Cha Am (Thailand) is a Thai resort that is suitable for those who are tired of the noisy and vibrant nightlife. This is a place where you can relax and regain strength, as well as have a good time with your family.
Cha-Am is a cozy sea town located on the shores of the Gulf of Thailand in Thailand. Bangkok is 170 km away and Hua Hin is 25 km away. The population is about 80,000 people.
Many tourists consider Cha-Am one of the districts of Hua Hin, but this is not at all the case. In fact, this is an independent resort, where Thais and their families prefer to relax. Oddly enough, travelers rarely come here, so the city is clean enough, and there is definitely enough space for everyone here. However, the city is developing dynamically, so there will be more and more tourists every year. Due to its favorable geographical location, life is in full swing at the resort at any time of the year.
Cha-Am, in comparison with other tourist resorts in Thailand, is a calm and quiet city. There are very few establishments working at night. This town is oriented more likely to families with children, so most institutions are appropriate: there are many cafes and inexpensive restaurants, parks, gardens and malls. If you try, then in the city you can still find bars, “scattered” in the corners (Black, Baan Chang, The Dee lek and The Blarney Stone). Life in Cha-Am freezes at 02.00, when all institutions are closed. The one exception is when a jazz festival takes place in nearby Hua Hin (April). Then everyone sings and dances until the morning.
Prices in cafes and restaurants are much lower than in neighboring resorts. The reason lies in the fact that this town is focused primarily on Thai tourists. You can usually see seafood dishes as well as exotic fruits on the menu. There are several restaurants of European and Japanese cuisine. However, the reviews of tourists who visited Cha Am say that this is not the kind of European food that we know.
Cha-Am will be a great vacation spot for history buffs. As in many Thai cities, there are several Buddhist temples (Wat Tanod Laung, San Chao Por Khao Yai, Wat Na Yang) and sculptures. The most unusual and interesting is the shrine of Wat Cha-Am Khiri. It includes a temple and several caves in which you can see the imprint of the Buddha stupa and sculptures. It will be interesting for children to see Santorini Amusement Park and Cha Am Forest Park.
However, experienced tourists are advised to visit not only the attractions of Cha Am, but also the surrounding area. For example, in Hua Hin there is a “Mountain of monkeys”, whose height is 272 meters. Monkeys live here, as well as the temple complex. Another interesting place is “The Kingdom of Siam in Miniature”. This is a large park in a cave where you can see all the natural attractions of Thailand in miniature. It is worth visiting the Mangrove forest, in which evergreens grow and there are many bridges connecting the islands. Do not forget about floating markets, national parks and night markets, which tourists love so much.
Excursion tours are also very popular at the resort. You can go to Phetchaburi (65 km from Cha-Am) – this is the oldest city of the Ayutthaya era. Here, tourists should look at the Phra Nakhon Khiri Palace and Sam Roi Yot National Park. Guides also provide tourists with the opportunity to go to Bangkok.
As for shopping, in such a small town there are no large shops and shopping centers. They are only in neighboring Hua Hin. The most popular outlet in Cha-Am is the Central Market, where you can buy only fresh fruits and vegetables. It works from early morning until the onset of heat. For more serious things (clothes, shoes, household goods) you have to go to neighboring cities.
There are even more difficulties with public transport: it is almost absent here. The resort of Cha Am in Thailand is small, so tourists prefer to walk. If this option does not fit, then you should rent the most popular vehicle in Thailand – a bike that will cost 150 baht per day. You can also rent a car from 1000 baht per day. True, the last two options have a significant minus – you must have an international driver’s license. It is also worth remembering that traffic in Thailand is left-hand and sometimes there are toll roads.
To visit the surroundings of Cha-Am, you can use either a bus or a songteo – a traditional Thai minibus. The most unreliable mode of transport is a taxi, because there are no meters installed in the cars, and tourists have to bargain about the cost of the trip with drivers who are not always honest.
The beach in Cha-Am is not typical for Thailand: it is long, embossed, protected from a noisy road by a wide line of green casuarins (small round trees). The bottom is sandy and almost without slope. The water is clear and calm, and turbid when a strong wind blows. The ebbs and flows are sharp. During low tide, the water goes far ahead, and many small lakes appear in the place of the sea, in which there is very warm water.
By the way, the water in the sea is already almost hot, because the temperature at 27 ºС is considered low, and it happens only in winter. The rest of the time the thermometer rises above 30ºС.
Sharp stones and broken shells are sometimes found in the sand. Here, unlike other beaches in Thailand, there are no palm trees and exotic plants. This gives Cha-Am even more charm and uniqueness. As for infrastructure, there are no sunbeds and umbrellas on Cha-Am beach.
Ruamjit Alley highway runs along the city beach, and throughout its length there are many shops, souvenir shops, cafes and restaurants. There will definitely be no problems with food: in eateries or peddlers you can buy kebab, corn, fruits, seafood and sweets. This is the busiest place in the city, and most of the tourist attractions are located here. Here you can rent boats, kites, rubber mattresses, bikes and kites. The most unusual service is the rental of car cameras.
Families with children are advised to visit Santorini Park CHA-AM – a copy of the famous Greek amusement park. The territory is divided into several thematic zones, in which there are 13 water attractions, a lagoon with artificial waves, six-lane slides and a ferris wheel 40 meters high. For the smallest, a play area with small slides and a large soft constructor is provided. Walking around Santorini, one would think that he was in Europe.
Accommodation in Cha-Am
Compared to other popular Thai resorts, there are not so many places to stay in Cha-Am – only about 200. The most budget hotel room in a 4 * hotel will cost $ 28 per night for two. The price includes breakfast, free Wi-Fi, air conditioning and use of the kitchenette. As a rule, hotel guests are offered buffet breakfast. The same number in high season will cost $ 70.
Cha-Am resort is good because most hotels have pools and mini-gardens, and even the cheapest rooms look very decent. To the beach from anywhere in the city to go no more than 30 minutes. As for private houses, the cost of renting an apartment starts at $ 20, and a separate room – from $ 10.
Weather and climate when it’s best to come
The Thai resort of Cha-Am is located in a humid tropical climate. It is characterized by the presence of 3 seasons: cool, hot and rainy. The cool season lasts from November to February. This is the most popular holiday time among tourists. Temperatures range from 29 to 31 ° C.
The hottest time in Thailand is from March to May. The temperature is around 34 ° C. The rainy season falls on June – October. It is the longest and the temperature reaches 32 ° C.
As you can see, the weather in Thailand is stable enough, and, having arrived here at any time of the year, you can swim and have a good rest. However, the most favorable time is still considered the time from November to February – it is still not very hot, but the rains do not interfere with rest.
If the purpose of the trip is shopping, then it is worth coming to Thailand just in the rainy season. Product prices are falling, and hotels at this time of the year are forced to make big discounts for customers. True, it is worth remembering that floods and strong gusts of wind are possible this season.
How to get from Bangkok
Bangkok and Cha-Am are separated by 170 km, so it will take 2 hours to go. The easiest way is to take a minibus that departs from the North Station in Bangkok and get to Khaosan Road or South Station in Cha-Am. The cost of the trip is 160 baht. Travel time is 1.5-2 hours. It is worth knowing that there is no room for luggage in minibuses, so this option is not suitable for everyone.
Another option is a bus ride that sets off from Bangkok Bus Station. Cost – 175 baht. You need to find rack number 8 and buy a ticket there. The queues at the box office are large, so you should come in advance. Buses run 5 times a day: at 7.30, 9.30, 13.30, 16.30, 19.30. Disembarkation of passengers in Cha-Am is made at a regular stop near the 7/11 store at the intersection of the main road with Narathip Street.
You can also get to the resort by rail. There are 10 trains, the first of which departs from Hualamphong Station at 08.05, and the last at 22.50. There are also a number of trains running from Thonburi Station in Bangkok at 7:25, 13:05 and 19:15. Travel time is just over 2 hours. Most trains on the Bangkok – Cha Am route only stop at Hua Hin.
And the last option is a trip on a big bus that leaves from Sai Tai Mai South Station. It runs every half hour, and it is possible to go with luggage. Cost – 180 baht. Judging by the reviews of tourists vacationing in Thai Cha Am, this is the most convenient option.
Cha Am (Thailand) is a good place for a relaxing and measured family vacation.
Prices on the page are for October 2018.
Video: an overview of the city and beach of Cha Am.