Kerteh is a subdistrict or “mukim” located in the district of Kemaman, state of Terengganu, Malaysia, being administered under the Kemaman Municipal Council. Together with Kemaman, it is the most southern part of the state in comparison to the other districts with Pahang at its border. As such, it is considered as the southern gateway to the state of Terengganu. This town serves as the operations base for Petronas in the state which oversees the oil platform operations off the state’s coast in addition to the petrochemicals production and refinery in Paka which is also close to Kerteh. As such, a lot of development works have been undergoing here to accommodate the growing base and the influx of immigrants from within the state as well as all over the country to work in Kerteh. From a historical point of view, it is explored 300 years ago by Che Wan Teh and his followers who migrated from Kuala Pahang following a disorder and chaos situation in Kuala Pahang. He then set up settlements all over the place as the population rises and the need for new agricultural areas increased, which is later continued by his followers after his death. Ongoing censuses until 1940s shown that it is the third most populated area in the state following Kuala Terengganu and Besut. However this substantially changed in 1970s after the discovery of oil, making the area the second most populated, the first is Kuala Terengganu.
Kerteh can be accessed by flight since there is an airport that serves the town, albeit limited. Nonetheless the Kuala Terengganu Airport is also close by, within two hours of journey. There are flights to Kerteh or Kuala Terengganu provided by Malaysia Airlines and Air Asia. From the airport, guests may hail up a taxi or public transportation to go around the place.
People driving from Kuala Lumpur may drive through E8 route for direct access to Kerteh. The journey could take up around three hours and thirty minutes, depending on the traffic situation.
Located in the beach strip nearby Kerteh, it is established jointly by the Department of Fisheries, BP and WWF-Malaysia with a mission to be the model for all turtle conservation centres in the country. In Terengganu, turtle poaching is much more prominent, hence the sanctuary aims to allow the eggs to get hatched and the baby turtles released safely into the sea, in an environment far away from the poachers. Open to all, the sanctuary is a great place for turtle-spotting and a signficant resource on turtle conservation where education sessions are also conducted to give awareness to the masses about turtles and their roles in the marine ecosystem.
Another interesting place to visit when visitors are in Kerteh is the Hutan Lipur Menderu, which is a part of the Rasau Kerteh Forest Reserve. It is a tropical rainforest located just outside the Kerteh town in Rebah Bangun village, being accessible by taking the road to the village. It has a river flowing through the forest with some mesmerizing view and good spots to take a bath and picnicking with family and friends. There are also a walking trail, camping site and a nearby botanical garden that is being maintained by the local district forest office. Adventurous souls may be interested to give it a go to camp here and undergo jungle trekking to oversee the abundance of flora and fauna within, however the consultation from the forest office is necessary. There is no entrance fee being charged to the visitors.
A decent hotel situated in Jalan Damansara Kertih. A clean and minimalistic two-star hotel with basic facilities and more such as satellite cable television, shower, private bathroom, WiFi, fitness area and airport transfer services.
A budget hotel in Jalan Guntong 2 with modest atmosphere and accommodations with rates that are kind to the purse strings.