Cambodian Friends With my Vipassana friends from Cambodia, we set out to explore Kuantan. First on the list was the Mini Zoo, then Teluk Cempedak.
Getting There Kuantan Mini Zoo is adjacent to the beach, Teluk Cempedak, so it's best to do both in one visit. To get to both requires riding the same bus and getting off on the last stop. From that stop, it's a hot 1.1km walk to the zoo - I don't know why tourism doesn't offer a shuttle.
Wildlife As the name goes, it really is a mini-zoo with a few animals - peacock, iguana, deer and rabbits. There are wild monkeys who seem to be afraid of people (in contrast to the monkeys of Teluk Cempedak who are aggressive). And there is the lone monkey on a moated islet, hanging on tree branches like Tarzan.
lone monkey in a moated islet
Park The entire area is a semi-manicured park system with enough expanse for a leisurely stroll when the sun goes down. Rolling out a picnic mat would seem like a good idea, but it didn't seem to be the convention at that place.
Ending Thoughts The Kuantan Mini-Zoo is best taken as a manicured park with lots of open space where it would be great to spend an afternoon walk in, when the sun is not so hot. And then be treated to a few animals who call it home.
How to get to the Mini-Zoo from Kuantan town center
go to the Hentian Bandar bus terminal and board the #200 bus for Teluk Cempedak (MYR2, 37 minutes, service until 11pm, trip every 20-30 mins)
get off at the last bus stop - Teluk Cempedak.
walk away from the beach towards the Mini-Zoo (1.1 kms, 14 mins) - see map below
Global Max Trading (durian store) - durian during season starts at MYR15/k, Musang King at MYR55/k
Tanjung Lumpur - fishing village and seafood eating place
Kuantan Backpackers - MYR 30/day, clean, wifi, a/c, central location, all-day toast/coffee, common kitchen/fridge, walk to bus terminal No 39, 1st Floor, Jalan Tun Ismail, Kuantan City
Hoi Yin Restaurant - Curry Noodles, No. 31, Jalan Teluk Cempedak, Kuantan
Operatings Hours: 7am-2pm (or until sold out), closed alternate Mondays
Kedai Kopi Ah Soon - Nasi Lemak | Lorong Kubang Buaya 21, off Jalan Kubang Buaya, Kuantan
Operating Hours: 7.30am-12pm (or until sold out), daily
New Capital Chicken Rice Restaurant - Chicken Rice | 59, Jalan Bukit Ubi, Kuantan
Opening Hours: 8am-3pm, daily with unfixed closed days
Terminal Satay Zul - Sate | No. A 2600, Jalan Alor Akar, Kuantan
Operating Hours: 6pm-12.30am, closed alternate Mondays
Alor Akar Seafood Restaurant - spicy sweet sour tilapia fish, herbal beggar chicken, spicy pineapple crabs, pork and fruits in yam cake and hot pot tofu, homemade sugarcane juice | Lot 7695 & 7696, Jalan Kubang Buaya, Kuantan
Operating Hours: 6pm-12am, daily
Ana Ikan Bakar Petai 3 - Ikan Bakar | Kampung Tanjung Lumpur, Kuantan
Operating Hours: 5.30pm-12am, daily
Restoran Zaman - Nasi Lemak | Lot 1-3811, KM14 Jalan Gambang, Kuantan
Opening Times: 6am-2pm, daily
Mustafa Cendol - Cendol and Rojak | Jalan Teluk Sisek, Kuantan (near the Shell gas station)
Operating Times: 11.30am-7pm, daily
Pak Soh Corner - Keropok Lekor | Cherating Tanjung Tengah, Sungai Karang (Balok)
Operating Hours: About 12pm-6pm, daily
Jess Cafe - Yong Tau Fu | No. A15, Jalan Seri Kuantan 80, Kuantan
Operating Hours: 9am-6pm, daily, closed Mondays
Globalmax Trading - durian | Jalan Dato Lim Hoe Lek, Taman Pacific, 25200 Kuantan
+60 10-933 1079
Lai Yien - Mee Kari (fav of Lee Boon Tai) | Lorong Seri Kuantan 25
Hentian Bandar Bus terminal if you plan on using the local public bus, rapidKuantan, in exploring Kuantan, you'd be better off checking-in near the Hentian Bandar station. You get immediate access to all the buses plying the essential destinations in and around Kuantan.
Kuantan Backpackers and if you decide to stay near the Hentian Bandar station and you are a backpacker, I recommend Kuantan Backpackers. I stayed there almost 3 weeks. For the money (MYR 30/night), you get wifi, all-day bread/coffee/tea, a common kitchen where you can cook your meals, common fridge and recreation area, tv, computer, a/c in the dorm room, strong water pressure, adequate toilets/showers. It's also clean and walking distance to the malls and river.
How to get to Kuantan from Kuala Lumpur
take the local train from KL to TBS(Terminal Bersepadu Selatan)
at TBS, go to the ticket counter (there are over 50 of them) and book a bus for Kuantan (3 hours, 40 mins/MYR ~24). You can also view the jumbotron for bus schedules, but the counter staff can advise you about bus schedule for Kuantan.
you will be getting off at the main bus terminal in Kuantan, TSK(Terminal Sentral Kuantan). Take the local Rapid Kuantan 303 bus (to Hentian Bandar, MR 2.00) to get to the city proper
Hentian Bandar station is the main local bus hub of Kuantan with buses taking you to essential destinations in Kuantan, MR 2.00
How to get to KLIA2 Airport from Kuantan
go to Hentian Bandar bus terminal - Hentian Bandar station is also the main local bus terminal (303). Any local bus usually takes you to that station (MYR 2).
Hentian Bandar bus terminal to TSK (Terminal Sentral Kuantan) - first trip is 6am and last trip from Hentian Bandar is 11pm (MYR 2, 20 mins). TSK is the provincial bus terminal in Kuantan.
TSK (Terminal Sentral Kuantan) to TBS (Terminal Bersepadu Selatan) - earliest trip from TSK is 12:30am but the next one is already 7:30am. TBS is one of the main bus terminals in Kuala Lumpur (MYR 24, 3 hours, 40 mins)
to purchase tickets online from TSK: BusOnlineTicket.com
TBS (Terminal Bersepadu Selatan) to KLIA2 Airport - earliest bus leaves TBS at 3am (1 hour, MYR 12)
to purchase tickets online from TBS: https://eticketing.tbsbts.com.my
Travel Info for Malaysia
Malaysia is a Muslim country so try to be sensitive about their customs and traditions
People drive on the right hand side of the road
Main city roads are wide with about 4 lanes - very difficult for a pedestrian to walk across, if there is no overhead pedestrian crossing or a pedestrian stop light
nearly all Malaysian males smoke in public places even in non air-conditioned restaurants
Malaysian Ringit (MYR) is about 4x a US Dollar ($). MYR 4 = US$1