Just an hour and a half from Bangkok by car, Cha-am is a tranquil seaside town with many family-friendly activities. Below are some we recently checked out.
1. Maruekhathaiyawan Palace
Located midway between Cha-am and Hua Hin, this summer seaside palace is often poetically described as “The Palace of Love and Hope”. Dating back to 1923, the palace was designed by King Rama VI and constructed using teak wood reclaimed from his demolished residence at Chao Samran Beach. Former royal living quarters complete with original furnishings provide a fascinating glimpse into the past, while lush grounds and a nature trail among the surrounding mangrove forest offer a tranquil haven for family strolls.
2. 1000 Sook Food and Farm
This American-style farm situated 10 km north of Cha-am is a lovely little stop if you’re traveling with toddlers. As well as meeting the resident sheep, rabbits and ponies, you can buy carrots and grass to feed the animals while strolling around. For 100 baht, take the weight off your feet and enjoy a ride around the farm in a horse-drawn cart. Other attractions include the horse stables, Bunny Cottage, and the Game Carnival where kids can play games and win prizes. Entry is 50 baht, but tickets are free if you grab a meal beforehand at the on-site restaurant.
3. Santorini Water Fantasy
From heart-thumping drop slides and rapids, to the meandering Lazy River and Wave Lagoon, Santorini Water Fantasy will soak, excite and entertain pretty much everyone in your group. Thrill-seekers can get their adrenaline fix on rides like Fire Fly, King Cobra, and the stomach-churning Drop Screamer, which plummets riders from 18 meters up. Over at Kids’ Paradise, things are rather more sedate and smaller children can splash and play in a pool created just for them. It’s worth noting that children under 120 cm are only allowed in the wave pool and kids’ pool area.
4. Trick Art Museum Thailand
Originating in Korea, Trick Art Museum Thailand features a variety of 3D optical illusions that’ll have you reaching for your selfie stick from the get-go. The museum is divided into three separate areas (Paint, Object Art and Digital Art) with each offering a different style of visual trickery that lets you become part of the scene. From walking along walls and ‘levitating’ in a circus, to exploring the ocean and seeing a 3D Mona Lisa, this surreal but fun outing will undoubtedly confound and amuse the kids.
5. Cha-am Forest Park
Pretty and secluded, Cha-am Forest Park is the kind of place to head with the family for leisurely picnics and scenic strolls in a quiet nature-surrounded reserve. Take a bike ride with the kids along the park’s paved trails and keep eyes peeled for gibbons, peacocks and palm civets living out on the large island in the park lake. There’s also a Thai restaurant near the entrance if you want to grab lunch while you’re here. Feel like extending your stay? Set up tents at the lakeside camping area, or rent one of the park’s bungalows.