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Cherating

This popular stretch of coast on the eastern edge of Peninsula Malaysia was chosen by Club Med as the site for their first Asian outpost. Happily, this did not signal the end of Cherating as a sleepy fishing village, and the town is still as unhurried today as it ever was, even if it is one of the favorite beach getaways for neighboring Kuantan locals. Beaches are wide, clean and perfect for families – the occasional bar, chalet or bungalow dotting the sand.

Cherating's laidback atmosphere and inexpensive accommodation have made it a popular beach getaway for backpackers and domestic tourists. The most sought-after resorts are on the beach, surrounded by palm trees with long stretches of sand at their disposal.

Not that visitors to Cherating will want to leave the beach for long, but there are a few pursuits on offer that might tempt travelers from their sun bed. One of the most unique is the turtle sanctuary next to Club Med. Established to protect the dwindling number of leatherback turtles that lay their eggs on Malaysia's beaches, visitors to the sanctuary can learn about the turtles' life-cycle and even watch them come ashore to lay eggs (May – July). Visitors can also take part in a night program that releases hatchlings into the sea.

Balok Beach, just south of Cherating Beach, is similarly clean and picturesque. Here, the more intrepid traveler can take advantage of the gusty south easterly winds and do some windsurfing, sailing or kite-boarding. Fifteen kilometers inland is the city of Kuantan, the sixth largest in Malaysia, with a set of attractions and activities for the city slickers - mega malls, mosques and cinemas among them.

Pulau Ular – Snake Island – is just off Cherating and discoverable by local charter boat. Another water-based expedition is possible up the Cherating River where travelers can spot monkeys, lizards and fireflies.

For more information on hotels and landmarks in the different areas of Cherating, click on the interactive Cherating map on the left-hand side of the page.