The most pleasant way to get around in Cha-Am is to rent a bicycle or a motorbike. For short distances in town you can use a moto-taxi, or a bus to travel along Phetkasem road.
How to use the buses
The buses run along Phetkasem road only. There are two types of buses, the “Por neung” (P1) type and the “Por song” (P2) type. The P1 type (blue bus) is only for long distances, and you have to buy a ticket at the counter (next to the 7/11 at the main intersection). You can also book in advance. If you want to travel for a short distance, like Hua Hin, Tha Yang or Phetchaburi, you must use the P2 type (either white and blue, or red, as in our picture). The white and blue buses have air conditioning, whereas the red buses don’t. You don’t need to buy a ticket in advance, you just hop in and you give your destination to the person who collects the money (you can also ask him/her to tell you when you have reached your destination). It should cost you around 40 baht to go to Hua Hin or Phetchaburi. There are bus stops along Phetkasem road, but people can also get on and get off freely if it is more convenient.
Minivans to Hua Hin
Minivans from Bangkok to Hua Hin or Pranburi stop in Cha-am along Phetkasem road (you can wait at the bus stop in front of the Bangkok Bank). If there are seats available, you can hop in and get a ride to Hua Hin for something like 40 baht per person.
Taxis and moto-taxis
There are no tuk-tuks in Cha-Am, but there are taxis, and you can hire mototaxis for short distances. Taxis are not colourful cars like in Bangkok, usually there are normal cars with a handwritten sign that says “taxi”. They can be found where the moto-taxis hang about, at the beachfront (for instance in Cha-Am North soi 5 area). Mini-buses service can also be booked in hotels or travel agencies for longer trips.
Rent a vehicle
Rent a bicycle
Pink tandems are a common sight in Cha-Am. You can rent tandems or bikes for 30 baht per hour.
Rent a motorbike
Motorbikes are also available for rent, usually for 200 baht per day.
Our advice if you rent a motorbike:
– If you have never driven this kind of motorbike, make sure you are given an automatic model, so that you don’t have to change gear. Also make sure you know where the main controls are (brakes, indicators…) before you hit the road.
– Never leave your passport as a caution. You can either leave a photocopy, or some money (ask for a receipt) as a caution.
– In spite of the heat, make sure you wear protective clothes (like jeans and proper shoes to start with). Needless to say, always wear a helmet!
– In Thailand you drive on the left side of the road.
– If someone flashes his lights at you at a crossroad, it is not a polite gesture to let you pass first. It means “You stay where you are, I’m coming first!”
– Never drive fast and always beware of young children, animals crossing the road, other vehicles and any other surprises.
– Make sure you have at least your home-country driving license with you in case you are stopped by the police (as well as your passport or a photocopy). An international driving license is recommended, or a Thai driving license (which is very easy to get and worth having if you stay in Thailand frequently or for a long time).
- We recommend Thips Bike Rentals if you want to rent a motorbike in Cha-am.
- Check Driving in Thailand for useful advice about hitting the road in Thailand (Thai driving license, local conditions, statistics, vocabulary in Thai, etc.).
Rent a… whatever!
Other popular means of transportation in Cha-Am include jetskis, “banana boats” and horses!