Pahang State

Pahang State

With its beautiful highlands and lovely sandy beaches, Pahang offers its visitors the best of both worlds.

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The largest state in Peninsular Malaysia, Pahang has quite a number of tourist destinations, including beautiful beaches, highland retreats and lovely rainforests. The Titiwangsa mountain range runs through the entire state, and two premier attractions are located on the highlands of the state – Genting Highlands Resort and Cameron Highlands. While Genting Highlands Resort is a world-class entertainment resort, offering a slew of entertainment activities, Cameron Highlands is Malaysia's traditional farming community, famous for its tea plantations and an assortment of vegetable and fruit farms.

The state is also home to the nation's first national park, known simply as Taman Negara. Taman Negara is a beautiful gem of nature, allowing visitors to appreciate Malaysia's diverse plantlife and wildlife. The national park is not Pahang's only natural treasure, as the state has also beautiful beaches along its coastline, most notably Cherating beach, just north of its capital of Kuantan. Not only is Cherating a fine example of a tropical beach getaway, it is also a turtle nesting site, and during the nesting season, turtle watching offers a unique window into one of nature's most mysterious rituals.

Pahang is arguably the most modern of the three East coast Malaysian states, and it offers a good mix of traditional life in its rural countryside and the comforts of modern living in its urban centres. Its wide array of attractions makes it a favourite destination for both foreign and local tourists, all of whom are bound to be amazed by what Pahang has to offer.

Early settlements in Pahang were largely nomadic, with some dating as far back as the Mesolithic era. During the 8th and 9th century, the discovery of tin and gold deposits around the Tembeling River spawned mining settlements within the region and attracted many traders of the Srivijaya Empire. Pahang became an important region to control and after the fall of the Srivijaya empire, the state was first claimed by Siam and later the Sultanate of Malacca. Other foreign powers, like the Portuguese and the Dutch along with regional powers such as the Johor and Achenese Sultanates, would feature prominently in Pahang's history between the 16th and 18th century as they vied for control over the state's natural resources.

The Pahang Sultanate that ruled the state sprang from offshoots of the Malacca and Johor Sultanate. The vested interests of the various regional powers that surrounded Pahang often influenced its rulers, although they successfully governed the state since the 15th century. During the 19th century, Pahang would also fall sway to the British, like the other Malay states in the Peninsula. A civil war between two Pahang princes between 1858 and 1863 provided the British with the perfect opportunity to intervene, and with their support, Wan Ahmad, ascended the throne in 1887 as Sultan. His role, however, was limited as the British forced him to accept a British Resident, who would take over all administrative affairs of the state. Pahang joined Selangor, Perak and Negeri Sembilan to form the Federated Malay States in 1896, and after World War II, became part of the Federation of Malaya in 1948.