Thailand

Rayong: The Offbeat Gem of Thailand – A Detailed Itinerary Guide

When I received an invitation from the Thailand Tourism Board to visit Rayong, an offbeat gem along Thailand’s eastern Gulf coast, my excitement knew no bounds. As an avid traveller always looking for unique destinations, the chance to explore a place away from the usual tourist trails was a dream come true. The allure of untouched beaches, rich cultural history, and authentic local experiences had me eagerly packing my bags. Rayong promised to be a refreshing escape from the well-trodden paths of Bangkok and Phuket, offering an adventure filled with discovery and wonder. With a heart full of anticipation and curiosity, I set off to uncover the hidden treasures of this captivating province.

Rayong

Rayong, a charming province located on the eastern Gulf coast of Thailand, is an offbeat gem that promises an authentic Thai experience away from the bustling crowds of more famous destinations like Bangkok and Pattaya. Known for its stunning beaches, vibrant culture, delicious seafood, and serene landscapes, Rayong offers a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. This 3-day detailed itinerary guide will take you through Rayong’s history, culture, safety tips for solo travelers, best times to visit, accommodations, must-visit places, and food joints, ensuring you have an unforgettable journey.

 

Historical and Cultural Overview

Rayong has a rich historical tapestry that dates back to the Ayutthaya period (1350–1767). Historically, it was a strategic trading port and a battleground against Burmese invasions. The province is also linked to the tale of Phra Aphai Mani, a Thai epic poem written by the famous poet Sunthorn Phu, who spent time in Rayong and whose legacy is celebrated here.

Culturally, Rayong is deeply rooted in traditional Thai customs and festivals. The annual Rayong Fruit Festival, held in May, showcases the province’s agricultural bounty, particularly its renowned durians and mangosteens. Additionally, local temples like Wat Pa Pradu and Wat Lum Mahachai Chumpon provide insights into the spiritual life of the region.

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Why visit Rayong?

Rayong is ideal for travellers seeking tranquility, natural beauty, and cultural immersion. The province’s pristine beaches, lush national parks, and vibrant markets offer diverse experiences. Rayong’s offbeat status means fewer tourists and a more relaxed atmosphere, making it perfect for those looking to escape the crowds and experience Thailand’s authentic side.

 

Safety for Solo Travelers

Rayong is generally safe for solo travellers, with friendly locals and a low crime rate. However, as with any travel destination, it’s essential to stay vigilant. Here are some tips for solo travellers:

  1. Stay in well-reviewed accommodations: Opt for hotels and guesthouses with good reviews.
  2. Keep your belongings secure. Be mindful of your belongings, especially in crowded places.
  3. Stay informed: Keep up-to-date with local news and advisories.
  4. Travel insurance: Ensure you have comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies.

 

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Rayong is during the cool and dry season from November to February. During this period, the weather is pleasant with minimal rainfall, making it perfect for beach activities and sightseeing. The monsoon season, from June to October, sees heavy rains but also fewer tourists and lush green landscapes.

Where to Stay

Rayong offers a range of accommodations to suit different budgets and preferences. Here are some top recommendations:

  1. Rayong Marriott Resort & Spa: A luxurious beachfront resort offering top-notch amenities, including a spa, multiple dining options, and stunning sea views.
  2. Kantary Bay Hotel: A mid-range option with spacious rooms, a swimming pool, and convenient access to nearby attractions.
  3. The Contrast Hotel is a budget-friendly choice with modern amenities, located in the heart of Rayong City.
  4. Aksorn Rayong, The Vitality Collection: I have stayed here, and the room was lovely . The main attractions are a pool, a sea view, and food. Best budget: a luxury hotel .

Must-Visit Places

1. Koh Samet Koh Samet is a small island off the coast of Rayong known for its crystal-clear waters, white sandy beaches, and vibrant nightlife. Highlights include Sai Kaew Beach, Ao Phai, and the serene Ao Prao. Ferries to Koh Samet depart regularly from Ban Phe Pier.

2. Mae Ramphueng Beach A long stretch of sandy beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. The beach is less crowded compared to more famous Thai beaches, offering a peaceful retreat.

3. Khao Laem Ya – Mu Ko Samet National Park This national park encompasses both mainland and island areas, featuring scenic coastal trails, lush forests, and excellent snorkelling and diving spots.

4. Rayong Aquarium Ideal for families, the Rayong Aquarium showcases the region’s marine biodiversity with exhibits on local fish species, coral reefs, and marine conservation efforts.

5. Wat Pa Pradu A historic temple known for its large reclining Buddha statue, which uniquely reclines on its left side. The temple provides a serene atmosphere and a glimpse into local religious practices.

6. Ban the Market Ban Phe Market, a bustling market near the pier to Koh Samet, is the place to shop for fresh seafood, dried fruits, and local handicrafts. It’s a great spot to experience local life and buy souvenirs.

7. Suphattra Land A vast fruit orchard where visitors can tour the plantation and sample fresh tropical fruits such as durian, rambutan, and mango. The orchard also offers guided tours and educational insights into fruit farming.

8. Thung Prong Thong A unique mangrove forest with a golden field of lush greenery. Wooden walkways allow visitors to explore the area and observe the diverse flora and fauna.

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Food Joints and Dining Experiences

Rayong is a haven for seafood lovers. Here are some of the top food joints to try:

1. Laem Charoen Seafood Located by the sea, this restaurant is renowned for its fresh seafood dishes, including grilled prawns, crab curry, and fried sea bass with fish sauce.

2. Krua Khao Laem Ya Situated near Khao Laem Ya National Park, this eatery offers stunning sea views and a variety of seafood delicacies. Their spicy seafood salad and steamed fish with lime and garlic are must-tries.

3. Tamnanpar Classic Forest Restaurant Set in a lush forest environment, this restaurant provides a unique dining experience with a menu featuring traditional Thai dishes and fresh seafood.

4. Preecha Seafood A popular spot among locals and tourists alike, Preecha Seafood serves delicious seafood in a relaxed, beachfront setting. Signature dishes include steamed crab, spicy seafood soup, and deep-fried snapper.

5. The Bizarre Island Restaurant Located on Koh Samet, this beachfront restaurant offers a mix of Thai and Western cuisines. It’s an excellent spot for enjoying a meal with your toes in the sand while watching the sunset.

Itinerary Guide

Day 1: Arrival and Beach Relaxation

  • Morning: Arrive in Rayong from Pattaya and drop at the local cafe on the way. After that, have lunch at Tamnan Pa Restaurant.
  • Afternoon: Depart for Rayong Botanical Garden. Visit the Rayong Botanical Garden. Embarking on the motored boat to sightsee highlights of the botanical
    garden including a thousand-year-old Samed forest, a long bridge, and a floating
    natural pier.
  • Evening: Check in the hotel. Enjoy the beach view and amazing food.

Day 2: Island Exploration

  • Morning: Trekking at Kao Laem Yah National Park. After that, visit Ban Phe and Roi Sao Market for local shopping.
  • Afternoon: Enjoy lunch at Krua Rabieng Mai Restaurant. Continue exploring the island or engage in water activities like surfing at Laem Yah Rayong Surf Club at Mae Ram Pueng Beach.
  • Evening: Visit Rayong’s old town, “Yomjinda Road,” to enjoy the street art. Stop by Laan Ek Coffeehouse. Dinner at Krua Ban Ban by Jamlong. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 3: Departure and Mangrove Forest

  • Morning: Check out. Travel to visit the Floating Pagoda in Rayong
  • Afternoon: On the way to Bangkok.

 

For the detailed video, check here

 

Rayong is an offbeat gem that offers a rich blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and delectable cuisine. Whether you’re a solo traveller seeking tranquility or an adventurer looking to explore lesser-known destinations, Rayong provides an ideal getaway. With its safe environment, diverse attractions, and warm hospitality, Rayong is a destination that promises a memorable and enriching experience. So pack your bags and embark on an unforgettable journey to discover the hidden treasures of Rayong, Thailand.

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This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’
hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla
in collaboration with Dr. Preeti Chauhan.

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19 thoughts on “Rayong: The Offbeat Gem of Thailand – A Detailed Itinerary Guide

  1. I would love to visit Thailand again. We had a wonderful time there in 2018. I haven’t visited Rayong though. Should put it on my list.

  2. It looks like just the place to chill out. I would love to visit the thousand-year-old forest and explore the mangrove walkways. That would be so awesome, I can imagine the beautiful environs.

  3. This guide is fantastic! Rayong has been on my travel list, and your detailed itinerary is so helpful. The recommendation to visit Koh Samet and the fruit orchards sounds like a perfect mix of relaxation and adventure. Thanks for sharing such a comprehensive and inspiring travel guide!

  4. Thailand I still remember for being my first ever international trip but Rayong was not there in my itinerary as it was an office gifted trip for excellence in performance. But the way you described the location I am already in love with the place and will ensure I visit when Next I am out for Thailand trip. By the way what that attractive dish that you featured… is that sushi or something else. It looks so tempting and I also liked the stay interior, such a homely interior loved it. You are an awesome travel blogger.

  5. Planning a trip to Thailand and this sounds interesting. Book marked it too for future reference

  6. Wow Pamela… what a lovely holiday u must have had. Rayong seems to be a gem of a place that is not too crowded and offers tranquility and peace. I haven’t heard of anyone talking about it but it looks like a must visit. btw, the pics are stunning and I will wait for your Thailand shopping haul video😄😄😄

  7. Would love to visit the beautiful Rayong and enjoy it’s beaches, tranquility and nature. Thanks for the detailed post!

  8. Even I prefer the road less travelled. The main touristy places are now overcrowded and not at all peaceful. Thank you for this detailed itinerary of Rayong. I am bookmarking this place as I am planning to visit Thailand soon. Loved your pictures and the descriptions.

  9. That bed at Aksorn Rayong, The Vitality Collection, looks so inviting. I love the old-world, rustic charm it gives out.
    Based on just your post, since this is the first part I’m hearing and reading about this place, I’d love to explore Rayong someday soon. It seems so serene, especially that last photo of yours is just oh-so-dreamy

  10. Thailand is such a huge country with tonnes of hidden gems. I had known about Rayong when you guys did the FAM trip. What an incredible experience must have been!

  11. Interesting. I almost took a virtual trip through your detailed blog. Lovely pics. I’m sure you had a great time.

  12. Rayong looks like such a beautiful place. Happy to know that you got an invitation to visit the place. I like that you have featured a detailed itinerary which is helpful for tourist planning to visit.

  13. Thailand is on my list. Not yet travelled but saw only on You tube. Your details post is really helpful.

  14. So good to see your post. They are always very detailed. We visited Thailand long back. I will follow your suggestions next time we visit it.

  15. As always a detailed post, Pamela. Your blog is my go-to whenever I need to plan because I know I will get all the information in one place. Thanks for including the tips for solo travelers too. Visited Thailand ages ago but didn’t get a chance to explore Rayong.

  16. What a beautiful detailed post on Rayong, Thailand! I’m planning to visit Thailand this year, shall follow your tips:)

  17. I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of Rayong before! It seems like the perfect getaway for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle.

  18. Rayong certainly isn’t a place in my bucketlist. I’ve only heard of it now, but seeing and knowing more about this place now makes me more interested on it. It may still not make it to my bucketlist but one of the places I would surely recommend and have in mind in the future.

  19. I admire the way you put up all the details required my all travellers. It is so amazing to view the beauty of Rayong and explore it visiting it. Loved it…

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