When it comes to exploring Thailand, Rayong is one of the most beautiful parts of the country and is under a two-hour drive from Bangkok along the Eastern Seaboard. Rayong is a fishing and industrial area to the east of Pattaya that is a lovely place to visit.
Rayong is home to fantastic beaches, beautiful bays, some quality golf courses and a small expat community, some of which work in the nearby oil industry. Rayong is located approximately 179km from Bangkok and offers a tranquil getaway destination for travellers that want to explore a slice of real Thailand.
When tourists want to visit the island of Ko Samet, they usually travel through Rayong, which is sometimes the closest they get to the city.
Learning More About Rayong
The Rayong area has a fantastic mix of beaches, bays, temples, markets, Chinese shrines, and even a French colonial quarter. The region merges a laidback city-like atmosphere with truly tropical surroundings. Visiting Rayong can be the best of both worlds for travellers.
From Thai and foreign families to backpackers, golfers and beach lovers, Rayong has something for everyone. Rayong is still relatively unexplored by the tourism masses, which is one of its major charms. It is not uncommon for urbanites to make the two-hour drive from Bangkok to get away from the sprawling metropolis for a few days.
Although beaches are the main attractions in Rayong, there are some cool things to see and do while you are here. Here are some great recommendations for things to see and do in Rayong.
Phra Chedi Klang Nam
You need to visit the Phra Chedi Klang Nam temple if you are a culture lover and want to find out more about Thailand’s Buddhist culture. Located in Rayong Province just a 2km drive outside of Rayong City, Phra Chedi Klang Nam is the most famous temple in the region. Situated in the middle of the mouth of the Rayong River, the temple is magnificent. The grounds are open from 6 am to 5 pm every day and can be found at Tambon Pak Nam.
Prasae Mangrove Forest Walk
Rayong is home to some stunning natural beauty that you have to explore. Prasae Mangrove Forest Walk is a unique experience and is one of the highlights of visiting the region. This 2,400-acre mangrove forest stretches along the Eastern Seaboard coastline and enjoys a 2.6km boardwalk through the mangrove. It is one of the newer ecotourism attractions that is helping Rayong to preserves its beautiful natural habitat while still benefitting from tourism. The boardwalk starts at HTMS Prasae and is a unique experience that you will never forget.
Ko Kloi (Rayong) Floating Market
If you fancy a bit of shopping in a unique and fun place, the Ko Kloi Floating Market, sometimes referred to as Rayong Floating Market is a must-visit attraction in the area. The floating market is situated in the city and is very similar to Pattaya Floating Market in being many contemporary wooden structures set amidst a lake.
If you are looking to buy food, footwear, souvenirs, handicrafts or clothing, this is a great place to visit. The views out over the lake are stunning, and with its laidback atmosphere and plethora of shopping options, you can easily spend a few hours here in the afternoon. Just remember to bring your camera along.
If you are holidaying on a budget and shopping seems a bit excessive to you, visiting one of Rayong’s pristine beaches is immense fun. With a location directly on the Gulf of Thailand, just a 45-minute drive away from Pattaya and 2-hours from Bangkok, Rayong has some dreamy beaches that are perfect for those holidaying on a budget.
One of the major beaches in Rayong is the Hat Mae Ramphung Beach, which is 12km long and enjoys fluffy sands and crystal blue waters. The best part about this beach is you can sit on the tables there be served some quality Thai seafood without moving an inch.
One of the most popular beaches in the Rayong area with backpackers are the beaches in Ban Phe. Ban Phe is the area you visit when catching the ferry to Ko Samet island and is home to fantastic stretches of sand such as Suan Son Beach.
Other famous and highly recommended beaches in the Rayong area include Laem Mae Phim, which is an excellent area with a couple of Western restaurants and a peaceful atmosphere.
Other Popular Rayong Holiday Attractions
If you are looking for other highly recommended Rayong holiday attractions, we would suggest that you visit:
- City Pillar Shrine
- The Shrine of Kinh Taksin
- The ancient Wat Phra Pradu
- Si Meuang Park
- The luscious Sopha Botanical Park
- The Sunthon Phu monument.
Getting to Rayong
If you are already staying in somewhere like Pattaya, you can easily find Rayong in a 45-minute drive. All you need to do is drive along Sukhumvit Road to the East and continue until you find Rayong. It’s just one straight road to get you there. Some buses run every day from Pattaya bus station on Pattaya Nua Road for as little as 200 THB.
There are numerous ways to reach Rayong from Bangkok, but it takes approximately 2-hours. One of the best routes from Bangkok to Rayong is taking Highway 3. There are also daily buses from the central Bangkok bus stations that go directly to Rayong for as little as 300 THB.
Whether you are looking to get away from Pattaya or Bangkok City for a few days or are looking to explore somewhere new and off-the-beaten-path, Rayong is a destination that you seriously need to consider. Because the area is not a typical tourist destination per se, the prices are relatively lower than visiting somewhere like Phuket or Koh Samui but is just as beautiful.
Map & More
Rayong City GPS location: 12.680560, 101.281871