OK, so I lied. It's not Cherating.
It's an even lovelier beach some 20 mins away from Cherating.
It feels almost sacriligeous to say its name for fear of invasion by the masses.
(Because then it will lose its charm! The thing that made us visit this beach 3 times in as many months!)
I cried the first time I discovered this beach. Its quiet beauty was nothing I had expected. I thought ho hum, regular beach ahead... then we made the turn into the beach and lo and behold... what a view!
Imagine this :
A little meandering road through a cute little uncrowded kampung.
Houses, some dilapidated, some colourful, scattered about in no recognisable order (which is charming in itself :) ).
Already you get glimpses of a beach that promises to look a little different from what you're used to...
A turn around a biggish open sided building, most likely a bustling fish market in the early mornings, and you see a sight that takes your breath away. You want to hold on to that moment a little longer. Because it's so so pretty!!
A walk further down this beach.. ok ok.. it's Kijal... is a river mouth. Not too sure which river; I've never looked it up. OK I will now.. I think it's Sungai Penunjok.
Depending on the time of day, whether it's high or low tide, the view is different. The first time we were there, it was high tide and high noon! Hot! But deliciously so :) there were boys swimming in the river in the shade among the boulders. I had pictures of those, but will put them up another time.
The second time we were there, it was low tide. And the treasures the beach offered up on show was something else entirely different but equally precious :)
We walked among water buffaloes :), mud skippers, little crabs with huge orange clippers, and dozens and dozens of hermit crabs :)
Dont know who was more scared.. the water buffaloes of us... or us of them!!! haha
This is Cherating :) where we stayed. Unfortunately (or fortunately :) ) there was no sleeping place in Kijal :)
I have this collection of cemented shells sitting on my bathroom sink now. I look at them every morning and think what a lovely visit that was. And the thought of going there again makes me smile :)