GOLDEN TOWN OF THE EAST COAST
Rayong is located in the east coast of Thailand on the northern shoreline of the Gulf of Thailand, some 179 kilometres from Bangkok.
Rayong has an extensive coastline stretching for approximately 100 kilometres, is some 3,552 square kilometres in area, and is divided into 6 administrative districts. To the north and west it is bordered by the province of Chonburi, east by Chanthaburi Province and south by the Gulf of Thailand. The total population of the province is about 437,552 persons.
In general the geography of Rayong is marked by a series of mountains interspersed by flat plains and large tracts of land under forest, rubber and fruit plantation. Offshore there are many islands which are wellknown by the tourist, such as Ko Samet and Ko Man.
Rayong was mentioned in the Thai history during the late Ayuttaya period, when the former capital was razed to the ground by the invading Burmese. At this time Phaya Tak, later to become King Taksin of Thonburi, led a band of patriots and broke out through the cordon of besieging troops who had surrounded the capital. He then made the cast stopping in Rayong to build up his navy before proceeding on to Chantaburi. Because of his courage and bravery, the soldiers and local population appointed him as "King" in Rayong. Once he had built up sufficient troop strength, Phaya Taksin returned to Ayuttaya and routed the Burmese and set up a new capital in Thonburi.
Rayong is blessed with its abundance of nature beauty, It has a well deserved reputation for producing seafood poducts such as shrimp paste, fish sauce and dried seafoods, and tropical fruits of which Rambutan, Mangosteen and Durian are the most famous. The climate is tropical, generally warm and humid with abundant rainfall, average temperature is around 28 C. The best months are November through February.
The King Taksin Shrine The shrine is located at Wat Lum Mahachai Chumpon which commemorates King Taksin the Great's brief sojourn in Rayong. In front of the shrine is a large tree of the genus Parkia, where according to local legend, his elephant was believed to be stabled. It is highly revered by the people, particularly those of Chinese ancestry, and attracts large crowds during Chinese New year celebrations.
Wat Pa Pradu This temple was constructed during the Ayuttaya period. Enshrined in the temple is a large reclining Buddha, measuring 11.95 metres long by 3.60 metres high. This differs from other similar images, in that it reclines on its left side.
City Pillar Shirne Located in Lak Muang Road. Originally it was made from wood, but was later restored, using mortar, as a Chinese-style pavilion.
Phra Chedi Kiang Nam The Chedi (Pagoda) is located about 2 kilometres from town centre and is sited on an islet at the mouth of the Rayong River. The Chedi, stands about 10 metres high, and is an ancient structure, though there is no evidence of when it was built and by whom. An annual celebration is, held during the twelfth lunar month (November) featuring exciting boat races.
Sri Muang Park The park is located in the centre of town behind the city hall. The most prominent feature is a Buddhist Shrine called Ho Phra Budda Ang Khee Rot which, is built over an artificial lake, and in Traditional Thai architectural style.
Sai Thong Beach This peaceful secluded setting has, as the name implies, a fine sandy beach, Along the beachfront there are bungalows for rent as well as a restaurant serving fresh seafood. To reach Hat Sai Thong drive about 12 kilometres along highway 3 in the direction of Sattahip and turn off between kilometre posts 207-208 opposite the Maptaphut Market. Approximately 5.5 kilometres along this road is the beach.
Ko Saket A small island about 10 minutes journey from Sai Thong Beach. The water around the island is clear and allow a fascination view of the underwater coral formations. There are bungalows for rent on the island.
Payoon and Pala Beach Located in Ban Chang District about 33 and 36 kilometres respectively from Rayong Town. Both .beaches are connected, peaceful and eminently suitable for swimming. Here visitors have choice of accommodation from luxury hotel to economy bungalows.
Dok Krai Reservoir Located in Pluak Daeng District, 35 kilometres from Rayong Town. This is the centre of development projects under the advice of H.M.King Bhumipol Adulyadej on agriculture, fishery, irrigation, land and farm animals. The reservoir covers 20,000 rais of land, is surrounded by the natural beauty ideal for relaxing, camping and educational tour.
Mae Rumphueng Beach The beach, some 10 kilometres long is located between Ban Tapong and Ban Kon Aow, 11 kilometres from town, and sited within the Khao Laem Yah-Ko Samet Group National Park. This is a particularly beautiful spot with a headland forming a magnificent backdrop to a crescent shaped bay with broad sandy beaches which are ideal for swimming.
Ban Kon Ao This is a typical fishing village, some 22 kilometres from town, which is dominated by a temple with seats at the top hill overlooking the snoreline. The area is subject to wind and sea erosing. The palm trees appear to be standing on sand pedestals, which appear to be held together only by the roots of the trees.
The Sobha Botanical Gardens These possess one of the greatest varieties of trees and plants in Thailand. Located on the Phe road, Muang District. Rayong , 17 kilometres from town, the Gardens are only 3 kilometres from the ferry to Samet island. In the Gardens, one sees also a Thai Sala and a group of three classical Thai houses, each of which is more than a hundred years old. The houses are completely furnished and have utensils traditionally used by the people. There are also a number of antique objects and other objects d'art on display in the houses.
Khao Laem Ya-Ko Samet Group National Park In 1981 the area known as Khao Laem Yah and the island of Ko samet was designated as a nature reserve. It is an area of great natural beauty which is enhanced by the tranquility of the surroundings. Khao Laem Ya is located about 6.4 kms from the fishing village of Ban Phe. Ko Samet, on which Sunthorn Phu, Thailand 's greatest poet based his most famous work, the story of Pra Apaimanee, lies about 40 minutes boat journey offshore. The park also covers Mae Rumphueng Beach, Ban Kon Ao and some islands near Ko Samet such as Ko Kudee, Ko Kruai, Ko Khangkhao and Ko Platin.
Ban Phe Ban Phe, 22 Kilometres from town, is a busy fishing port and the centre of local marine produce. The town of Ban Phe is characterised by narrow streets of shops and houses, It is a stopping off points for tourists en route to the island of Ko Samet. Boats leave regularly for the island from the piers. Shop in the main street stock a wide variety of marine produce and many souvenirs and trinkets fashioned from shells of different shades and sizes.
Ko Samet or Ko Kaew Phisadan It is the most well-known attraction of Rayong offers beautiful beaches with charming white sand, strange-shape rocks, suitable relaxation, water sporting, exploring the coral reefs beneath the sea. Ko Samet is located some 6.5 kilometres from ban Phe. There are boat services available all day and many kinds of accommodation there.
Ko Kudee It lies approximately 6 kilometres offshore. Besides Ko Kudee there are two smaller islands, one is Ko Khangkhao and another is Ko Rusee Cave. All three islands lie a little to the east of Ko Samet. The islands have beautiful natural landscapes and ringed by fine beaches which are ideal for swimming and camping on.
Suan Son Park It is 1 kilometre from Ban Phe and also known as the Casuarina (pine) gardens: These splendid tress line both verges of the road for a distance of 1 kilomertre. It is a popular picnic place with shady areas.
Wang Kaew This is agreeably one of the most picturesque part of the east coast and used to be the most famous tourist spot. Wang Kaew is a beautifully landscaped headland with a fine beach and accommodation available in cottages and bungalows. It is 38 kilometres from town.
Laem Mae Phim At km 26 on the coastal road between Ban Phe and Klaeng, 48 kilometres from town, is Laem Mae Phim. This is a popular beach that attracts Thai tourists. There are many bungalows for rent at the site and along the roadside there are vendors selling a wide range of produce. Such as fruits, coconuts, fried squid and skewers oysters. Boats can be hired to visit the nearby Ko Mun island group.
Mun Islands Lying off -the coast near Kram is the Ko Mun island group which consists of three islands, namely Ko Man Nai, Ko Mun Kiang and Ko Mun Nok which mean inner, middle and outer Mun islands. These islands are located about 5 kilometres off Laem Mae Phim and take about 50 minutes to reach by boat, The cost is about 500 baht per round trip. The islands are worth while exploring, each one having fine sandy beaches which offer secluded sports for sunbathing or swimming. Accommodations are available on Ko Mun Klang and Ko Mun Nok.
The Statue of Sunthorn Phu Being further down the beautiful road going towards Kaeng district, 53 kilometres from town, the great poet of the Ratanakosin Era has been designated by UNESCO as an eminent classical poet The statue is located in the village of Ban Kram, the birthplace of Sunthorn Phu's father. There is a well kept memorial park at the house site. A statue of the poet in a seated position is placed on a hilllock overlooking an ornamental pond. Characters from his most famous work can be seen below him. His beloved hero, Phra Aphaimanee, is playing a flute at the foot of the hill. The graceful mermaid rests on a rock in the pond as a giant ogress rises out of the water.
Wat Saranat Thammaram This temple is located at the market in Klaeng town and was constructed in 1945. This very imposing structure boasts one of the, most beautiful Ubosots in the East. Replicas of many well-known Buddhist chedis are erected around the compound.
Somdet Krommaluang Chumphon Shrine Near the mouth of the river Prasair is the district of Klaeng is the Somdet Krommaluang Chumphon shrine, which honours the "Father of the Royal Thai Navy". To reach the site turn off the Sukhumvit Road at km. 278 and travel a distance of 9 kms.
The Khao Chamao - Khao Wong National Park It is about 17 kilometres off the main highway at km. 274, 76 kilometres from Rayong and abounds with various types of trees and plants, as well as. species highly valued as decorative plants. The Khao Chamao waterfall has eight levels. It is not too difficult to reach the top.
Khao Wong Caves To reach Khao Wong take the turning at km 288 on the Sukhumvit Road and travel a distance of 12 kms to find the caves. At Khao Wong there are about 60 caves around the base of the mountain. Many of the caves are occupied by Buddhist monks, and one has been turned into a shrine with a replica of the Buddha 's footprint.
By Bus Rayong is connected by regular bus services with Bangkok and other towns and provinces such as Pattaya, Chonburi, Chanthaburi, Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, Nong Khai, Surin and Ubon Ratchathani.B
Air conditioned and regular buses leave Bangkok to Rayong from Eastern Bus Terminal on Sukhumvit Road, Ekamai, Tel : 3914900 (air) and Tel : 3912504 (non-air). Air conditioned buses leaving Bangkok every 30-40 minutes from 05.00 hrs. until 22.00 hrs. One way fare is 85 baht. Non-airconditioned buses leaving Bangkok every 30 minutes from 04.30 hrs. until 20.00 hrs. One way fare is 47 Baht. The trip takes about 3 hours.
Airconditioned buses leaving Bangkok for Ban Phe every 1 hour from 07.00 hrs. until 20,30 hrs. and non- airconditioned buses every 1 hour from 05.15 hrs. until 18.30 hrs. One way fare is 90 baht for airconclitioned bus and 50 baht for non-air conditioned bus.
By Air Bangkok Airways operates regular scheduled flights from Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Samui Island to Rayong-Utapao International Airport. For information contact Bangkok Airways in Bangkok, Tel; (02) 2538942- 6,2559915-20 and Rayong, Tel : (038) 603063
Boat to Koh Samet Local Transportation Public urban transportation within Rayong is in the form of minibuses. Local buses leave the Rayong Bus Terminal at Rayong Trade Centre for various destinations throughout the day. depend on the distances. Fares are about 5-15 baht depend on the distances.
Boat to Ko Samet Ko Samet can be reached by boat frorn Ban Phe. Boats leaving Ban Phe for Ko Samet through the day from 06.00 hrs. until 17.00 hrs. Fare is 30 baht for one way trip. The trip takes about 40 minutes.
New Year and Red Cross Fair This fair is held from December 28 until January 3 with a board range of entertainment spectacles and special exhibitions of government and private agencies.
Fruit Fair Fruit FairThis annual fair, usually during the middle of May, celebrates the abundance of local fruits and products. Besides stalls selling local fruits and products, there are colourful floats decorated with fruits, parades, musical and dance processions, beauty pageants, fruits contests and exhibitions of local products.
Phra Chedi Kiang Nam Fair This annual celebration is held in the twelfth lunar month during Loi Krathong festival, to pray h the Chedi. The fair also features exciting boat races.
Seafood Products Such as shrimp paste, fish sauce, dried prawns, squid and other dried seafoods are important and well know local products, due to their high quality and moderate prices. The best places to buy are in Ban Phe market or in any of Rayong's market.
Reed mats And other beautiful products from the same material, such as purses, handbags and hats, are a local cottage industry in the village of Kram and Klaeng district. One of the best places to buy these gifts is from the woman ' s charity group located near the monument of Sunthorn Phu.
Fruits Are famous in Rayong particularly from end of May until the middle of July, when Durian, Rambutan, Mangosteen are available. During this time many Thai make a special trip to Rayong to buy such fruits which are reasonably priced and of excellent quality.
In Rayong there are numerous restaurants offering Thai, Chinese and European Cuisines. Seafood restaurants can be found throughout seaside areas and town.
Apart from tennis at major hotels, fishing in the sea and snorkelling or scuba diving around off-shore islands, visitors can enjoy many challenging golf courses in Rayong and nearby areas. There is also a bowling alley in Rayong town.
Rayong Green Valley Country Club
Ban Chang-Yai Ra Road, Amphoe Ban Chang, Rayong.
Tel: (038) 60300-5 Fax: (036) 614916
Green fees : Weekdays 600 Baht, Weekends 900 Baht
Eastern Star country Club
Ban Chang-Pala Road, Amphoe Ban Chang, Rayong.
Tel : (01) 9162524, (038) 602500 Fax: (038) 602754
Green fees : Weekdays 600 Baht, Weekends 900 Baht
Phlu Ta Luang Golf Course
Tel : (038) 602185-6 Ext. 067-4321 or Golf Course
Green fees : Weekdays 250 Baht, Weekends 400 Baht
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