Kuantan, Pahang (Malaysia)

School terms keep kids in school and parents sane. Holidays can be boring to kids if they are left alone. Discuss vacation ideas and how to make good use of the free time for both children and adults.

Kuantan, Pahang (Malaysia)

Postby heyhoe » Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:38 am

Hi,

We're thinking of going to Kuantan this coming holiday. Anyone been there before? What's the attraction besides the beach itself.

I'd also like to know if anyone has self-drive from Singapore. Can point me how to get there (any highway) or is it small roads? Is it relatively safe?
:oops:
Thanks in advance!

heyhoe
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Re: Kuantan, Pahang (Malaysia)

Postby Laura02 » Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:28 am

We drove up to Cherating in Apr, then to Trengganu in June. We took the old coast road. Follow the road signs to Kota Tinggi, then look for road signs to Mersing, and then follow the road up to Trengganu. The first turning after the causeway to the Trebau Highway (highway 3) is tricky, but once on that highway, it's pretty easy if you keep an eye out for the road signs. But road signs in M'sia can be confusing if your're not used to them. Usually, dh drives and I navigate. I find it impossible to drive and navigate at the same time. Stop only at larger, well lit busy petrol stations and you can generally check with the people there that you are heading in the correct direction.
We went to Cherating hoping to see the turtles come ashore. And again to Trengganu hoping to catch turtles. We didn't see the turtles, but in Kuantan, we enjoyed the beach, the Cheras caves and visited the turtle sanctuary. I also remember planning to go to a large water park near Kuantan, but didnt have time to go there. We went to Gem Island, off Trengganu, and the corals there were beautiful. And our resort rooms overlooked the sea, so everyday, we watched the fish come in with the tide from our balcony. We even got to see baby back tipped reef sharks!
But it's monsoon season now, and the sea may not be calm enough for snorkeling, or, other sea sports. And turtle watching season is fr May to Sep, so it's over now. Part of the fun, for me, we getting us there and back .... And, of course, the food.

Laura02
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Re: Kuantan, Pahang (Malaysia)

Postby KiasooLaupa » Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:34 am

Not much attraction there. if you going by mersing will take you 4-5hrs.
try not to bring too young kids there as journey too long.as road also very narrow. :wink:
if must go than club Med is the only choice.they provide very good foods :lol:

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Re: Kuantan, Pahang (Malaysia)

Postby heyhoe » Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:07 am

Hi Laura02,

Your trip sounds so exciting. I've always wanted to visit Gem's Island. However, I guess I can do it only when they're more ready. Is it a private island?

Sorry, backtrack to Kuantan. May I know how to travel from 2nd link to Mersing? Exit at Air Itam and then headed to Mersing? I'm thinking of going thru coastal route, passing thru smaller town such as Pekan, etc. Heard it is scenic. Also, how long is the drive? As usual, only my husband will drive while I navigate and ask for directions.

heyhoe
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Re: Kuantan, Pahang (Malaysia)

Postby heyhoe » Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:12 am

Hi KiasooLaupa,

Can you provide me more info, how to travel from Mersing towards Kuantan? Did you take the coastal road? I've checked a few hotels, Club Med indeed sounds fun but budget didn't quite permit :( so, we've booked into hotel instead.

Agreed on the long journey, thus we're planning to make stops along the way. Hopefully, we can visit some nearby (hopefully safe) towns as well.

heyhoe
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Re: Kuantan, Pahang (Malaysia)

Postby KiasooLaupa » Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:54 am

Hi heyhoe,
travel to kuantan via Mersing quite easy. after passing Kota Tinggi straight up to Mersing. the road from here to mersing will be quite narrow and only with one car-lane. will reached Mersing in 2hours time. and you can take a rest here before going futher up. basically nothing much at Rompin or Pekan area. so resting at Mersing should be idea choice.
there's a sea food at right side before reaching Swissgarden Hotel Kuantan(after kuantan) this is the best sea food there you can not missed.
start your journey at 5am to avoid morning jamp.
hope can help.

KiasooLaupa
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Re: Kuantan, Pahang (Malaysia)

Postby mommylow » Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:24 am

Agree with what Kiasu Laopa said. We drove there using the old road via Mersing instead of the expressway as it is much more scenic. I believe you are using GPS rite? My husband likes overland trips in Malaysia. My DH even drives all the way up to Penang with GPS of course. It's own time own itinerary.

However, October to January is not a good time to go to Kuantan or rather the eastern coastal areas of Malaysia as it is the monsoon season. There are floods everywhere and some roads are impassable. That's why hotel rates are very low at this time. For beach experience, try the western coastal areas of Malaysia during the year end period.

We like to stay at Swiss Garden Resort as I feel it is one of the better hotels there besides Hyatt which is near Chempedek beach, a popular beach locals go to. Grand Hyatt (very nice resort) is nearer to Kuantan town. Swiss Garden is about 1/2 hour drive from town. I like the hotel layout and service is warm and hospitable. The resort is only 3 to 4 storeys high so rooms with seaview is nothing spectacular. The pool is big and child friendly. I love the private beach of the hotel. Big expanse of deep blue sea with a long stretch of soft sandy white beach. My kids spent hours there, catching small crabs and hundreds of small crawling shell fish. Sunset there is beautiful too.

The popular seafood eatery near Swiss Garden is known as Pak Su restaurant. Ate there a few times and food is good but I heard it milks tourists so be careful when ordering expensive seafood. One word of caution, be careful of robbers. My DH was almost robbed outside Pak Su restaurant. He parked his car at the dimly-lit parking area of Pak Su and a Malay man confronted him when he was about to get into his car. My DH calmly took out his iron steeling wheel clamp and asked the man what he wanted. The man was flabbergasted and said that he wanted 2 ringgit for makan. My husband did not give him any money and he scooted.

There is nothing much to do in Kuantan except for the activities other parents here have mentioned. You can drive to town for some shopping at the big mall. Basically, Kuantan is more of a place for relaxation on the beach. Nothing else. Just book into a great resort, like those I mention and of course Club Med Cherating which is at the far end of all other resorts and very exclusive, and you will enjoy yourselves.

mommylow
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Re: Kuantan, Pahang (Malaysia)

Postby Laura02 » Sat Oct 27, 2012 7:45 am

It's about 3 hr fr my hse to Mersing, so I'd say 2 to 2 1/2 hr from Woodlands causeway. I'd add another 10 min fr 2nd link, but it depends on traffic. I usually leave really early too, like 5am, to avoid the queue at the immigration checkpoint. Besides, dc will still be sleepy then, , but just excited enuff to stay awake till we cross the immigration. Then dc sleeps in the car till we reach Mersing. Then we play games till we reach Kuantan. This is the time I brush up on her maths. I'd ask her question on time, and now speed, distance .... Etc
The name of the water park is Bukit Gambang. But, as previously mentioned, it's monsoon period now and check the weather reports for rain and flooding. I think the flooding was really bad a few years ago. The flood levels reached rooftops, making roads impassable. I don't use GPS, but I usually plan an alternative route, like using the north south highway, just in case.

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Re: Kuantan, Pahang (Malaysia)

Postby heyhoe » Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:58 pm

Hi Kiasulaupa, mommylow and Laura02,

Thanks for sharing your experience. I've made the booking so I guess no backing out. Just hope that :xedfingers: the weather is kind to us. Hopefully, no floor, landslide nor robbery (mommylow, your DH experience sounds scary).

I'll be sure to share my experience when I return.

Cheers,

heyhoe
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Re: Kuantan, Pahang (Malaysia)

Postby heyhoe » Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:47 am

Dear All,

I'm back from Kuantan and I must say that the weather has been kind to us :smile:

We had a great time in Kuantan and my DH loves to drive along the winding road. The kids cooperate and we had fun at the beach and pool.

Overall, it was great except for the insect bites. I wonder if it is sand flies. All of us got it and now still suffering from it.

Thanks again for the wonderful tips!

heyhoe
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