Cherating – Malaysia’s Surfers Paradise

As the northeast trade winds blow across the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia in October creating impressive swells, the laidback coastal town of Cherating in Pahang lures wave riders from across the world.

Cherating’s surf scene emerged in the 1990s and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Pahang (MOTAC) has been developing it ever since by organising regional tournaments, as well as big surf events like Cherating International Surfing Competition. Today, Cherating is home to a local
surfing community and attracts enthusiasts from around the world.

Ombok Cafe is a rustic beachside hangout, especially popular with the local surfing community. On the menu are simple dishes like avocado salad, tuna cheese toasties and fish and chips, alongside caffeinated beverages and smoothies. The bohemian character of this eatery is a reflection of the seasoned surfers who helm the cafe and offer surfing lessons on demand. Image: Chew Win Win
With its warm cobalt waters, pristine beaches and lush greenery, Cherating is a fun escape all year long. Image: Chew Win Win

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At sunset, locals often head to the beach to enjoy the evening breeze. In fact, at Cherating Beach Bar, a popular watering hole, it is common to find revellers sitting around a crackling bonfire while enjoying an evening tipple or two and making merry way into the night. Image: Chew Win Win
Many stalwarts of the local surf scene live in the quaint kampungs (villages) scattered across Cherating and can often be seen taking trails through emerald foliage to the beach, surfboard in hand. The laid-back atmosphere of the kampung makes for a relaxing holiday, and many homestays can be found in this idyllic setting. Image: Chew Win Win
Although the monsoon season sees many island resorts close their doors, this is the perfect time for surfing in Cherating. The long left point break waves at Cherating Point are truly fun to surf, especially during low tide. Image: Chew Win Win

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Cherating’s waves are great for beginners as they are consistent when it comes to size. The best time to surf is during the Northeast Monsoon season (October to March). For years, surfers from Australia, Asia and Europe have been making a beeline for spots like Cherating Surf Point and Pelindung Beach to ride 4.5-foot swells and glide along 500-metre point breaks. Image: Nik Ahmad Fahmi
Cherating’s pristine beaches are perfect for tropical picnics complete with salty sea breeze and fresh coconut water. The stretches here owe their immaculate condition to weekly beach
cleanup activities by Trash Hero Cherating, an NGO that pioneers sustainable, community-based projects to remove and reduce waste, and inspire long-term behaviour change. Image: Chew Win Win
Ombok Cafe’s Red Velvet muffin is must-have when in Cherating. The café also carries Kula Cakes Kuantan’s mango cheesecake, which is a bestseller. Cherating is also known for its tiki bars and eateries like Intan Seafood Restaurant and Payung Cafe. Image: Chew Win Win
Throughout the year, the average temperature in Cherating rests between 29 to 31 degrees Celsius, making it a true tropical beach destination, perfect for playful romps under the sun. Image: Chew Win Win

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Written by Adrian Balachandran

When he's not swamped by columns and emails, you'll find Adrian clangin'-and-a-bangin' at the gym. Unless it's a Friday; he'll probably be sipping on a crisp Guinness while enjoying some live music.

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