A sleepy, backpacker beach commune with good surf waves, Cherating is a worthwhile detour from the likes of KL and Penang. Once very much under the radar, visitors to Peninsular Malaysia must now surely add the blip of a coastal village to a Pahang shortlist that includes the royal architecture of Pekan, leafy hill resort charm of the Cameron Highlands, national park fauna and flora and the siren call of the South China Sea.
The flagship characteristic of Cherating, for now at least, is location, location, location. The one-road village is the meaty heart of a jungle and beach sandwich that is as pristine as you can find in a part of Malaysia progressively under development pressures.
While landmarks and traditional tourist attractions may not run rife here, this, in essence, is what makes Cherating a success. A few standout hotels, modest restaurants, a fine strip of beach and the invigorative din of the waves: what more do you need?
Cherating’s Top 10
10. Pekan is the elegant royal capital of Pahang. 55 mi (90 km) south of Cherating.
5. Charas Cave is a notable temple cave not far from Sungai Lembing.
9. Turtle Sanctuary is the only viable non-beach point of interest in Cherating.
4. Batu Hitam (Kuantan) is a famous black stone, white sand beach.
8. Beserah is a beach village up the coast from Kuantan.
3. Balok (Kuantan) is a beach with epic waves.
7. Sungai Lembing is a gigantic relic of a pit mine.
2. Sultan Ahmad Shah State Mosque (Kuantan) is the main mosque of Pahang. The landmark is duly impressive.
6. Berkelah Falls is a dramatic cascade 30 mi (50 km) from Kuantan.
1. The Beach is the reason why Cherating lures more and more tourists every year.
- Masjid Negri – Take a walk at the majestic mosque on Malaysia’s east coast.
- Sungai Lembing – One of the largest tin mines in the world during the 1900s.
- Lao Tzu Taoist Temple – It houses the longest golden dragon sculpture in the world. It is a testament of the rich Chinese culture in the country.
- Kuala Lipis – A gold mining town in Cherating, walking through the streets of the old town is nostalgic.
- Kuil Sri Mariamman Kuantan – Visit and experience the vibrant Hindu temple that is definitely eye catching.
Cherating Art & Culture
- Awal Muharram – Muslims celebrate the migration of the prophet Muhammad.
- Moon Cake Festival – Every 15th day of the eight lunar month, the streets of Malaysia are decorated by rows of wonderful lanterns. Scrumptious moon cakes are also served.
- Limbong Art – For just a few dollars, you can take courses and make your own batik sarong. Take home some as souvenirs.
- Pahang Art Gallery – Located just a few kilometres away from Cherating, the gallery houses amazing creations of local artists.
- Sultan Abu Bakar Museum – The state of Pahang is truly diverse; you can see this in the diverse collections of artefacts from Chinese glassware, Islamic traditional costumes and Indian weapons.
- Kemaman Pasar Malam – Every Thursday night, the market opens in which you can get amazing souvenirs.
- Limbong Art – You can get meticulously crafted batik creations in the boutique.
- Seri Delima Keropok – A roadside stall that sells delectable fish snacks, a must-try.
- East Coast Mall – A megalith shopping mall lined with the trendiest fashion houses.
- Berjaya Mall – Basically you can find almost anything here in Cherating.
Gay & Lesbian Cherating
- X’Pose Disco – If you are looking for some wild partying in Cherating, then this is definitely the place for you.
- Cherating Bay Lounge – For a perfectly chill night with your friends sipping cocktail while a live band is playing.
- Don’t tell Mama – You might catch impromptu barbecue nights by the beach.
- Deadly Nightshade Bar – A hole in the wall with a limited menu, but the ambiance and company certainly make up for it.
- Fun Pub – Play a few round of darts as you gulp chilled beer.
- Cherating River – The mangrove boat ride will leave you breathless as you get to go bird watching, and you can even spot monitor lizards and snakes.
- Cherating Turtle Sanctuary – Seeing turtles lay eggs at night is a divine experience.
- Elephant Sanctuary – Your chance to see elephants up close in Cherating.
- Cherating Beach – People come here for its pristine beaches and laid-back atmosphere.
- Snake Island – The best snorkelling site, picturesque coral reefs are seen here.
- Snorkel in the breath-taking coral reefs of Palau Ular.
- Take riding lessons and then trot along the shore at the Penn Equestrian Club.
- A trip will never be complete without wind surfing in Tanjung Cherating.
- Take crash course surfing lessons at the Satusuku Surf School.
- You should definitely try kite surfing in Cherating or Kuantan.
As a popular beach resort area in Pahang, Cherating is located on the Malay Peninsula. This cosy seaside fishing village draws visitors in droves every year for surfing and backpacking. Cherating, Malaysia, is blessed with white-sand beaches, friendly people and beautiful scenery just waiting to be explored.
- Chendor Beach
- Cherating Village (Kampung Cherating)
- Balok Beach
- Sail the waters at Teluk Chempedak
- Watch Beserah fishermen use water buffaloes to transport fish
- Discover the Cherating Turtle Sanctuary
Cherating is a destination that is perfect for year-round travel. However, some resorts and boat services tend to stop during inclement weather. Precipitation is a regular occurrence, and heavy rains show up starting in November and run through February. Temperatures stay around a constant 90°F (33°C).
Water sports stand out as the main activity in Cherating, aside from languid naps on the beach of course.
A few markets dot the coast and hawk handicrafts, artisanal products and other souvenirs.
River trips provide a worthwhile excursion away from the beach.
When To Go
Cherating has a tropical rainforest climate with a wet and dry season. Monsoon rains pound the coast between October and March and feature high waves and temperatures from 72°F (22°C) to 88°F (31°C).
The dry season is far from dry but less turbulent on the whole. Though the typical month still sees considerable rain, floods rarely occur. The principal change is in temperature, which often drifts as high as 104°F (40°C) at high noon.
While some intrepid travellers prefer the relative solitude of Cherating and the East Coast of Malaysia in the off-peak rainy season, the pervasive threat of monsoons makes for a risky proposition. It is advisable to book your holiday time just before or after.
Getting There & Around
By air, the closest airport is located in Kuantan. Cherating is about a 45-minute drive away off the main East Coast trunk road (Federal Route 5). If coming from Kuala Lumpur, visitors can take the expressway from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport straight to Cherating. Travelling by bus is also relatively simple, with a long-distance bus station in almost every major Malaysian city. Upon reaching Cherating, visitors will find the village is the perfect size for traversing on foot. Many of the villas and resorts also offer bicycles to ride around the village and for heading down to the beaches.
More Info On Getting Around
Cherating is just off Federal Route 5, or the main East Coast trunk road. The village resort is about 30 mi (50 km) north of Kuantan. The Pahang capital is the gateway to Cherating via Kemaman, Beserah and Balok.
From Kuala Lumpur, take the East Coast Expressway (Route E8) directly to the final exit. Cherating is approximately 15 km from there. From Kuala Terengganu, simply go south along the East Coast trunk road.
Two bus operators, Sihat Bas and Mira, provide service from Kuantan throughout the day. Access to and from Kuala Terengganu and Kota Bharu is less formal but if you book a ticket in Cherating in advance the agent will have the driver stop for you. If Cherating is your destination from the north, ask the driver to pull over beforehand.
Needless to say, Cherating village is miniscule and eminently passable on foot. Some hotels also rent bicycles for the day.
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