A gem on the East coast: Kijalena Inn


The east coast of Malaysia is one sweeping, golden beach that stretches on for what seems forever. On a stretch of that sits Kijalena Inn, a little b&b that we picked to break the journey to Kuala Besut on our way to the Perhentian Islands. The new East Coast Highway that slices through the palm oil plantations cuts the journey time, and it took us 3,5 hours to get to Kijal. And we found this:

kijalena bb

Retirement project for Kak Rose and her husband, the compound is beautifully designed with hand-crafted details. The rooms in the separate guest house are clean and painted bright white, with air conditioning, kettle, fridge and a TV. We just about fitted two extra mattresses on the floor to make space for all four of us. There is even a swimming pool and seats in the shady garden for when you’ve had enough of the beach.

The wide, empty beach is just across the street. Just as Rose says, here you get an island beach without having to travel to one. The boulders in the far end of the beach make a perfect playground. It is very much a local beach, so remember to dress appropriately.

kijal beach view kijal beach rocks

kijal beach

kijal beach 2 s

The breakfast was something else! Not your usual eggs and dry toast, but a feast that kept us going until dinner time! Nasi dagang, kuih and other Terangganu delicacies for the adults, omelet and toast with kaya for the kids – yummy! Breakfast is served inside or in the garden, depending on the weather.

kijalena breakfast s

There are a few places to eat in Kijal, just ask the hosts for the options. Al Safina offers a decent Arab fare near the beach, and there are a few stalls a walk away and Chinese seafood places near Resorts World 15 minutes drive away – a decent place for a beer.

And don’t miss the sun rise – it was early (6.45 to be specific) so I only managed to grab my phone but watching this in the gazebo by the pool was a great start for the day!

sunrise in kijalena

If you are looking for a friendly and affordable place for a quick break on the beach, maybe go surfing, or to break a journey in the East coast, check this lovely place out – it beats those monstrous 90’s beach resorts populating the East coast hands down.


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