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Top 10 Things to Do in Cherating

MY Malaysia
Writer
Nadia Malyanah
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Plan for a fun weekend getaway at this idyllic beach destination on the coast of Pahang.

(Photo : FB @ Kam’s Surf Shack)

Located just off the beaten track of Pahang, the sleepy fishing village-turned-small resort town, Cherating, is popular for its long, sandy beaches. There’s just about enough to do in Cherating – but do be reminded that Cherating can be pretty quiet, with shops barely opening if you happen to drop by during the off-peak season. When you do go, here are some top things to do in Cherating:

1. Surf the waves
Surf activities at Kam’s Surf Shack (Photo : FB @ Kam’s Surf Shack)
Surf activities at Kam’s Surf Shack (Photo : FB @ Kam’s Surf Shack)

Cherating essentially turns into a surf town in between the months of November to March. This is when you can learn to surf, take a surf tour, surf all by yourself or simply watch people surf. Kam’s Surf Shack along Jalan Kampung Cherating is pretty much an all-in-one beachside surf shop that also offers surfing lessons and surfing gear rental.

2. Paint your own batik
Batik painting workshop
Batik painting workshop

No trip to the East Coast of Malaysia is complete without some form of batik involved, and batik painting can be quite fun. Check out the Kuantan Crafts Complex for batik painting classes.

3. Visit a turtle hatchery

The more well-known turtle hatchery in Cherating is probably the state Fisheries’ Department-operated Cherating Turtle Sanctuary. The sanctuary itself is pretty small, with some educational exhibits as well as a few basins with baby and rehabilitating green turtles. Visitors can make a donation in order to personally release a hatchling into the sea during the peak nesting season, but no fee is charged for entry.

4. Spend your night watching fireflies at Cherating River
Mangrove tour (Photo : FB @cheratingfirefly)
Mangrove tour (Photo : FB @cheratingfirefly)

You’re probably wondering what the fuss is with these fireflies if you’ve seen the ones in Kuala Selangor. But unlike their Kuala Selangor counterparts, the firefly variety in Cherating are of Pteroptyx Bearni species, which don’t flash in unison.

5. ...or take a mangrove tour during the day

The Cherating mangroves are worth experiencing by yourself during the day, and educational tour can be quite fun. The well-versed guides are rather invested in ensuring you spot as many wildlife as possible and provide pretty interesting trivia.

6. Eat your heart out around Cherating

You can find nasi dagang (and other rice dishes) at Mak Bedah Breakfast stall and Warung Peladang or choose between Nabil Café, Restoran Duyong and Intan Seafood Cherating for an affordable fresh seafood fix. Lighter fare such as sandwiches and coffee can be found at Ombok Cherating and Loca Café – the former also doubles as a surf shop.

Curry Crab (Photo : FB @intanSeafoodRestaurantCherating) (L), Satar (Photo : FB Warung AZIZ SATAR ) (R).
Curry Crab (Photo : FB @intanSeafoodRestaurantCherating) (L), Satar (Photo : FB Warung AZIZ SATAR ) (R).
7. Try a variety of fish snacks, including the hard-to-find satar

A trip to any East Coast Malaysian seaside town, including Cherating, is incomplete without the obligatory tasting and buying of fish snacks. The must-tries here are satar and otak-otak, which are both made of deboned fish meat. Otak-otak is flat in shape and its fish meat is mixed with tapioca and spices whereas satar is pyramid-shaped, with a different variety of spices and grated coconut added.

8. Hang around Chukai for a bit

The fishing town of Chukai in the neighbouring state of Terengganu is close enough to Cherating for you to consider a day trip as it’s only a 30-minute drive away. A must-do is either breakfast, or tea time at the famous Hai Peng Kopitiam, which is famed for their Kemaman coffee and toasted bread with seri kaya. Other Malaysian dishes you’d expect to find at such an establishment like beehoon goreng and nasi dagang are also available.

9. Stay at a luxurious villa designed by one of Malaysia’s most prominent architects with its own turtle hatchery...
Villa atThe Kasturi (Photo: the-kasturi.com)
Villa atThe Kasturi (Photo: the-kasturi.com)

Located discreetly along Chendor, The Kasturi is a beachfront five-star boutique resort nestled within tropical rainforest greenery. Designed by the renowned Malaysian architect, Hijjas Kasturi, the 15- acre resort with just 23 keys utilises a modern yet sustainable take on traditional Malay architecture with A-frame structures. The resort also operates Rimbun Dahan Turtle Hatchery on the estuary of Sungai Pak Siak that’s about 500 metres north of the resort.

10. ...or camp under the stars (sort of!) at Tanjung Inn
Tanjung Tents (Photo : www.tanjunginn.com)
Tanjung Tents (Photo : www.tanjunginn.com)

The Tanjung Tents (as they call it) sit on a raised platform overlooking a very lovely pond with two single mattresses, a fan, plug points, reading lights, a small faucet, and access to a nice, clean beach just a few minutes’ walk away. At only RM75 per tent per night, it’s a pretty good deal – even if you do have to share bathrooms.

Getting There

The nearest airport to Cherating would be the Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Airport in Kuantan. Both AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines service the Kuala Lumpur-Kuantan routes, whereas Firefly flies to and from Penang. If you’re taking a car, the drive to Cherating directly from Kuala Lumpur city centre would take approximately 3 hours.

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