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. Administrative, it is divided into Muang Rayong, Klaeng, Ban Khai, Bang Chang, Pluak Daeng and Wang Chan districts and Khao Chamao and Nikhom Phatthana sub-districts.
Distances from Rayong Town to Other Destinations :
The ancient Wat Pa Pradu on Sukhumvit road houses a 12-meter-long Reclining Buddha.
Located on the grounds of Wat Lum Mahachai Chumphon , the Phra Chao Tak Sin Shrine marks the site where he and his follower 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.
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 mid-Rayong River. No one khow who built it. But during the olden days when waterway was the main mode of transportation, the chedi served as a symbol of Rayong signifying to the boatsmen that they had arrived at the town. Celebrations are held in the full-moon day of the 12th lunar month with ceremony, boat races and other entertainment.
Suan Si Mueang is a public park in town centre behind the city pillar. It houses the highly revered Phra Phuttha Angkhirot, the town 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 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 to Khao Laem Ya coverd with small shrubs and with a cape jutting into the sea. Along one side of the hill is along 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 into 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 form various eras, particular of the Ban Chiang style. Open daily except Thursdays between 8.00 a.m.-5.00 p.m. Tel: 0-3865-1688.
A turn at 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 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 of 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. Exception is during the Monsoon season mostly in May. It is recommended that you make sure of the weather before setting out.
From Ban Phe are ferry services 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 on foot. But there are also land or sea transports serving between 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 pinetrees. The scenic beach is eminently suited for relaxation and swimming. Accommodations and food shops are also available.
Hat Phayun and Hat Phala , 32 kilometres and 34 kilometres respectively from the provincial town,offer Ban Chang own lovely beaches. Shaded by pine trees, it has both hotels and bungalows for visitors.
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 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 the well-landscaped park.
Near the turning 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 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.
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
About 7 kilometres from town, the Khao Cha-mao National Park covers an 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 headquarter, some 17 kilometres further on. The forest is in almost perfect condition with a profusion of different plantlife. A not-to-be-missed attraction is the multi-tiered Khao Cha-mao Waterfall cascading down from the mountain-top carving out hallow 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 serving 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 of plantlife.
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.