The province of Rayong is known for its fine beaches, tasty food and delectable durians. About 220 kilometers from Bangkok on Highway No. 3 or 179 kilometers on Highway No. 36 with its shortcut. Rayong offers some interesting sightseeing and pleasures.
Directory Listings : Hotels and Resorts in Rayong
Hat Laem Charoen and Hat Sang Chan are two connected beaches and are located 5 kms. south of town. Several seafood restaurants can be found near Hat Laem Charoen and there are bungalows scatterer along Hat Sang Chan.
Ko Saket Retch, a small offshore island, can be reached by boat at Ha Thong. The trip takes about fifteen minutes. The water around the island is clear and allows a fascination view of the underwater coral formations. Accommodation in camping tents is available. Reservation should be made in advance by Tel. 7196393-9, 3197506 in Ban and Tel. (038) 617002 in Rayong.
Khao Laem Ya-Mu Ko Samet National Park is situated at Tambon Phe, Amphoe Muang Rayong. The park covers a wide stretch of area including shore, sea and islands. It has places of interest like Hat Mae Ramphung, Khao Laem Ya and Ko Samet. The Forestry Department has proclaimed it a national park in October 1981.
Hat Mae Ramphung
Accessible by a right turn from kilometer 229 on Sukhumvit Road, the clean beach slopes gently to the sea and is good for swimming. Hat Mae Ramphung is hugged by a road running for 10 kilometers. It has a small fisherman village called Ban Kon Ao situated at one end and several bungalows and houses for rent scattered along the way.
Khao Laem Ya, a small shore hill, is located a bit beyond Ban Kon Ao along the beach road. Some parts of Khao Laem Ya are headlands stretching out into the sea. The park's office is located on a long beach at the foot of the hill.
Ko Samet, on which Sunthorn Phu, Thailand's greatest poet based his most famous work, the story of Phra Aphaimani, is located 30 minutes or 6.5 kilometers off the coast or Ban Phe. Samet Island offers beautiful beaches with charming white sand and strange-shaped rocks, great for relaxation. The climate is always pleasantly cool with abundant rains in August and windy monsoons in May. Accommodations at Ban Phe and on the Samet Island are available.
How to Get to Ban Phe and Ko Samet
Tourists, who travel by public transport, should take Bangkok-Ban Phe Bus directly. Air-conditioned coaches leave Bangkok from the Eastern Bus Terminal on Sukhumvit Rd. every hour starting from 7:00 hrs. until 20:30 hrs. One way fare is B 90. There are also non Air-conditioned buses leaving from the same station every hour from 06:00 hr. until 17:00 hrs. Bus fare is B 50. The trip takes about 3 hrs. For more details, please contact Tel. 3912504. Boats from Ban Phe leave regularly for Ko Samet from 6:00-17:00 hrs. and more frequently on Saturday and Sunday. It costs 30-80 baht each. A chartered boat costs 800-3,000 baht per day depending on the size of the boat.
Hat Phayun and Hat Phala are located in Amphoe Ban Chang 33 kms.and 36 kms. respectively from Rayong. Both beaches are peaceful and suitable for swimming. The choice of accommodation ranges from luxury hotels to economy bungalows.
Suan Son Pine Park, five kilometers from Ban Phe on the beach road, is a popular picnic place. It has shady areas, white clean sand and a number of seafood eateries. Reasonable accommodation is also available.
Laem Mae Phim, with entries at km. 259, 263 and 268, is suitable for swimming, as waves are not too strong and the sea is clean and clear. To the north of the cape is a small offshore isle, Ko Khi Pla. For some unexplained reason, it can be reached somedays by walking, as the tide goes down to the extent that a "road" appears.
Khao Chamao-Khao Wong National Park, about 17 kilometers off the main highway at km. 274, abounds with various types of trees and plants, as well as species highly valued as decorative plants. Khao Cha-mao Waterfall has 8 levels and is not too difficult to climb to the top. Bungalows are provided by National Park Tel. 5790529, 5794842 for reservation.
About 77 kilometers from town and another 12 kilometers from a left turn at km. 286 Sukhumvit Highway is Tham Khao Wong (Cave). Accessibility during rainy season is rather difficult. There are about 80 large and small connecting chambers, all of which are beautifully decorated with natural stalactites and stalagmites.
Ko Man or Man Island Group consists of three islands namely Ko Man Nai, Ko Man Klang and Ko Man Nok and is located 5 kms. from Laem Mae Phim. It takes about 30 minutes by boat. The islands are good for viewing coral reefs. Ko Man Nai is going to be developed into Sea Turtle Preservation Sanctuary and can be visited during the day.
Rayong Fruit Fair is held during May or June at Amphoe Muang and Amphoe Klaeng. Rayong is famous for its lush orchards, producing some of the country's best pomelo, jackfruit, rambutan and durian. All will be on sale at this fair. Shrimp paste, fish sauce( for which the province is noted )and a wide variety of local handicrafts are also available at the fair.