The yearn for adventure occurs often, but weekends anywhere near big cities can only mean flocks of people…well, everywhere. Traffic can get horrific as people inch their way forward, to balik kampong (return to their hometowns). The onset of the monsoon season brings with it strong currents and torrential rains. It was that time of year when surfers began to surface, coming out to play whilst others stayed safely rooted to shore.
A bunch of us decided we wanted desperately to spend some time at the beach, but we wanted to avoid the human traffic that is so very unavoidable on weekends. We did it the only way we could, choosing to go over a couple of quiet weekdays. A 3-hour drive away, on the East Coast of Malaysia, Cherating beckoned us. We knew it would be quiet, so we didn’t prebook any rooms and just went from chalet to chalet searching for our perfect home away from home.
We finally found one hidden away on Chendor Beach, Ruby’s Resort, which is approximately 2km away from Cherating and shares its beach with Chendor Turtle Sanctuary. The resort is home to a substantial number of cats and dogs, and is pet-friendly. If you have your own furry friend and you find it hard to leave them behind, this place is for you!
We arrived around 12AM, and though check-in is from 2PM onwards, Aunty Ruby was kind enough to let us check-in early and the four of us settled into our chalet, the Meranti. The first thing I noticed was how CLEAN it was! No hairs left behind by strangers, no unwelcome smells from the bathroom, and no black feet from walking around barefoot.
Jumping straight into our swimmers, we dashed to the beach with our towels in tow. The currents were actually really strong, so we tried to stay close to shore to play it safe. The waves possessed such power, and stole an item from each of us as we tumbled under them. Two pairs of sunglasses, my favourite red bandana, and hair ties stood no chance, though we scrambled to save some of the lost items.
Aunty Ruby’s plot of land boasts a large field, hammocks, a treehouse, picnic tables, and the chalets, of course. Their staff ride around on ATVs, and know how to repair the vehicles themselves. They also help Aunty Ruby build new chalets, as well as take care of the surroundings, which includes a vegetable garden. The resort is very well maintained and provides a “homey” feel that we really loved.
Our evening was spent in the field, under an oasis of trees with a large hammock strung underneath. The trees had a green spotlight which lit them from the bottom up, and as we lay on the hammock, we soaked in the stars and leaves bathed in green light above us. Our bluetooth speakers softly lent to the atmosphere and our surrounding solar powered outdoor lights made us feel solitary in the world.
The next morning, we moved from our beds to our beach towels as soon as our eyes flickered open. We enjoyed our last hours bathing in the sun, the sea, and the nook we found. We were sad to say goodbye, and promised ourselves we would be back soon.
On our way out, we stopped for a gawk at the wee turtles and also tried to nonchalantly drive into Club Med to kepo. Our excuse? “Can u-turn inside?“, they said “U-turn out here.“, we said “How?“, they said “Reverse la.”