For residents of Malaysian East Coast towns such as Chukai and Kuantan, Cherating Beach is a popular weekend getaway destination. Here, you can enjoy a picnic with your family, take a cool dip in the sea, or try a wide array of water sports such as jet skiing. If you stay at Club Med Cherating, you can even learn to sail on a small catamaran and partake in many other activities available at the resort.
For a unique experience, you can try your hand at surfing as Cherating is one of the top surfing beaches in Malaysia. In fact, surfers from around the world visit Cherating each year for the annual Malaysian Surfing Competition held here.
Turtles are an important part of Malaysia's marine ecosystem, especially on the East Coast. In fact, Cherating is one of a handful of turtle nesting grounds around the country. The Cherating Turtle Sanctuary was established in 1972 as a hatchery to protect the sea turtle population in Malaysia. Here, you can learn about the various local turtle species and see baby turtles in the hatchery. During peak nesting season from June to October, you can even help the rangers release baby turtles back into the sea.
The Cherating River runs through a diverse mangrove forest. There are two main cruises available on the river: the mangrove river cruise in the daytime and the firefly river cruise after dark. On the mangrove river cruise, you'll get to enjoy a serene boat ride down the river while learning about the local ecosystem.
You'll also get to see exciting wildlife including otters, monkeys, snakes, crabs, and even eagles. On the firefly river cruise, you can see hundreds of fireflies lighting up the forest in the dark, and even have them fly right up to you and your boat.
For a glimpse into the local villages around Cherating, you can visit a nearby kampung and see what it's like to live in a local coastal village. While you're there, you can even sample some authentic kampung cooking. Besides getting a taste of some kampung hospitality, why not visit the Cherating night market? There are a number of night markets nearby which open on different days and they sell delicious east coast meals, snacks, and every other item you'd expect to find at a night market.