Cha Am is a small coastal town located 260km from Bangkok, and is noted for its good seafood and party atmosphere. On weekends and holidays it is a popular hangout for Thai students.
Hua Hin is 35km further south and many Bangkokians regard it as their favourite beach resort. It is a much quieter place than Pattaya with plenty of good hotels and a fine beach.
If you want life away from the crowd, head for tranquil beach of Ban Krud, just before the provincial town of Prachuap Kiri Khan
Chumphon, which is 500km south of Bangkok, is the point at which you can turn west to Phuket or continue south to Surat Thani. If you are driving to Phuket or Koh Samui this is a good stop over point. Many of the islands in this area have been declared wildlife reserves and have an abundance of fauna and marine life. Several of the islands are nesting sites for sea birds.
From November to April Chumphon has strong winds and high seas.
Air conditioned buses to Cha Am and Hua Hin leave from Bangkok's Southern Bus Terminal every day. Journey time to Cha Am is about 3½ and 30 minutes longer to Hua Hin.
Trains for Hua Hin leave Hua Lampong Station in Bangkok several times a day and take about 4½ hours. At holiday times special excursion services are provided.
Chumphon can be reached by either bus or train from Bangkok.
Samlors and songthaews are plentiful in all three resorts, but you will find most places within easy walking distance. Small motorcycles can be hired in Hua Hin and are a convenient way of exploring the surrounding area. Read the agreement carefully before signing. Your hotel may be able to arrange a car and driver for longer journeys.