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Cha-Am was once a fishing village and it retains its small-town feel.
But there is plenty to do, from majestic temples and magnificent statues to forested parks—even a waterfall.
Here are 7 attractions in Cha-Am that are well worth your time:
The Neranchararam Temple houses a massive six-armed Buddha statue. Up the road in a seaside park is the state of King Naresuan the Great, who reigned from 1590 to 1605 and is responsible for the monument. Note the chickens near the statue. The king was a fan of cockfighting!
This opulent summer palace was constructed of golden teak in the 1920s, and remains remarkably well preserved. The wood was salvaged from the demolished Hat Chao Samran Palace, which dated back even further. The Maruekathaiyawan Palace was built to stay cool in summer, with high ceilings and balconies.
Located in a cave, this temple houses a large and impressive Buddha image well worth seeing.
Offering greenery from cacti to tropical plants, the Cha-Am Forest Park is more than 665,000 square kilometers of lowland relaxation, including a lake. The facility is part of the Don Masang National Reserved Forest. Be on the lookout for peacocks and monkeys.
From limestone hills filled with caves to rich forest greenery, Khao Nang Phanthurat Forest Park offers hiking trails to those willing to brave the trek. Just getting to the forest can be a challenge, though, thanks to unpaved roads.
Not unlike the Greek islands, Santorini Park offers whitewashed buildings with deep-blue accents and stone pathways—even the domed towers. There’s an amusement park, with a 40-meter Ferris wheel, a two-decked carousel and bungee jumping. An assortment of shops and restaurants will keep you entertained afterward.
This small beach town about 18 kilometers north of Cha-Am offers an ode to the famous Thai poet Sunthon Phu: statues of the characters he created, erected in the sea. The poet’s work, which was written for a mass audience, is well-known, including Phra Aphai Mani, his work that ran to 30,000 lines.