Where to Go
Transport Cha Am
As it is located less than 200 km south of Bangkok and is a popular weekend getaway destination there are a number of ways to get to Cha-am, including train, bus, minibus, or private car. Once in Cha-am there are limited ways to get around without your own transportation though renting a bicycle is a favored method of transportation.
From Bangkok there are five train departures each day that stop in Cha-am, whose train station is located at the western end of Naranthip Rd, about 1km from the beach and its resorts.
From Bangkok’s southern bus terminal there are as many as 10 bus departures per day to Cha-am’s Soi Bus Stop. The bus journey between Bangkok and Cha-am takes between 2.5 and 3 hours and costs around 150 baht.
If you are staying outside the beach “town” located at the intersection of Naranthip and Ruamjit Roads and don’t have your own transportation, getting around Cha-am can be somewhat tricky. The beach road is nearly 6 km long and the main town is 2 km from the beach, up Naranthip Road; knowing how to get around before you get there will save you some hassle.
The most comfortable way to explore Cha-am is via bicycle, which can be hired from many guesthouses and hotels. A pleasurable way to spend a day or to get around, bicycles for one or more (tandem style) are popular pastimes as well as transportation options.
By Taxi and motorbike-taxi:
While most hotels can arrange taxis to transport you from A to B, there are no metered taxis as in Bangkok, and fares will need to be negotiated each time you wish to get in a cab. Easier to use perhaps are motorbike taxi's, which charge about 20 Baht per person per ride to get to most places in and around Cha-am beach and town.
By Rental Motorbike:
If you want to visit attractions farther from the beach area, you are going to have to pay taxis and motorbikes considerably more and it may be more practical to rent your own motorbike. For around 150 to 300 baht per day you can hire your own motorbike, which will typically require you to leave your passport as a deposit. Be sure to inspect bikes prior to rental and drive with extreme caution as rental motorbikes are not normally insured and accidents are frequent. Helmets are required by Thai law.
By Rental Car:
If you want freedom to explore and more safety and comfort than aboard a rental motorbike, you can rent a car from either Bangkok or Hua Hin and drive to Cha-am. Nearly all hotels have ample parking. Be aware that only Commercial First Class Insurance provides full coverage on rental cars (as opposed to limited personal or third party only insurance). Most international car rental agencies will offer this insurance (some only for those with a valid international driver’s license) while local companies may or may not. You may wish to request a copy of their insurance policy and ensure that it states "For Commercial Use". Regardless, inspect rental vehicles prior to rental and drive with caution, particularly as traffic in Thailand can be quite confusing, especially the habit of Thai motorcycles drivers to drive on the wrong side of the road.