This is part 2 of the Road Trip II – East Coast
We opted to check out Terengganu’s beaches by taking the coastal road from top to bottom, with only a short detour for the main town of Kuala Terengganu. This state is blessed with 244km of white sandy beaches, and more seaside paradise with its many famous islands.
Our first campsite was truly a blessing – we drove into Penarik Beach with no firm intentions other than it being located at the northern portion of Terengganu, and our first stop driving in from Kelantan.
We stumbled upon Penarik Inn (paradisepenarikinn.blogspot.com) at just the right time – the owners were to launch their new turtle gallery at their resort the next day. The initiative was done in collaboration with WWF-Malaysia to create greater awareness of the turtles and how we can make a difference to the critically endangered animals. There were also 2 groups of student bodies who were involved during the launch weekend.
Just needing a night stay, we ended up with a warm simple dinner, night talk on the turtle conservation efforts with the students and being part of the turtle gallery launch ceremony the next morning. And not forgetting our sudden early morning wake-up call to witness some of the students replanting mangrove trees as part of the Setiu Wetlands rehabilitation. This is a project done in collaboration with Pewanis, body to empower the local kampong women through economic activities.
More info on Setiu Wetlands
(Camp inside Penarik Inn – perfect place with the beach right in front)
(Group of students helping with replanting some mangrove plants at Setiu Wetlands)
We even chanced upon a boutique hotel here called Terrapuri Heritage Village (www.terrapuri.com), where the owner has collected 29 Terrengganu Classic Malay houses. Part conservation program, the owner has opened the place for the public to enjoy and savour. Unfortunately we didn’t get the chance to see much of it because they were hosting a big group of students that day.
Our next beach stop was Kemasik Beach, which was beautifully highlighted by the sunset colours when we arrived. We intended to camp here, and benefitted from the public toilets which had clean decent showers. Even enjoyed some delights during the Sunday “pasar malam” (night market) where we sampled more nasi kerabu, grilled fish with spicy sauce and akok (local sweet dessert / kuih).
(Kemasik Beach basking in the sunset colors)
However the beach was too open to public, and was still visited by many local residents in their motorbikes and cars even after 10pm (probably more so because it was a Sunday night). So for safety sake, we packed up and ended up camping within the grounds of a resort on Cherating Beach.
Personally will recommend camping on the beaches further north, such as Penarik Beach, as it is further away from the bigger towns and civilization. Most of the beaches will have toilet facilities with showers to clean up.