A Popular Lively Resort Town
Just as beautiful as the nearby seaside Hua Hin, Cha-am is the No.l beach resort of Phetchaburi province.
Located 163 km. to the south of Bangkok and about 2-2.30 hours drive, Cha-am Beach is long and clean and is provided with a large variety of accommodation.
There are also several condominium buildings owned by well-to-do people and occasionally used for holidays. Holiday makers can enjoy a variety of water sports there. Riding a bicycle along the 6-km road running in parallel with the beach is a charming activity of Cha-am. Seafood, snacks are also available. Cha-am is a nice starting point to explore some other wonderful attractions as follows:
Hua Hin is a wonderful seaside resort in the nearby province of Prachuap Khiri Khan Province
Maruekkha-thayawan Palace, located on the coast between Cha-am and Hua Hin, is King Rama VI’s seaside summer palace comprising three two-storey wooden buildings connected to each other by elevated airy walkways. Common people are welcome to visit the palace.
Hup Kraphong is where the Hup Kraphong Rural Development Project initiated by the King in 1962 is situated and where tourists may purchase farm produce and crafts and folk art products made of hemp.
Dining in Cha-am & Phetchaburi
Along the beach road of Cha-am, there are several restaurants serving local food and seafood at reasonable prices. Most middle and high class hotels provide seafood,Thai and Western cuisine.
For dining in Phetchaburi, you’ll find a good number of restaurants in Khao Wang area, most of which serve standard Thai and Chinese dishes.
There is also a lot of sweet shops around Khao Wang where all kinds of Phetchaburi’s famous sweets can be bought.
Other good eating places can be found in the town centre as well as at the night market near the train station.
Attractions Along The Route to Hua Hin and Cha Am
To travel from Bangkok to Hua Hin and Cha-am, there are two routes to choose from.
The first one is to go past Samul Sakhon and Samul Songkhram by Highway 35 and Highway 4 to reach Petchaburi (Cha-am) and Prachaup Khiri Khan (Hua Hin).
The second route is by going through Nakhon Pathom and Ralchaburi by Highway 4 and driving straight on to Cha-am and Hua Hin. On your way to your destinations or on your return trip, you can enjoy yourself at several attractions as follows.
Samut Sakhon (50 km from Bangkok) From Bang Pakaeo Junction, go along Highway 35 (Thon Buri-Paktho Rd.). you will pass Bang Khunthien District Office. When you are at Mahachai Intersection (Km.28), turn left to Samut Sakhon’s Muang County.
Samul Sakhon is situated on the estuary of the Tha Chin River and is also known as “Muang Mahachai”. which is the name of the canal serving as a short cut to the Tha Chin estuary. People’s main occupations are fishery and producing solar salt. Interesting places to pay a visit:
Prawn farms and salt farms in Muang County provide impressive views of snow-white salt pans with windmills for passers-by.
Mahachai Market, the centre of trading and communications. Several piers are located here. You can hire a long-tail boat to cruise along the Khok Kham Canal and be fascinated by the lifestyles of the local people.
Samut Songkhram (72 km from Bangkok) is the birthplace of King Rama II (1 809-1824), who was posthumously honoured by UNESCO in 1968 as one of the great personalities of the world who had brilliant attainments in the fields of education, science or culture.
From Bangkok, go along Highway 35, passing Mahachai-Naklua Intersection. At Km. 64, turn right into Samut Songkhrams’ Muang County. The province’s recommended attractions: King Kama II Memorial Park in Amphawa County is where a group of five Thai-style wooden houses is located, which serves as a museum and library.
Don Hoi Lot at the Mae Klong estuary is where hoi lot shells are collected at low tide. You should not miss having a meal of fresh seafood at any of the restaurants mushrooming here.
Besides, the province is also renowned for its home stay programmes from which you will have a great opportunity to understand the local people’s everyday life.
Nakhon Pathom (56 km from Bangkok) is a very old city with a history dating back to the Dvaravati period (11th-13th century). From Bangkok, use Highway 4 to reach Nakhon Pathom. Interesting attractions:
Phra Pathom Chedi, the world’s tallest pagoda (height: 120.45 m / circumstance: 234,75 m around the base), enshrines a standing Buddha image named Phra Ruang Rochanarit.
Sanamchan Palace and Ya-le Monument (2 km southwards from Phra Pathom Chedi) was built in 1907 by command of Rama VI when he was the Crown Prince.The Ya-le Monument was built in memory of Ya-le, the King’s favourite dog, who was shot dead by an envious man.
Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo is where you can witness elephant shows, man wrestling with crocodiles, etc.
Phuttha Monthon Park, a 2,500-rai (nearly 1,000 acres) park with plenty of shady trees is inviting you to go bicycling.
Thai Human Imagery Museum is the first museum of its kind of Thailand. Interesting themes include Thai lifestyles, revered Buddhist monks and kings of the Chakri Dynasty.
When you are at Nakhon Pathom, don’t forget to buy some pink-fleshed sweet pomelos and coconuts as souvenirs.
Ratchaburi (100 km from Bangkok). From Bangkok, use highway 4, passing Bangkhae, Omnoi. Omyai and Nakhon Pathom. The province is well known for its glazed jars and other ceramic ware. It is an ancient town first set up in the Dvaravati period. Recommended attractions:
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Every morning from before 7 to nearly noon, the canal here is filled with boats vending vegetables, fruits, snacks and daily necessities.
Ban Khu Bua Ruins is the site of an ancient city of the Dvaravati period.
Wat Khanon Nang Yai Museum houses a complete collection of 313 Nang Yai pieces which are still in perfect conditions.
Khao Chong Phran Mount in Photharam County to the west of Muang County, is famous for flocks of millions of bats that fly out of the cave in an unceasing stream for hours in the evening (from 6:00 pm on).
Khao Bin Cave. The name is derived from a formation of stalagmites and stalactites looking like an eagle spreading its wings.
Pong Krathing Hot Spring, with a diametre of 5 m. When circled by a group of people who noisily clap their hands, bubbles will emerge from the well.
Bo Khlueng Hot-Water Well The water’s temperature is about 120-136 °F Tourists are allowed to take a bath here.
How To Get There
From Bangkok, take Highway 35 via Samut Sakhon and Samut Songkhram, then Highway 4 to Phetchaburi, a total distance of 123 km.
Both air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned buses depart from Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal for Phetchaburi.
Contact Tel: (66) 2435 1199
Phetchaburi Tour Tel: (66) 2435 7408 for information.
From Bangkok, trains depart from both Hua Lamphong Rail-way Station and Bangkok Noi Railway Station.