It’s not till you reach Teluk Chempedak, a 15-minute bus ride out of Kuantan, that you realise this is actually Kuantan’s main attraction. Sure, as we did, you may need to walk through a McDonalds drive-thru to reach the beach, and there may well be a combined education and mobile phone festival going on, but really, and we mean this, that’s not a big deal — because the beach is worth it.
Teluk Chempedak is a long, two-bay beach within easy daytrip distance of Kuantan. There is accommodation available, both of the upmarket variety (the Hyatt Regency is down to the right as you hit the beach) and we also saw signs for what would have to be cheap shophouse rooms to the left by where the bus stops (though didn’t check them out). There are also plenty of reasonable and affordable places to eat; don’t be put off by the McDonalds and Burger King that first greets you on arrival as you can eat well at Teluk Chempedak.
The two beaches are connected by a boardwalk that runs around the northern rocks to a second, more secluded and non-McDonaldised beach where there are salas and plenty of shade you could sort yourself out on for a very lazy day. If we had had time for a lazy day in Kuantan, this would have been our choice of the two beaches.
Talking about lazy days, we visited on a Saturday, arriving at around 10:00 and the scene was already very busy and congested. We’d imagine midweek you’d have a very different, quieter scene and while the off-sand bit is far more developed than say Cherating to the north, as a bonus, the beach is far nicer here.
So what to do? Aside from eat a lot (beer is available off the main strip, from the shopfronts near the bus stop) and a bit of swimming and laying around, well not a lot — but that is what lazy beach days are all about right? When the conditions are right, this is a popular windsurfing spot, but there was no action when we arrived and no obvious means of hiring gear.
To get to Teluk Chempedak from Kuantan, catch one of the regular #200 buses from near the stadium in Kuantan or you can get a taxi to take you there for 10-15 ringgit, one-way.
Please consider your beach attire when taking those long walks on the beach, as you may get more than a few stares from the more modest. This isn't Ko Pha Ngan.
By Stuart McDonald
Last updated on 18th January, 2016.