Kuantan is the capital of Pahang in Peninsular Malaysia, the most important city along the east coast that lies 250km away from Kuala Lumpur across Titiwangsa Mountain Range and 360km north of Singapore. An economic center and trade hub famous for its beautiful beaches, cultural attractions and seafood delights, Kuantan is now one of the country's most popular tourist destinations, featuring a long, nearly uninterrupted stretch of beaches heading north towards Terengganu that includes Teluk Cempedak, Beserah, Balok and Cherating. A wide range of hotels and resorts, within the city or outlying beachs, provide budget to luxury accommodation for visitors all-year-round.
The eight largest city in Malaysia, Kuantan houses a population nearing half a million with strong Malay and Chinese demographics. The weather is calm and sunny most of the year, with the northeast monsoon season bringing heavy rains and stong winds from October-January. Like most of the central and northern east coast, people are generally friendly but more conservative in outlook compared to major cities at west such as Kuala Lumpur and Georgetown (Penang). Traditional industries such as fishing, seafood crackers and cottage products still feature strongly in Kuantan's economy, but tourism is fast catching up. There are also petrochemical plants nearby (Gebeng).
From historical records, Kuantan was established as early as 1850 by Malay settlers from Sumatra who dabbled in fishing and trade. In those early days, it was known as 'Kampung Teruntum', situated on the riverbanks where Taman Esplande now sits near the hospital. Towards the 19th Century, the discovery of tin ore led to an influx of Chinese miners who set up base in the areas of Sungai Lembing and Gambang today. It was also during this time that the colonial era was in full effect, leading to the Residents system that appointed a British advisor to Pahang's Sultan. The state was divided into several districts and among them was Kuantan, managed by another British officer. In 1953, just a few years away from Malaysia's Independence, Kuantan was appointed the administrative center and capital of Pahang by the Chief Minister under the Sultan's blessings. With this status, the city grew to what it is today.