Tok Bali is a small fishing village on the east coast of the Peninsula Malaysia. The village lies about a 35 minute’s drive away from Kota Bharu, an interesting city with quite a few attractions. There are several resorts, guesthouses and homestays around Tok Bali. The Tok Aman Bali Beach Resort is the most luxurious one, and it is the perfect spot for travelers to wind down during their journey. It is located at Pantai Bisikan Bayu, a truly stunning beach that lies between Tok Bali and Kuala Besut in the state of Kelantan.
Tok Aman Bali Resort is quite a big resort with several wings, containing large rooms. In the middle, there is a gigantic swimming pool with an adjacent children’s pool. The rooms do not overlook the swimming pool, but they look out over the beautiful river – Sungei Semerak – that runs along the resort. From the rooms on the east side, you do not only have a magnificent view on the river, but also on the interior of Kelantan. Especially the sunset here is extraordinary.
Next to the main building, where you will also find the lobby, there is a small petting zoo. Though the petting zoo was not quite finished at the time of our visit, the butterfly garden next to it was very pretty (especially if you are traveling with children as they will sure love it). They even have a butterfly breeding program; a free guided tour can be booked on the spot.
The resort is situated on the beach, but in between there is a parking haven and a road. On the right side, you can directly reach the beach through a path. The beach is very beautiful, but very open with not much shade, probably making the beach not very suitable for sun tanning.
Rooms have A/C, a big shower with bath, a safe, mini bar and a TV. In most rooms, the shower and bedroom are separated by a glass wall, that can be darkened with a roller blind. For now, only rooms in section 1 have free Wi-Fi internet. In time, the reach will be enlarged so all rooms have Wi-Fi. If you book an overnight stay through booking.com or agoda.com, you will automatically be housed in section 1. Furthermore, there is free internet in the lobby and the breakfast area.
The resort has its own activity center. Here you can rent regular bikes or water bikes, a children’s playground for the little ones is there, an obstacle track and a paintball area. Make sure you use sunscreen while doing these activities outside, the intense sun could easily burn you. When your kids are enjoying themselves at one of these activities, you can have yourself pampered at the spa (pre-booking required).
Breakfast is rather elaborate, and precisely what you would expect in a 4-star resort. There are enough western breakfast dishes (bread with a fried egg, at least) but even more local dishes. Breakfast is served in the restaurant next to the lobby. At night, you can also choose a meal from the a la carte menu here. Regularly, there are theme nights with delicious dishes (often fish themed as the resort is located right along the coast). We had a delicious steamboat ourselves and heard great stories about their ikan goreng BBQ nights. Prices are very affordable and the quality of the food was excellent.
The resort can be found with reasonable ease. It lies a short distance beyond Tok Bali (seen from Kota Bharu), along the coastal road going all the way to Kuala Besut. The well-known fisherman village of Kuala Besut is where the boats to Perhentian depart. It lies about a 10 to 15 minute’s drive from the resort. Along the beach road going to the resort, you can find several small hawkers selling local treats. During weekends, the beach is pleasantly crowded with locals spending the day picnicking. In front of the resort, there is a big parking haven, where you can park your rental car.
Near Kota Bharu
The city of Kota Bharu is conveniently close to the resort for a visit. Travel time from the resort to the city centre is about 45 minutes, but on the road to it you can already visit several attractions (including the enormous Buddha at the Thai temple Wat Phothikyan Phutthaktham), well worth a visit.
Our final judgment
Tok Bali Resort is an excellent 4-star resort where you can relax. Travelers visiting the magnificent bounty island Perhentian, could consider spending the night before in Tok Bali Resort, and leisurely take the boat at Kuala Besut the next day. If you are traveling along the east coast of Malaysia, then this resort is the perfect place for a few days of relaxation.
The resort is fairly large-scale with 100 rooms and during weekends or local public holidays it can be pleasantly crowded with people. The view from the big rooms is stunning, especially if you have a room on the east side of the resort. Section 1,2 and 3 are the best options, ask when checking in for a room in section 1 for the best view, but also for the most stable/quick internet connection through Wi-Fi. Prices for an overnight stay are very reasonable and especially families with children will have a good time, due to the many activities the resort is offering.