The average trip to Malaysia normally involves some Borneo jungle trekking, nasi kandar overload and getting lost in the sprawling metropolises of colour and smell. But something that you may not have considered are the waves!
Last week, a quick message from a friend of a friend let me in on a little secret; “it’s on. There’s waves in Cherating”.
Scrambling to get there we transited down via taxi and bus to find a fun little left ideal for longboards or a chunky fish.
Chetaring is a sandy bottom break tucked in beside a high, craggy point. It’s position makes the spot a perfect place to have a leisurely slide but with enough kick to keep you going.
Locals say if you catch the break on a day with a bit of swell the rides can last up to a minute of cruisy goofy foot bliss, carrying you right down the bay.
(Wish we got pics of the waves but I was too busy surfing!) Check this vid to get a bit of an idea of the wave.
The sleepy little surf village is in its tourism infancy in comparison to its South-East Asian neighbours. You will see only a few foreigners in the lineup and will be joined by cheerful locals and the occasional surf school. Be prepared for a party wave or two!
You will be able to find cheap bungalow style accommodation along the main strip and some quirky gems for food and an afternoon beverage. After a surf I recommend saying “selamat patang” to the charismatic Mazlam at Chetaring Beach Bar and enjoy some cold beer and a game of cards.
And before you leave be sure to squeeze in a sunset surf and watch the shades of pink fall over the South China Sea. You will get the wave all to yourself (but perhaps have some local fisherman spectating on the point) 😉 !
Some tips for your trip:
- The Malaysian monsoon season stretches from November to February with the waves hitting the east coast from December to early March.
- To get from Kuala Lumpur you can get a bus to either Kemaman or Kuantan. From Kemaman there are connecting local buses or you can arrange a taxi from Kuantan. Kuantan buses go more regularly and you will be introduced to the luxury that is Malaysian public transport.
- In the peak season (December to January) I’d recommend booking in advance, as we had to trek a little up and down the road to find an available room within our price range.