From Kuantan, look out for signboards that point you to Pantai Teluk Chempedak which is located just 10 minutes outside the city centre. This popular beach is hosted by the international-class Hyatt Regency Resort.
From Kuala Lumpur, Kuantan is a breezy two-and-half hour away on the scenic East Coast Expressway (ECE). Alternatively, there are 2-3 daily flights from KLIA to Kuantan Airport (KUA) on Malaysia Airlines (MH). Unfortunately, AirAsia (AK) does not fly to Kuantan.
If there is a vote on which beach is more popular on the East Coast of Malaysia, Teluk Chempedak will definitely rank head-to-head with the well-known Pantai Cherating. Affectionately known simply as "T.C." by the locals, Teluk Chempedak is the closest beach attraction for the city of half-a-million dwellers. Hence, it is not uncommon to see the beach is filled with evening strollers, kite flyers, windsurfers and even swimmers.
Teluk Chempedak can be considered to be very fashionable. To me, the beach itself is rather average, with run-of-the-mill beach sands and somewhat murky waters. Yet, the beach hosts quite a number of eating joints and night clubs that are well patronised by locals and outsiders alike. Taking on the prime spot is a McDonald's outlet which has recently been renovated to feature bigger dining areas and fresh al fresco design in a brightly painted building. Right before the entrance to Hyatt Regency Resort is another popular outlet called Palm Beach Bistro housed in a fancy thatched-roof café fronting the beautiful beach. Further from the beach are a number of eateries and night clubs housed in a row of old shophouses that have been tastefully renovated.
During my visit to Teluk Chempedak after a one-day conference at Hyatt Regency Resort, I found the beach to be relatively quiet on a weekday. I noticed that there were plenty of open spaces on the beach with serene view of the South China Sea. Every few seconds, one stroller would pass along on the nicely-landscaped footpath. Tranquility was the order of the day.
Oh yes, the beach is also known for the common long-tailed macaques that inhabit the area. Sadly, they seemed to be more interested in scouring the trash bins that can be found aplenty on the beach. I do hope they do not rely so much on leftover food thrown away by the beach patrons. The long-tailed macaques were rather harmless and a number of visitors were seen trying to get photographs of these adorable creatures.
A beautiful and tranquil beach, provided the weekend crowds are not there. A great selection of outdoor dining outlets as well as night clubs.