Recommended Travel Destination in Thailand
Thailand is a country of contrasts and beauty, with travel destinations that appeal to everyone’s tastes. However, for those seeking a brief break from the hustle of Bangkok, Cha-Am is a highly recommended beachside town with plenty to offer visitors. Located to the south of the capital, Cha-Am is part of Phetchaburi Province and approximately a three-hour drive from the city, making it ideal for a weekend break or even as a day-trip destination.
The main reason to visit Cha-Am is the idyllic, white sand beach. It stretches for many kilometres beyond the length of the town and sits beside clear, blue water. Unlike some other beaches in Thailand, particularly the island beaches to the south of the country, Cha-Am beach is not overly busy. There are usually deck chairs available for rent which sit under the much needed, cooling shade of umbrellas.
The beach is a perfect place to relax and enjoy the day, with a vendor selling drinks, ice-cream, and snacks always nearby. For those who are more adventurous, there are also some water sports such as jet-skiing on offer. The beach area caters to families with children’s activities such as horse riding also available.
Beyond the famous beach, one of the more appealing aspects of Cha-Am is its relative quietness in comparison to nearby Hua Hin. The many seafood restaurants and open-air cafes are mostly family-owned businesses, serving fresh food at a very reasonable price. In fact, Cha-Am is known for its comparative cheapness when compared to nearby destinations.
If visiting Cha-Am for more than a day or two, you may need a break from the beach and the nearby Cha-Am Forest Park is a great place to go for an evening stroll or have a picnic. There are also a couple of National Parks with stunning waterfalls within an hour’s drive of the town. For those who enjoy exploring local culture and history, Mrigadayavan Palace, the old summer residence of King Rama VI, is located between Cha-Am and Hua Hin.
As with everywhere in Thailand, there is a popular market in Cha-Am. The main market serves mostly fresh seafood with a handful of local and cheap items for sale. On Wednesday nights, numerous vendors set up their stalls near the train station with a broad variety of items for sale. The night market also features a few popup bars where you can relax and have a drink while watching people shop.