At a distance of 220 kms from Bangkok, Rayong is a delightfully beautiful seaside province on the Eastern gulf coast of Thailand. Covered by a large stretch of plantation, landscapes alternating between the mountains and plains, the place has a lot of fruit plantations and forests that have many remarkable remains of art and history hidden in them. Global tourist recognition is given to its pristine beaches and scenic waterfalls amidst the locales which offer exotic sights all through. Apart from the nature existing at its best that Rayong is famous for, it is a heaven for Sea food Lovers. With all the rare and exotic varieties of seafood available here in almost all the ways that a dish could be cooked, you cannot negate the culinary skills of this province. A sauce of fish and a paste of shrimps, sounding as divine as they taste, is what almost everyone going to Rayong gets packed for themselves and their loved ones on the way back home.
The anointing of the King of Rayong is as heroic as the mountain peaks of the place. Saving his people from the torturing ways of the Burmese invasion, General Tak led a group of patriots who invaded through the cordon of the besieging armies and marched towards Rayong, to refresh his army before they could proceed further. It was this act of bravery, which earned him the immense amount of respect in his people’s hearts.
This is the country’s best crop producing area and also has the second largest industrial set up. Apart from the modernization that Rayong is swiftly moving towards, the city has maintained its cultures and traditions intact. One of the visits to such a place will jolt you back to the historic eras, where in you would be able to feel the culture and the rules of life of these people and their customs. Most renowned for its quiet and un-spoilt beaches, you can plan your holiday here at almost any time of the year but the best sightseeing is possible from the months of November till February. Known for its seafood and virgin beaches, a holiday in Rayong is well worth the effort.
When To Go:
The best of Thailand can be seen from November to February when the air has a cool nip to it and it gives respite from the heat. April can be avoided because it is the hottest month of the year in a coastal area. Humidity is too high and so you would feel drenched and sticky. The two main weathers are hot and wet. So, it is hot for one half of the year and other half of the year is wet.
These are the things to do in Rayong…
The King Taksin Shrine
A brave king who saved Siam (earlier Thailand) from the Burmese invasion, the King Taksin the Great is enshrined here. Distinctly placed on the Taksin Road, the legend talks about this brave warrior king, who came and rested here, after he had liberated Siam and won the war. His giant elephant was stabbed here, under a tree which is right in front of the shrine.
Many locals and tourists come here, to pay homage to this great king and also pray for good luck and fortunes. It is believed that whatever is asked for, here, is granted to the worshipper. The shrine has a life size statue of the king right in the middle and this place has a lot of footfall on the Chinese New year. Visit this landmark for an experience of it. Many tourists and locals alike have felt supernatural presence here.
Ban Ko Ao- The fisher man’s village
With a catholic church that was established around 100 years ago, this place is the ideal locale for people who love to be in the lap of nature. A fisherman’s village, this beach is right in the corner of the coastal beach. Since, this whole village thrives on fishing as their source of income; it is a delight to see how the common routines of this village differ from ours. Watch how the fish is caught and then processed right in front of your eyes.
You may help them with the chores too. Completely unaware of how robotic the world has become, this village would make you realize how different lives can be, today too!
Spend a day here watching the fishermen go about their daily chores and also help them out. You may be treated with their home cooked food if they invite you over. And what could be better than freshly caught fish being cooked to tenderness.
The Rayong Surf Club
Located at a secluded beach this is one place where you can still feel the originality of Thailand. Most accessible by Bangkok, it just takes two to three hours to drive down here. There are many surf clubs here in this area. The velocity of the winds is just prefect to have surf and a sail shining brightly in clear waters. May instructors also teach how to surf and take regular classes here. Surfing starts from the beach right to the island nearby. This gulf of Thailand has decent waves. Many shops can provide you skates, surf boards, paddles and skims and at very economical rates.
This is one kind of an activity that can involve children, adults and aged people also. The safety standards maintained ensure you a safe sport and the water is also clean. A water park nearby and local shops to shop from, this place would easily keep you busy for a week. With some good hotels and restaurants nearby, the options to eat from are not limited, and you can relish anything from the local servings to the international dishes.
Enroll for a short course of surfing and you would have taught yourself a new sport skill in a very short time. Enjoy the chill of the waters while you let the winds blow your surf.
The Rayong Aquarium
Looking for an hour out of the sun? Visit the Raying Aquarium. Adjacent to a nice fishing port, this aquarium has very elaborate displays of the marine life. The sharks, the jelly fish, the star fish are also displayed in their natural habitats. The walk beneath the ramp where you have fish, eels and sharks swimming above you and beside you, is the electrifying experience that you can get from this.
The entry to this wonderful place is very nominal and the best is that nobody is trying to sell you anything here. A perfect destination for children, this is only place kids will ask for again and again.
The Strawberry Town
The strawberry town of Rayong in Thailand, is a land of freshness and sugary delights, such that the locals and the tourists come together and contribute to the entire foreign atmospheres. Pick your activity out of photography, entertainment, relaxation and fun which can just be thought of by the traveler. Let your senses rest here at peace and give them a break from the normal hustle bustle of the city life. There is a huge collection of countless varieties of international flowers and has the nature presenting its beauty in the form of waterfalls, forests, small streams and a huge lake, all nestled in to one. The best time for you to visit this place is during the rain.
That is when you could capture small drops of rain falling and bouncing off the leaves .Enjoy steaming hot sea food when you are atop the mountain and breathe in the fresh air cutting through the mountains surrounding the place. A hub of numerous fun activities like the Holland Village, Town center, Amazon Trail and the Adventure Land offer many activities for fun and frolic. Check out the Fountain of Season for the water gushing through the fountain in the form of a stream. You can also enjoy music in the majestic Music Hall here. A retail store will cater to your needs of the daily use items and a restaurant will serve you steaming hot food. The string of the beautiful buildings also has a coffee shop which has the best coffee in the area. Enjoy your day here and you would not want to leave this place.
Suan Son (Phe Arboretum)
A long stretch of golden beach sand, situated about 23 kilometers from Rayong, this beautiful scape looks over to Koh Sanmet, forty minutes of journey , by a ferry ride across the water. It derives its name after the casuarina pines that are scattered all over the place. You can choose the kind of an environment you want to eat in. There are places which are shacks with kitchen tables and the other restaurants offer you a classier approach. You can first go and fish for fresh crabs and fresh fish and have them cooked according to your preference of the taste.
There is no feeling that equals the joy of eating fish that you have just caught. Covered with the pines this beach offers the perfect combination of shade and the sun playing hide and seek with each other and is a very safe beach for swimming also. Begin your day by lazing out in the sun for a half a day and relax and get a healthy golden tan. Follow this by a quick swift swim in the waters of this sea. This will leave you tired and hungry. Ask for some food from the many places available to eat your food from. And Laze back again. This place is serene enough for you to catch a good quick nap also.
The city pillar of Rayong, Thailand
This is what the spine of Rayong is. Highly revered, this place is what a tourist is guided to right when they reach Rayong. Rayong is a small city, a township which has a high industrial output and the only way you can enjoy this beautiful creation of nature is to enjoy it whole heartedly. Yes, it may not offer you the throngs of high-rise buildings and it may not give you the fast paced life you are so used to. But one thing that Rayong can offer to you is the delight of the soul that you find in this place. Somehow, everything which is not so flashy is the main attraction of Rayong and people do come and visit this place again and again to repeat their experiences. One such place is the City pillar of Rayong.
Considered to be the most holy symbol of Rayong, the tour of a visitor begins with a visit to this. The locals consider this a very revered spot for many miracles to have happened across the town. Once you reach here, the whole place is filled with air of devotion and you would find scores of people here, just bowing down and folding hands, and deeply meditating about their wishes and prayers. No prayer, no wish here, is left unanswered and people have come to believe over the ages, that this stone pillar is their guiding stone in life. See this place and let go of all your fears. With the energy of a lion, move ahead and ask for whatever are your wishes, even the deepest of them, and all your wishes would be answered. After all, the soul can see what the eyes cannot.
Seang Chan Beach
This is a work of magic for sure, for no other place on the face of this planet is as beautiful as this, in deep moonlight. Though this area was taken over and then reclaimed for an industrial set up, fortunately the occupation did not destroy it much. Once of the most serene and beautiful beaches of Rayong, this stretch of land is best visited at night. You can enjoy your dinner here, among all your meals.
Catch the glimpses of many seals and walruses lazing around and resting on the beach. Thus, this is very aptly described as the purest beach; with very clean and hygienic waters. There is absolutely nothing in the water that would spoil it. A jog here in the early morning could be the best start of your day and then if you have time, you can sit and bird watch too. Pull out your cameras and make sure you charge the batteries a day before this trip. You have a lot to capture on the lens!
Suan Si Mueang
Right in the middle of the city this is the place for your aerobics after a lot of calories that you have piled upon while travelling. A fun filled sports center, this is the place where you can play almost all the indoor games and run and tag the outdoor games too. Known for the sports center, you can best enjoy a game of basketball or you can run around and pump your adrenaline hitting the football. Go ahead and choose your seat while you enjoy the dances. Even better is the fact that you do not have to sit here waiting for a team to form. Apart from the regulars, there are many tourists who frequent this place. So you could actually team up with someone from another country and not even understand their language, yet play as a team.
Or, you could enjoy a game of table tennis with an unknown foreigner who cannot even spell the name right. This would actually make you feel as if you are playing the Olympic finals of the sport.
For those who love their bodies dearly and do not want to exert, get in the library and find yourself a nice corner. Choose from a very magnificent collection of books and snugly fit into one of the chairs and start turning pages after pages while your friends and family are best enjoying their games.
Phra Chedi Klang Nam
Walk into unprotected mangroves. This is the best way this place can be described. A postcard perfect location to get many pictures clicked, you can go on walking in this magnificent piece of nature at its best. Right amidst the park is the pagoda that is mind blowing. This pagoda is a myriad of colours and the sheer precision by which this pagoda has been made is what would keep you captivated for hours. Admire the beauty of this pagoda and go here just for the rest it will offer to a turbulent mind. A prefect stretch to have the long walk with your loved one on a path erected on stilts, the pagodas here just merge with the mangroves surrounding it. Just guarded by a few gaurds and not much of a crowd here, utter the words that you have been thinking about for so long. A complete balance of nature and the home to mangroves, which have immense ecological importance, are in abundance here, many believe that this place here is blessed with the god of greens.
You do not need to plan a trip for visiting Rayong in Thailand. This trip is best made sudden. You would not enjoy anything as much as the place. Walk around the local areas. Enter narrow path ways. Shop from the local Markets. Visit the temples and the monasteries. You could also find interest in digging the history of this old city. Not unless would you connect with any place that you choose to visit, can you make the best of it.
Plan your trip now, Rayong is waiting for you! This is no time better than this time!