from the city on a blissful island vacation, one can also experience the rare opportunity of crossing from one island to the other on foot. Such is the case during low tide when a sandbar appears between Perhentian Kecil and Perhentian Besar! 

And there you have it: 12 amazing things to do in Pahang and Terengganu to experience the very best of Malaysia’s east coast. Truth be told, there are even more hidden gems to discover in these two beautiful states, and the only way to truly experience it all is to book a trip there yourself!  

Brought to you by Easybook and Tourism Malaysia

About Author

Darren Yeoh
Darren Yeoh

Darren enjoys the finer things in life and loves exploring unfamiliar places on foot, guided with nothing but instinct and a good-old fashioned map. He enjoys cultural experiences and exciting adventures and is not a stranger to travelling alone. When he's not putting his travel experiences into words, he's probably sitting behind his laptop, planning his upcoming adventure.