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Cera Resort Cha-am

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Cha-am Travel Informatie

Located less than 200 km south of Bangkok and just 20 km north of Hua Hin, Cha-am is a quiet beach retreat in Petchaburi Province; a long stretch of silvery sand that is far quieter than nearby Hua Hin.

Cha Am has become a firm favourite with weekend visitors from Bangkok, and is becoming increasingly popular with international visitors keen on experiencing a genuinely Thai resort town. There’s a complete absence of bars along the beach, local bylaws won't permit them.

There are though numerous hotels and restaurants dotted about the 3 kilometre long beach and it is easy to pick up a place to rest in a deckchair under an umbrella. You can get a donkey ride if you want one and it is possible to rent bicycles to explore the area. There are also herds of food stalls selling excellent snacks.

Cha-am is remarkable in that it is unremarkable - this is a pleasant beach with green water , and that's about it. Cha Am is not 'in your face' and that can make a genuine change and probably what is making it more attractive to foreigners.

The sea at Cha-am is generally calm, making it safe for families with children, while rental jet skis and banana boats are available for those looking for a little more fun. Generally speaking however, Cha-am is for those looking for a quiet and relaxing retreat, particularly on the week days, when the weekend warriors have returned to nearby Bangkok.

The beach is long and sandy and the sea not deep. It is lined with casuarina trees and generally pretty quiet during the week. During weekends and public holidays, it will get busy. There are plenty of deck chairs and eating and drinking spots, especially around the main drag. In fact some may say too many. When busy, prices will not be so cheap.

The main administrative area and old part of town is to the west of Petchkasem Road. Here you'll find the Post Office, government buildings, police station and train station. As with most Thai towns of this size, there's a vibrant local market that's worth taking a look around.

Nightlife is a lot less lively than Hua Hin, but there is a group of bars at Inthira Plaza offering the standard hostess service and an increasing number of family-friendly establishments offering relaxed atmosphere and good food.

Hat Cha-am

This beautiful beach, twinned with Hua Hin of Phrachuap Khiri Khan, is located 40 kms. south of the town or 20 kms. north of Hua Hin, and another 2 kms. along an access road. Cha-am was originally a small fishing village. After a royal palace was built near Hua Hin in the reign of King Rama VI, the land was occupied by the royal family and the elite. Today, it is very popular among Thais who love superb seafood and comfortable hotel or bungalow accommodation.


Attractions

Cha-am Forest Park is fairly modest, but worth getting along to. You can hire vehicles for guided tours and it's popular with families and small groups. The park is located on the west side of Petchkasem Road about 1km south from the main intersection.

Cha-am is easily reached from Bangkok by train, bus or minivan or from Hua Hin by the same and taxi. The journey from Hua Hin should only take around 20 mins.

Hup Kraphong

Turn right at Km.201-202, 4 kms. before arriving at Cha-am and continue for another 8 kms. This area was originally dry and infertile. In 1962, King Rama IX had an idea to help local farmers and established the Hup Kraphong Rural Development Project with the support of Israel. There were studies on various crops growing in accordance with market requirements. Tourists can buy farm produces as well as fine crafts made of hemp.

Marukhathaiyawan Palace

This summer palace, referred to as "the palace of love and hope" is located between Cha-Am and Hua Hin. It was built under the royal command of King Rama VI in the year 1923, with the materials from the demolished Hat Chao Samran Palace. It is a two-storeyed wooden pavilion with series of halls linking each other, and a long corridor leading to the sea. The compound is open everyday, Mon to Fri 8 a.m.-4 p.m. ; Sat, Sun and public holdays 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Klai Kangwon Palace

Klai Kangwon PalaceBuilt as a summer palace by King Rajakhipok (Rama VII) for his Queen Rambai Barni, Wang Klai Kangwon, remains the home of HM King Bhumipol, HM Queen Sirikit when in Prachuab Kiri Khan and neighbouring provinces. Now long after this royal seaside retreat became popularised among commoners, it's open to the public when royalty's not in residence.

It was designed in the Spanish style to suit the tropical climate, by Prince Iddhidesarn Kridara, a graduate from L'Ecole Des Beaux Art and the director of the Department of Fine Art. Site preparation began in October 1926 and on 21 September 1927 construction started, paid for by the Privacy Purse. Its completion was celebrated on 10-11 April 1929.

Klai Kangwon PalaceAs it's a summer palace, there's no throne room for audiences. Originally just three two-storey mansions faced the sea. The largest, Phra Tamnak Piamsuk, sits between Tamnak Plukkasem to the north and Tamnak Noi to the south. Sectioned away by walls, the entourage resided in bungalows.

It feels more like a large house than a formal palace - hence the name "Far From Worries". Yet within just three years, worries found their way down to Hua Hin and on 24 June 1932, following a bloodless coup, it was the site of the abdication of absolute monarchy by King Prajadhipok and the acceptance of a constitutional one. There's nothing on display to record the event, unlike the pen and desk used in the abdication of Edward VIII of English, that are preserved at his Fort Belvedere study. In 1935, King Prajadhipok decided he was unable to continue as King and abdicated to live in Cranleigh, England, until his death in 1941.

More recently, HM King Bhumipol commanded a mansion to be built for HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn in the same style as the original seventh reign buildings. Fronting the palace an Italianate garden features topiary bushes and trees, stone sculptures from Bali, nautical items and a sundial.

Klai Kangwon Palace, Petchkasem Beach Road, Hua Hin 77110 (66-32-511155, fax 66-32-510979) Daily 9 am.-4 pm. (except during royal residence) 

 
 
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