Cha Am

The resort of Cha Am bills itself as a more relaxed family-friendly alternative to it's neighbor Hua Hin, which lies 25 kilometers further south along the coast. There is very little to do in Cha Am, aside from the beach related activities that are the primary draw.

The area boasts dozens of hotels, which are spread out along the flat coastline. Some are close-in to the center of town, with lots of options for restaurants and shopping, while some of the others are large, almost self-contained resorts along the highway between Cha-Am and Hua Hin.

South of Cha Am, on the road to Hua Hin, lies this Phra Ratchaniwet Maruekkhathaiyawan Palace originally built by King Rama VI in 1923. Designed by an Italian architect and built of golden teakwood in just 16 days, the palace is a small collection of gingerbread villas. At the time it was built, the surrounding land was mostly mangrove swamps and sea grass with large herds of deer, hence it will be no surprise that the name of the palace translates to "Deer Garden". The palace was abandoned when Rama VI died just two years after it was built. It was restored in the 1970s and opened to the public, although it rarely gets visitors.