Pahang is the largest state in Peninsular Malaysia, and as a result contains quite a large range of geography and industry. Its state capital is Kuantan, with the royal seat at Pekan. The Arabic honorific of Pahang is Darul Makmur ("Abode of Tranquility")
The physical geography can be broken into roughly three sections: the highlands, the rainforest, and the coastal areas.
Peninsular Malaysia straddles a rich quartz vein that is associated with the mountain range in the center. Rainforest covers much of the highlands, but it tends to be thinner, with more deciduous trees. Ferns are also extremely common, thanks mainly to the high humidity and fog that permeates the area.
The Cameron Highlands area in the west is home to the tea plantations. The area is the highest on the mainland, and the climate is temperate enough to have distinct temperature variations year round. The area is also known as a major supplier of legumes and vegetables to both Malaysia and Singapore.
Genting Highlands is known as Malaysia's playground. It is home to several hotels, a theme park and Malaysia's only casino.
There is also a population of native Orang Asli who live in the area, although most have been relocated from the forests to other areas.
The south of the state is home to the country's largest national park, Taman Negara. This largely primary rainforest is extensive, and is home to many rare or endangered animals, such as the tapir, kancil, tigers and leopards.
Rainforest covers 2/3 of the area of the state, and the peninsula's highest point, Gunung Tahan, is located within Taman Negara. Since the equator is so close, the rainforests in Malaysia are among the oldest in the world: roughly 130 million years old.
The largely mountainous state flattens out towards the coastline, and this is where the state capital Kuantan is located. There are also many islands offshore with extensive reef systems. Pulau Tioman is famous for its coral reef.
There still exists a traditional fishing industry along the coast, and there are long stretches of sandy beaches.
Evidence for nomadic tribes living in the area go back to the Mesolithic Era. In more modern times, the tin and gold deposits of the Tembeling River attracted the marine traders of the Srivijaya empire in the eighth and ninth century, and Pahang covered most of the southern half of the peninsula.
After the Srivijaya empire collapsed, around the eleventh century, it was claimed first by the Siamese, and then the Sultanate of Malacca, until the Portuguese arrived in 1511. It was then the subject of controversy between the Portuguese, the Dutch, Johor, and Acheh, until the influence of the Europeans and the Acheh declined in the early 1600s. However, Sultans of Pahang, descended from the Malacca and Johor royal dynasties, have ruled the state almost continuously from 1470.
Area: 35 964 sq. km