Cherating has its fair share of attractions – there’s the beautiful sweeping beaches bordered by coconut palm trees, the first-rate wave breaks that make it a surfers’ paradise and a great band of friendly residents. It may not be the liveliest place in the country – the village has more cats, monitor lizards and monkeys than people – but it’s got an undeniable laid-back charm that makes it so appealing.
Cherating is best known for the uber-posh Club Med – the first in Asia. Additionally there are stores and guesthouses sprinkled around but it’s the people here that make it so genuinely alluring. There’s an eclectic posse of hipster Malay surfers, musicians, artists and kampong folk who are ever-eager to greet you with a friendly smile and share a beer with you at one of the few nightlifeclubs in town.
It goes without saying that most people who come to Cherating are going to head to its strip of white-sand beach. It’s not as crowded here as some of the country’s other beachside destinations but that doesn’t mean Cherating is not charmingly alluring. Its relative obscurity has resulted in seemingly empty beaches but don’t be fooled into thinking that there’s not much to do – some of the best surfing waves in Malaysia pound Cherating’s shores, so you’re likely to see a band of surfers along the coastline waiting for the perfect swell.
Cherating Turtle Sanctuary
If you’re interested in wildlife conservation, then the Cherating Turtle Sanctuary – located beside Club Med – is a good place to head to. You can see tanks with baby and rehabilitating sea turtles and you can also glean information about the laying and hatching periods of these gentle sea creatures. The best time to visit is between April and August when you can participate in night tours that allow you to see the turtles come ashore to lay eggs.
Firefly and Mangrove Exploration
Take a river boat cruise up the Cherating River to watch the fireflies at night or take advantage of the river mangrove tours. The night-time firefly boat tour upriver along the mangroves, are the best excursions – you’ll not see sights like this anywhere else and guides are especially skilled in spotting assorted animals, including snakes.