Cha-am is not a major tourist hub, but there is still plenty to see. A fishing village north of Ruamchi Rd features Thai shops, fishmongers and restaurants. You could spend half a day touring the area and immersing yourself in one of the town's most important industry, fishing.
The main street, Narathip Road, runs roughly east-west from the train station to the beach. It has a range of restaurants, shops, and even bars, but is still pretty quiet, with woods mixed in here and there between the storefronts.
The beach stretches at least a couple of kilometers in either direction and is dotted with shops selling beachwear, stands selling seafood and fruit, massage parlors, restaurants, and 7-Elevens. All of these get sparse as you move away from the main street.
Hua Hin is the nearest town with good transportation connections. From Hua Hin to Cha-am you can take a taxi or songthaew. There's also a little orange bus that plies Phet Kasem Road from Phetchaburi to Hua Hin and stops in Cha-am, but it doesn't run frequently.
1 Cha-am Station (also known as Ban Cha-am Station) is the most convenient train station and gets four trains a day in each direction. As of February 2020, northbound trains are scheduled at 01:39, 04:54, 06:40, 12:12, and 14:32; and southbound trains are scheduled at 11:18, 13:10, 17:23, 19:42, and 22:07. A ticket from Cha-am to Thonburi is 38 baht as of 2020. These tickets are only sold within 30 minutes of departure. Nearby on the street leading to the station are a few inexpensive restaurants – you can get lunch for 30 or 40 baht while waiting for your train.
Hua Hin train station gets more service.
Buses from Bangkok to Hua Hin may be able to stop in Cha-am if you ask.
- 1 Cha-am Forest Park. A small nature preserve as parks go, but it's still worth seeing. It's a splendid place for birdwatching, and if you're lucky you might see gibbons swinging around in the trees. All-terrain vehicles are available for guided tours of the park, with rental costing 500 baht for half an hour and 900 baht per hour. There is a restaurant in the park.
- Eurasia Cha-am Lagoon (3 km N of Cha-am). A resort and residential community. It boasts two free-form pools overlooking the gulf. It is free to the public and open 24 hours a day. A terrace restaurant serves Thai food for 100-300 baht. This place is seldom crowded so it's a good place to hang out and take a dip.
- Phrarachanivet Mrigadayavan (Summer palace) (S of Petchakasem Rd, about 9 km from Cha-am). Was built in 1922 for the king and members of his royal household. Open to the public as it is no longer used by royalty. It is a group of teak houses on stilts and a maze of walkways connect them. The rooms are airy and the walkways are raised. There isn't much information available in English, so you may want to hire an English-speaking guide for the tour.
7-Elevens and other convenience stores are plentiful. There are also a fair handful of pharmacies, supermarkets, and stores selling various household products. The selection of beachwear is not extensive. For a wider range of shopping options head to Hua Hin.
- 1 Makro Food Service. Good option for inexpensive groceries. Good selection of produce. Dry goods are mostly in bulk; the smallest container of salt is 1 kg.
- 2 Cha-am Wednesday Night Market. Wednesday evenings. A big, lively market selling lots of food, clothes, and other products, though oddly enough you'll be hard-pressed to find a swimsuit here. Good place to grab dinner in a bustling atmosphere.
- 1 Soi Bus Station (Across from the beach, just south of Narathip Rd, a major E-W thoroughfare). Bars close 01:00. The street houses a former bus station, hence the name of this otherwise unnamed street. Lodgings and about 15-20 beer bars staffed by hostesses can be found here. Good area to enjoy a beer and a game of pool.
|Routes through Cha-am|
|Bangkok ← Phetchaburi ←||N S||→ Hua Hin → Sadao|