GRAND TOUR – continued
In my opinion, the state of Terengganu has the best beaches in Peninsular Malaysia. I am talking about beaches on the mainland only and not the islands which I shall write about separately.
I visited quite a few of these beaches during my travels and in case you are planning a trip, these photos might give you an idea of what to expect. These are in order, travelling north to south:
Pantai Air Tawar and Bukit Keluang are just a few kilometres apart just outside Kuala Besut. Both beaches look out towards Ru Island (pictured) and, behind that, the Perhentain Islands. I enjoyed Bukit Keluang because you can climb up the hill for great views and there is a wooden walkway leading to some sea caves at the foot of the hill. You can read more about this beach on my Malaysia Traveller website.
Penarik is a lovely beach with traditional fishing boats hauled up on the beach. This photo shows how storms during the recent monsoon season have eaten away the tarmac road and reduced the level of the beach by a metre or so. Most tourists who go to Merangdo so to catch a boat to Redang Island and do not spend time on its beaches. I took this photo from a small hill with an observatory on top.
Out of date guidebooks describe how visitors to Rantau Abang lie quietly in wait at night for leatherback turtles to lay their eggs. They would have a long wait nowadays since the turtle is extinct on this stretch of coastline. See my website for details. The beautiful beach of Teluk Bidara is located adjacent to the luxury Tanjung Jara Resort. This hotel is probably the best hotel on the east coast. If you cannot afford to splurge you can at least enjoy this beach for free. Bring a tent.
Kemasik Beach and de Monicke Bay (or Teluk Mak Nik) are the last two fabulous beaches I visited in Terengganu. I believe there are still turtle nestings at de Monicke but they are green turtles not leatherheads.
These photos were taken on a Sunday, the busiest day of the week. As you can tell , Terengganu’s beaches are not too crowded!