Hua Hin is both a traditional charming fishing port and the oldest luxury Thai beach resort town. In the 1920s, a railway was built between Hua Hin and Bangkok, followed by the Railway hotel and the first public golf course; it was the ideal getaway from the bustling city streets. A decade later, King Rama VII erected the beachfront Klai Kangwon Palace, and today it's still an official royal residence, not open to the public, however.
If you're seeking a bit of time relaxing on the coastline closer to Bangkok than the southern islands, Hua Hin is easy to reach. Popular with golfers and with waterparks for the kids and a range of accommodation options, it is not generally a good option for those seeking a quieter and more traditional slice of Thailand.
Cha-am is another popular beach destination, particularly amongst Thais and Bangkok residents seeking a relaxed getaway. Unlike Hua Hin, the main attraction here is the long stretch of beach as there isn't much else to do. Holiday-makers enjoy getting out on the water on banana boats, taking part in watersports like windsurfing, parasailing, waterskiing and simply relaxing under the shade of an umbrella on the sand. You can enjoy fresh seafood in the open-air eateries, and also find a range of hotels, resorts, bungalows and guesthouses to suit all travellers.
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