JUST A walk in the Cha Am Forest Park
If you enjoy exercise by way of a gentle stroll, ‘power walking’, bicycle riding or even breaking into a jog, there’s probably only two places to do this within a few kilometres or so of the Cha-Am town centre. After all it’s no fun trying to negotiate the ‘footpaths’ which are far from user friendly if you don’t appreciate dodging street vendors, stray dogs and bicycle hire shops. The likelihood is you’ll spend more time on the road with ‘footpaths’ crowded by of everything except pedestrians.
One alternative is the beach. But if that’s not your thing, or for that matter a bicycle ride is preferred, then the Cha-Am Forest Park is the place. An asphalted path invites you to meander through the forest setting, perhaps in the early morning or late afternoon. There’s also some low key equipment for your stretching exercises. This is a small but very beautiful Forest Park just a couple of kilometres south of town off the main road. The 665,600sqm area was established on the 4th March 1992 and part of Don Masang National Reserved Forest.
It sits on a lowland area covered in shady trees and a wide range of tropical plants.
Crisscrossing the park, a large, freeform lake is home to species of water birds and an island with a colony of white-handed gibbons. It offers long walks protected by shady trees and unique flora and fauna. Families and couples come here to chill out and picnic. You will see a mix of Thai people and expats who have found an alternative to ‘elbow exercise’ at the bar. There’s also an area to set up overnight camps around the lakes, as well as park-operated bungalows and restaurant.
It’s not a campout in the jungle but rather a relaxing overnight excursion in beautiful natural surrounds. This is not a sophisticated park and some maintenance issues could be considered. One example is the growth of imported grasses into the waterways. However as a convenient ‘chill-out’ venue for family outings and school groups looking for relaxed parkland away from the traffic it’s ideal.