Central - Cha Am & Hua Hin
Located on the sunrise side of the Gulf of Thailand, Cha-am and Hua Hin are quiet relaxed coastal towns, perfect for family vacations. In contrast to Pattaya, across the Gulf, these sister resorts lack the bustle of an international playground and instead offered a quiet escape. Both resorts boast long uncluttered beaches, while Hua Hin, larger than Cha-am, has the added attraction of a traditional fishing port. Neither place attempts to imitate the international scene and are content with an enduring Thai identity. Hua Hin, incidentally, is Thailand’s oldest beach resort, enjoying a vogue among Thai royalty and aristocracy since the 1920s. The main joys of both resorts are a peaceful time lazing on the beach soaking up the tropical sunshine , the fun of a variety of water sports and a delight in relishing some excellent seafood dining.
The main attraction of Cha-am and Hua Hin is the chance to relax on a lovely beach and escape the crowds. A wide choice of water sports are offered by the main resort hotels, while the travelers themselves can enjoy the simple pleasure of taking a stroll and horse riding on the beach or enjoy a walk in town to have a insight into the traditional lifestyles.
For more active recreation away from the beach, Hua Hin’s has several delightful international class golf courses. These combine a challenging game with the pleasure of lush tropical scenery and fine views. Although the keynote of a stay at either Hua Hin or Cha-Am is relaxation, the coastline in this region is well worth exploring. South from Hua Hin.
Through Pran Buri and down to Prachuap Khiri Khan, there are numerous quiet coves and tiny fishing villages, ideal destinations for day excursions. There is also Khao Sam Roi Yot (“Mountain of 300 Peaks”) National Park, a short way south of Pran Buri. Covering 60 square kilometres, it is a place of wonder where the stunning landscape is a breath-taking blend of forested hills, deep valleys, waterfalls, caves, beaches, mangrove swamps and coves. A profusion of tropical vegetation makes the park a sanctuary for various animals and birds. Further south, Prachuap Khiri Khan, a provincial capital, is a fishing town with a scenic bay. The beach front ,Mirror Mount, where there is a small pagoda and a troop of playful monkeys, affords a stunning panorama of the coastline and seascape. Visitors interested in Thai history and culture will be fascinated by Phetchaburi 65 kilometers north of Cha-am.
This old town has a number of superb temples dating from the late Ayutthaya period, as well as several other important sights such as Khao Luang Cave and Phra Nakhon Khiri, the 19th century hilltop palace of King Mongkut. The latter, accessible by a cable railway, comprises an intriguing collection of regal apartments.
Which together with a museum, provides an insight into the culture of the period. Inland, southwest of Phetchaburi is Kaeng Krachan National Park, Thailand’s largest protected area. It is a place of most attractive scenery, and there is accommodation overlooking an extensive landscaped reservoir for visitors who wish to prolong their stay. Transport in Hua Hin and Cha Am or to other tourist attractions is not difficult. It’s has trains, airplanes, air-conditioned and non air-conditioned buses, local buses and minibuses, motorcycles, bicycles for rent and tricycles as well as horse-drawn carriages for hire.
What should people do here? Hua Hin is for families and for those looking for a true relaxation by the beach, there being no other upbeat activities characteristic of the other resorts. It still retains its serene ambience and is poised to remain just as it is.