cherating village

Before we start on what to do in Cherating village, a small clarification; ‘Cherating‘ is actually made up of Old Cherating, and Cherating Beach. The latter is the tourist destination, and to which we refer in this article.

WHERE IS CHERATING village?

Cherating is located in the Pahang region, on the southwest coast of the Malaysian peninsula. It is a tiny beach town on the Cherating river, just under 50km north of Kuantan, and if you read Cherating travel blog, you’ll know we loved it (despite a bit of an ordeal to get there). A few hours on the bus from Kuala Lumpur, it’s well known for having Club Med Cherating; the first beach resort of it’s kind in the area, but there’s more top Cherating things to do than just it’s hotels and beach club. 

CHERATING ATTTRACTIONS: what to do in cherating village

cherating beach

The palm-lined beach at Cherating is wide, sandy, and beautiful. If you’re wondering about what to do in Cherating village, this has to be your first stop Cherating activities.
Big enough to never be busy, with warm water for paddling or just walking along barefooted. For families, you can be comfortable with the children splashing in the sea, given that it’s very shallow until you get quite far out.
The ocean floor is sandy with no rocks to injure. The shade under the trees provides respite from the sun.
For couples, it’s a beautiful place to take off your shoes and walk along the shore as the sun sets. And whether you’re five or fifty, everybody will delight in watching the tiny crabs burrow into the sand as you walk towards them. For us, this was THE best thing to do in Cherating village. Plus there are lots of Cherating beach activities going on.
There ARE jellyfish to watch for, but there are a few sandbanks before you get out to the ocean proper, so you need to go quite far out to find some.
If you’re hungry, there’s Don’t Tell Mama’s Eco Bar (a favourite haunt round here) selling passable food, and there’s a small establishment nearby selling a range of breakfasts each day

FIREFLY RIVER CRUISE: tripadvisors best thing to do in cherating

Wondering what to do in Cherating at night? Go see Hafiz! Hafiz is well-known round these parts, and he runs the activity centre bearing his name. The centre offers two excursions: the daytime river cruise, and the nighttime firefly cruise.
Arriving in the evening, you will encounter a professional operation, and an assistant will find you an appropriately-sized lifejacket and you take your place in the ‘briefing room’, where Hafiz passionately tells you about the fireflies, before heading out on the river in the darkness.
You will have fireflies surround you in their hundreds; a magical experience for adults and children alike.
The fireflies are beautiful, Hafiz is an attraction in himself, and even just being out on the river at night time is great fun.
Two cruises leave each night, one at 730pm and the other at 830pm, and costs 35RM for adults and 25RM for children. Tickets can be bought directly from the activity centre. Booking is highly advised as these trips are very popular.

daytime RIVER CRUISE

Nature is a big part of the best things to do in Cherating, a theme that continues with the daytime cruise. Run by Hafiz’s activity centre (the same place as the firefly tour), you can also go out on a daytime boat trip. Expert guides are skilled in taking visitors to where you can see a variety of animals, including brightly-coloured birds, monitor lizards, and even snakes!
There are two cruises each day, one in the morning, and one in the afternoon, and they can be booked from the activity centre

hire a kayak

If you’d like a more tranquil trip on the river than in the noisier group tours, there’s always the option of hiring a kayak from one of the many places in the village, and setting out on your own.
Although you may miss out on a lot of the wildlife which may be pointed out by the guide on the river cruise, you will have a lot more peace and quiet, and it’s cheaper than the river cruise, too!

eat delicious, well-priced food

What to do in Cherating when you’re hungry? You eat! There’s a few options for food in Cherating, and while we enjoyed the Duyong Chinese restaurant, the unnamed restaurant on the main street (opposite the hairdresser) is the place to be.
Buffet-style has never been so good. You enter the restaurant (no table service here!), and request a plate or rice, which is dished out for you. Then, help yourself to one of the 6 or so offerings in the bain marie. Most items are spicy, but there’s usually at least one thing which is mild.
The staff will take a drinks order, you take a seat, and they will return at some point to note what you’ve had.
Two particular favourites of ours are the spicy sweet chilli sauce drenched chicken thighs, and the fried chicken. Perfectly cooked, and the sweet chilli chicken has a lovely level of spice. Drinks wise, the children enjoyed the mango juice, freshly made to order. Colin’s drink of choice is the superb cocounut shake. A thing of great wonder, it’s coconut juice, crushed ice, ice cream, and topped with some sweet milk. Superb, and incredible refreshing.
Expect two adults and two children to eat for 30-40RM. A bargain.

CHECK OUT THE HANDCRAFTED GOODS

It’s not just outdoor activities that make up the list of top Cherating attractions. No What To Do In Cherating list would be complete without a visit to one of the boutiques in Cherating selling   examples of batik art. Batik is a process of applying paint and wax to material to create beautiful, traditional patterns. You can even do a course in batik inexpensively, where you will leave with a small item which you have decorated yourself!
It’s more than just batik though, with the craft shops in the village selling ornate kites, woodworkings, tie-dye tshirts, and pottery, all hand-crafted here.

water sports

Both along the beach, and in the village, are placed to hire equipment for- and book lessons to learn windsurfing, surfing, yachting, snorkelling, and more.
Surfing is only possibly in monsoon season (November and December).

atv ride

Looking for an adrenaline hit? Why not hire an all terrain vehicle (ATV, essentially a quad bike) and take a trip across the beach and beyond, seeing the village from a new perspective?
You can hire these from the shack on the beach, near the Surf Shack.

watch the locals

There’s so much wildlife to see in that it’s hard to pick a favourite, but it’s an easy one for us to say that wildlife spotting is certainly up there with the best of what to do in Cherating. If you’ve got children, you could even make them a little list of animals to spot; wildlife bingo, if you will.
Watch the monkeys as the travel en masse along the road and telephone cables, stopping at the mango trees to snack and play. See the hens and cockerels peck around the streets.
Squirrels run along the tree branches, lizards are….well, everywhere, cats and kittens by the bucketload. If you’re lucky, you’ll see a snake. And that’s not even mentioning the wildlife down by the sea: hermit crabs from a few millimetres long to ones the size of a child’s fist, many varieties of tiny fish swimming round your feet, and those inumerable tiny burrowing crabs.
The favourite for us though, was the monitor lizard. Watch out for them as they slink into the gutters at the side of the road. The move slowly and are truly prehistoric in appearance, especially striking given they are often over 1 metre long!

NB cherating TURTLE SANCTUARY: NOT RECOMMENDED

Another often-recommended attraction in Cherating is the turtle sanctuary, where visitors can observe turtles on the beach as the come ashore to lay eggs. We have had reports that this is an extremely irresponsibly-managed excursion. The Cherating Turtle Sanctuary trips are often very large in number, and visitors are encouraged to touch the turtle, take photos at extremely close proximity, and generally harass and spook the turtles at this delicate time. One report told us how the guide smoked during the encounter, then discarded the used butt on the sand afterwards. We cannot in good faith recommend such an excursion as a Cherating attraction.

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