Cherating Beach from Kuala Terengganu via Lake Kenyir and Cukai – 350kms+
If it’s a public holiday, like the 5 day public holiday for Chinese New Year, book a room ahead, as Cherating Beach gets ramma-jamma and you may find yourself on the streets with nowhere to stay as day turns to night and sun to rain…then you may have to double back in the rain to the shitty town (Cukai) you passed half and hour ago, before you find a hotel that doesn’t have a “full house” sign. Book ahead. Makes sense really.
This stretch of road seems to have more than its fair share of dud roads and potholes which are, literally, a pain in the ass. Hitting a big hole at 50kms launched me in the air and the contents of my shirt pocket (my iPhone) and the contents on my unlocked rear box (my sunglasses among other things) over the 2 lane highway. Luckily, by having to avoid me in the middle of the road collecting my stuff, the cars following managed to also miss my iPhone which survived with only a cracked screen. The sunnies, however, I stood on whilst picking up my phone…
Cherating Beach is a pretty laid back sort of beach town with a couple of beach bars, small shops and a load of low/mid range bungalows filled mostly with tourists from Malaysia and Singapore and a few errant hippies thrown in too. Surf can get good but it’s a bit hit or miss and right now it’s mostly miss.
Apart from riding your scooter on the beach (which seems to be the done thing and is fun until you fall off) there are river tours to see fireflies, a turtle sanctuary, kayaking and the first real bars on the east coast heading south from Kota Bharu, so detox time is done and dusted for another 20 years and i’m off for a beer.