Mid term break saw us taking a short trip to Kuantan. We wanted to drive somewhere easy with some waves, since we love body boarding and most water sports. Kuantan is just 2.5 hours from KL!
We found Swiss Garden Residence (not to be confused with the resort which is next-door) via AirBnb super cheap and cheerful at RM270 per night for two rooms. The place is only 12 minutes from Kuantan town, which was a godsend since it was Ramadan and the eateries only opened from 3pm.
Swiss Garden Residence
The simple but convenient apartments at Swiss Garden Residence have a pool, a carpark near the beach, a hose to wash off the sand and a long, lovely, white beach. Ok it’s Kuantan, so I’m not going to lie: the water is brown, but there were no jelly fish and there were waves! Bring coconut oil and mosquito spray just in case of sand flies. We didn’t get bitten, but there are flies on some parts of the beach.
Paddle boarding and hiking
We met this lovely man called Leo, a local guide and sports enthusiast. Leo hooked us up with kayaks, boogey boards, and gave lots of recommendations for jungle hiking and restaurants. He’s a certified kite surfing instructor, his son competes and we will definitely try kite surfing next time. If you want to reach Leo, his number is 013-330 6882.
We brought our inflatable standup paddle board. It kept us busy in the waves and we happily managed to catch a few. We loved exploring the area and the last day saw us touring around the town and hiking up the hill (Eko Rimba Bukit Pelindung) and down to the beach at Hyatt and Pantai Teluk Cempedak. The hike was breathtaking. There are lots of waterfalls as well in the area, which we want to check out next time.
Food in the area
Some nice eateries in Kuantan are Muar E Coffee shop, Kampung Delight, Seafood Alor Akar – famous and quite packed, so try to pre-book a table – restaurant T&L where we loved the nice char kuey teow and 88 Food Court with lots of food choices.
We also went to a few nice restaurants near Swiss Garden: Little Arabia, Medo (famous for crabs), Shawarma House and Puteh Beach Bar. The last place is a nice groove at night, but the music was quite loud when we were there. Have a look here for our review!
Overall, if you’re adventurous and don’t mind roughing it a bit, Kuantan is the place for you. Cherating beach is a 45 minutes’ drive from Swiss Garden, so you could always explore up there for the day. We would definitely go back to Kuantan.
If you’d like to explore other options for accommodation in Kuantan, have a look at our review here for the Hyatt Regency Kuantan Resort.