© 2010 Frank P. Schneidewind
The State of Terengganu in Malaysia is a Sultanate and lies on the South China Sea coast, just south of the Gulf of Thailand. Famous for it's pristine islands, Terengganu has also some coastal beaches which are worth visiting. Their condition and cleanliness is exceptional and catapulted the sites along with their fabulous lack of mass-tourism quickly and swiftly into our hearts. In order to get there, one has to cross the Malaysian peninsula from Kuala Lumpur eastbound and then drive up north from Pahang state or enter Malaysia in Kelantan state up on the northern border with Thailand and go south. Highway-arches greet the visitors on either end:
About 10 kilometers north of Kijal town is the turnoff for Pantai Kemasik, if you come from the south. A beach without any trash or non-organic debris spoiling the view:
The fine, reddish sand is full of little white shells and a nice refreshing surf greeted us on our first visit here.
A few rocks on the shore were not too much of a challenge to climb on, and the water-quality was outstanding!
Although we arrived on a hot day, the breezes from the sea were quite strong and cooled us down nicely. Other people were not in sight, even on this weekend day. We rather had this red beach for ourselves, than sharing a white beach elsewhere with hordes of mass-tourists.
The more we travel in search for the perfect beaches, the less we're on the lookout for the white variety. After all, it is the color of corals or the bedrock on the ocean's floor that decides about a beach-color. We should probably be glad that this sand is colored, otherwise there might have been a fancy resort where we enjoyed Kemasik.
The little white shells were somehow fascinating, and there were plenty of them.
Each wave left a new line of them on the sand and we decided to extend our short stopover here into a few days at least. Further north was a small food-stall selling Keropok, a local snack that perfectly fits the scenario. Accommodation was a bit harder to find, but we managed to find a reasonable guest-house just a few minutes drive north of here.
Our footprints from the previous day were still the only visible ones around and the shell-lines near the southern rock were clearly indicating flood-levels from some time ago.
The southern rock became our favorite hangout in between rounds of swimming, shade giving plants were there and the view from the rock's top was something special. We just started our trip around the entire gulf with a nice delay, several thousand kilometers later – we will be somewhere on the border of Cambodia and Vietnam. Exactly east of here, across this body of water. Nobody expects us anywhere, and this delay was one of many on that trip.
We came back here several times and were always happy to find Kemasik in the same condition as before. No resort projects in construction, no tourists – just plain beach-fun .
Great swimming opportunity, especially in the area between the southern rock and the one in the water, we didn't experience any dangerous currents or rip-tides.