Cha Am Travel Information and Travel Guide
Cha Am Travel Information by GULF THAILAND

Cha Am Travel Information

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Cha Am Travel Information

Cha AmFor too long the resorts of Cha-Am and Hua Hin have been linked with a "&" for no valid reason. There is no reason why they should be linked, they are both in different provinces, Cha-Am in Petchaburi and Hua Hin in Prachuab Kirikhan and each has their own sector of the travel market. "Cha-Am is a retreat, it's an escape from Bangkok," explained Danny Chan, General Manager of The Regent Cha-Am, "The guest who likes to come here will not enjoy Hua Hin and most definitely not Pattaya. The appeal of Cha Am is that it has no night life!"

The charm of Cha-Am is what it can offer families with young children or those in the golden years of their life that are either close to retirement or are already enjoying it, a quiet well ordered lifestyle free from the hassle of beach vendors.

WHAT TO SEE IN CHA-AM

In addition to having a great beach, there are many places of interest in the area that are no more than 45 mins away by car. Phra Nakom Khiri or Khao Wang is a hilltop palace, built by King Rama IV in 1859. The style is mainly European with some Thai and Chinese influences. Sitting on three peaks, the temple of Wat Phra Khew is to the east; the main stupa of Phra That Chom Phet in the middle and the residential Grand Palace to the west.

Both Kings Rama IV & V used the palace at their leisure and to entertain their visitors. After the death of King Rama V, it was used less and less and sadly slipped into a state of decay. In 1935 it was registered as a national momument by the Fine Arts Department and was restored to be a National Museum and National Park. Open daily 9am-4pm. It can be conveniently reached by funicular railway roundtrip B40. Once at the top entrance to the Museum is B30 for foreigners and B10 for Thais. It is an excellent half-day excursion and takes a couple of hours to walk the path linking the three peaks. The views are spectacular.

Phra That Chom Pet was renovated by Rama IV by covering the existing one and is 40 meters tall and 20 wide. He was also responsible for constructing Wat Phra Kaew in the same style as the building of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha at the Grand Palace in Bangkok. Being a keen and knowledgeable astronomer, the King also built Chatchawan Wiangchai Observatory to study the stars and constellations. A statue of the King is housed in Wechayan Wichien Prasat; a temple built in Prang style that was typical of the period. The King's bedroom was in an interesting two storey Chinese building Pramot Mahaisawan Hall.

To complete the full walk linking the three peaks can be tiring and visitors are advised to take enough fresh drinking water.

Have gone back down the hill, Phra Ram Ratchaniwert Palace is close by in the Army compound. King Rama V was frequently sick during the rainy season, especially in the month of September, at this site was chosen as it was the best place for him to stay when the rains came. Building of the south facing palace started on 19th August 1910, designed by a German architect Karl Dohring, with Dr Bayer responsible for the projects engineering. The two-storey building, with two domes and a brown tiled roof from China, was styled on Kaiser Wilhelm's Palace in Germany. Sadly, King Rama V died before the building was completed. Rama VI finally completed the construction in 1916.

The simple looking exterior hides its elaborate interior. On the east side, there is a perfect geometrically symmetric circular staircase with tiled pillars decorated with cherub statues. The upstairs circular hall is art nouveau.

The Royal Dinning Room is a blend of modern German and French art nouveau with a statue of Poseidon, the Greek God of the Sea.

Thailand's first ever known Badminton Court was laid in what is now a small courtyard with a fountain. The Queen's Bedroom above had an uninterrupted view of the former court. From the Kings Bedroom, there is an unobstruced view of Khao Wang.

Mrigadayavan PalaceAnother must see is Mrigadayavan Palace the "royal home of love and hope" of King Rama VI. This site was chosen when the fresh water supply at the existing royal residence at Khai Luang became scarce. Not only did Huay Sai Nua have an abundance but it was also close to a railway station. The King decided to dismantle the former palace and reassemble it on the more desirable site. The palace is built of Thong (Golden) Teak with empty space under the building in the style of a traditional Thai house. The building is supported by 1,080 concrete columns, all of which have their base immersed in water at ground level to prevent ants and insects entering the building. All the buildings are by airy walkways. There is a Gatsbyesque quality to wonder with bare feet on polished teak and feel the cool sea breeze in your hair.

While staying, the King on their first visit in 1924 Phranangchao Intharasak Sachi, the royal consort fell pregnant and the King was delighted with the thought that he might soon have a son. But his hopes faded fast when it was discovered that the royal consort could not give birth. The King nursed his wife with concern and sadness at the Palace.

Rama VI returned to Mrigadayavan Palace with Phranangchao Suwattha, another royal consort and were in residence from 12 April until 20 June 1925. It was as if the King had come back to say farewell to the royal residence that he loved as he died shortly after returning to Bangkok.

Mrigadayavan Palace, Rama VI Camp, Cha-Am Petchburi 76120
(66-32-471401, 4711300).

Phra Ram Ratchaniwet Palace, Royal Thai Army Camp, Petchaburi
(66-32-428506-10).

Entrance to both Palaces is free of charge.

 

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Cha Am Travel Information and Travel Guide
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