Cha Am although located only 25kms away from it’s more glamorous neighbour Hua Hin ,could not be further away in terms of what it offers as a beach holiday resort!.
Cha Am is a traditional Thai resort, it’s all about families, eating great Thai seafood dishes on the beach, sitting in the shade of the big old pine trees sharing a drink & chatting with friends, it’s all about old-style holiday values….and I personally love it!!.
Situated just 180kms(100 miles) south of Bangkok , Cha Am has been popular with Thai families for many years, it’s very much a weekend & holidays sort of a place, nice & quiet during the weekdays, but can get pretty frantic at the weekends, as the town becomes “invaded” with Bangkokians & other city dwellers.
The beach is long and dotted with umbrella-shaded tables and deck chairsfor rent. Locals ply their wares of Thai silks, drinks and snacks on the beach.
There are small guest houses & other Places to Stay that are for rent backalong the beach front for travelers who plan to stay overnight or for a day or two. If you are in need of more Western styled accommodation, the first 5* hotel is about 12kms away on the south road towards Huan Hin.
Cha Am has none of the high rise and uber modern amenities found in Hua Hin. The main attraction of the place is the fresh sea food fare available in open-air eateries and traditional restaurants. If you want to experience authentic Thai cuisine and lifestyle, Cha Am is the place to be.
The sea at Cha Am is safe & shallow, but is a little murky, seasoned divers and snorkelers tend to prefer the crystal clear water and thriving reefs of either Koh Tao & Koh Phangan in the Gulf of Thailand, or Phuket & Phi Phi Island in the Andaman Sea.
Beach activities include, horse-riding,rubber rings, jet-skis, & banana boat rides. Everything here is much more low-key than at Hua Hin & other Thai resorts, it’s laid back…….and FUN!.
Cha Am is not without its own tourist attractions,The Mrigadayavan Palace (the Palace of Love and Hope) is a summer palace built by King Rama VI in the 1920s. The palace is made of teakwood & has been lovingly restored to it’s former glory & is typical in design of the turn of the 20th century architecture of the great beach front houses in the United States of America’s East Coast. For a small fee visitors can enter and have a look around the well-maintained grounds and buildings.
Puek-Tian is a beach north of Cha Am and its main attraction are the statues set in the sea depicting characters from a Thai epic story.
The Khao Nang Phanthurat Forest Park offers nature trail walking expeditions. The 3.5 kilometers of trail will take you to a tour of the forest park and view the flowers, small animals, birds and butterflies that are the park’s permanentresidents.
Cha Am is not famed for it’s nightlife, it’s not Pattaya or Patong Beach in Phuket – thank goodness!, there are a few bars & clubs, but that is not what Cha Am is about.
If you have been to Cha Am or spent time there before, and have really great memories of places to stay, visit, or just fun things that happened, please share your Cha Am Memories here.