How to Get from Kuala Lumpur to Cherating?

When most tourists land in Kuala Lumpur they usually arrive with the intention of sampling Malaysia’s delicious hawker foods and gazing up at the architecturally magnificent Petronas Towers.  After a few days of exploring Kuala Lumpur’s highlights like the Batu Caves and Petaling Street, tourists often head to Langkawi or another island for some fun under the sun.  Very few tourists, however, would consider surfing during their visit to peninsular Malaysia.

Cherating Beach in the early morning

Cherating Beach in the early morning

Surfing enthusiasts and those seeking lessons will be happy to hear that there is indeed a quiet surfing spot on the east coast of peninsular Malaysia that has nice waves from October until February. Cherating Beach is an ideal retreat for tourists and local Malaysians that want to relax in a laid back atmosphere.

During our recent trip to Cherating Beach we made an effort to find out the most up to date information about how to get from Kuala Lumpur to Cherating Surf Beach.

The Most Convenient Way

By Car

Naturally, the most convenient way to get from Kuala Lumpur to Cherating is by car. Renting a vehicle in Kuala Lumpur is relatively straightforward and it should cost you around 100 Malaysian Ringgits per day depending on your choice of vehicle. The drive should take anywhere from 3.5 hours (with no traffic and no stops) to 5 hours (with traffic and a stop or two). You may want to take a quick look at Kuantan along the way to Cherating.

The Cheapest Way

By Bus

During our trip to Cherating from Kuala Lumpur we decided to do it on a fairly strict budget. But, in the process we learnt from experience that there are benefits to doing your research beforehand. Since Cherating is a beachside town it does not have any major buses from Kuala Lumpur that terminate there, so you have to consider different options before you select the best route.

From Pekeliling Bus Station or Putra Bus Station

If you want to get to Cherating as quickly as possible via bus without seeing Kuantan along the way, then head to either Jalan Pekeliling where you will find Pekeliling Bus Terminal or to Chow Kit’s Putra Bus Terminal. Many bus companies make stops at both of these terminals to pick up passengers before they depart Kuala Lumpur. Look for a bus that goes to Kemaman.  The buses heading for Kemaman will typically stop for a food break and then stop at Kuantan’s Express Bus Terminal for roughly 30 minutes before travelling further north.  After the stop in Kuantan, be prepared to ask the bus driver to drop you off at Cherating Surf Beach along the way to Kemaman. It’s important that you ask the driver in advance because like I mentioned before, Cherating is a small beachside town along the highway. Once you get off the bus it’s only about a 5-10 minute walk to beachside accommodation choices. The bus company we travelled with is called Utama Ekspres.

The Utama Ekspres Bus waiting at Kuantan's Express Bus Terminal en route to Kuala Lumpur

The Utama Ekspres Bus waiting at Kuantan’s Express Bus Terminal en route to Kuala Lumpur

Travel Checklist: Do you have everything you need?

From Puduraya Bus Terminal (Pudu Sentral)

Another option to get to Cherating from Kuala Lumpur is to get a bus from Puduraya Bus Terminal to Kuantan and then connect up to Cherating. This was the route we took on our way to Cherating, but we would not recommend it unless you want to spend a few hours in Kuantan along the way.  Before our trip we read that it was rather straightforward to arrive at Kuantan’s Express Terminal and then catch a “local bus” north to Cherating.  This was not our experience. After we arrived at Kuantan’s Express Bus Terminal we asked all of the bus ticket agents for seats to Cherating and they all said that all of the buses were full.  We later assumed that they didn’t want us to take up seats because most people would be travelling all the way up north to Kuala Terengganu and Kota Bharu.

We then decided to take a public bus from Gate #1 of Kuantan’s Express Bus Terminal to central Kuantan where we were told public buses would go to Cherating.  This was not our experience either. All of the bus operators and everyone else we asked at the “local station” told us that there are no buses that go to Cherating from there.

This was the bus terminal in Kuantan where we were told to find a local bus to Cherating. It never arrived.

This was the bus terminal in Kuantan where we were told to find a local bus to Cherating. It never arrived.

Eventually, we made the decision to get a taxi from Kuantan to Cherating Beach which cost us 50 Malaysian Ringgits because we were tired of searching for the local bus.

To make a long story short here are our tips to get from Kuala Lumpur to Cherating:

  • Originate at Pekeliling or Putra Bus Station in Kuala Lumpur
  • Ask for a bus heading to Kemaman
  • Remember to ask the driver to let you off at “Cherating Surf Beach” where the best range of hotels are located.
  • Avoid connecting in Kuantan (unless you really want to see the city) because the local bus services are extremely unreliable to connect up to Cherating.
  • On the way back either buy a ticket at your guesthouse/hotel or wave down one of the private buses heading back to Pekeliling or Putra Bus Terminal.  We used Utama Ekspres on the way back to Kuala Lumpur from Cherating Beach. The photo below illustrates the pick-up point along the highway at Cherating to catch a bus back to Kuala Lumpur.
The drop of point to access Cherating Beach

The drop of point to access Cherating Beach

How to find the cheapest rooms near Cherating Beach?

We have travelled to Cherating on multiple occasions and there are three main sites that we have used for our bookings over the years: www.hotelscombined.com, www.agoda.com and www.booking.com. Of the three Agoda and Hotelscombined offer the best selection so they might be the best starting point.

Most of the accommodation choices around Cherating Beach are quite basic, so if you are looking for something relaxing and above average we would recommend Casa Titik. One of the best resorts in the area is Impiana Resort Cherating. Here are other top rated properties:

Top Rated Properties in Kuala Lumpur

Based on Verified Guest Reviews

Important: Mobile Users must swipe from left to right to see entire table.

Top Rated Properties in Cherating

Based on Verified Guest Reviews

Important: Mobile Users must swipe from left to right to see entire table.

Criteria:

  • Properties rated based on ‘overall’ review scores from each respective website’s verified guests.
  • Minimum of 50 verified guest reviews required to be considered eligible for comparison.
  • All star ratings and verified guest review scores are tallied at the time of writing, and therefore, are subject to change.

Since Cherating is a pretty low key spot, you don’t want to be too far from the beach in order to have access to restaurants and tourist amenities. Safe travels!

If you have any questions about our trip to Cherating Beach from Kuala Lumpur please feel free to comment below.

By | 2017-09-27T22:33:53+00:00 May 14th, 2014|21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. Ann-Sofie September 14, 2017 at 2:23 pm - Reply

    Great article, really helpfully. How much did the trip cost?

    • P.A. Cybulskie September 14, 2017 at 3:01 pm - Reply

      I am not sure about the actual cost of the bus ride, but it should be around 50 ringgit or less per person. The cost of the trip really depends on your choice of accommodation. When we there, we stayed at a guest house, so it was a fairly affordable weekend holiday. However, if you are traveling with a group and if you have a budget, I suggest you book a fairly decent resort. Cherating is a very quiet town with not much to do in the evening. You can spend as little as 100 USD for your trip for a couple of days or you can spend more really depending on what type of traveler/tourist you are…

  2. Jean November 16, 2016 at 10:49 pm - Reply

    Hi there!

    Is it the same way to get back to KL? Is it easy?

    Thank you!

    • P.A. Cybulskie November 21, 2016 at 8:52 pm - Reply

      Hi there… the information is at the end of the article. Some guesthouses sell tickets to private buses that head back to Pekeliling or Putra Bus Terminal. You can also head to the highway, and go to a waiting shed, and wait for the bus. We used Utama Ekspres on the way back to Kuala Lumpur from Cherating Beach. Ask your hotel or guesthouse, they can show where the waiting shed is.

  3. Anas June 30, 2016 at 12:57 pm - Reply

    we are a group of three friends (all boys) planning to go for a leisure trip for 4 days. Do you suggest that Cherating has much to offer? Kindly suggest.

  4. Anonymous May 16, 2016 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    How far is the walk from where the bus drops you to club med

  5. Indraneel November 13, 2015 at 1:11 pm - Reply

    Hi
    Is there any indian restaurants available in cherating?????????

    • chasingplaces March 29, 2016 at 11:59 am - Reply

      Hi, we did not notice any full Indian restaurants in Cherating, but perhaps if you drive into nearby towns, there will be mamaks

  6. Duane November 1, 2015 at 11:44 pm - Reply

    I had a spur of the moment decision just tonight to try to go to Cherating this weekend and your blog has been by far the most helpful and probably prevented what could have been a disaster for me. I plan on traveling solo and am considering staying in Payung as well. I am also planning on bringing along my longboard skateboard. Would you advise against it?

    • chasingplaces November 8, 2015 at 9:41 pm - Reply

      Hi Duane, you can definitely bring your own board if you have driving your own vehicle…

  7. Eden August 29, 2015 at 11:31 pm - Reply

    thanks for the information

    • chasingplaces September 8, 2015 at 1:28 pm - Reply

      You are welcome Eden…

  8. Ian Emerson June 30, 2015 at 10:31 am - Reply

    Hi Paula, the whole trip should take roughly 5-6 hours, depending on traffic. Thanks

  9. paula June 2, 2015 at 11:00 am - Reply

    Hello, I would like to do this trip, can you tell me how long it was from KL to Cherating Beach. Thanks Paula

  10. Ian Emmerson May 20, 2015 at 11:09 am - Reply

    Hi Carina, during our visit we stayed at Payung Guesthouse. Impiana Cherating Resort is just a few kilometers north (just off of the main road servicing the area). It's hard to predict exactly where the pick up point for the bus will be to get back to Kuantan from your resort, but I would assume that it isn't far from the turn off into your resort. It's a pretty rural area, so I would suggest that you ask the resort staff and they should be able to show you exactly where you should be to be picked up. In some cases the bus might even be able to get waved down. We got picked up approximately 100 meters away from where Sungai Cherating (Cherating River) intersects with the main road (Labeled (3) or (AH18) on Agoda's map feature. Thanks for your question…..cheers

  11. Carina Chai May 16, 2015 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    Hi. Thanks for the info. BTW, I would like to know is the pick up point near to Impiana Cherating Resort? Which resort you stayed previously? I would like to know the nearby landmark. Thank you 🙂

  12. Arun May 2, 2015 at 7:09 am - Reply

    The info was clear and very2 helpful… Thanx

  13. Maryjune April 8, 2015 at 9:08 am - Reply

    Hi! Thank you for the information. This was the most reliable info in the web so far. May i know where the exact location of the pick up point? any near landmark? I just saw a waiting shed at the pic. Any nearby resort on the pick up location? Thanks

    • chasingplaces April 13, 2015 at 11:44 pm - Reply

      Hi Maryjune, we sent you the reply to your email. kindly check thanks!

  14. Simon Jones May 14, 2014 at 8:36 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the info..cheers

    • Jon May 19, 2014 at 3:52 pm - Reply

      Just did this trip…very accurate information..thanks

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