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Thailandís Beaches: Hua Hin or Cha-Am

Author: Veronica Ho

Thailand has been steadily rising in popularity as a tourist destination, particularly over the last 30 years. Most international flights connect at Bangkok, which is a great city to enjoy a stop-over for a couple of days, before heading for the quieter coastal resorts. Hua Hin is within easy driving distance of Bangkok, a journey of around 190km.

Situated on the Gulf of Thailand, this once-sleepy fishing village was awakened to the real world with the laying of a railway line direct to Bangkok in the 1920s. Hua Hin soon became a popular resort destination, favored by the Thai royal family. The fishing village charm has long been lost beneath the modern development along the lovely white-sand coastline, but the town still has a relaxed local flavor. For those seeking something a little quieter, its near neighbor Cha-am may be the perfect idyllic seaside resort for you.

Ch-Amís main claim to fame is that it has Thailandís longest beach. Although weekend visitors flock to the beach here, during the week it is fairly quiet. There are a few local attractions but the main reason to come to Cha-Am is to chill out in your own space on the gorgeous white sandy beach. There is however a local Jack Nicklaus designed golf course for the more actively inclined. Most resorts are surrounded by landscaped gardens which offer pleasant, shady and colorful places to stroll amidst the tropical flora. There are a few local shops in Cha-Am selling the obligatory jewelry, and the tailorís shops are excellent. Choose your fabric and style from the many samples, and you can have a hand-made, bespoke suit (male or female) within a couple of days.

The restaurants in both Cha-am and Hua Hin are excellent, serving local seafood, Thai specialties and international cuisine which is much more pleasurable than eating buffet-style at the local hotel. Cha-Am has a few local bars, but if you are seeking lively nightclubs, this is not the place for you. The seafood restaurants around Hua Hinís fishing port are highly recommended. Both resorts also offer spa beauty treatments in the hotels including excellent massages. The Thais are masters at offering wonderful therapeutic treatments. Indulge yourself at these bargain prices and find yourself totally relaxed and rejuvenated in body, mind and spirit.

In contrast to Cha-Am, Hua Hin offers numerous bars, pubs and discos offering drinks and entertainment into the small hours. It also has a range of watersports and eight golf courses as well as a beautiful sandy beach and clear blue sea. This bustling town is easy to get around on foot or by Ďsongthaewí, a hop-on taxi service. Hua Hin offers a variety of local shops and a visit to the market is a great experience. Hotel standards here are very good, wherever you choose to stay, and all have beautiful swimming pools and sun terraces beneath the palm trees. For a beach vacation which has guaranteed sunshine, sand and sea, Hua Hin and Cha-Am make the perfect destination.

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About the Author

Veronica Ho is the owner of Travel Haven, a travel agency totally dedicated to organising creative and luxury packages. Get a COMPLIMENTARY Destination Guide when you join Travel Haven Email Club. Also be the FIRST to receive Special Promotions, Destinations Update and much more.