Normally, the rainy season in Cha-Am starts from May to the end of September every year with abundant rain between June and August. Since the main tourist attraction is beaches, most travelers think that visiting Cha-Am is not convenient during the rainy season due to murky sea water, grey skies which brings about a gloomy atmosphere. That is why there are less visitors in Cha-Am than other seasons of the year. Looking at the brighter side, rainy season boasts verdant environs: trees are growing and plants are blossoming.
Apart from white sandy beaches, Cha-Am has many other places worth visiting all year round. To name but only a few are the Khao Nang Panturat National Park and Cha-Am National Park. Located 5 kilometers from Cha-Am beaches and north of the Cha-Am municipal area, the Khao Nang Panturat can be easily accessed via Baan Nong Tapod in the west.
The place is eye-catching thanks to its small hill that looks like a reclining woman covering the north and south. This hill is also a symbol of Cha-Am because it is the city’s gateway. Legend has it that Nang Panturat, a female giant from the famous Thai literature, ‘Sang Thong (Prince of Gold Conch Shell)’, wept to death here when the prince, learning that his stepmother is a non-human, decided to run away from her. After Nang Panturat followed and found him, she unsuccessfully persuaded the prince to come back to live with her. Extremely sad and grieve-stricken, the female giant cried to death.
After she died, her body became the hill like what people see at present. Moreover, the head of the hill has a big rock of strange shape which Thai people usually call Nang Panturat’s urn. In 1994, the so-called Nang Panturat’s urn was partly destroyed due to cement production. After passing the area and seeing what had happened in 1996, His Majesty the King called for a concerned cement industry to stop exploding the hill and preserve it. The activity was then halted and the area around the Nang Panturat hill was later declared the national park on 25 February 1999 by the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation of the Royal Forest Department.
A natural tourist site, the Khao Nang Panturat National Park consists of eye-catching spots, namely Nang Panturat’s Crematory, Nang Panturat’s Mirror and the Prince’s bathing pond. Other spots can be easily visited thanks to a long wooden walkway along which ones can find rare plants and wildlife, such as langur and hog deer. The National Park’s large ground is an ideal place for campers, too. With its convenient location and beautiful plants all year round, the Khao Nang Panturat National Park is worth more than only one visit.
The Cha-Am National Park, located by the Phetchakasem road on the kilometer post 208, is less than 1 kilometer from Cha-Am. A former pine forest, it has recently been renovated to attract nature lovers and those who seek a peaceful place to relax. The Cha-Am National Park mostly covers plain areas with a lot trees, brooks and a long walkway that allows visitors to admire unharmed nature there. Among various rare flora and fauna are pine, hog plum, ebony and several ferns as well as squirrel, gibbon and wild birds.
For a perfect holiday getaway, visitors can enjoy complete facilities at the park like restaurants and beverage parlors, a picnic area, a health garden where visitors can exercise, play petanque and Sepak Raga. If one day is not enough, the park also provides a camping site or rooms to stay. A unique option for vacationers, the Cha-Am National Park will give them an unforgettable stay close to nature.