Another delightful resort on the eastern coast, Rayong is just beginning to gain wider popularity. With a 100 kilometre-long coastline, it boasts several beautiful beaches and scenic waterfalls amid natural surroundings. Rayong is also rich in sea-life resources and considered a major agricultural and industrial province. Rayong is 180 kilometres from Bangkok and covers a total area of 3,552 square kilometres.
The palm-fringed tropical island of Koh Samet is Rayong's major attraction. The eastern side of this triangular-shaped island has fine, sandy beaches while the rocky headlands are on the west. Large choice of accommodations, especially bungalows, gives the island a rustic feel. Indulge in a number of beach activities. To the east are the smaller islands of Koh Kudi, Koh Khangkhao and Ko Rusi.
The fishing village of Ban Kon Ao is constantly subjected to wind and sea erosion, causing the beachside palm trees to appear to rise from sand pedestals bound together by tree roots.
Khao Chamao-Khao Wong National Park in Talang District is comprised of two mountains (khao) which loom above the farming lowlands of the Eastern Seaboard. The evergreen forests are home to many mammals, (tigers, elephants, bears), and has a few developed trails. Park highlights include the Khao Chamao Waterfall and the 80 plus Khao Wong caves, including Tham Phet (diamond cave) and Tham Lakhon (theater cave).
During mid-May to the end of June, excellent quality and reasonably priced rambutans, durians, and mangosteens are widely abundant. Several fruit orchards provide a tour of their plantations and a chance to taste the delicious tropical fruits.
The busy and prosperous fishing community of Ban Phe is the main ferry embarkation point for Koh Samet and neighboring islands. It is also a popular market place for dried and fresh seafood products. A 20-km coastal road winds along from here to Laem Mae Phim , with a good stretch of crystal white sandy beach. Local tourists frequent the roadside vendors selling fruits, fried squid, and other local delicacies.
Five km past Ban Phe is the Suan Son (Pine Park), a favorite picnic area by the beach shaded by pine trees. Aside from eating seafood and other local delicacies while lounging on deck chairs, there are a couple of sports activities to enjoy.
The Sunthon Phu Memorial Park is a quiet, well-manicured garden in Kram village, the birthplace of Thailand's most famous poet's father. Recognized by UNESCO as an eminent classical poet, Sunthon Phu (1786-1855) composed his famous Thai epic poem Phra Aphai Manee on Koh Samet. Statues of the poem's characters and famous scenes are scattered around the park.
Within the town, the King Taksin Shrine commemorates King Taksin's brief stay in Rayong following the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767. Formerly a Thai nobleman, he managed to escape before the fall and was acclaimed king in Rayong. He is remembered as the monarch who rallied the Thais and successfully expelled Burmese invaders before establishing a new capital in Thonburi, on the western bank opposite Bangkok. The shrine is highly revered by Thais of Chinese ancestry and attracts large crowds during Chinese New Year.
The Ayutthaya-style (1350-1767) Wat Pa Pradu enshrines a large 12-meter long Reclining Buddha image that lies on its left side rather than the conventional right side.
The 10-meter high Phra Chedi Klang Nam (pagoda in the middle of water) is located on an islet at the estuary of the Rayong River.
The ancient Wat Pa Pradu on Sukhumvit road houses a 12-meter-long Reclining Buddha. Unlike other reclining statues, it lies on the left instead of the usual right. Originally unsheltered, a viharn was built over it in 1981.
Located on the grounds of Wat Lum Mahachai Chumphon , the Phra Chao Tak Sin Shrine marks the site where he and his followers once made camp. Within the shrine is a standing statue of the great king. The 300-year-old Satu tree (genus Parkia) is believed to be the very tree he once tethered his elephant to.
The City Pillar Shrine on Lak Mueang Road in town consists of two buildings of Thai and Chinese styles.
At the end of Taksin Maharat Road and with a right turn into Samut Khongkha Road, Wat Samut Khongkha or Wat Pak Nam is about two kilometres south of town. It features an ancient 10-meter-high white Chedi on an isle in the middle of the Rayong River. No one knows who built it. But during the olden days when waterways were the main mode of transportation, the chedi served as a symbol of Rayong signifying to the boatmen that they had arrived at the town. Celebrations are held on the full-moon day of the 12th lunar month with ceremonies, boat races and other entertainment.
Suan Si Mueang is a public park in the town centre behind the city pillar. It houses the highly revered Phra Phuttha Angkhirot, the town's principal statue.
Five kilometers from town at Tambon Pak Nam, Hat Laem Charoen is a seaside area popular with townspeople who come to enjoy the scene and the seafood.
Hat Saeng Chan , seven kilometers from town at Tambon Pak Nam, is connected to Laem Charoen beach and also suitable for swimming. Food-shops and accommodation facitlities are available.
About 12 kilometres from town with a right turn Km. 229 of Sukumvit Road is Hat Mae Ramphung , a 12-kilometre long beach on the way to Ban Kon Ao, a small fishing village. The beach is clean with gentle slope suitable for swimming. On the shore are several bungalows.
A little further from Ban Kon Ao on the beach road iso Khao Laem Ya, coverd with small shrubs and with a cape jutting into the sea. Along one side of the hill is a long stretch of beach where the headquarters of the Khao Laem Ya-Samet Islands National Park is located.
The Sopha Arboretum is located near the entrance to Ban Phe about 200 meters off Highway No.3 at Km. 238. The extensive grounds are home to various flowering plants. A 100-year-old Thai-style wooden structure houses porcelain ware from various eras, particularly the Ban Chiang style. Open daily except Thursdays between 8.00 a.m.-5.00 p.m. Tel: 0-3865-1688.
A turn between Km. 231 and Km. 238, leads to Ban Phe which is about 19 kilometres from the township. A Major fishing community of the province, it is also the main embarkation point for the ferry to Ko Samet. On sale are popular fresh and dried seafood as well as other local products.
Located in a national park, Ko Samet is a highly popular destination in Rayong. Blessed with lovely scenery and beaches, it is easily accessible. There is a considerable range of different accommodation facilities to choose from.
Triangular-shaped, most of the land area is forested with beaches dotting intermittently on the north and east sides of the island. The south side tapers into the sea with small isles of rocky formation off shore, serving as habitat and egg-laying grounds for seagulls.
Ko Samet is 6.5 kilometres off Ban Phe and can be visited virtually the whole year round. The exception is during the Monsoon season mostly in May. It is recommended that you check the weather forecast before setting out.
From Ban Phe, ferry services run throughout the day. The trip takes about half an hour. Fares range from 40 baht to Hat Sai Kaeo and 50 baht to Hat Wong Duen. Getting from one place to another on the island is popularly by foot, but there are also land or sea transports serving the beaches.
Some 6 kilometres off shore is Ko Kudi , which is to the east of Samet. To the northeast are white, sandy beaches and popular viewing points. Off its northern tip are several coral-rich small islets.
Suan Son , about 4 kilometres further from Ban Phe along the beach-front road, offers areas shaded by verdant pine trees. The scenic beach is eminently suited for relaxation and swimming. Accommodations and food shops are also available.
Laem Mae Phim can be reach either from Sukhumvit Road taking a right turn at Km.259.5, 263 or 268, or continuing for a little over 1 kilometre from Wang Kaew on the beach road. It is a popular site for relaxation and swimming. Beach stalls serve food and snacks.
Wang Kaew is a recreational park and resort located some 11 kilometres further from Suan Son on the beach road. There are accommodation facilities and a well-landscaped park.For more information call0-3863-8067-8 or 0-2259-4150-1(Bangkok).
Five kilometres further on from Laem Mae Phim on the beach road (Highway No. 3145) is the Sunthorn Phu Memorail commemorating one of Thailand's top poets. The bard, a native of Rayong by birth, produced his literary works during the early part of Rattanakosin Era some two hundred years ago, Phra Aphai Mani being his most well known work.
Near the turn-off at Km. 265 on Highway No. 3 is Wat Saranat Thammaram , built in 1945. It features a beautiful ubosot housing a replica of the highly revered Phra Phutthachinnarat statue of Phitsanulok. Around the ubosot are also replicas of major Buddhist monuments from Thailand's four regions.
A small island some 5 kilometres off the shore of Laem Mae Phim is Ko Man Nai. It has been developed into a Sea Turtle Preservation Sanctuary under the royal initiative of Her Majesty the Queen, and open to the public from Monday-Sunday. Nearby are Ko Man Klang and Ko Man Nok with their beautiful beaches and resorts for relaxation.
Hat Phayun and Hat Phala , 32 kilometres and 34 kilometres respectively from the provincial town,offer Ban Chang's own lovely beaches. Shaded by pine trees, it has both hotels and bungalows for visitors.
:: Ban Khai
Thirty kilometres from town is Suphattraland , an extensive orchard open to the public. It grows succulent mangosteen, durian and rambutan. They generally mature in late April-June. Visitors can enjoy not only the pleasant surroundings but also taste for themselves freshly-picked fruits from the trees.
King Amphoe Khao Cha-mao
About 7 kilometres from town, the Khao Cha-mao National Park covers a vast area extending into both Rayong and Chanthaburi. The park headquarters can be reached by proceeding on Highway No. 3 to Km. 274 where a left turn leads to the headquarters, some 17 kilometres further on. The forest is in almost perfect condition with a profusion of different plant life. A not-to-be-missed attraction is the multi-tiered Khao Cha-mao Waterfall, cascading down from the mountain top carving out shallow basins where visitors can splash around and where many fish live. There are also food shops and bungalows. Camping is possible within the park.
Other interesting sites in the park include Pha Sawan , the Heavenly Cliff, about 1.5 kilometres from the park headquarters serves as a vantage point for viewing the Khlong Pla Kang Waterfall 3 kilometres away and the Khlong Hing Phloeng Waterfall 10 kilometres from the office. All these sites can be reached only on foot. But the route offers stunning natural scenery and plant life.
The Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhon Herbal Garden is located within the grounds of the Petroleum Authority of Thailand, about 25 kilometres from town on Highways No. 36 and No. 3191 in Nikhom Phatthana sub-district. It is a center of various herbal plants and engages in herbal research. Open daily from 8.30 a.m.-4.30 p.m. Tel: 0-3868-1817-30
Horse-riding is available at the Orchard Park Riding Club , some 7 kilometres off Highway No. 3 after a left turn at Km. 260.Tel: 0-2530-3860-3 (Bangkok).
Also at the Slo Bunny Horse Riding-Training Center at Mae Ramphung Beach, Tel: 0-3889-8623.
Golf Courses in Rayong are:-
Eastern Star Golf Course, 24/5 Mu 3, Tambon Phala, Ban Chang district, Rayong 21130, Tel: 0-3863-9410-7.
Great Lake Golf & Country Club , 77 Mu 3, off Highway No. 36, Bangkok-Rayong Road, Map Yang, Pluak Daeng, Rayong 21130, Tel: 0-3862-2630.
Rayong Green Valley Country Club , Mu 7, Ban Chang, Rayong 21130, Tel: 0-3860-3001
Hotels and accommodation
- Ao Prao Resort : Krungthonburi Rd., Klong Sarn, Bangkok 10600 [(66 2) 438-9771]
- Novotel Coralia Rim Pae Rayong : 4/5 Moo 3, Pae- Klaeng-Kram Road, Klaeng, [(66 2) 260-2515]
- Rayong Resort : 186 Moo 1, Tambon Ban Phe, Amphur Muang, [(66 38) 651-000]
- Amber : 190/1-2 Ratbamrung Road, Tambon Noenphra, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 3862 0871] : 40 rooms : 1,100 baht
- Ban Mai Taeng : 1/17 Ratbamrung Road, Soi 15, Tambon Noenphra, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 3880 8739-41] : 14 rooms : 500-600 baht
- Brookside Valley : 129/5 Tambon Samnakthong, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 3862 9280, 0 3862 9088, Tel: 0 2 693 0233] : 2,400 baht
- Burapha Resort : 2/13 Sukhumvit Road, Tambon Choeng Noen, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 3861 2482-3] : 80 rooms : 450-650 baht
- Chan Muang : 024 Tha Banthuk Road, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 38 614330] : 13 rooms : 250-400 baht
- Diamond : 51/2 Ratbamrung Road, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 3861 4577, 0 3861 4328 Fax: 0 3880 8170] : 31 rooms : 200-500 baht
- Di Prathap Chit Resort : 82 Beach Road, Tambon Paknam, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 3861 4271, 0 3861 3611 Fax: 0 3861 4271] : 11 bungalows and 28 rooms : 1,200-5,000 baht
- Dream : 365/1 Sukhumvit Road, Tambon Noenphra, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 38 614621 Fax: 0 3861 6895] : 14 rooms : 500-1,300 baht
- Eastern : 052/3 Sukhumvit Road, Tambon Choeng Noen, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 38 611167] : 34 rooms : 120-200 baht
- Garden House : 70 Sukhumvit Road, Tambon Maptaphut, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 38 681233] : 15 rooms : 250-500 baht
- Golden City Rayong : Sukhumvit Road, Tambon Noenphra, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 38 618701-15] : 135 rooms : 800-3,700 baht
- K.S. City Palace : 47/12 Ratbamrung Road, Tambon Choeng Noen, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 38 617394, 0 3861 7396] : 120 rooms : 300-500 baht
- Kanavy Bay : 50 Leap Chai Fang Road, Tambon Paknam, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 38 804844, 0 3861 9025] : 15 rooms : 2,500-4,000 baht
- M.P. Grand : 125 Wat Maptaphut Road, Tambon Maptaphut, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 38 681346-7, 0 3868 1786, 0 3868 1790 Fax: 0 3868 2254] : 252 rooms : 500-4,500 baht
- Maptaphut : 150 Mu 1, Sukhumvit Road, Tambon Maptaphut, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 38 681014] :: 40 rooms : 170-250 baht
- Melody : 144/1 Ratbamrung Road, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 38 611259, 0 3861 6567, Fax: 0 3861 6567] : 15 rooms : 350-700 baht
- One-way : 048/1 Ratbamrung Road, Tambon Noenphra, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 38 611904 Fax: 0 3861 3497] : 29 rooms:: 180-300 baht
- P.M.Y. Beach Resort : 89 Leap Chai Fang Road, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 38 614855 Fax: 0 3861 4887] : 206 rooms : 2,236-6,827 baht
- P.M.Y. : 39 Leap Chai Fang Road, Tambon Paknam, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 38 613002-3 Fax: 0 3861 2958] : 35 bungalows (80 rooms) : 2,600-12,000 baht
- Rayong : 065/3 Sukhumvit Road, Tambon Tha Pradu, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 38 611073] : 39 rooms : 150-400 baht
- Rayong City : 11 Soi 4 Ratbamrung Road, Tambon Noenphra, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 38 614872-3, 0 3861 5384-5 Fax: 0 3861 4872-3] : 170 rooms : 550-1,100 baht
- Rayong Orchid : 11 Soi Ratbamrung, Sukhumvit Road, Tambon Noenphra, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 38 614340-9 Fax: 0 3861 4780] : 150 rooms : 750-2,500 baht
- Rayong Otany : 69 Sukhumvit Road, Tambon Tha Pradu, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 38 611112, 0 3861 1161] : 117 rooms : 180-700 baht
- Rayong Palace : 109 Ratbamrung Road, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 38 616438-9 Fax: 0 3861 7204] : 35 rooms : 350-450 baht
- Rayong President : 16/8 Behind Siam Commercial Bank, Photchanakon Road, Tambon Tha Pradu, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 38 611307, 0 38 62 2771-6 Fax: 0 3861 2570] : 79 rooms : 440-490 baht
- Rayong Sea View : 46 Leap Chai Fang Road, Tambon New Paknam, Amphoe Muang [Tel: 0 38 611364, 0 3861 5452, 0 3861 6560, (01) 321 1155 Fax: 611364] : 5 bungalows/ 10 rooms : 750-800 baht
- Amphoe Muang
- Kang Han Seafood : 1023/2 Tha Bantuk Rd., Noen Phra, Tel: 0-3861-3101 (Thai & seafood)
- Mabtaput Duck Noodles : 31 Moo 6, Soi Wat Sophon, Sukhumvit Rd., Tel: 0-3868-1021
- Kalakrungnung : 20-22 Yomchinda Rd., Tha Pradu, Tel: 0-3861-1042 (Thai & seafood)
- Kasem Pochana : 69/4 Sukhumvit Rd., in front of the watch tower, Tel: 0-3861-1191
- Kai Tang Daeng : Across from the Rayong Orchard Center, Tel: 0-3868-4692
- Khum Luang : 20/2 Liang Muang Rd., Tel: 0-3861-3383, 0-3861-4284-5
- Krua Chang Daeng : Rayong City Hotel, 11 Rajbamrung Rd., Soi 4, Tel: 0-3861-4842-3 (Japanese & Thai)
- Krua Mai Ngarm : 249 Sukhumvit Rd., Mabtaput, Tel: 0-3868-2628
- Krua Piman : 613/2 Rajbamrung Rd., Tel: 0-3861-5596
- Krua Rayong : 126/4 Sukhumvit Rd., Tapong, Tel: 0-3866-4229 (Thai)
- Amphoe Klang
- Kang Han Lom : 62 Ban Bung-Klang Rd., Tang Kwian, Tel: 0-3867-1605 (Thai)
- Kulab Pochana : 232 Sukhumvit Rd.
- Kumsing Pochana : 97 Moo 4, Krum, Tel: 0-3865-7685 (local)
- Jek Ao Khao Din : 200/21 Sukhumvit Rd.
- Jiew Pochana : 204/194-6 Sukhumvit Rd., Tel: 0-3867-1221 (Thai)
- Chuan Chim : Tesabal Rd.
- Thammachart : 176 Sai Ban Bung-Klang Rd., Tang Kwian, Tel: 0-3867-4356 (Thai & seafood)
- New Lawan : 112/1 Sai Ban Bung-Klang Rd.
- Ban Krum Seafood : 152/2 Laem Mae Pim
- Ban Tua Ngok : 111 Moo 1, Sunthorn Phu Rd., Wang Wa, Tel: 0-3867-2021, 0-1664-2914
- Amphoe Ban Chang
- Ngan Pradit : 90/74 Sukhumvit Rd., Pla, Tel: 0-3860-1065, 0-3888-2192 (Thai)
- Tai Yo : 86/4-5 Sukhumvit Rd., Tel: 0-3860-1849, 0-3860-3134 (Japanese)
- Tiew : 174/9 Jorku-Pla Rd., Pla, Tel: 0-3860-1574 (Thai)
- Pla Seafood : Moo 2, Pla, Tel: 0-3863-0229
- Payoon Seafood : 2/29 Payoon-Pla Rd., Tel: 0-3863-0007
- Wor. Ocha : 65/16 Ban Chang, Tel: 0-3860-1076 (noodles)
How to get there
* By car
- From Bangkok, take Highway No. 34 (Bang Na-Trat) or Motorway to Pattaya, and use Highway No. 36 to Rayong.
- From Bangkok, take Highway No. 34 (Bang Na-Trat) or Motorway to Chonburi, and use Highway No. 344 (Ban Bung-Klaeng), then turn into Highways No. 331 and No. 36 to Rayong.