Get ready with your sun-screen lotion (or not), a pair of sunglasses, shorts and surf board! Yes, you read it right. Surf board. Because that's what Cherating is well known for - surfing!
Cherating was discovered in the 1960s, by backpackers who stayed at guesthouses and wooden huts among the coconut groves by the sea.
Located between Kuantan and Terengganu on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, Cherating is quite popular among the tourist and the locals especially the backpackers, traveller with families and surfers too!
Known for its laid-back, relax and calming atmosphere, Cherating is actually famous for their turtle population, surfing and also kite-boarding. If you searching 'the best surfing spot in Malaysia' Cherating will be on the top.
The place is extremely laid-back and the beach is nice and wide and for info, the first Club Med in Asia are located in Cherating!
Cherating has a stretch of shoplots which sells traditional textiles and handicrafts and not to forget there is a turtle sanctuary too.
Best Time To Go
Cherating Beach is hot, humid and sunny for the majority of the year, with temperatures ranging between 22 and a balmy 32 degrees.
The busiest month for tourism in Cherating, Malaysia is October, followed by June and July.
Prices for hotels and flights will be most expensive during these months, though you can save if you purchase well in advance. Tourists are unlikely to visit Cherating in March. Those willing to visit at these times will likely find it the least expensive month.
Many tourists (especially surfers) stay over at the hotels nearby for a couple of weeks just to catch the waves of the sea during the North-Easterly monsoon season from November to March.
The best time to surf is from the month of November to December where the monsoon season will be at the peak.
From Kuala Lumpur, take the East Coast Expressway and exit at Exit 836 and follow Cherating signboard from there. From the Jabor toll, it would be around 30 minutes to reach Cherating.
From Kuala Lumpur: Go to Terminal Bersepadu Selatan and buy a ticket to Kemaman.
The journey from KL - Kemaman will be around 4 hours and 32 minutes, but since you will get down at Cherating, it shall be shorter than that.
Price ticket is +/- RM28 - RM30 per journey.
Ensure that the bus driver will be able to drop you off at Cherating and when entering the bus ask the bus driver again to drop you off at Cherating.
There is no direct flight to Cherating, but you can get to Kuantan by air from Kuala Lumpur and other major Malaysian cities. There are a few flights daily, operated by Malaysia Airlines and Air Asia. From Kuantan airport you can take a taxi to Cherating or get a taxi to Kuantan bus station and then proceed to Cherating by local bus.
Cherating village is quite small, and you can get around on foot or cycle. There are some guest houses and tour agents have bicycles for rent. Ask around!
Attractions and Activities
The main attraction here is of course the wide sandy beach. Water activities including yachting, surfing, swimming, etc are available from guest houses or provided by hotels.
Visit the nearby turtle sanctuary. Register with your guest house or tour agent on the main road, and they will inform you when there is a turtle landing.
Surf Cherating beach, during the monsoon season (November and December), it is one of the few beaches in Peninsula Malaysia with waves good enough for surfing. There are surfing school (class) that provided by the locals too! Try to locate them at the 'Surfer's Shack' at the beach, or you can see them in action in front of Royale Chulan Hotel, they will be there every afternoon.
River Cruise / Mangrove Tour / Fireflies Tour - Walk towards the end of Cherating area and there will be a dock for the activities. The Mangrove River Tour runs twice daily at 9am and 4pm, except on Monday, and takes between 1 1/2 to 2 hours. While the firefly tour runs nightly from 7.30pm, except on Monday and takes about 1 1/2 hours too.
Batik Painting / Other Art Class - If you are into art classes, you can also join in the classes that conducted by the local at their handicraft shop. You can ask around, and we found out that there is batik painting class as well as tie-dye class.
If you are looking for a mall, or a big store, you might need to drive out to the nearest town.
In Cherating there is few grocery stores, some shop to buy souvenirs like t-shirt, batik and stuff, there are also places to buy art craft (mostly batik or tie-dye).
Do note that there is no ATM available around the beach area. The nearest bank outlet would be at Chukai, 21 minutes drive away. So, it is safe to bring cash but keep it safe all the time too!
As we can assure, looking for food won't be an issue in Cherating. There is plenty of local eateries that offer all sort of food from local dishes to western food.
Throughout our stay, we ate at Ombok and Duyong Restaurant, and we drive out to Hai Peng Kopitiam in Kemaman for breakfast and try delicious stuffed crab for dinner at Tong Juan Restaurant.
If you are ready to hit Cherating, have a look at our package here, 3D2N Cherating, and you'll be staying in Club Med.