The drive to Pantai Irama:
Looking for something to do this weekend? Well, if you happen to be in Kota Bharu, take a drive down to Pantai Irama at Bachok.
Situated at Bachok district, Pantai Irama is just 35 km south-east of Kota Bharu, about 35-45 minute spent on the road depending on the traffic. The vehicular flow is generally smooth along the trail and one can spend the time taking in the scenic route along the way.
As you get closer to the beach, you will notice tall palm trees from quite a distance. Although the beach is a calm and soothing place to be, it can get pretty crowded with visitors over weekends and holidays.
What to do at the beach?
A picnic is definitely something you should do at this beach. Grab your beach mats, pack a light meal, sit on the rocks and enjoy the view while munching on your treats. You could spend hours here just watching people have fun with their friends and family. One could also take a nice stroll along the beach, grab a snack at one of the stalls, build sandcastles, fly kites, indulge in a game of beach soccer or just lie on the sand with a good book.
Other activities include barbequing, and you can also pay a small sum to go on a banana boat ride. Changing rooms and public toilets are available so bring a change of clothes!
Didn’t pack a picnic basket? Not to worry as there are plenty of food vendors selling delicious local delicacies and refreshing drinks. Try out the chicken and fish satays, meat balls and seafood fritters. A variety of stalls serving local delights like fish crackers, coastal mixes and crackling snacks are found along the beach bank. Tender coconut water is also available.
If you prefer restaurants, there are two, though they probably look more like gazebos selling a variety of munchies. At these places, fill your bowl or plate with a variety of uncooked sausages, chicken nuggets, meat balls or seafood fritters, and then hand it over to the waiter for it to be cooked. There is also a separate counter for beverages and desserts. I recommend the ABC!
Accommodation and Getting There
If you are visiting Kota Bahru as a tourist, a good option would be to book a hotel at Bachok, so you can walk to the beach as and when you feel like. A line up of hotels, motels and inns are readily available along the main road of Bachok. It would be ideal to spend at least two days at Kota Bharu, to explore the culture, food, and other attractions.
Transportation options: Taxi, bus or self-drive; either way you are bound to enjoy the road trip. There is ample parking space at the beach, so driving and parking should be off your stress-list!
Pantai Irama may not have crystal clear waters like the beaches at Perhentian and Redang. In fact, the beach may not be as well maintained as other famous beaches in Malaysia, but it sure does have a charm of its own. The name Pantai Irama, which means ‘Beach of Melody’ rings true as you listen to the sounds of the waves.
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