My family has spent a vacation in Cherating, Pahang recently. It is a nice getaway place at East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia for urban person to take a look at the beauty of nature in the rural part of the country.
We stayed at The Legend Resort, which has an average outlook, but pretty modernly renovated rooms. From the number plate of the cars parked there, it is observed that majority of its guest are from urban area especially Klang Valley.
We booked our room from Internet. We've browsed through the famous hotel reservation websites and group coupon websites, and surprisingly found out that the cheapest rate we could get is actually from the hotel's official website! We stayed at Grand Deluxe Seaview room at the price of RM2xx per night only, and the seaview (photo taken from balcony of the room) is quite nice.
The Legend in Cherating has large swimming pools, as well as long sandy beach. There are many small crabs on the beach...
... and we are warned that there are jelly fishes in the sea. We saw some dead jelly fishes on the shore.
The food in hotel's restaurant is expectingly expensive, and there are many nice and cheap Malay food around, and a Chinese restaurant right at the junction where you turn in from the main road to a small road leading to The Legend Cherating.
In a small village several kilometers at the North of The Legend, there is one Hafiz's Cherating Activities which provides one-stop sight-seeing service around Cherating. To look for En. Hafiz, locate for this signboard in the village.
That night, we've gone for fireflies watching trip and also turtle watching trip.
En. Hafiz is a friendly and nice person who is very knowledgeable about the Cherating River and the Mangrove Forest Researve area along the river. The fireflies are residing in the mangrove forest. Before we got on the boat to watch the fireflies, Hafiz has done a presentation about the information of fireflies, their habitats, life cycle, etc.
Hafiz has learnt a tactic to attract the fireflies to fly near to us by using small torchlights to imitate the fireflies' communication signal. It is really a fantasy experience to have hundreds of fireflies coming to us from the mangrove trees at the river side, and later send them back to the trees. However, use of camera and handphone is forbidden as the light from the device will disturb and cause annoyance to the fireflies, so no photo taken during this amazing trip.
The turtle watching trip was guided by rangers from the Cherating Turtle Sanctuary. The location was at an open beach near Kemaman, some distance away from Cherating village.
When we reached there, a turtle was half-way laying eggs in a hole it digged. It is a green turtle and its egg is about the size of ping pong ball.
That turtle laid 137 eggs that night. It burried the eggs, and the rangers digged them out to bring to the sanctuary for hatching.
The yellow one is actually a ping pong ball brought by the ranger for explanation purpose.
The rangers brought along 3 baskets of 1 day-old baby turtles (about 200 of them) for us to release to the sea.
Off they gone into the sea, remembering this seashore. They will come back years after, when they grown up later, to reproduce and lay eggs at the same beach where they left that night. However, most of the turtles might not be able to survive due to predators and natural challenges in the sea.
We have gone to the Turtle Sanctuary the next day. It is located next to Club Med Cherating. There are 2 adult turtles there, and several small turtles.
The next day, we actually planned to go for snorkelling trip to Snake Island with Hafiz, but we missed the time.
We gone back to Cherating River in Hafiz's day-time mangrove river cruise that evening. It is the same river we watched the fireflies the night before.
During the cruise, we also travelled into a branched small river, where many small animals can be seen.
The crabs in the mangrove forest are very colourful. We saw red and blue crabs there.
During the 2 hours river cruise, beside the crabs, we also encountered with monitor lizards, mud suckers, monkeys, snakes, birds, insects, etc. It was really a nice experience.
On the way back from Cherating, we've visited Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary near Temerloh, hundred over kilometers away. It is located at the end of a small village, quite some distance away from the main road.
After the retreat, now we are back to urban life. I think we shall revisit Cherating again in the future. It is a wonderful place.