As a resort town, it’s easy to think of Cherating as your usual beach destination. Indeed, Cherating is the location of the very first Club Med in Asia. This exclusive resort offers luxurious holiday packages all year long, complete with well-appointed rooms with gorgeous views, a wide array of activities, and gourmet meals.
However, there’s more to Cherating than just touristy beaches. Check out this quick list of must-do’s that will make you want to look for Cherating tour packages and explore this coastal town.
Visit the Turtle Sanctuary
For eco-tourists, one of the best destinations in Cherating is the Turtle Sanctuary. It’s conveniently located near Club Med, so it won’t be difficult to find. You can visit any time of the year, although the best months to go would be between April and August. This is when the turtles go to the beach to lay their eggs. Once the baby turtles are hatched, they stay in the sanctuary for three years and then get released back into the ocean from June to September. You can also call 2 weeks in advance if you want to volunteer, so they can make necessary preparations to accommodate you.
Aside from watching the turtles lay their eggs and seeing the young turtles being sent back out to sea, you can also learn more about these gentle creatures at the Turtle Sanctuary. They have a showroom with displays and information about turtles, which also highlights efforts to protect the endangered leatherback sea turtle.
Go on a Cherating River Tour
Cherating is famous for its beaches but there’s a different body of water that’s a must-visit in the area: Cherating River. The boating tours only last about two hours, taking you to see a variety of animals residing in and near the river. Some of these animals include birds, lizards, monkeys, and snakes. The best tour to get, though, is the one held in the evening. This will take you through the mangrove forests, where thousands of fireflies appear at dusk. The night tour takes about an hour, and this magical excursion is a perfect way to cap off your explorations in Cherating.
Make Your Own Batik Patterns at Limbong Art
For arts and culture enthusiasts, Limbong Art is a great place to visit. Limbong Art is a batik-making boutique and workshop. As a local tradition of wax-resist dyeing, batik-making can create beautiful patterns and can be applied on different textiles and fabrics. At Limbong Art, you can see how batik is made and learn the techniques in applying the paint and wax to the fabric. There’s also a mini course where you can personally try making a batik sarong or handkerchief for a truly unique souvenir. It’s an ideal activity for the whole family! If you want to buy more batik creations and other items like tie-dye shirts, you can also head on over to the Limbong Art souvenir store.
Chill Out at Cherating Beach
A trip to Cherating isn’t complete without visiting Cherating Beach. It’s admittedly not as popular as other white sand beaches in Malaysia, but this can come with its own benefits. After all, the lower number of tourists even during the peak seasons means you can have a more peaceful vacation. If you love surfing, Cherating Beach also has great swells. But no matter what activity you choose, you should remember to watch out for jellyfish since these are quite common in the area. Still, with a long stretch of beach that rarely gets crowded, Cherating is a great place for a relaxing beach vacation in relative privacy.
Explore the Charah Caves and Panching Cave
Located to the southwest of Cherating are the Charah Caves. This cave complex is composed of eight separate areas and covers about 92 hectares. One of the caves in the complex is Gua Gelap, which was discovered by a monk in the 1950s. Interestingly, the hills and rock formations that surround Gua Gelap have various unique shapes that are said to be used by sailors who navigate the area. The Charah Cave network is a popular pilgrimage site for Buddhists, so you might feel a sort of mystical vibe while inside.
You should also pay a visit to the Panching Cave, a limestone cave that you can find along the road to the Charah Caves. The best time to visit is during the afternoon, when the sun shines and passes through the hole in the roof and lights up the surroundings. Panching Cave also has a reclining Buddha statue inside, which pilgrims also come to visit.
Cherating might not be your usual Malaysian tourist destination, but it’s certainly charming in its own way. From the friendly locals to the community’s overall laid-back way of life, you’ll definitely want to visit Cherating for a more unique and relaxing holiday away from crowds of tourists.