Though overshadowed by newer destinations, Cherating still remains as a favourite haunt for surfers around the world.
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White sandy beaches with casuarina trees swaying to the sea breeze, some with hammocks strung in between, all ready and waiting for someone to come along and laze the morning away. Cool waters invite the young and old to come in for a refreshing dip. Welcome to Cherating beach, located 50 kilometres north of the city of Kuantan, Pahang.
In recent years, Cherating's standing as the Malaysia's prime beach destination has been challenged as many tourists favour other locales that receive greater publicity and promotion. New beach destinations like Redang, Lang Tengah and Perhentian Island are a hit with beach goers for their beautiful and pristine surroundings. Despite this, many still opt to return to Cherating because of its breathtaking beaches and awesome waves. In fact, it is this same immaculate beauty that made Club Mediterranean choose this location as its first Asian base. Consequently, Cherating beach's identity seems to be intertwined with Club Mediterranean, unlike other beaches that develop an identity of their own.
Since the 1970s Cherating has been called a Surfer's Haven, a place where surfers congregate to test out the waves year after year. Facing the South China Sea, the waves are strong enough to appease a veteran surfer's appetite yet gentle enough for a beginner. The best time for surfing in Cherating is from December to January as the waves are highest in those months. The town's laid back style of living is perfect for those who are seeking to take a break from life. A wide range of accommodation, from budget hostels to luxury hotels, can be found at Cherating, making it even more attractive to tourists.
A quiet town Cherating may be, but it is not devoid of activities to do if riding the waves is not on your list. The Turtle Sanctuary located at Chendor Beach is open to visitors throughout the day and is a good place to learn more about the endangered turtles that come ashore to lay their eggs every year. Selected resorts along Cherating Beach offers its visitors a chance to watch turtle landing during the night. Other activities like a leisurely river cruise down the Cherating river during the day allow visitors to enjoy the beauty of the mangrove forest wildlife. A cruise down the mangrove lined river at night gives visitors the chance to view nature's spectacular light show, where fireflies light up the mangrove forest like Christmas trees. There are also cultural demonstrations which introduce some of the traditional arts and practices of the locals, such as top spinning, kite flying as well as martial arts and batik making. For those who have been bitten by the batik making bug, head down to the Natural Batik Village located between Kuantan and Cherating Village. At the Natural Batik Village, tourists can witness how a simple piece of fabric is transformed into a work of art. One highlight not to be missed is the opportunity to design and make your very own batik.
The weather around the region is affected by the north east monsoon season between November and early March every year, bringing heavy rains, strong winds and rough seas. Diving activities are not encouraged during the monsoon season as visibility is very low. Frequent rain showers and generally wet conditions are to be expected during this season. Boat transfers may be affected by choppy seas due to the weather conditions.
Cherating is located in the coasted region north of Kuantan and is approximately 45 minutes by road from the city centre.
Buses that make the Kemaman-Kuantan route include Cherating as a stop along the way. These buses leave the Skmk Machang bus station on Jalan Besar every hour during the daytime. Visitors will have to disembark on the main trunk road and walk to Cherating village.