Pahang, the largest state in Malaysia is one of the top eco-destinations. Nearly two-thirds of Pahang’s 35,000 sq.km land area is covered in dense tropical rainforest, making it repository for Malaysia’s natural treasures. Kuantan is Pahang’s capital city and almost all of the highland retreats, some of the most beautiful islands and beaches are found in this state.
Pahang’s name is believed to be derived from the ‘mahang’ tree according to a Malay legend. Other sources attribute it to traders from China who called it ‘Pang-Hang’, which slowly became Pahang in spelling and pronunciation. Pahang was ruled by the Srivijayan Empire in ancient times until its collapse in 1000. Pahang was then conquered by the Siamese and then Malacca in 1400. After the downfall of Malacca, it became a central part of the territorial conflict between Acheh, Johor, the Portuguese, and the Dutch. Finally, in 1888, Pahang was conquered by the British before receiving independence with the rest of Malaysia in 1957.
Kuantan, the state capital, is located on the east coast and facing the South China Sea. It is fast developing into a modern commercial centre, yet retaining its unique age- old charms. Now, modern high-rise structures coexist harmoniously with pre-war shop houses and colonial buildings. Kuantan is vibrant, clean and punctuated by lush greenery that gives the town a refreshing countryside atmosphere. Food is easily available as there are many restaurants and open air food stalls selling local culinary delights. Its nightlife is an affair of colorfully decorated stalls selling anything from handicraft to costume jewelry and farm produce.
Be in awe by the beauty of Masjid Sultan Ahmad Shah I, the State Mosque of Pahang, Malaysia. Inspired by Ottoman-Moorish style architecture, the largest dome is in the center of four rocket-shaped minarets and four smaller domes. The mosque can easily accommodate 8,000 people at any given time and is conveniently located in the heart of Kuantan’s central business district. Meticulous geometric patterns line up the walls’ interior and exterior facade. The color theme is light blue with white marble patterns and yellow glass windows. When the minarets are lighted, it gives an effect that the mosque is somehow lifted. Opened in 1994, Masjid Sultan Ahmad Shah I was named after the first ruler of Pahang: Sultan Ahmad Al-Mu'adzam Shah.
The baju kurung is the traditional Malay costume and in Pahang, it is worn in two styles – Cekak Musang and Teluk Belanga. It is therefore also loose fitting, and the long blouse with long sleeves is worn with a matching sarong. The sarong is normally of batik, Tenun Pahang Diraja or songket, but other fabrics and designs are also frequently used. As Malays are predominantly Muslims, the head of the female is usually covered with a "selendang", "cindai", or "kelubung" - a piece of cloth or sarong to cover the head and neck.