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Expats: live in Cha-Am
Where to find the services you need
There are many expats living in Cha-Am but it's still a Thai seaside resort in a Thai town, so it's not always easy to find what you are looking for. We hope this little guide will help you.
Electricity, Internet... where shall I go?
The two major operators are TOT and TT&T. TOT office can be found on Phetkasem road, on the left side in the direction of Bangkok, a few yards after the main traffic lights junction. T&T is on Phetkasem road, on the left side of the road when coming from Hua Hin, in soi Nitithon 2 (before the main traffic lights junction and just after the purple building of Electricity). There is also a CAT office on Narathip road, on the right side when coming from Phetkasem road, close to the beachroad.
In Cha-am you can choose between three providers: TOT, CAT (Hinet) and 3BB. Click on each link to see a brochure (last update May 2011). Their websites are not updated often, so we advise that you go to their offices and check directly with them for availability in your area and the different packages (and promotions) they offer. Check our interactive map to locate the three providers.
TOT office on Phetkasem road.
Please be aware that the connections in Thailand are slow, and that packages offering a decent speed (we mean the actual speed you will get, not the one advertised) are usually expensive. Some providers force you to use their own SMTP, and some can also decide to block P2P during the day to save bandwidth. Besides all that, censorship is applied heavily and many websites are blocked. Happy surfing... and chay yen yen!
For all matters regarding electricity, you can find information at kan fai fa, which is the purple building at the corner of Phetkasem road and soi Raj Pli 1 (better known as "soi fai fa"). It's on the left side of Phetkasem road when coming from Hua Hin, just before the main traffic lights junction (just after the footbridge).
Building permit, house registration...
For all matters related to building permit, water, house number and house registration, go to the Tesaban office on Phetkasem road, on the right side of the road when going in the direction of Bangkok, at km 199. It closes at 4.30 pm.
Electricity office ("kan fai fa").
Tesaban at km 199.
Where to...? Services
Where to pay bills
You can pay most of your bills (Internet, telephone, insurance...) at all Seven-Eleven shops (ask for 'counter service'). They just scan the bar code on the bill.
Where to find a bank
Most major banks have a branch in Cha-Am. You will find most of them near the main traffic lights junction. Siam Commercial Bank is on the beach road.
For more information, see our page about Money and Banks
Where to go to have water delivered
To have drinking water delivered to your house (small bottles or 20 litres tanks), you should spot a delivery car in the area where you live and arrange with them directly (or have your owner do that if you rent a house).
Where to...? Shops
Where to buy books
Unfortunately there is no bookshop selling English books in Cha-Am. There are a few bookshops in Hua Hin though, like Bookazine, on the second floor of Sailom Pavilion shopping mall on Damnern Kasem Road. But for a larger selection of books, we advise that you go to Bangkok (where you will find several 'Asia Books' shops) or that you order online (at Amazon for instance).
Where to have something translated
If you need to translate a personal letter or official documents, from or into Thai or any other language, please contact us directly. We will get in touch with a translator and get back to you with a quotation.
Where to buy computer stuff
"Cha-Am IT" is a shop in the same soi as kan fai fa (see "Electricity" above). They have computer accessories and they can arrange everything for you, like assemble or repair a computer, check your Wifi connection, reinstall your software, etc. Great prices and great service.
Where to have something repaired
Whether it is a washing machine, a TV or any household electrical appliances, if it doesn't work any more and it is past warranty, bring it to Mai Electronic, on the left side of Phetkasem road when going to Bangkok, after the traffic light and just before the school round the bend. When he isn't playing guitar at the back of the shop, Mai can repair almost everything!
Cha-Am IT, a computer shop.
Mai Electronic... or is it MacGyver?
Where to buy western food
You can find some western products in shops like Okay or Cha-Am Memory.
For more information, see our page about Shopping and our page about Restaurants.
Where to learn Thai or English
Being able to speak Thai will make your life in Thailand much more fun, easy and interesting. Insight English is a private school located in a small soi just before Home Mart, on your left when coming from Hua Hin. The Thai teacher speaks only Thai during class, but she's also bilingual in English. Insight English is the only school in Cha-Am which is able to provide ED visas. There are also English lessons for Thai people.
Where to buy a motorbike or a car
It depends on the brand you choose, of course. There is a Toyota center on Phetkasem, on the left side of the road when going to Bangkok, just before the bridge over the railway. A Yamaha center and a Honda center are in the same area, on the opposite side of the road.
Where to...? Immigration and other formalities
Where is the Immigration Office?
Foreigners living in Cha-Am should go to the Immigration Office in Hua Hin for all matters regarding visas, work permits, 90 days report, etc. The Immigration Office has moved to a new location: since November 29, 2010, it is no longer located soi 23 (or soi 102), but on Khunkhlong road. When you come from Cha-Am, make a U-turn after Hua Hin Hospital and enter soi 10, then follow the signs. More information as well as pictures in our blog: New location of Hua Hin Immigration office.
It is open Monday to Friday, from 8.30 to 16.30. It is closed on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. The phone number is 032 653 617 and the website (Thai only) is here.
For those who want to do the 90 days report by postal mail, the address of the Immigration office is:
15/62 soi moo ban Smorprong
T. Hua Hin
A. Hua Hin
If you want to extend a tourist visa (get another 30 days after your 60 days visa is expired), you will need to fill in an application form and provide a picture and a photocopy of your passport (first page, visa, extension of stay and immigration card - sign all pages) and pay 1,900 baht.
The Immigration office next to 3 Girls Restaurant.
Where to go to get or extend a driving licence?
If you want to obtain or renew a Thai driving licence, you have to go to the "Transport office" (sam-nak-ngan-kon-song) of the province of Phetchaburi. Fortunately there is a branch in Cha-Am. It is located on the right side of Phetkasem road in the direction of Bangkok, between km 198 and 199. When coming from Cha-Am, take the first U-turn after the one opposite the Tesaban office, then take the first small road on your left. Follow the road for a few hundred meters and you will find the office on your left, just after the fork. Phone number is 032-47-1846 or 032-47-2055.
If you need a medical certificate, there are clinics in Cha-Am.
The sign you have to follow.
The Transport office building.