Paka is a town located 100 kilometres south of the Terengganu state capital, Kuala Terengganu. As such, Paka is also close by to other southern towns and districts of Terengganu such as Kerteh, Marang, Tanjong Jara and is only about 70 kilometres north of the southern gateway of Terengganu, which is Kemaman. This makes it easy to enter Paka from Pahang. Due to its close proximity to the sea, this town serves to support the operations base for Petronas in Kerteh. This provides a strategic importance since oil being drilled at sea will be brought to Paka for refinery work. In fact, Paka is thriving majorly due to the investments from the oil and gas industry, which triggers an influx of local workers and expatriates to fulfil the working demand for the industry.
A lot of major development work in Paka is carried out by Petronas which oversees both Paka and Kerteh towns to accommodate the growing base and manpower. As such, petrochemicals production and refinery plants are a common sight here. Driving past these plants at night can be a fascinating experience as majestic sight can be seen from the spewing fire off the convoluting pipes of the plants. However, not everything about Paka is about oil and gas industry. Paka too has its own share of interesting places to visit, such as its beautiful beaches. These beaches seem to be unaffected by the oil drilling and refining activities which happened just a stone’s throw away, which invites turtles to come over to lay eggs here. As of 2013, Paka is on the top three list of the towns with the highest living cost in the country.
Paka can be accessed by flight since there is an airport that serves the nearby town Kerteh, albeit limited. Nonetheless, the Kuala Terengganu Airport is also close by, within two hours of journey. There are flights to Kuala Terengganu provided by Malaysia Airlines and Air Asia. From the airport, guests may hail up a taxi or public transportation to go around the place.
People driving from Kuala Lumpur may drive through E8 route for direct access to Paka. The journey could take up around three hours and thirty minutes, depending on the traffic situation.
Located on the beach strip nearby Paka which takes about 12 minutes by car, it is established jointly by the Department of Fisheries, BP and WWF-Malaysia with a mission to be the model for all turtle conservation centres in the country. In Terengganu, turtle poaching is much more prominent, hence the sanctuary aims to allow the eggs to get hatched and the baby turtles released safely into the sea, in an environment far away from the poachers. Open to all, the sanctuary is a great place for turtle-spotting and a significant resource on turtle conservation where education sessions are also conducted to give awareness to the masses about turtles and their roles in the marine ecosystem.
Another interesting place to visit when visitors are in Paka is its night market. In fact, it feels incomplete to mention Paka without talking about this place. Famously known among the locals as a shopping attraction, Paka Night Market is open on Wednesdays starting from early evening until late at night. It is in this night market that the local food of Paka can be found in abundance, among them including sate, Terengganu-styled otak-otak, grilled corn as well as murtabak among others. There are also eateries nearby for dining in with family and friends.
A well-built hotel situated in Lot 473 Kampung Cacar which is within walking distance to the town. An established four-star hotel with ample facilities and services such as satellite cable television, hair-dryer, shower, desk, safety deposit box, fitness centre, laundry, karaoke, beach volleyball, an area shuttle, airport transfer, outdoor pool, meeting facilities and WiFi.