Pahang is the third largest Malaysian state, after Sarawak and Sabah, and the largest in Peninsular Malaysia. Pahang's capital and largest city, Kuantan, is the eight largest urban agglomerations by population in Malaysia. The royal capital and the official seat of the Sultan of Pahang is located at Pekan. The Old Pahang Kingdom dates back to the 5th century. After the Second World War, it organised itself as one of the federal states of Malaya. Modern Pahang is an economically important state with main activities in services, manufacturing and agricultural sectors. The Pahang River basin connects with Malaysia's two largest natural freshwater lakes, Bera and Chini.
Described as wetland of international importance. The highest peak, Mount Tahan, reaches 2,187 m in elevation, which is also the highest point in the Peninsular Malaysia. The highlands are covered with tropical rainforest. Pahang is home to Malaysia's two important national parks, Taman Negara and Endau-Rompin, both located in the north and south of the state respectively.
These large primary rainforests are extensive, and are home to many rare or endangered animals, such as the tapir, kancil, tigers, elephants and leopards. Ferns are also extremely common, mainly due to the high humidity and fog that permeates the area. Popular hill resorts located along these main highland areas are Cameron Highlands, Genting Highlands, Fraser's Hill and Bukit Tinggi. The Cameron Highlands is home to extensive tea plantations and also a major supplier of legumes and vegetables to both Malaysia and Singapore.
Pahang scenic coastline is a paradise of swaying palms and sandy beaches like Cherating, Teluk Cempedak, Beserah, Batu Hitam and Tanjung Sepat. Also located along the coastal plain, is a 32 km2 (12 sq mi) wide expanse of alluvial soil that includes the deltas and estuarine plains of the Kuantan, Pahang, Rompin, Endau, and Mersing rivers.
Important economic centres can be found along the coastline, where both capital and royal capital of the state, Kuantan and Pekan, are located. About 58 km off the coast of Pahang lies Tioman Island, an alluring holiday paradise in the South China Sea, acclaimed as one of the best island getaways in the world. The main railway line is the KTM East Coast Railway Line, nicknamed the 'Jungle Railway' for its route that passes through the sparsely populated and heavily forested interior. It is operated by Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad, a federal government-linked company. The 526 km long single track metre gauge that runs between Gemas and Tumpat near Kota Bharu, was historically used during British protectorate to transport Tin. Traditional Pahang cuisine features a lot of seafood, similar to the traditional cuisine of other states. The staple food in a Pahang culinary tradition is rice, which is also common in any other Asian cultures. Rice is commonly served with gulai or singgang, ulam and sambal condiments. Other popular Pahang dishes are Nasi Kebuli, Opor Daging and Paceri Nenas.
Tourism makes up one of the largest sectors of the Pahang state economy, contributing approximately 26% of the overall state economy. he top five most visited places by Malaysians in Pahang were Cameron Highlands, Genting Highlands, Teluk Cempedak, Taman Negara and Cherating. Pahang has the third highest proportion of luxury hotels after Kuala Lumpur and Sabah.
Pahang also contains three of Peninsular Malaysia's major hill stations, at Cameron Highlands, Fraser's Hill and Genting Highlands. Each has been developed on a different concept. Cameron Highlands is famous for its sprawling tea plantations, butterflies, strawberries and honey bee farms. Fraser's Hill is one of Malaysia's few pristine forests, with a high level of biodiversity. It is one of Malaysia's premier locations for bird-watching While Genting Highlands is famous for its cool & breezy weather with indoor & outdoor theme park, state of the art entertainment centre, five-star hotels and home of the only casino in Malaysia.
Taman Negara is the most frequented lowland forest reserve. It boasts as one of the oldest rainforests in the world, estimated at 130 million years old. Kenong Rimba Park near Kuala Lipis is another forest reserve retained as an alternative support to Taman Negara. Another notable forest reserve, the Endau-Rompin National Park is being aggressively promoted by Pahang State Government as the other important ecotourism site. There's an Elephant conservation centre at Kuala Gandah. The Pahang River is another tourism asset. The upper reaches of some of its tributaries is suitable for water sports like canoeing and whitewater rafting. Many waterfalls are accessible to the public especially in recreational forests. Bera Lake and Chini Lake are important and rare examples of natural lakes in Malaysia.