8 Things To Do In Pekan, Pahang

8 Things To Do In Pekan, Pahang

Uncover the attractions and things to do in the town of Pekan, located in the Pekan District of Pahang, Malaysia.

Whenever tourists come to Malaysia, they tend to hit the typical spots like Penang, Kuala Lumpur or Kota Kinabalu. Many other beautiful places in Malaysia are overlooked simply because little is known about them. But now’s the time to shine a spotlight on one of these hidden gems: the town of Pekan. Pekan is located in the state of Pahang and is a 3.5-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur.

Here are some of the attractions in Pekan that might just convince you to put this town on your itinerary.

1. Istana Abu Bakar

Image credit: Mrpresidentfaris

Start your trip in Pekan by visiting Istana Abu Bakar, the official residence of the current Sultan of Pahang. This royal place is a stone’s throw away from the Royal Polo Field, and you won’t miss the gigantic arch at the main entrance. It’s one of the main landmarks of Pekan, so be sure to snap a photo for keepsake.

Address: Kampung Padang Manggis, 26600 Pekan, Pahang

2. Sultan Abdullah Mosque Museum

How about visiting a mosque and museum at the same time? Sultan Abdullah Mosque was constructed in 1929 and officially inaugurated in 1932 by the Crown Prince of Pahang at that time, Tengku Abu Bakar Ibni Sultan Abdullah. At its prime, the mosque was where locals perform their Friday prayers and it’s also a favourite venue for religious events.

However, crowds dwindled and by 1977, when it was no longer in use, it was converted into an Islamic Intellectual and Art Museum by the Pahang State Museum Board. One exhibit to look out for is the unique Islamic gravestone. Aside from visiting the gallery, you can admire the Moorish-style architecture of the mosque.

Address: Kampung Pancur, 26600 Pekan, Pahang
Opening Hours: Tuesday-Thursday, Saturday-Sunday (9.30am-5pm), Friday (9.30am-12.15pm, 2.45pm-5pm), Closed on Monday

3. Sultan Abu Bakar Museum

Image credit: Fikku fiq

A short walk from Sultan Abdullah Mosque Museum is another historical museum, the Sultan Abu Bakar Museum. Historically, the building was used as an official residence for the British government after it was built in the 1920s. After that, it was converted to an army barracks and then used as a palace for the late Sultan Abu Bakar. Since 1976, it has been welcoming visitors into its museum.

The museum complex houses five galleries: The Keris Gallery, History of Pahang and The Malay Sultanate Gallery, The Islamic Art Gallery, The Ceramics Gallery and The Archaeology Gallery. Depending on your interest, you can admire weapons like the  Sundang (a double edge Bugis sword) or the Sikin (keris with short blades), take a closer look at porcelains and ceramics from China and Japan, or dive into the Metal Age by browsing through tools, artefacts, and skeletal remains.

Address: Jalan Sultan Ahmad, 26600 Pekan, Pahang
Opening Hours: Tuesday-Thursday, Saturday-Sunday (9am-5pm), Friday (9am-12pm, 2pm-5pm), Closed on Monday

4. Chini Lake

Image credit: Rubenjoker

After your historical immersion, stop by Lake Chini to clear your mind. This majestic lake is one of the top attractions of Pahang. Chini Lake is the second largest freshwater lake in the country and it actually comprises a series of 12 lakes.

There are legends surrounding the lake which are interesting, even though they are largely considered to be myths. It is believed by some that there is an ancient sunken Khmer city at the bottom of the lake – a story similar to the Lost City of Atlantis. The Orang Asli also believed that the Naga Seri Gumum (a mythical dragon similar to the Loch Ness Monster) can be found in the lake. Other legends revolve around the Jakun tribe that resides by the lakeshores.

The best time to visit Lake Chini is in August and September when it’s covered by thousands of pink and white lotus flowers, appearing like a magnificent floating garden. The lake and its surroundings are also teeming with wildlife, with about 144 species of freshwater fish, 138 species of flora, as well as 300 species of non-aquatic life. It’s no surprise that Lake Chini holds an important UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status in Malaysia.

Among the activities you can do here are fishing, enjoying a boat ride, bird-watching and observing the Orang Asli community nearby.

Address: Pekan District, Pahang

5. Royal Pahang Silk Weaving Centre

Well known throughout the Pahang state, the Royal Pahang Weave is mostly worn by royal family members of Pahang including the Sultan himself. Opened in 2009, the Silk Weaving Centre at Kampung Pulau Keladi is a good place to learn more about the history of the Royal Pahang Weave, get a closer look the clothing worn by the royal family, as well as see a live demonstration involved in silk weaving. Kampung Pulau Keladi is, in fact, one of the four villages in Pahang that continues to promote the royal town’s legacy. On top of that the many activities mentioned, you can even pre-order or buy different types of cloth with various patterns at the Weaving Centre.

Address: Kampung Pulau Keladi, 26600 Pekan, Pahang Darul Makmur
Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday (8am-5pm), Sunday (10am-5pm)

6. Royal Pahang Polo Club

Image credit: Mrpresidentfaris

What do members of the royal family play apart from golf and equestrian? The answer is polo. Head straight to the Royal Pahang Polo Club and you can know more about the sport of polo in Malaysia. Polo competitions are held here annually around August, but you can visit at any time of the year to see the historic insignia and the iconic monument. Although the field is meant for playing polo, visitors and locals can also use it for recreational activities like jogging and horse riding.

Address: Jalan Padang Polo, 26600 Pekan, Pahang

7. Chief Resthouse Pekan

things to do in pekan

Image credit: karoh h

Check out what it’s like staying in a colonial-era resthouse in the heart of Pekan by dropping by the famous Chief Resthouse of Pekan. This wooden structure is well-preserved by the state government and is in good condition even though it was constructed years ago in 1929 by the then Sultan of Pahang. You can even book a room in this resthouse and stay the night, but you should make the request personally upon arrival. Each room at the Chief Resthouse is fully furnished and equipped with air-conditioning and TV.

Address: Jalan Seri Terentang, Kampung Pancur, 26600 Pekan, Pahang

8. Pekan Riverfront

things to do in pekan

Image credit: See Shinn

The number one attraction among locals in Pekan, the Pekan Riverfront is where you can enjoy a cool breeze and unwind. Choose to take a slow walk, enjoy a picnic, or go fishing all while taking in spectacular views of the Pekan River. Nearby, there are stalls selling food and drinks so fret not about getting hungry by the riverfront.  

Address: Jalan Sultan Ahmad, 26600 Pekan, Pahang
Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday (24 hours)

Pekan is proof that Malaysia is more than just its shopping malls, diverse and delectable cuisine or intriguing festivals. You can also travel like a local and appreciate the little things like the locals do, be it the mosques, museums, or the riverfront.

About Author

Adrian Chew
Adrian Chew

Adrian was born and raised in a small town called Muar, Johor in Malaysia. He likes reading, watching TV, surfing the internet and travelling (if he has time and budget). His favourite destinations are Perth, Siem Reap, Cebu and Singapore. In regards to writing, he loves travel writing too as it helps to broaden his horizon on the different countries, culture, food etc. around the world.


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