The East Coast of Malaysia


Global Mark : 12.23

Ratings by criteria : 

Charm Scenery Parks Culture Market Relax Fiesta 


3 3 1 2 1 4 5 4 11.50

Ratings by backpackers :

Surveyed Liked  Comeback  Recommend  Range AVER.
20 95% (19) 40% (8) 65% (13) 8 to 19 12.95

Description : A very long beach with a long stretch of western restaurants, resorts and activities...

Comments : Let's face it : the beach isn't too nice by Asian standard (there are much better ones nearby in the north) and the place is overrun. This being said, the atmosphere is rather laid back, homesick travellers will find plenty of opportunities to feel better and there are a few opportunities to share some locals' pastimes...

What to do ? Make your own batik (R35 at Matahari Chalets) / Weave pandanus leaves into mats or bags / Fly kites or play top spinning with the locals / Watch & ear cultural shows at Cherating Cultural Village / Get a tan on the beach / Go swimming (if you dare...) / Spot monitor lezard / Watch monkeys balancing on electric cables / Visit handicraft shops / Explore the countryside / Walk toward the Club Med and its deserted beach (2km on main road then side road) / Eat western (pizzas, pasta, steaks,...) or seafood / And for the exra activities : boat the river among the dense vegetation (R15, 2 hrs), ride horses (R50 for 30mn !), track snakes (R60), fish the sea (R85, 4 hrs), snorkel at snake island (R30, 3 hrs), in season watch green turtles laying eggs (R15, only if a turtle in sight, possibly from May to Oct), visit Lake Chini (from R50, 1 day), tour Kemaman Thursday night market (R15, 3 hrs), etc... You got the idea I suppose : this place is tourism oriented ! 

What you may not like ? The rather dirty beach / The uninviting water / Being hurt by a jet ski / The lack of cheap local food / The cost of internet / Changing money (and TC) at a poor rate / Not being allowed inside the Club Med Resort but on the beach only / Having little to do (that might be the idea for some however) / 

How long ? How long will it take for your batik to dry ?

Where to stay ?  

Hotels  << Get precise info, book online & save money !

There are a few GH by or near the main road but, considering the traffic, you may wish to go a bit closer to the beach :

- On the road to Cherating's centre : 

  • Air Power Travellers Inn / Rooms & bungalows from R5 to R20 / Correct setting off the road / Go there to check the place as it was full and the owner was away...
  • Maznah's GH (09 5819698), next to the above / A-frame Sgl 13, Dbl 16(1) or 18(2), w. shower 20 / Rates incl. breakfast / Refill water R1 / Internet R4 per hour (R5 for non guests) / Go there for the good prices, the clean bungalows and the relaxed backpackers' atmosphere / What you may not like : the tiny bungalows 
  • Matahari Chalets (5819835), a bit further / Bigger bungalows by a well maintained garden in the back of a batik shop / Bungalow w. fridge 15, bigger 20 / Free use of kitchen / Go there for the bright atmosphere, the big wooden rooms and to make your own batik (R35) / What you may not like : the dim lightning, the basic garden and not getting attached shower at those prices
  • Cherating Cottage, on the left by the main road / Nice garden but not so spacious setting / Dorm (4) 10, rather grotty room w. shower 20

- Turning right (North) :

  • Riverside Cherating, next to a mini mart / Not so nice setting, unclean atmosphere & grotty bungalows for 20
  • The Payung (019 9620324), on the right / Bungalows off the river 18, by the river 25 / Pizzeria restaurant / Go there for the nice setting by the river and the charming big rooms with some deco / What you may not like : not getting attached shower for those prices
  • Green Leaves (010 3378242), small path on the right after the Restaurant Blue Lagoon / Even if you do not stay there, it is worth a look / A-frames 20(1) or 25(2), w. shower (35) / Rates incl. breakfast & drinks / Go there for the most original setting well inside the jungle by the river & the cozy rooms / What you may not like : the tiny rooms, the backpackers' amosphere without the backpackers' prices and the mosquitoes
  • Coconut Inn (5819299), on the left side / Dutch & local owner / Well spaced bungalows in a big garden with a private path to the beach / Bungalows 8(1) or 10(2), w. shower 15 / Go there for the best quality-price ratio as the rooms are rather big & comfortable / What you may not like : the expected disappearance of the cheapest bungalows as new ones will replace the common shower and the not too spotless rooms
  • Tanjung Inn (5819081) / A beautiful setting around artificial lakes / Bungalows 21, w shower 47, w. AC & HW shower 84-120 / Go there for bungalow No7, the only cheap one facing the lakes. The other are located around a well maintained grass garden by the road.
  • Kampung Inn (5819344) / Bungalows w. shower 15 / Cheap and near the beach but rather unpleasant and dirty setting

- Turning left (North) :

  • Ranting Resort (09 5819068) / Just correct setting / Room w. shower 40, w. AC 60, famil room (5 or 6) 70, w. AC (4 people) 90 / Go there to check the rooms or if with the family
  • Cherating Inn / Bungalows w. shower 20 / Rather ugly setting plus grotty & basic rooms. However, the restaurant is reasonably priced.
  • Mini Motel, on the beach / Bungalow w. shower 15(1) or 25(2), much better 50 (incl. some with nice sea view) / Interesting setting on the sand but cars of the Malay guests instead of shells. The cheapies are also real scary : grotty, dirty & going into pieces !
  • Duyung Beach Resort, at the end of the road / Bungalow w. AC, shower & TV 52 / Avoid to protest over the monkeys trapped in the disgusting cage. Beside, the setting is not nice.
  • Palm Resort / Bungalows w. AC, HW shower & TV 56 / Tiny space by the road. Another place for local tourists...
  • The Moon or "Shadow of the moon" (9877564), a bit further up, hidden in the wood / Bungalow w. shower 35 (1 or 2), 55(3) / Go there for the relaxed atmosphere, the sense of humour of the English owner (a sign claims "warm beer" and "lousy service"), the parties when the moon is in the mood, the good setting and the nice rooms w. heigh ceilings / What you may not like : the prices of the rooms, food & drinks ("R2 for a cup of hot water, the rest is free") and the somehow weird atmosphere

Where to eat ? The only real food stall spotted was after Palm Resort : a few snacks (incl. banana fritters) and plastic drinks for the usual 50 cents. Next to Dragon Restaurant near Matahari, a small restaurant with good Nasi or Mee Goreng for R2.5. A few more local places before Coconut Inn. As for western restaurants, there are plenty to choose from !
Once a week, some restaurants (Boathouse, Payung Cafe,...) have a buffet or BBQ for R15. Expensive but you do not have to eat for the rest of the week...

Internet ? The cheapest access is at Maznah's GH : R4 per hour for guests and R5 for non guests with no minimum charge. Other places charge R7-8 per hour with R2-3 minimum charge. Let's remind you that internet cost only R2-3 in Kuantan or at the Kemaman bus station...

Changing money ? It is possible to change cash or TC but the rate will be poor compared to Kuantan...
Infos, tours and more if affinity ? A few agencies around, incl. Badgerlines (5819552, turn right) and Travel Post (5819825, turn left). In addition to tours and bus ticket (with a commission of about R2), they also do money laundering, laundry changing, internet, poste restante, bicycles, etc. Those are a good source of informations. 

 << Discover a few signs

Backpacker's Tips : Eddie, Malaysia (May 04)
 Snake island trip is rm 35 per person. Maznah is no longer running an internet cafe. Green leaves is no longer there. Badger lines is closed for good. The only internet cafe and travel services in town is travelpost and the internet cost rm 6.00 per hour.

Bus Schedules ? 

To  Price Class Duration Time Nb Freq.
Kuantan 2.5 ordi 1-1.5 6:20, 8:20 to 20:20 a lot 30mn
Kemaman 1 ordi 20mn day a lot 30mn

Note : see also Buses from Kuantan to the North and add about 1 hour for the schedule

The trip to Beserah :
SS / L&R / R2 / 45mn / Bus
The bus was of course a bit slow to show up : 35mn from Kemaman, a local record... I had told ticketman my destination but was spotting the kilometer signs just in case he had forgotten. The first "Beserah" signs appeared 10km before Kuantan but the get off point was 3km later, just before the Mobil Petrol Station.

See also the trip from Rantau Abang