When in Thailand, holiday as the Thais do…

Wat Neranchararam - Cha AmMillions of holidaymakers visit Thailand each year, relaxing at one of the beautiful beaches or hiking in mountains and national parks. But how do the Thais holiday?

I am half Thai and grew up in Thailand before the huge tourist boom. Thinking back on how my holidays were, I remembered that the key ingredients to an enjoyable holiday were lots of family and friends, beaches, fun and food. It is no secret that the Thais love to eat and this is a big part of their holidays. Big long holidays are also quite uncommon and most Thais like going on short holidays and one of the popular places that check all the boxes for a holiday Thai style is Cha Am.

Cha Am can easily be reached from Bangkok, by car or public transportation in only 2-3 hours. Hua Hin, a beach resort popular with tourist is just a little further away from Cha Am. However, Cha Am delivers a more local feel. Every weekend the long sandy beach of Cha Am is filled with merry groups of families sharing huge plates of fresh seafood in between dips in the ocean.

Cha Am Beach

Another popular past time is cycling, especially on tandems painted in cute colors, very popular with courting couples. On both sides of the main street, huge containers filled with fresh seafood line the streets with smoking bbq’s ready to prepare lunch and dinner. You can check out the catch of the day, have it prepared your way and get it delivered to your beach lounger.

Cha Am Beach

Around Cha Am are numerous temples which are frequently visited as holiday making usually includes some merit making as well. In and around town (old town) are some interesting temples for breaks from the beach.

Wat Neranchararam - Cha Am

Wat Neranchararam – 6 Armed Buddha with arm positions depicting resisting the temptations of the world.

Wat Cha Am

Wat Cha Am

Cave Temple - Cha Am

Cave Temple

Wat Cha Am & Cave Temple – The head monk at this very local temple is a bit of a collector and has created a small museum with old artefacts. Old radios, televisions, telephones and many more beautifully preserved vintage house hold goods are displayed in the main temple. Outside is another small museum with old farming goods donated to the temple as to show modern day Thai kids how farming used to be done in the olden day. The gem however is a cave temple around the corner which can be reached by a Naga stairwell. Hidden in the cave is a reclining Buddha and a couple seated Buddhas.

King Naresuan’s Shrine - Cha Am

King Naresuan’s Shrine – Or you can donate a cock at the Naresuan shrine, adding to the huge collection surrounding the statue of King Naresuan. King Naresuan freed the Kingdom of Siam (Thailand) from Burma (Myanmar) at a legendary elephant duel and is still worshipped by many for making Thailand an independent and free nation. Why cocks? Apparently the king was fond of cock fighting and in his younger years, an important cock fight took place which formed his way of thinking and his yearning of freeing then Siam. Today, cock fights also symbolizes the great battle and warrior kings.

Even though this may not be a standard destination on many itinerary, this may just be that place that provides you with an insight into the locals and their way of living (and holidaying).

One comment on “When in Thailand, holiday as the Thais do…

  1. Thank you Jo, for promoting our indeed very beautifull Cha-am, that is still very Thai.

    If any of the readers need any more information of Cha-am, please contact Jo, we love to inform you about Cha-am the place that we live and love for a long time.

    Also around Cha-am there are many places to visit, national park, salt fields, religieus park of Kuan yin, etc etc.

    We hope to see you soon in our beautifull Cha-am

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