30 Things to Do in Pahang, The Biggest State in Peninsular Malaysia

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

From ancient rainforests to deep-rooted heritage sites, check out these amazing things to do in Pahang, Malaysia!

How does that saying go again? Good things come in small packages? Well, apparently that applies to travel gems in Malaysia as well. I mean, think about it. Some of Malaysia’s most popular destinations are also geographically her smallest states and cities: Penang, Malacca, Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi Island…the list goes on.

Well, today, let’s turn the spotlight away from these mainstream hotspots for a while. Instead, we’ll shed some light on Peninsular Malaysia’s biggest state, Pahang. With landmass covering almost 36,000 sq. kilometres, Pahang is a criminally underrated travel gem filled with lush rainforest reserves, pristine beaches and towering mountain ranges.

Here’s a list of 30 things to do in Pahang to experience the best of this underrated travel destination.


1. Visit the Pahang State Mosque (Masjid Sultan Ahmad Shah)

2. Master the traditional art of batik painting

Image credit: Natural Batik House

At Natural Batik House, you can go for a crash course on the traditional Malaysian art of batik painting. Here, you get to let your inner creativity fly as you create your very own batik masterpiece from scratch. Learn how to blend basic colours and turn them into elegant designs you would be proud to show off to your family and friends back home.

3. Explore the limestone cave temples of Gua Charas

Image credit: Chee Hong

Gua Charas is a religious site for both Buddhists and Hindus in the area. Set within a limestone cave dating close to 400 million years old are a Buddhist temple and a Hindu temple, with the symbols of both religions adorning the cave’s granite walls. You will also find a modest Reclining Buddha Statue within the cave. However, the true reward comes from the views of the surrounding countryside you get to enjoy as you scale to the top of the mountain.

4. Enjoy the tranquil atmosphere at Teluk Cempedak Beach

Image credit: Duniafoto Digital

Teluk Cempedak is the most popular beach within the vicinity of Kuantan. It lies only 5km away from the city centre and offers sandy beaches and a serene ambience that lulls you into blissful relaxation.

Alternatively, you could also visit Pantai Batu Hitam, otherwise known in English as Black Stone Beach. The beach is filled with black pebbles, providing the scenery for a memorable photo opportunity when the evening sky is a lovely hue of purple.

You could also head to Balok Beach to experience windsurfing and kite-surfing. In fact, Balok Beach is considered one of the best places for these very activities! So, if you’re feeling like some unique water sports, you know where to get your fix.

5. Frolic in the water at the Sungai Pandan Waterfalls

Image credit: WaterfallsofPahang

6. Feast on scrumptious seafood at Beserah Fishing Village

Image credit: Alpha

I HIGHLY recommend the steamed garoupa with assam. Oof, I am telling you, the spicy and sour assam sauce dripping off the tender fresh fish…there’s not much that can top that.

7. Touch a dinosaur at Sungai Lembing’s Lao Zi Temple

Image credit: Benjamin Yeow

8. Explore the underground tin mines and uncover Pahang’s history

Image credit: Sungai Lembing Mines

The most exciting part about exploring the underground tin mines of Sungai Lembing is getting into the mines itself. You will board a makeshift train consisting of an antique minecart which will then ferry you into the mines.

The mines themselves represent an integral part of Pahang’s history as a tin mining haven in the past. While mining operations here ceased a long time ago, the caves are free for visitors to explore. They even have some statues depicting the lives of tin miners back in the day, although I must say that they look just a little bit haunting.

9. Catch an alluring sunrise at the peak of Bukit Panorama

Image credit: Kok Wei

10. Sample Sungai Lembing’s unique mountain water delicacies

Image credit: Chee Hong

Due to the area’s proximity to the nearby mountains, many residents in Sungai Lembing obtain their water directly from the mountains via connecting pipes. As such, “mountain water delicacies” are a thing here, with many dishes prepared using the freshwater from the mountains. One of the most famous of these is Sister Fong’s Mountain Water Tofu, which I seriously recommend you to try.


11. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through Bentong Walk

The streets of Bentong are a cauldron of cultural aesthetics and thanks to a local initiative known as Bentong Walk, its historic streets have been transformed into a major tourist attraction. Happening every Saturday, Bentong Walk aims to showcase the culture of Bentong Town in all its beauty.

You’ll be able to admire some quirky murals and sample some of the finest street food. You could also shop for some memorable souvenirs to bring home. When night falls, this place turns into a bustling night market! This is truly one of the best ways to get close to the locales of Bentong.

12. Take a dip in the Bentong hot springs

Image credit: Gula Kapas

13. Go jungle trekking at Lentang Recreational Forest Park

14. Enjoy a lovely picnic by the Chamang Waterfall

Image credit: Kerina Yin

15. Explore the underrated town of Lurah Bilut

Image credit: Bilut Extreme Park

Lurah Bilut is the oldest estate town in all of Malaysia, but we’re not just here for a lesson in history. Despite being a tiny area in the greater district of Bentong, there are quite a few fun things to do, such as the Bilut Extreme Park. Here, you’ll be able to take part in a plethora of exciting activities. The main attraction is the ATV (all-terrain vehicle) ride through thick oil palm plantations and hilly scenery. You could also engage in a paintball battle with friends!


16. Take a royal selfie in front of Istana Abu Bakar, the Sultan of Pahang’s residence

Image credit: Mrpresidentfaris

17. Uncover the rich heritage of Islamic Art and the Malay Sultanate

Image credit: Pahang Museums

As the royal town of Pahang, Pekan houses a few of the state’s most important museums. Two of the most significant are the Sultan Abdullah Mosque Museum and the Sultan Abu Bakar Museum.

The historical Sultan Abdullah Mosque Museum houses a fine collection of Islamic art which complements its impressive exterior Moorish architecture. On the other hand, the Sultan Abu Bakar Museum is where you will get to learn about the intricacies of Pahang’s history and that of the Malay Sultanate, which lives on till this day.

18. Enjoy a scenic boat ride on Lake Chini

Image credit: Rubenjoker

19. Spend the night in a colonial-era resthouse

Image credit: Siang Siang

Miscellaneous Locations

20. Take a day trip to Pulau Tioman, one of Malaysia’s prettiest islands

Image credit: Adib Wahab

21. Pamper yourself in the resort town of Cherating

22. Or go to the river by the old village of Cherating to catch fireflies

23. Plan a family getaway to Cameron Highlands

Cameron Highlands has long been one of the Malaysians’ top destinations for a quick getaway. Nestled in the chilly hills, it’s a best-loved place to escape the sweltering heat which constantly plagues us. But natural air-conditioning aside, Cameron Highlands has loads of fun attractions suitable for the whole family.

Some of the must-visit places here include strawberry farms, tea plantations, the massive Cameron Lavender Garden, Brinchang Town, and the nostalgic Time Tunnel Museum. Check out this weekend getaway itinerary for Cameron Highlands to find out more!

24. Visit Genting Highlands, the City of Entertainment

Image credit: Benson Kua

Having undergone a few renovations in recent years, Genting Highlands is now more refreshingly exciting than ever! Foodies will no doubt be thrilled by the exciting new dining options at Sky Avenue while the newly minted shopping districts provide plenty of shopping opportunities. Can you imagine what it will be like once its 20th Century Fox theme park finally opens later this year?

Despite the new changes, old favourites still remain. The periodic shows at the Arena of Stars continue to thrill and excite audiences while the indoor theme park remains a classic favourite. And for those who wish to try their luck, the casinos are always open for business.

25. Enjoy the picturesque surroundings in Colmar Tropicale (Bukit Tinggi)

Image credit: Elviz Low

For a less mainstream getaway to a highland resort, try Colmar Tropicale in Bukit Tinggi, It is mainly a French-themed village which provides visitors many Instagram-worthy spots for photography. In addition, you can sample authentic French cuisine as you stroll along the cobblestone paths here.

Nearby the main section of the resort, you will also be able to find a Japanese Zen Village. You know, just in case you would like to meditate and find inner peace and all that. All in all, Colmar Tropicale is a great alternative if you’ve grown tired of places like Cameron or Genting Highlands.

26. Flash a smile at the peak of Gunung Senyum (Mount Smile)

Image credit: Ramon Fadli

The hike up to the peak itself is an incredible journey. As you ascend, you will pass by scenic mountain trails, ancient limestone cave tunnels, and lush greenery. Don’t forget to pose for a victory photo when you reach the summit, a good 478 metres off the ground!

27. Make friends with Dumbo at the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary

28. Get close to nature by hiking Fraser’s Hill

29. Join a walking tour and discover the rich heritage of Kuala Lipis

Image credit: Bart Van Poll

30. Explore one of the world’s oldest rainforests at Taman Negara

The tropical rainforest which makes up Taman Negara, Malaysia biggest national park, is said to be more than 130 million years old! Trekking through such a lush forest steeped in history should be part of anyone’s bucket list, in my opinion. Through well-crafted paths, you’ll be able to experience the wonders of Malaysia’s natural scenery in its rawest form.

Besides jungle-trekking, Taman Negara is also a popular spot for camping trips and rapid shooting by boats. Truly, no trip to Pahang can ever be complete without a visit to one of Malaysia’s most cherished natural treasures. Just…don’t feed the monkeys if you come across any. Promise? Good.

Lots to do in Peninsular Malaysia’s biggest state

And there you have it! An ultimate list of 30 things to do in Pahang! Did any of these activities surprise you or pique your interest? Well then, satisfy your curiosity by planning your visit to Pahang now! Trust me, you won’t regret it!

Facebook image credit (L-R): Hakeem Ibnfaisal; Jorge Cancela

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.


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