Rayong

on the East Coast of Thailand

Sunset on the Beach


Rayong may be famous for its succulent fruit - particularly that of the pineapple, rambutan, mangosteen, and durian but it's better known by for its bronze statue of Thailand's most respected poet Sunthorn Phu. (more about this later)

At the heart of the busy market town there is an attractive local tourism office where you can acquire all sorts of essential information regarding the whole of the east coast of Thailand as well as fact files as far as the Cambodian border.

However, you have to take into consideration that the main attractions are not so much in the town itself but rather outside of town. Possibly one of the nicest places to seek a little solace is along its 100 kilometre coastline where there are several pristine, but quiet beaches and ten islands teeming with marine life.


Centre of Town


If you make a right turn from the center of town and travel about 20 kilometres (12 miles) past Rayong, you will come to a turn off, which will then take you to the slightly old, but busy and prosperous fishing village of Ban Pha on the coast.

The village occupies land between the beach and the estuary. Once there you'll most certainly come across several women dressed in somewhat weathered black shirts, sarongs and straw hats covering the ground with tangerine coloured shrimp in order for them to dry out in the tropical sun, all to familiar in Thailand.


Fishing Boats at Ban Pha

Beyond Rayong

As you travel even further east from the fishing port of Ban Phe on the coastal road, you will pass a number of fishmongers and believe it or not, just as many barber shops. (Now could be a good time to have your hair cut) That is before entering the kilometre-long pine forest of Ban Pha Phrae National Park.

This national park displays a rather refreshing change of scenery from the scrub-land preceding it and is a popular picnicking spot for locals as well as Thai tourists.

Incidentally, there is also a scenic location a short distance southwest of Ban Phe where you can enjoy both waterfalls and sunset viewpoints at Khao Laem Ya, an area covered in scrub forest. From the cape you will have breathtaking views across not only Mae Ramphueng Beach but also Koh Samet Island.


Durian Fruit on the way to the Markets

The Famous Fruit Festival

Each year in May fruit orchards deliver an amazing harvest, making the province famous for its fruit festivals. The venue of the main festival switches between the Mueang and Klaeng District of. It's a wonderful time for you to enjoy watching the floats decorated with fruit, parade through town. Not only that, there are also fruit and beauty contests as well as a fruit and seafood fair.

Seafood products such as a shrimp paste known as Nam Phrik Kapi and a fish sauce known as Nam Pla - both of which is the source of salt in the Thai diet, and are sold at market stalls alongside dried seafood and Thai condiments known as Sine Qua Non as well as all the tropical fruits of the region.

Incidentally Nam Pla is made from a small silver fish found in the Gulf of Thailand. The fish are then allowed to decompose for up to seven months in order for them to produce a rather ruddy liquid which is then filtered and promptly bottled


Suan Wang Kaew Beach

The Beaches

The first beach you reach east of Ban Pha is at Suan Wang Kaew which in itself has an appearance of a hilly landscaped garden that stretches all the way to the shore. It's a favourite Thai picnic spot known as the beach park or pine park and is complimented with a long stretch of crystal white sandy beachfront. The few restaurants jutting out to sea serve superb seafood and provide you with some excellent views.

Further up is Laem Mae Phim, a popular Thai beach resort where some great seafood restaurants line the top end of the beach. The area is safe for swimming with water sports such as wave riding on banana boats and inner tubes on offer.

This stretch of coast has seen little development and is absent of vendors selling cheap goods, though there are some interesting pottery items available. It's not unusual to have almost the whole beach to yourself during the week.


Seafood Restaurant at Suan Wang Kaew

The Islands

Koh Samet is famous among the locals as the setting for an epic story of their most respected poets, Sunthorn Phu. On Hat Sai Kaeo known as the glass sand beach, the longest and liveliest on the island, you will find the statue of prince Phra Arpaimanee, on which the epic tale Sunthorn Phu was said to have written.

It was also his first poem. Phra Arpaimanee was inspired by the surroundings of Koh Samet then known as Koh Kaew Pisadan where Sunthorn Phu finally settled.

The poem tells the story of the prince who, after travelling around Thailand with his flute, was later exiled to an underwater kingdom ruled by a ravenous giantess who was madly in love with him. After seeing the giantess bite the head off a buffalo, the prince manages to escape to Koh Samet with the help of a mermaid.

However, the giantess follows the couple, but is defeated when the prince plays his magic flute, sending her to sleep. Upon escaping the prince is subsequently betrothed to a beautiful princess. They get married and lived happily ever after with a son, Husakorn, who had the body of a horse and the head of a dragon.


Sunthon Phu near Laem Mae Phim

Iconic Landmark in Rayong

Five kilometres from Laem Mae Phim Beach there is a magnificent monument built to commemorate Sunthon Phu who had lived in Klaeng northeast of Rayong during the early Rattanakosin era two centuries ago.

You'll find the bronze statue of the poet at the site as well as bronze statues of a few of his literary characters, especially those from the famous Phra Arpaimanee poem. Lovers of poetry in particular will surely appreciate their time spent here.

The streets of Klaeng are lined with several appealing, but old-style wooden Thai houses, but its main attraction is the imposing Wat Saranat Thammaram temple located at the market. If you should be visiting the town of Chanthaburi on your way to Ko Chang Island you can go directly from Chon Buri via Klaeng.


Laem Mae Phim Beach

Getting There

Possibly the best way to get to Rayong from Bangkok 220 kilometres (140 miles) away, is to travel by car. The most popular route would be to start your journey from Bangna-Trat Road (Highway 34) via Bang Phli and Bang Bo District in the Samut Prakan Province and then along highway 3 past the town of Chon Buri and the popular resort towns of Pattaya and Jomtien.

The trip should not take you more than about three hours at a comfortable speed - That is, of course, outside rush hour traffic.

It is also possible to travel on the motorway starting from Phatthanakarn Road in the Prawet District of Bangkok towards the town of Si Racha. Then just before Pattaya, switch over to Highway 36 and travel along this route for approximately 50 kilometres before reaching your destination.

Choosing to go by taxi to Rayong will set you back around 3,500 Baht to 4,500 Baht depending on your generosity.


Sunset on Laem Mae Phim Beach



Return from Rayong to the East Coast of Thailand



Visit Luxury Thailand Travel's profile on Pinterest.


Recent Articles

  1. What to wear in Thailand

    Dec 02, 16 09:59 AM

    The question most foreign visitors ask is what to wear in Thailand during their vacation. The answer is to simply pack light and choose mostly natural cotton that is carefree and comfortable.

    Read More

  2. Ko Samui Island

    Dec 01, 16 02:05 PM

    The picturesque beauty of Ko Samui Island lies just off the Gulf Coast of southern Thailand, attracting visitors to the beaches of Chaweng and Lamai as well as Ang Thong National Marine Park

    Read More

  3. Good Thai Girls in Thailand

    Nov 29, 16 09:40 AM

    Meeting Good Thai Girls in Thailand is a lot easier than you may think and this guide will help you in your quest on where the best places to go looking for good girls in the land of smiles.

    Read More

  4. Ko Samui Beach

    Nov 28, 16 01:08 PM

    This Ko Samui Beach Guide is filled with the palm fringed beaches such as the magnificent Chaweng Beach, the lovely Lamai Beach and the beautiful Big Buddha Beach.

    Read More

  5. Chiang Mai Attractions

    Nov 27, 16 05:35 AM

    Some of the best Chiang Mai Attractions include important historical sites such as Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Suan Dok.

    Read More


Please note that this post contains some affiliate links which means I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you if you should purchase after clicking through my blog. Also remember that I never promote any products or services here unless I've used and loved them myself.

Your host Grahame (Yep! that's me) from Luxury Thailand Travel says he'd really appreciate your kind support. Simply take your next tour by selecting any one of the many excursions listed on the left side of this page and or book your hotel reservation to amazing Thailand using the HotelTravel search box below. Have a happy holiday and a safe trip.

Destination
Check-in
Check-out
Rooms :
Child
Adult(s)


E-mail Address
First Name
Then

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Luxury Thailand Travel.


Touristlink Certification Badge

Free Web Submission

Build a Better Travel Blog

Thai Dating

Hotel Booking

HotelTravel.com – Worldwide Leader in Hotel Bookings with Guaranteed Lowest Rates and Discounts of up to 75% Off!

Hotels and Resorts

Top Thailand Hotels

Beaches

Islands

National Parks

Attractions

Entertainment

Kids Stuff

Bangkok Markets

Bangkok Temples

Arts and Crafts

Festivals

Restaurants

Recipes

Herbs and Spices

Mythical Creatures

Nightlife

Go Go Bars

Blog Traffic