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Next door to Hua Hin, the beach town of Cha-Am offers a relative rarity in Thailand’s heavily traveled cities: an uncrowded beach.
Miles of clean, white sandy beach offers quite an attraction. But the resorts with beach access are spread out, reducing the chance of crowding.
The flipside is that, unless you are staying at one of those resorts, the facilities in Cha-Am are sparse. Chairs and umbrellas are provided by the hotels, or can be rented. But washrooms and showers are in short supply.
Food, however, is another story. Thanks to the vendors, who are not too aggressive, snacks like fruit and deep-fried shrimp, ice cream, drinks and beach gear are all available.
There are also plenty of activities. Waterskiing, jet skis, windsurfing, banana-boat rides and parasailing are all available. But divers and snorkelers will find only a sandy bottom on Cha-Am. There are pony rides, and many of the hotels offer activity programs for children. Massage is also available.
For full meals, the options center on the hotels. The village has great seafood options, but it is too far to walk. One alternative is to pop into a local grocery and picnic on the beach. You can then walk off your meal on the beach in the late afternoon, when the weather cools.