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  1. #1
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    Rayong vacation guide

    After looking at the post by Rayong vs Samed thread I thought there might be some value to others in doing a thread about Rayong. Mainland Rayong beaches are a great option if you are in Bangkok and are on a limited time and/or budget. The following info is just my impressions so take it for what its worth.

    I don't claim to be an expert on the area and am only familiar with the area from Rayong city to Laem Mae Pim. I am not involved in the tourist industry or any of the businesses that I will mention. I used to live in Ban Phe and the area surrounding it for a period of 2 years so I know the areas where I lived pretty well but other areas I don't know anything about. For instance I hear Ban Chang is nice but I have never been there so I won't comment on it.


    Getting there....
    If you are coming from Bangkok you can choose to follow the standard route of highway 7 out of the city then highway 36 to Rayong and then follow highway 3 (Sukhumvit) to your destination.

    An alternate route is to follow highway 7 until you reach Chon Buri and then take highway 344 to Kleng. This route is best if you are going to Laem Mae Pim but is a viable option for the other areas if you want to avoid the heavy truck traffic between Chon Buri and Maptaput. Highway 344 had some construction going on last time I was on it (about 2 months ago) but it is generally in pretty good shape.

    If you have your own vehicle you can leave Bangkok early Sat morning and be on the beach with a beverage in hand 3 hours later. Spend Sat. night in the area do another beach day on Sunday and be back in Bangkok early Sunday night.

    If you don't have a vehicle grab a Van from Ekami or Victory Monument to Ban Phe, rent a motorbike for 300 baht/day and then hit the beach. Alternately if you have no vehicle and don't like motorbikes you can take the van to Rayong city and grab a songteaw from there. The problem with this option is that you will have to return earlier on Sunday as the songteaws stop running in the late afternoon.

    The beaches....

    There are 3 main beaches in this area. From west to east they are Had Maer Lampung, Suan Son and Leam Mae Pim.

    Had Maer Lampung
    General: Big beach with a Thai vibe to it. Very popular with Thai weekenders from BKK. Could be world class if they kept it cleaner. Basically you sit under the trees eat, drink beer and go for dips to keep cool.
    Cleanliness: Untortunately this is likely the least clean of the 3 beaches.
    Accomidation: Plentiful and cheep.
    Night life: Bring a book... actually there are one or two watering holes but its pretty quiet.
    Food: Pretty good seafood, better prices and portion size than Samed but about the same quality.
    Other Westerners: A mix of English, French, Scandinavians and Germans expats and holidayers during high season but they are generally outnumbered by Thais.

    Suan Son
    General: Very accessible from Ban Phe starts right outside town (East side of town). Very nice trees, beach is only average. Very Thai with many people choosing to camp overnight under the trees.
    Cleanliness: Used to be filthy but they have started to make an effort I would now rank it as Tied with Laem Mae Pim for the most clean.
    Accomidation: Limited but you can camp under the trees for free and there are public bathrooms with showers at the park office though I don't imagine they are too swanky.
    Night life: Bring a book or go to Ban Phe everything shuts down when the sun goes down but if you sit in a restaurant and buy beer they will stay open until you leave.
    Food: Pretty much the same as Had Maer Lampung.
    Other Westerners: Some Scandinavians during high season but mostly a farang free environment.

    Laem Mae Pim
    General:The most developed and western of the 3 beaches with lots of western food. You will still see lots of Thais here though. I am least familiar with this one so take what I say with a grain of slat. I also find it to be the most expensive of the 3.
    Cleanliness: Pretty good once you get out of the developed area and make your way to the middle of west end of the beach.
    Accomidation: Abundant. Likely a bit more pricey to stay on the beach here than it is in Had Mear Lampung but I am sure you can find reasonable rates with a bit of digging.
    Night life: Lots of small bars and restaurants though don't expect Pattaya style entertainment.
    Food: Pretty much the same as Had Maer Lampung but more western options and somewhat higher prices.
    Other Westerners: Lots on the few times I have been there, seem to be a ton of Scandinavians and Germans.


    Where to stay....
    You have a ton of options regarding where to stay. First decide if you want to stay on/near the beach or if you would rather stay in Ban Phe.

    For those on bigger budgets There are the Novotel, Rayong Resort (have heard this one is getting tired but I have no firsthand knowledge) and an interesting option would be the forest resort resort | restaurant. If you decide to stay in the forest resort don't opt for one of the suites just go for a normal room. I had friends stay in the lake view suite and they were disappointed.

    For the rest of us mere mortals you should be able to find nice clean accommodation on either Had Maer Lampung or Laem mae Pim for under 1,000 baht/night with no problem. If you are going on a major Thai holiday I would book in advance but otherwise occupancy rates are low and you shouldn't have a problem finding a room. Suan Son has very limited accommodation available. If you don't need a place on the beach there are a number of guesthouses, small hotels and even a hostel in Ban Phe. If you want to go to Laem Mae Pim I wouldn't stay in Ban Phe as it would be a bit of a jaunt to get there.

    Getting Around ....
    If you have your own vehicle getting around is easy. Most things are pretty close together and there is ample parking at the beach. Parking in Ban Phe can be a pain when it is busy. If you come on a bus or van I would highly recommend renting a motorbike. There is limited local transport. Ban Phe has some motorbike taxis but there are non in the beach areas. The songteaw service is not particularly timely nor reliable. The routes all start and end at the Rayong bus station with the light blue and the white songteaws going to Had Maer Lampung. The white songteaws have a funny route where the often only go 1/2 way down had Mear Lampung before turning up to the small town of Nai Rai. The dark blue songteaws go to banphe and The yellow ones go to Laem Mae Phim.

    I don't know of any motorcycle rentals on Leam Mae Pim but I am sure they have them. If in Ban Phe try Chritie's Bar for bike rentals (on the main road opposite the main peir to Samed), if I remember correctly it is 300baht/day and there are no scams. They will want a 1,000 baht deposit and a copy of your passport. I also have rented in the past from the "Sexy Lady Motorcycle Shop" at the west end of the main road in Ban Phe and she was a bit cheaper at 250 baht/day and also no hassles (unfortunately she isn't really that sexy). This shop may be closed now as I haven't seen her sign for a while. There are a few motorcycle rentals available on the beach at Had Mear Lampung, the only one I have dealt with personally was Pitak's Guesthouse which was a bit expensive at 400 baht/day but no hassles.

    Again I can't stress enough that you will want some form of transport when you are in the area. The beaches are big (Had Mear Lampung is over 10km long), and you will want to get out and look around.

    Places to vist......
    1. Definitely try the restaurant at the forest resort (see link above). It is a bit pricey and the food is only above average, not great but the grounds are spectacular. Go just before dusk so you can see it in the daytime when you come in and when you go you can see it all lit up. The Mrs will love it.
    2. Rayong aquarium. Located just west of Ban Phe, I don't recommend it but it is a cheap family activity if you want to get off the beach for a bit.
    3. Christy Bar, the typical western beer bar/restaurant right on the main road.
    4. Petras, A neet little shop run by 2 old Chinese ladies who speak ok English. they have lots of stuff that can be hard to find in Thailand like good bread, imported cheese and meats, horseradish, pickles, etc. Prices are good but it can be a bit difficult to find stuff, everything is just crammed onto the shelves. Located next to the 7/11 that is next to Christies.

    Ok that's about all I can think of for now. All in all it is an area I really like but admittedly there is little to no nightlife. It is a great place to visit if you need a break from the Bangkok or Pattaya madness. One thing to remember is that during the monsoon season there will be large waves, some undertow and riptides and the water will be turbid. During the winter months the water is calm and clear.
    Last edited by Moolek; 02-09-2014 at 02:18 PM.

  2. #2
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    ^ Good on you MooLek, that is a pretty decent summary of the beach areas either side of Ban Phe. There is a fair bit heading down towards Chantanaburi too I'm told, but having never been that far that's all I can say.

    The least I should do is respond in kind. Here's one from the Archives- it includes Mae Ram Pheung, the Forest restaurant, Ban Phe, and 'Novotel Beach'. It's about 7 years old now but wtf-

    http://teakdoor.com/thailands-travel...nd-rayong.html (MaeRamPheung and beyond, Rayong)
    probes Aliens

  3. #3
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    ^ Good effort, OP - green sent. Please add Si Racha now...

  4. #4
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    Truly wonderful beaches, town nothing special but I liked it. Green sent.

  5. #5
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    Any photos ?

    And what about Chantaburi coast ? Is it nice to visit ?

    The problems with some retarded locals is that they set their hotels prices as high as more famous and nicer places...

  6. #6
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    Appreciate that, Moolek.

    What do you know about Rayong when it comes to places to party? Ladies, etc.?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricohoc View Post
    Appreciate that, Moolek.

    What do you know about Rayong when it comes to places to party? Ladies, etc.?
    No real Pattaya style hot spots but I have heard that there is a stip of bars as you enter Ban Chang that have ladies.

    Alternately Ban Phe has a place up the road from Christies that is horribly expensive and the girls are mercenary, it is called VIP. If you keep going past this place there is a stretch of bars with under-aged Cambodian girls who service the local Thai fishing fleet. These bars are generally horrible and are likely worth your life to go to but for those wanting a real 3rd world experience it may fit the bill. Be aware that they are regularly raided by the local police (but of course open the next night). Generally I don't advise going to Rayong to monger, better to bring take away from Pattaya if you can't bear to be alone for a few nights.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by stickmansucks View Post
    Any photos ?

    And what about Chantaburi coast ? Is it nice to visit ?

    The problems with some retarded locals is that they set their hotels prices as high as more famous and nicer places...
    I am no expert on Chantaburi (only been there a couple of times), but I have heard that the beaches East of Leam Mae Pim generally go to crap because of clay soils and mangrove swamps. If you keep going to Trat near Cambodia they get good again.

    I don't have any photos handy and I don't want to rip and repost from other folks. If you want photos just google something like "Had Maer Lampung Rayong Beach" and click on the images thingy.

  9. #9
    Newbie Ricohoc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moolek View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ricohoc View Post
    Appreciate that, Moolek.

    What do you know about Rayong when it comes to places to party? Ladies, etc.?
    No real Pattaya style hot spots but I have heard that there is a stip of bars as you enter Ban Chang that have ladies.

    Alternately Ban Phe has a place up the road from Christies that is horribly expensive and the girls are mercenary, it is called VIP. If you keep going past this place there is a stretch of bars with under-aged Cambodian girls who service the local Thai fishing fleet. These bars are generally horrible and are likely worth your life to go to but for those wanting a real 3rd world experience it may fit the bill. Be aware that they are regularly raided by the local police (but of course open the next night). Generally I don't advise going to Rayong to monger, better to bring take away from Pattaya if you can't bear to be alone for a few nights.
    Thanks. Appreciate that feedback.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo View Post
    ^ Good effort, OP - green sent. Please add Si Racha now...
    Thanks for the green.

    I don't know much about Si Racha, Satahip is another option though. I have heard there is a very nice beach that is part of the Satahip Navy base that you can access for a tiny fee (something like 40 baht per vehicle).

  11. #11
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    Forget Satahip. Sailors can be picky and prevent entry.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moolek View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by stickmansucks View Post
    Any photos ?

    And what about Chantaburi coast ? Is it nice to visit ?

    The problems with some retarded locals is that they set their hotels prices as high as more famous and nicer places...
    I am no expert on Chantaburi (only been there a couple of times), but I have heard that the beaches East of Leam Mae Pim generally go to crap because of clay soils and mangrove swamps. If you keep going to Trat near Cambodia they get good again.

    I don't have any photos handy and I don't want to rip and repost from other folks. If you want photos just google something like "Had Maer Lampung Rayong Beach" and click on the images thingy.
    They've got C(h)antabury Cathedral, if you need confession.

    Chanthaburi Cathedral - Largest in Thailand - Chanthaburi Thailand

    Some nice clundy 'round Chanta and Drat, towards My-Rude...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1F2i0rYMj8

    we are all figments of our own imagination.

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