Cherating in Pahang is one of the most popular beach destinations in Malaysia. It’s home to Asia’s first Club Med, a luxury all-inclusive resort, along with plenty of other resorts and hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions. All of these establishments make Cherating a worldwide favourite holiday spot. In fact, you’ll easily find Cherating tour packages to suit all kinds of budgets, all throughout the year.
If you haven’t been to Cherating, a definite must is, of course, to visit the beautiful Cherating Beach. It draws flocks of surfers during the monsoon season, in particular, since it’s one of the few places in the peninsula with good waves. Kayaking, snorkeling, and yachting are also popular activities along with swimming. What’s great about Cherating Beach is that it’s long enough that it’s easy to find a less-crowded spot, even during peak season.
For other activities you shouldn’t miss during your first-time visit in Cherating, check out this quick list.
Sungai Lembing is a tin mining town in Kuantan. Its name can be literally translated to “river spear.” However, it was also nicknamed “The El Dorado of the East” during its heydays in the 1940s due to the boom of the tin mining industry. When the price of tin fell in the mid- to late 1980’s, Sungai Lembing and its glory fell with it. Today, Sungai Lembing is also called “The Town That Time Forgot.” You can see traces of its former grandeur in some parts of town, as well as in the Sungai Lembing Museum. The museum was once the residence of the tin mine’s manager, which now houses a showcase of the glory days of the town and the underground tin mine.
From a sleepy old mining town, now we turn our eyes back to the beach. In particular, Chendor Beach where the Turtle Sanctuary is located. It’s situated near Club Med, so you won’t miss it. Cherating Turtle Sanctuary is a breeding ground for leatherback sea turtles, which are classified as a threatened species. Volunteers are always welcome, although you have to make prior arrangements before you can do so. Visiting doesn’t need any appointments, however. The best time to volunteer is when they are releasing the young turtles back to the ocean, which happens around May to September.
Aside from volunteer work and turtle watching, you can also visit the Cherating Turtle Sanctuary’s information centre with a few displays and facts about turtles. There are also turtle pools where you can see Olive Ridley, hawksbill, and green sea turtles, kept by the sanctuary for conservation. Finally, for some adorable trinkets, you can visit the souvenir kiosk.
Cherating Village and Kuantan Town
For a glimpse of tradition, book a tour of Cherating Village and Kuantan Town. This will include a visit of Pandanus Weaving Centre, where you’ll see how long grass is woven into home and fashion accessories like table and floor mats, bags, and hats. You’ll also learn how traditional kites, elegant wood carvings, and pottery are made at KompleksKraftangan Kuantan. There are also workshops on hand-painting batik, along with a showcase on how to weave Pahang silk and songket. Other places you’ll visit during the tour include the Beserah Fishing Village, Black Rock Beach, and TanjungApi Fishing Jetty.
OmbokCherating Surf Cafe
If you happen to visit Cherating in the monsoon season (typically November to April), then you might be interested in catching some waves. One of the best places to do so is at OmbokCherating Surf Cafe or simply OMBOK. It was established in 2011 by the local skating and surfing community, and has since become more than just a surf school cum cafe. OMBOK is now home to a shop selling local and international gear for surfing and skating, as well as apparel, accessories, and footwear. They also host the art and photography workshops and exhibits. If you’re looking for a place to just “chill” and enjoy a laid-back vibe, OMBOK is the place to go.
Mini Zoo Kemaman
Mini Zoo Kemaman is not in Cherating, but it’s so close that locals don’t really mind the quick 20-minute drive to visit the only zoo in Terengganu. It’s always packed with families and students during weekends and school holidays, so just be prepared to deal with crowds during these times. Still, Mini Zoo Kemaman is worth a visit. It features not only a mini zoo, but also a fruit orchard, herb park, and even a water theme park. In the zoo, you’ll be able to see animals like crocodiles, lions, snakes, tapirs, tigers, along with various species of birds and fish. Another great thing about Mini Zoo Kemaman? It’s the largest firefly habitat in Terengganu. Visit in the late afternoon or early evening to see the tiny winking lights of the fireflies.
Don’t let its reputation as a resort town lead you to think that there’s nothing to do in Cherating but enjoy the water (though there’s nothing wrong with that!). Check out these destinations and see the other facets of this beautiful town.