We were travelling from Kuala Terranganu to Kuala Besut on bicycles. Because we never cycle in the after noon (it gets too hot for us and our small toddler), we are limited to about 50km per day. So we had to stop halfway in Penarik. When we arrived in this Malay backwater town, we were surprised by the beauty of it. The beaches are cleaner than elsewhere, the people are friendly, there's some good places to eat. And fortunately we found one really good place to sleep: the Penarik Inn.
We weren't expecting to find such a nice hostel here. It was actually one of the first really cozy places that we encountered on our trip in Malaysia. The staff is very friendly (especially towards kids) , cooks great local food, and can tell you everything about turtles, since they manage a turtle egg sanctuary on the hostel grounds. The beach is just a few meters away from the nice looking stone chalets where the guests stay.
The chalets are perfectly clean, have good beds and a nice shower. The AC works well too. Some rooms have sattelite TV but we didn't need that. At night there is a beautiful galaxy of stars right above you. There were some cockroaches but the staff does their best to get rid of them.
I can recommend everyone (and certainly bikers) travelling on the Malaysian east coast, to add a stop in Penarik and stay in Penarik Inn. It's a great place to stay and excellent value for money. A must see place for seaturtle fans!