Pekan, the royal town of Pahang, is one of the most historical towns in Malaysia. Pekan’s history began in the late 18th century when “Penghulu” (Chief) Abdullah bin Mohammad or popularly known as Nakhoda Intan built a new settlement at the mouth of Bertam river. As time passed, Pekan, Pahang grew into a small town that became the first capital of Pahang after being separated from Johor Empire following Sultan Tengku Ali’s decision to cede his territory to form Pahang Sultanate in 1757.
The Sultan Abu Bakar Museum is located at Pekan, the capital of Pahang State. It is designed in a shape that looks like an elephant, the animal known for representing strength and power and also depicts the name and origin of this town, Pekan. The Sultan Abu Bakar Museum was built as a representation of the history, culture and tradition that is unique within the Pahang people. The museum also serves as a collection center to gather all sorts of relics that represent Pahang’s contributions to Malaysia’s development. Its two wings and an archive building contains collections from various aspects such as: Islamic studies, customs and traditions, agriculture, industry and social sciences.
The gallery is located in front of the state museum in Sungai Bera, to the west. Displaying watercrafts of various shapes and functions that were formerly used making it one of the most interesting places to visit in Pekan. The many life-sized replicas of the crafts never fail to pique the interest of visitors. The gallery was built in 2000 according to the desire of Sultan Ahmad Shah, who had planned to preserve watercrafts that are slowly disappearing from Pahang’s rivers. The museum has managed to collect more than 100 artefacts to date which are all on display to the visitors delight.
The gallery is open to the public every day from 9.00 a.m. until 5.30 p.m., including weekends and public holidays, free of charge.
The centre produces quality fabrics that originate from Pekan. The design of the fabrics are characterized by a checkered pattern that is arranged in such a way that its colour sequence can be changed intermittently from the thread. A wide range of silk products are now available at the centre. The Pekan weaving technique is unique and it requires the silk used to be waxed before being woven into cloth using hand-looms. This Pekan weaving technique is rarely found in other parts of the world except for China, Vietnam and certain provinces in Indonesia. The gallery has been around for over 200 years and the knowledge of this craft has been passed down for generations, further confirming Pahang’s position as a historical landmark.
The Tun Razak Memorial Hall was built in memory of Malaysia’s second Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj (also known as “Tun Razak”). It is located at Jalan Lapangan Terbang Lama, Pekan and was officially opened by the Sultan of Pahang on 4th April 1978. The hall houses a museum displaying relics and memorabilia about the late Tunku Abdul Rahman and also showcases some artefacts from China and Southeast Asian countries, like Thailand and Indonesia. Visitors can learn about his early life through the display of pictures. Next to it is a special section for children with interactive multimedia exhibits; an outdoor gallery with interesting displays; an auditorium that seats 1,000 people; a small exhibition hall with displays on Malay culture and arts from different areas in Malaysia, as well as the Kuala Lumpur Tower.
The Sultan Abu Bakar Palace is a historical monument in Pekan. According to records, construction on the palace began in 1866 and was completed in 1869 under the orders of the Sultan of Pahang at that time; Abdullah Al-Mutasim Billah Shah. It was named after his father, who ruled from 1857 to 1860. It has, however, been abandoned since 1916 when it was vacated by His Majesty due to its poor condition. In 2009, the National Heritage Department took over the management of this heritage site with plans to restore it into a museum complex for public display and appreciation.
The palace consists of three buildings that are joined together with an enclosed courtyard in the middle. The palace was built of red bricks, with the roof made of ceramic tiles. The design is very simple with little decoration, but it has some elements that are more inclined to Islamic architectural designs.
Among its most distinctive features are the minaret which is shaped like a bevelled spear. The minaret is the only one built in Malaysia, and it contains four stories. The palace is also decorated with patterns of geometric shapes, flowers and vines on the walls. The minaret was built for adzan or also known as the call to prayer, a function that has been discontinued since 1916. The other distinctive feature of the Pekan palace is the masonry which took three years to be completed.
Lata Mentagan Waterfall is one of the favourite spots for honeymooners and nature lovers. There are 35 steps to reach the bottom of the waterfall, which has a height of about 30 meters. From top to bottom, there are wooden platforms installed so you can feel closer to nature as you enjoy your lunch, afternoon tea or simply spend some time with your loved ones under the cool and enchanting atmosphere that this place has to offer. You can also observe several kinds of colourful butterflies that flutter their way down from the top to the bottom of the waterfall and take shelter on nearby leaves and branches before they fly off again. The water itself is very clean as it flows from a pool which is located high up on the mountain.
How to get there? Take Ipoh-Lumut Highway, turn right to the next road No. 528 A. Turn left to Jalan Tebing Tinggi 1 and follow the direction of Temerloh for around 15 km till you reach Raub town area or Kuala Klawang. From here, drive straight on Jalan Istana Kenangan – 7 km, about 20 minutes drive from Kuala Klawang. Look out for the signboard along the way, which will lead you to this waterfall after driving above 3km. Have a nice trip!
Geladas Umbut Waterfall is the perfect place for travellers who wish to enjoy the Pekan Pahang holiday with friends or family. The waterfall was officially opened on 24th November 2000 by the Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob. The waterfall has a height of 70 meters with a depth of 40 meters wide. The water flows from the top to bottom over rocks that were split after being struck by lightning, forming many small streams in several levels with a height of 7 meters.
Being a landmark known mostly for its historical contributions, Pekan offers a variety of attractions for enthusiasts of Malaysian history to delve into and for those who enjoy a more nature-based trip. Locations such as the waterfalls here will surely be something not to be missed. A trip here consisting of most of the attractions listed can be completed in a day as the town is a small one however still as exciting as any other.