Labor Day is here – First of May. Since it’s a Sunday, a replacement holiday is given on the Monday as a common practice in Malaysia. It was last minute and a long weekend for many Malaysians, meaning that the best beaches were reserved and no prompt plans is likely to succeed. So it was me, my girlfriend, a long weekend, craving for a beach, highly needed break and fully booked islands. So what we came up with was a last minute road trip to Cherating.
Cherating is a small town located on Malaysia east coast. It is mostly known for its turtle sanctuary and also surfing during monsoon season. Population is very small and most of the properties owned by locals.
So it started with a 8 AM wake up call, heading to a carshop for a quick oil change and inspection before the trip and a good Malaysian breakfast ( Roti Telor, Roti pisang and teh tarik).
About 12pm we found ourselves at Karak highway exiting Kuala Lumpur and heading towards Cherating beach- 280 Km away on the east coast of Malaysia.
The trip took us about 3 hours, considering the speed limit of 110 and 20 minutes crawl from KL to Bukit Tinggi exit.
We arrived at Club Med Beach at 3 O’clock. I had no idea it’s a private beach and only those with online reservations were allowed to enter (learnt it from the rude security guard). Now it’s time to aim for Cherating Beach where I know is a happening place in this area.
Arrived at the Cherating Beach only to find out all the Motels and chalets were pre-booked and fully occupied. A little bit stressed from calling all the neighboring accommodations, receiving negative answers and tired from the drive, we decided to have our lunch at one of the local restaurants in Cherating Beach named “live.ombok.surf” cafe.
We were welcomed by cool surfer dudes. The menu were all day breakfast and local cuisine. We picked the Nasi Goreng Kampung (Village Fried Rice), “Mamak” Mee (Mamak noodles) and fresh ice lemon tea. All I can say is the food was amazing and authentic. These guys knew what they were making. To be honest it was my first time trying Anchovies. I never dare try it and this time I actually did and it was OK.
While we were enjoying the good food, my GF started a conversation with the locals that just entered the Cafe, a Malay couple (later found out that they actually own most of the nearby businesses). We told them that we were looking for a room and they made our day by telling us on an available room, reserved for their guests, and since they didn’t show up, we could take it. Happily we walked into “The Nick”- as he called himself – who just came off the phone with Harris (The guy from the restaurant). He greeted us at the Ranting Beach Resort reception and showed us the room. I was like “I think I’ll take it”. “You better do”, he replied 🙂
Now, here we are all set for a good holiday. We started with some chilled beers that we brought from KL. Beers on our hands, we walked across the beach to see the sunset. (Not recommended in that Islamic state of Pahang). The place was crowded and it was tough to find an empty private spot.
The majority of people around were local Muslims, swimming with their children in the ocean. Me, myself, I’m not a big fan of crowded places. So we waited around until the sunset.
As soon as it got dark, people headed back to their rooms and it was my turn to come out. Nothing better than feeling tipsy at the side of the ocean, laying on a windy quiet beach listening to the beautiful sounds of the waves reaching out to the sandy beach.
Oh yeah, we were hungry after. Then we headed back to the “Don’t tell mama Ecobar” that we checked out near our resort earlier. There was a Canadian flag hanging from the restaurant. What a coincidence! About the same time I am thinking of going there to pursue my higher education.
Anyway, we picked a seat near to the ocean and I headed to the bar to place my order. The menu was more Western and the bartenders were mostly white, and my order was given to Basil. Basil is a Syrian lad traveling the world since childhood alongside his family. Now he is in Malaysian working and traveling. Funny how he too is a programmer and works remotely for his own company based in Syria, which is now mobilized due to the war.
The food came to our table in less than 20 minutes. It was a big portion of green salad and a plate of Beef Bolognese Pasta. The food was really good with a reasonable price. The bill came up to RM29 after we ordered 2 soft drinks at the side. With that, we decided to rest for tomorrow. However, it seems like a trend here that people like to go around in pack of noisy motorbikes and it goes on the entire night. The only interesting thing about them is that most of their bikes are handmade by the riders themselves.
On the second day, we were up by 9 AM and ready to have a dip. Milo and water was all we needed before a swim. We headed to the beach. The nearby beach was dried up due to the low tide. So we had to walk for about 10 minutes. The water was shallow and clear. Not too bad for a swim. After 10 minutes we decided to make a visit to two fishermen throwing their nets from the top of a cliff. The cliff was at a far corner of the beach and I noticed one pack of those bikers around there. Regardless, we headed for the cliff. The mission failed since the cliff was high and sharp. We decided to chill at a small shed we found near the corals, not too far from the bikers. It was quiet and peaceful, until the bikers decided to have a dip nearby and even come around to take a selfie with us. They were nice until they started talking about my GF in Bahasa (Malaysian National Language) which my GF understand (dahh… She is Malaysian) and they thought she is another middle eastern like me. So we felt uncomfortable and left the scene peacefully.
What is better to forget a weird situation you ask? -a good brunch! So we headed to our favorite local cafe at the surfers restaurant. This time we ordered the fruit platter topped with Nutella chocolate, a big American breakfast and our favorite Nasi Goreng Kampung. Together with the drink the bill came up to RM33, which I believe was really a good price.
Later, we took a tour around the town, drove for about 4 km up from the Cherating beach hunting for petrol and an ATM. We found a signboard pointing towards Monika Bay and we followed. This place had literally a hand full of people and it felt like a perfect spot for camping.
After all that, we drove back to the resort and spent the night drinking at the side of the ocean, on a beach chair, and enjoyed the food at the Ecobar. Beer priced from RM10 to 25. Heineken for RM15
The next day we headed back to KL after a good night sleep. It’s worth mentioning that it ain’t easy finding beers on the roads of Malaysia.
Name : Ranting Beach Resort
Facility : Aircon Room, BBQ Area and Car Park
Price : 160 Per Night
Worth of Money
Name : Cherating Beach