Pahang in Malaysia offers some of the world's best tourist attractions
About 125km northeast of Kuala Lumpur, Pahang is a gold mine for tourists who love nature in all its forms. From highlands and rainforests to islands and beaches, Pahang showcases the best of such attractions in the world. Home to many rare and endangered animals, the Taman Negara, for example, is one of the oldest rainforests in the world at 130 million years old. The water surrounding Tioman Island, on the other hand, is so clear that a boat moored on its shores seems to be floating on thin air.
"The unique geographical nature of Pahang allows us to offer a wide range of attractions," says Ishak Mokhtar, general manager of Tourism Pahang. "We've focused on eco-tourism, featuring the strengths of three nature themes - the highlands, rainforests, and islands and beaches."
Clever packaging of these attractions has caught the interest of a growing number of tourists from countries such as Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, China and India. People worldwide are invited to join the Royal Pahang Billfish International Challenge, an annual offshore fishing competition held in Lanjut, Kuala Rompin.
The Start In Tioman programme, meanwhile, offers visitors the opportunity to acquire their diving licences in only three days, while other packages include a close encounter with the Orang Asli aboriginals, a home-stay experiential travel, a tour of an elephant sanctuary, and concerts and other entertainment events in Genting Highlands.
To meet the growing number of visitors, Pahang welcomes hotel developers and other tourism industry players. For one, the state expects to see the completion of the 20th Century Fox theme park by late next year alongside the establishment of surrounding premium outlets.
"The opportunities are limitless," Mokhtar says. "We're very much open to new initiatives from the private sector investing into premium accommodations needed to attract international tourists."