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According to the old folk, the Bunga Pekan flower grows wild at the banks of Pahang River. The river at the Pekan town (near Mengkasar village) is also called Pekan River, however there is no source for the claim that Pekan got its name from this river. Other sources say the name "Pekan" came from the word "Pekan Sehari" (the word "Sehari" was eventually omitted). For easier pronunciation, the locals simply called it "Pekan" and the name is still used. (Pekan Sehari or Sunday Market still exists until today)
Pekan town is said to have existed since the 17th century, but no exact date has been verified. Several Arab and Chinese writers mentioned Pekan.
The villagers at Kampong Mengkasar, about one kilometer from Pekan in the direction of Kuantan, are said to be direct descendants of Tok Tuan from Makassar in Sulawesi, Indonesia. Among the well-known figures, Tun Abdul Razak was recognized as having a Sulawesi heritage.
Located on the banks of the Pahang River 50 km south of Kuantan and 280km from Kuala Lumpur, Pekan is the Royal Town of the Malaysian state of Pahang Darul Makmur. Its name comes from a flower, the Bunga Pekan. Pekan is also the name of the district the town is situated in, and a parliamentary constituency in its own right. It is the home of the state''s royal family headed by Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al-Musta''in Billah Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Abu Bakar Ri''ayatuddin Al-Mu''adzamo Shah. It is also the hometown of the second Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, and the current Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. Najib is also Pekan''s current Member of Parliament.
The Masjid Abdullah, a landmark in Pekan which dates from the 1920s, and the newer Masjid Abu Bakar is near the Sultan Abu Bakar Museum. The stretch by the river bank from the Abu Bakar Royal Mosque heading towards the Sultan Abu Bakar Museum is Pekan''s Heritage Route. As you walk towards the Town from the Sultan Abu Bakar Museum, you can visualize the busy river in the olden days transporting people and goods into this Royal Town.
1. The Sungai Pahang, the longest river in Peninsular Malaysia, ends at Pekan.
2. Pekan State Museum on Jalan Sultan Ahmad.
3. The Royal Palace of Pekan and the Polo ground and also the horses.
4. The Malay villages and fruit orchards.
5. The Chinese Temple to Mazu, a Goddess of the sea.
6. Bird watching - You may spot Hornbills in Pekan, at close distance!
7. Big trees - You may spot lots of big trees in Pekan.