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

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:

Here are the Top Rated Properties in Cherating

Results are Based on Verified Guest Reviews

Star/Budget Range Hotel Provider 1 Hotel Provider 2
Agoda.com (Cherating)  Booking.com (Cherating)
5 stars/Luxury Eastern Pavillion Boutique Resort & Spa Cherating (7.0/10) No 5-star Properties Listed
4 stars/Comfort Holiday Homes at Samsuria Resort (9.2/10) Holiday Homes at Samsuria Resort (9.2/10)
3 stars/Mid-range Casa Titik (8.3/10) Residence Inn Cherating (7.4/10)
2 stars/Budget No 2-star Properties Listed Eastana Cherating Beach Resort (5.8/10)
1 star/Strict Budget No 1-star Properties Listed No 1-star Properties Listed
  Compare all room prices in Cherating using www.agoda.com Compare all room prices in Cherating using www.booking.com

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.