This straight sea pine-lined beach lies approxi mately 163 kilometres south of Bangkok, 40 kilometres south of Phetchaburi or 20 kilometres north of Hua Hin. Often paired as a traditional seaside destination favoured by the Thai upper class, Cha-am was originally a fishing village. After King Rama VI had Maruekhathaiyawan Palace built, the area was taken up by the Royal Family and the elite for beachside sojourns. Today, it is very popular among Thais who love superb seafood and comfortable hotel or bungalow accommodation. In addition, there are a variety of water sports that can be enjoyed, while a possible alternative to water sports is bicycle riding along a 6-kilometre sandy white beach. During the weekdays the beach is virtually deserted and there are beach umbrellas and sling chairs available for hire.