May 2018, I did a road trip, together with my uncle and aunt to Kuantan (East coast of Peninsular Malaysia). It was a really laid back holiday. And to be honest, there’s nothing much to discover in Kuantan.
As we were leaving Kuantan back to Kuala Lumpur, we searched on Tripadvisor and found this not-so-secret Sungai Pandan waterfall (also called Panching waterfall). And it is on our way back to Kuala Lumpur.
So, we decided to do a pit stop, and assess how long and difficult the trek is, before deciding whether we’ll set off to climb it.
And as it turned out, the waterfall is unexpectedly just 5 minutes walk (with proper pathways) from the park entrance. We couldn’t be more thrilled with what we saw, and very happy we did the pitstop.
Unfortunately, there is no public transportation to get to Sungai Pandai waterfall (google map in link) . Your only bet is to drive.
The drive from Kuantan is about 20 minutes (13 km by distance). The drive from Kuala Lumpur is about 3 hours (240 km by distance).
Driving from KL, I strongly recommend you to stop by Bukit Tinggi (small village with a few good local restaurants). Otherwise, you can also drive up to Genting Highlands for some chilly air, or just to try out your luck in the casino.
When to go
The park is closed on Friday for maintenance. Otherwise, from Monday to Thursday, it is opened 0900 hrs to 1700 hrs. For weekends and public holidays, 0900 hrs to 1800 hrs.
Park entrance fee is RM 2 for Malaysian adults, and RM 5 for foreigners. Parking fee is RM 3 per car.
Weekends and public holidays will definitely be crowded. I visited a few other waterfalls in Peninsular Malaysia to learn that I should not bother visiting during those times. Everyone will be in the water. And you won’t be able to find a place to keep your things.
For this trip, it was just nice that we were traveling on a weekday. And when we arrived at the waterfall, it was just us, and another 2 families.
What to do
As I mentioned above, the waterfall is just 5 minutes walk from the park entrance. At the park entrance, there’s a wading pool for children to play in. As you approach the waterfall, you’ll come by a hanging bridge.
Cross the bridge, and you can descend to the right bank of the waterfall, where you can take a dip in the water, or just take a lot of photos like us.
CAUTION: If you do plan to get into the water, be extra careful. Undercurrent from waterfall can be strong and very dangerous.
Sungai Pandan waterfall is the largest multi tiered waterfall in Peninsular Malaysia. I have visited a few other waterfalls in Peninsular Malaysia, and no others can compare to this beautiful gem.
Yes, there are a few reviews online mentioning the facilities not being very well maintained. And I agree. You won’t be able to find a decent resting place. We didn’t patronise the toilets but I never have any high expectation in Malaysia’s public toilets.
However, I will still highly recommend you considering this as a pit stop. The walk is short and easy (even for elderly). Just be there to enjoy the picturesque view, and take some photos. Then, you can be on your way.