Tanjung Inn: The Best Chalet in Cherating
Visit the Tanjung Inn Chalets in Cherating, Malaysia
If you would like a holiday with a difference, and prefer not to stay in an impersonal hotel chain with hundreds or thousands of other holiday makers, let me introduce you to what is in my opinion the best chalet in Cherating: The Tanjung Inn.
In reality we got a room within a few steps of the white sand beach, peace and quiet and a succession of surprise animal visitors that made our holiday even more special.
Cherating was meant to be the third stop on a four destination road trip of Malaysia but it ended up being the last because we loved it that much and stayed.
Just in case you are interested, we drove from Penang to the Cameron Highlands for the cooler climate hill stations have to offer. From there we went to Kuala Lumpur, for a shopping fix (Debenhams and Ikea). Next stop was Cherating, and our final stop in Terengganu, a place we had previously visited, was cancelled. This meant a gruelling eight hour drive from Cherating to Penang at the end of our holiday!
Let me share with you our experience at the Tanjung Inn in Cherating, and find out what animals we were lucky enough to see.
Most of the photographs in this article are the property of Casa Cicak. Please do not reproduce.
Where is Cherating?
Cherating, an east coast Malaysian paradise.
Cherating is situated on the coast in the Malaysian state of Pahang, which covers a huge area in the central area of the country, 174 miles ( 280 kilometers) north west of the capital city of Kuala Lumpur.
If you drive from Kuala Lumpur, east towards Kuantan and then head north towards Terengganu, along the Expressway, the country side will whiz past at a twenty first century speed.
But, when you eventually exit the Expressway, you will feel like you have taken a step back in time, to a slower and more rural Malaysia, where the palm trees sway to the beat of the sea breeze, cows meander aimlessly at the side of the road, and no-one seems to have a care in the world.
Cherating is most definitely on the map....
The Tanjung Inn
Traditional chalets adjacent to the beach
When you reach Cherating and drive along Main Street, the road that runs parallel to the beach, you will wonder if the place is really worthy of a visit, but don't be put off - first appearances can be deceptive.
Carry on along the road and you will soon come to a little known gem on your left hand side, nestled between the road and the beach.
Welcome to the Tanjung Inn.
Here you will find wooden chalets built around a central lake.
Pictured above are the pair of chalets closest to the beach, the right hand one of which was our dream destination.
Cherating and the Tanjung Inn
The First Animal Visitor
The Resident Cat
We parked our car and walked the short distance to our chalet.
We had opted for a slightly more expensive air conditioned room, and this is a "luxury" that I would definitely recommend.
At sea level in Malaysia it is very humid, and although the chalets are built from wood, in the traditional Malay style, if you are not accustomed to the tropical heat you will soon wilt. And even if you are used to living in an area of high humidity, it is bliss to return to an ice cold room at the end of a hot sticky day.
Waiting for us on the verandah was a cat, who was very friendly and more than willing to come into our room and check for mice!!
Did you spot anything odd about the cat?
In Malaysia most cats have very short stumpy or non existent tails. This is nothing to do with people harming them, but is a genetic mutation.
I have to say that we did not see any mice, or cockroaches, but you have to expect these kinds of visitors when staying in rural Malaysia. We did however get at least a couple of resident cicaks, the small house geckos that do a fantastic job of keeping the insect population down.
You might not see cicaks, as they are nocturnal and love to hide behind pictures on the wall, or other dark and secure places, but you will certainly hear them. They make a loud clicking noise, the volume of which is totally out of proportion to the size of their body.
The picture below shows a cicak that decided the rear windscreen of my car was a good place to sit and relax!
The Tanjung Inn is what you would expect for a budget priced room in terms of facilities inside the room, but the gardens and close proximity to the beach more than make up for that.
I foolishly forgot to take any interior photos, but if you click on the Agoda website you can see what the chalets look like inside.
The rooms have a basic TV, wifi is available in the main reception area and there was no fridge in our room or tea and coffee making facilities. You will have a choice of a room with a fan or for an extra charge an air con room.
These chalets are basic. If you prefer all your luxuries then you would be better of looking at one of the hotels in the area. What you are getting here is peace and tranquillity a stone's throw from the beach.
Breakfast is included in the price, although we did not partake of it, preferring to relax in a morning then venture out for brunch. Travelling by car, and not being restrained by a luggage allowance, we did take a kettle with us, travel cafetiere mugs, a coffee grinder and Tesco's finest coffee beans - the perfect start to a days chillaxing.
Look What Landed On Our Roof!
An unexpected visitor
After we spent a very relaxing first day and night in our room we spent the following day lying on the teak sun loungers topping up our tan and catching up on some holiday reading.
Although it has been said that only
"Mad dogs and English men go out in the midday sun" (Noel Coward)
we had lived in the tropics long enough to know to keep out of the noon heat.
Retiring to our air-con chilled room for a siesta, we were awoken by an almighty crashing sound!
Feeling brave (as it was still light) I ventured outside to see what the commotion was but could not see anything.
Then I looked up, and found myself staring into the eyes of a dusky leaf monkey, or spectacled langur, perched a mere six feet above my head.
I shut the door quickly while I worked out what to do next.
The obvious solution was to reach for my camera!
Living in Penang we were used to seeing monkeys every day, in our condo gardens, straddling the phone wires on the drive to work, cheekily asking for food at the side of the paths in the Botanical Gardens, but never had I stumbled across a monkey in such close proximity, and I don't think we got this particular breed of monkey at home.
The monkey got braver and climbed down to the side of the verandah, nonchalantly placing a hand on the patio chair.
At this point I figured that he was maybe a little close for comfort, and not wanting to try to extricate a monkey from our room, I retreated inside and closed the door.
That evening after dark, as we walked out to get dinner, we found out what the earlier crashing sound had been.
As we walked past our chalet I stumbled over what I thought was a stone and suddenly screamed as it felt like millions of needles were being stuck in my foot.
It turned out the monkey had dislodged a roof tile, which had fallen to the ground and as I tripped it released thousands of biting ants that had been hidden underneath!
Watch the Playful Dusky Leaf Monkeys
A Little Chap Came Ambling By
An Olive Ridley Turtle
After all the excitement of the monkey visitor we were not expecting any more animal visitors.
Next day, as we sat on our verandah, Senor Cicak glanced up from his book and did a double take as the grass appeared to be moving.
Looking closer he realised it was a turtle, slowly ambling from the direction of the beach towards the large pond that lies at the center of the chalets.
Every so often it would stop and retreat back inside its shell, and if you hadn't been watching its progress you could have mistaken it for a rock.
Again, we had never been lucky enough to see a fully grown turtle at such close proximity, and felt humbled to get the opportunity to see what we later discovered was an Olive Ridley Turtle.
If you look at the turtle in the photo it is obvious where it got its name from, as the shell is an olive green color.
Out of all the species of marine turtles this one is the smallest and it can also be found in the greatest numbers.
Unfortunately this does not mean that this turtle is safe from extinction, as they only nest at a few sites, which places their existence at a huge risk if their nesting sites become disturbed.
A Reptile Guest
A Monitor Lizard
Having stayed two nights at the Tanjung Inn we had planned to venture northwards to Terengganu, on the last stop in our four destination road trip.
Having enjoyed our two nights in Cherating so much we decided to cancel the Terangganu leg of the journey and stay some extra nights in our chalet.
Later that day we got our fourth, and last animal visitor, a native reptile of Malaysia called a monitor lizard
I was taking advantage of the cooling sea breeze and was once again relaxing on a sun lounger when I heard a rustle in the grass and out of the corner of my eye I spotted a monitor lizard strolling by.
If you have never seen a monitor lizard they are magnificent creatures.
Resembling an alligator, this one was probably close to six feet long to the tip of its long tail, and as they are carnivorous you would probably not want to risk getting to close. I wouldn't fancy being bitten by one.
I had seen monitor lizards before, swimming in the sea in Penang, living in the monsoon drains, and along the river in Melaka, but never close up like this.
Once it had passed, I rushed to get my camera and then spent a few minutes trying to find where it had disappeared to - not an easy feat for something so big.
As I approached the mini lake I saw a ripple in the water, and there it was, swimming across to the island at its center.
My photos really don't do this reptile justice, but trust me when I say that it truly was magnificent, and just a tiny bit scary!
If you have, tell me where and whether you enjoyed it!
Have you ever visited Malaysia?
Things To See And Do In And Around Cherating
When you have had enough of lying on the teak sun loungers, listening to the waves of the South China Sea lapping the shore, what is there to see and do in and around Cherating?
If you want to visit a city, then the nearest is Pahang's state capital, Kuantan.
Built at the mouth of the Kuantan river and facing out towards the South China Sea, Kuantan has some interesting sites to visit.
The photograph above is of the state mosque, which is easily the most impressive in the whole of eastern Malaysia and is instantly recognisable by its domed roof and pale green and blue color scheme. The mosque faces the padang (open grassed area like a village green) and is an area of town well worth a visit.
360 Degree View of Kuantan Padang
Cherating has become famous for its surfing and hosts the annual East Coast Surf Contest.
Kite surfing is also popular in east coast Malaysia.
Surfing takes place during the monsoon season, which lasts from November to March, when it would normally not be recommended to visit East Coast Malaysia.
Watch the Surfing in Cherating
Natural Batik Village
Batik is a type of decorated fabric that originates in Malaysia and Indonesia and you can visit the Natural Batik Village
It involves a pattern being painted onto the fabric with hot wax. The fabric is then dyed and the wax washed away to leave the pattern.
The photo above is of some turtle patterned batik fabric that I bought when I visited the village.
As well as fabric the village also has local souvenirs for sale.
Photo Credit: Casa Cicak, do not reproduce
Turtles are an endagered species, with their nesting sites often dug up for the valuable eggs, either by predatory monitor lizards or humans.
In Cherating you can visit the Pahang Turtle Sanctuary which is situated on Pantai Chendor (Chendor Beach), right next to the Club Med resort.
Pahang Turtle Sanctuary
The aptly named Cherating river runs through Cherating.
You can take a daytime tour to see the mangrove forests, lasting about one and a half hours.
Alternatively you can take an evening river trip to see the illuminating fireflies.
Both of these tours can be booked through one of the many tour operators in Cherating, or if you are staying at a larger hotel they will have tours advertised.Photo Credit: Casa Cicak, do not reproduce
Mangrove River Tour in Cherating
When Is The Best Time To Visit?
Malaysian weather is defined by two monsoon seasons: the Southwest Monsoon lasts from the latter part of May until September, bringing drier weather whilst the Northeast Monsoon lasts from November until March bringing torrential rains and floods.
In effect this means that Cherating's tropical rainforest climate is either hot and drier or hot and wet.
Notice that I said drier and not dry. Malaysia is a tropical country and as such you should expect at least a short shower every day. It is after all the native home of rainforests - and they are called rain forests for a very good reason!
From April to September temperatures reach 40C or 104F, which combined with the poor air quality blowing in from the crop burning in Indonesia can make it uncomfortable.
We were there during August and I am asthmatic and had no problems, but as we were already living in coastal Malaysia I was already acclimatised.
Unless you want good quality surfing during the wet season then I would recommend spring or autumn as the optimum time to visit.
You will miss the worst of the heat and pollution whilst being able to enjoy hot sunny days and pleasant evenings.
Click here to check out Cherating's weather today.
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