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The Eastern Thailand Forum Chachoengsao & Sa Kaeo, down to Sattahip, Sri Racha, Rayong, Ban Phe, Ban Chang, Bang Saray, Bang Saen, Koh Samet, Prachinburi, Chanthaburi all the way down to Trat and Koh Chang.


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Old 16-10-2007, 09:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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MaeRamPheung and beyond, Rayong

I'm not really much of a beachgoer, and when I feel like a few days away from Pattaya, Rayong does it for me. It's a comfortable 90 minute drive away from home, and good road all the way- mostly just down Route 36, which conveniently bypasses Rayong city.



Here's a warts and all view along the Beach- notice the strewn plastic bags and stuff conveniently left as a Thai calling card. Actually, being late in the rainy season the Beach is prolly not at it's best, but it's got everything I want- food, beer, cheap rooms, a few farangs around and plenty of Thai tattiness.Those shacks you see above all sell seafood from the local fish markets, and they are good and cheap.



Looking the other way, towards the fishing pier and Rayong. There are fish markets also in Ban Phe, which is about 6 km away in the other direction. It's a good place to eat seafood here.



Sunset, Mae Ram Pheung.
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Old 16-10-2007, 10:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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MRP has got local character- if your idea of a beach is a nice manicured resort type place, you would prolly be best going to the Rayong resort in between MRP and Ban Phe. It's 4 or 5 star, but still a bargain compared to Ko Samet.

By the way- thats Ko Samet you can see on the far right of my top piccie above. Yep, the Thai government wants 400 Bht off you just to go there, and the charge you 10 Bht just to use the toilets in the ferry. I think I'll stick to the Mainland.



We sat down for a couple of beers, while the girls went off in search of a suitable room. In the complex of crumbling shophouses above, there are a fair few rooms for rent. Just ask at Mikels or Lai's restaurant. But theres places all along the beach- you can find something to suit your budget or lack thereof. We got rooms in the above complex.



Pretty spacious really, although the bedroom itself consisted of a bed and a chair.



But not a bad view for 450 Bht, and they have those all important verandahs for me to smoke on.
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Old 16-10-2007, 10:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Classic Forest or TamNamPar restaurant.

Well if you make it down this way, you should really check this place out. It's a few km's away, on the edge of Ban Phe. It's signposted too- drive towards Ban Phe and you get to a small headland, where a 'Classic Forest' sign directs you to turn left. Turn right when this road ends- you are now on Sukhumvit. Look for the 'Classic forest' sign on your left, about 1.5 km.



It was night time, so the pic's aren't very good.



Indiana Jones would be right at home here.



It's even got a Spa, which would be a nice place to get pampered for a few hours. It opens for lunch and dinner and is run as an OTOP, a Thai co-operative. Quite an incongrous place to find on the edge of a small town, but it seems to do OK.

An escaped Aussie -


The food is good too, and reasonably priced. They have a large menu, including sruff like crocodile and ostrich. Amazingly, they don't even charge corkage- and a place like this deserves a bottle of wine or more. Because you really must use the toilets....
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Old 16-10-2007, 10:37 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Classic Toilets

What follows is a bit of a photo essay on the toilets- let the pic's do the talking.



Ladies First.



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Old 16-10-2007, 10:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Men to follow-





Even the approach is very nice-



Yep, these Loo's have actually won awards for 'best Thai toilets'. Yet another reason to seek this place out.
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Old 16-10-2007, 11:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Yep, these Loo's have actually won awards for 'best Thai toilets'. Yet another reason to seek this place out.
I think DD is in the car as we speak!!
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Old 16-10-2007, 11:10 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Today was to be a long, arduous day. Having called it a night reasonably early, I was up quite early. It was nice to see this old geezer cleaning and scrubbing things, while his wife swept the sand nearby- I resolved to check it out later.


Notice the dogs hanging around- yep, theres plenty of them around MRP. They seem pretty relaxed though, like the locals. I think if you are either a Thai or a soi dog you could do worse than live here. Farangs too, if you like the quiet life.



This is just a view along the road- as you can see it's pretty tatty, if you like that sort of thing. Most of these shacks would blow away in a good wind.
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Old 16-10-2007, 11:10 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I used to live in Rayong. There is a good map available of Rayong Province.

I think that is the beach on which if you go as far west as you can there is a very secluded resort on the end of a spit of land. I used to go there for lunch and read a book. No one on the beach.

I think I have been to the resaurant where the toilets are it's about 400m off Sukhumvit behind a tall artifical rock looking wall. Very pleasant but not small.

If in Rayong and need a break I can recommend a local coffee shop. On Sukumvit west of the centre take the road towards PMY and turn right at the first junction towards Bumrunggrad Hospital the coffe shop is about 400m along on the right.
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Old 16-10-2007, 11:11 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I remember a couple of really good and cheap seafood places if you go all the way to the east end of the beach.
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Old 16-10-2007, 11:22 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Our first port of call was the business end of the Beach- theres a small, ramshackle fishing village at the Ban Phe end which I thought might be worth another look. MRP is quite a long beach- at least 10 km's.



Sadly, this place was closed for low season, according to a withered old local. Mrs and I had enjoyed a few beers and some crab fresh from the nets there before- it was nice sitting under that shady tree, and luvly people. It's looking pretty run down now too- I guess biz is tough.



The ubiquitous Thai water truck



Some boats were heading back in.


But it was time to head for greener pastures. Today we would check out Ban Phe, and have a wonderful lunch Thai style, then try and find a beach a bit along the coast that I heard was nice.

Stay tuned, I'm off to do some chores now.
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Old 16-10-2007, 11:23 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I used to live in Rayong. There is a good map available of Rayong Province.

I think that is the beach on which if you go as far west as you can there is a very secluded resort on the end of a spit of land. I used to go there for lunch and read a book. No one on the beach.
Thats the Rayong Resort- said to be very nice indeed.
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Old 16-10-2007, 11:27 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I remember a couple of really good and cheap seafood places if you go all the way to the east end of the beach.
Yep, been there once. Actually they are all pretty good and cheap along the Beach, although the ones nearest the fishing Pier might be a bit cheaper still. My visit to this end was slightly soured though by the number of mangy stray dogs hanging around my feet.
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Old 16-10-2007, 12:43 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I used to live in Rayong. There is a good map available of Rayong Province.

I think that is the beach on which if you go as far west as you can there is a very secluded resort on the end of a spit of land. I used to go there for lunch and read a book. No one on the beach.
Thats the Rayong Resort- said to be very nice indeed.
Sorry to be pedantic but Rayong resort is at the east end.

The one I used to visit is at the west end is called Baan something with signposts from Sukhumvit down the 3142? It has about 20 individual bungalows with stylish "open" bathrooms not cheap 2500/night. The coffee shop is open to the elements which is where I used to sit, the resaurant on the other hand is A/C.
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Old 16-10-2007, 12:50 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Au contraire- thanks for being pedantic. I must check this one out then.

Actually the Rayong Resort is on a sand spit too- said to be very nice because the place has beaches on both sides. I might check it out next trip.
Rayong Resort Beach and Spa Retreat, a private hotel with 5 star and luxury beach near Pattaya, Thailand
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Old 16-10-2007, 01:22 PM   #15 (permalink)
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There's some lovely little beaches with clean white sand and shady she-oak trees as you head east from Rayong. Went thru their a few years back and didnt see another Farang. Lots of Thai families though. Think it must have been a weekend. And of course, where you find Thais you always find food stalls.
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Old 16-10-2007, 02:51 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Au contraire- thanks for being pedantic. I must check this one out then.

Actually the Rayong Resort is on a sand spit too- said to be very nice because the place has beaches on both sides. I might check it out next trip.
Rayong Resort Beach and Spa Retreat, a private hotel with 5 star and luxury beach near Pattaya, Thailand
The one I used to go to is Baan Pae Cabana, I now know. It gets mixed reviews maybe it was newer when I went:-( One said the beach was unuseable. So don't make make a special trip based on my discordant ramblings

I have been to Rayong Resort but not stayed. A bit big for me.

On another tack have you been to one of my favourite restaurants for ambience in Ban Chang? Just along the road from Purimas but before Baan Priyapat. Again I can't remeber the name but one sits on the beach under pine trees with ones feet in the sand.
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Old 16-10-2007, 07:16 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Lunch in the Ban Phe slums

Ban Phe is a smallish fishing and market town that also happens to be the Ferry point to Ko Samet. I wanted to check it out anyway, plus it's on the way to some other beaches.

Well, there is absolutely nothing to distinguish it from any number of other provincial port towns in Thailand, except maybe a few more white faces. None of them were there to see the town, they were there to get a ferry.



Prolly the most interesting part is as you drive into town from MRP direction- there are some markets, worth a browse. We found a pleasant little restaurant on a small pier and had a couple of beers. This is a view over some shanties from the restaurant.
And this is a view of some shantyfolks fishing boats, with Ko Samet right behind. It's nice to be by the sea. Thats a big pier too- I don't know what it's for.



We did not eat here however, pleasant and clean though it was. The girls had other plans, namely to pick their seafood fresh from the market:-



Now to find a spot to eat it. Turns out this was easily done- a little coffee stand right next door had some shaded tables, and for the price of three iced coffees we commandeered one of those. Mrs popped down the local corner shop, and returned with three cold Leo's, and the stage was set for a rustic feast.



And a feast it was. For around 700 Bht, including the beer and coffee, we were well contented. There was BBQ'd squid, whole fried fish, delicious scallops with a Singapore curry sauce and shrimps with garlic and pepper, all fresh and hand picked, surrounded by the sounds, sights and smells of a market and a shantytown.
This is my kind of slumming, I reckon I preferred this to nine out of ten meals in a proper restaurant. The French have a saying that the best food comes from the dirtiest kitchens, so maybe it was them that discovered Ban Phe.



H'mm, crappy photo, sorry. Pretty uninspiring 5 bht bogs too.



Very tasteful colour combination there.
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Old 16-10-2007, 07:31 PM   #18 (permalink)
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But we were feeling good, and well content with our efforts. Quick pop to the Ban Phe pier, which was a good spot to look at Ko Samet and little else-


Mrs did however ask a friendly and helpful local lady if she knew of any Falang oriented bars in town. She helpfully told us there were not, but kindly invited us to her nearby restaurant for a drink. We respectfully declined, and set on our merry way towards Novotal Beach. After two blocks, we came across a farang bar.



Christy's was a pleasant enough spot for a drink, if a bit expensive at 90 Bht for a large Leo. But there is another Samet pier over the road from here, and a fairly constant trickle of people with packs on their back and serious facial expressions heading there. People watching is OK for a while, but soon it was back on the road to find a nice beach.



You pass through Suan Som on the way to Novotel Beach. It's quite a pleasant, tree lined avenue. Presumably the beach is OK, but we didn't check it out. So thats Ban Phe, a town with three piers, lots of visitors who are going somewhere else, and nice seafood to be had at the right price.
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Old 16-10-2007, 10:21 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Someone had mentioned the Beach around the Novotel Resort was very nice. It's probably about 6-7 Km's out of Ban Phe, but the road turns inland, which threw me a bit. You can no longer see the sea. Anyway, just when I was starting to think I'd got it wrong, there was the Novotel. We cruised on for half a Km, did a U turn, and just chanced it by turning down a track leading to the Beach, just a short while before you get to the Novotel. It's only about 300m down the track, and quite a gem I thought.



The first thing you notice is there is a fair size speedboat operation there. They do charters around Samet and surrounding islands. The next is that the beach is clean, the water pristine and it's all really quite nice.



This is Thailand, and as luck would have it there was a nice little bamboo Bar just a few metres away from the speedboat operation. At 60 bht for a beer, we settled down for a few.



I guess they get their business from passing trade from the Novotel and another nearby resort, plus maybe a few speedboat customers. Nobody there when we were there though, and we had a few beers. Very nice people too that run it.



A couple of Euro's walked by.
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Old 16-10-2007, 10:31 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Looking out.




Further down the Beach, a group of Thai were having some sort of work picnic, which obviously involved playing ringa roses. They seemed to be having a whale of a time. The speedboats were starting to come in now.



All good things must come to an end however, and we headed back to MRP after sunset. A very nice day.

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Old 16-10-2007, 10:48 PM   #21 (permalink)
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gps co-ordinates would be a nice addition to these threads.
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Old 16-10-2007, 10:48 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Back in MRP, it was a meal and some more booze ar Mikels German restaurant, which is really quite good actually. It felt like a long day.

Next day was a lazy but boozy effort. We went no more than 100 metres from our room. Lunch and afternoon refreshments were on the Beach shack directly opposite our rooms, which I had wanted to check out.

Another nice seafood meal, plenty of booze and a relaxing afternoon under the trees by the beach.



To me, this beats baking yourself in the hot sun, Western style.


All seems perfectly comfortable and civilized to me anyway.
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Old 16-10-2007, 10:55 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Sunset was coming.


Mikels was calling for some proper farang stodge.


Check out the size of those meals- I had a jagerschnitzel, Jacko a mixed grill, the ladies shared a spag bog and salad. I was half pissed by now.



So was Jacko.



Easy to get to, relaxed and doesn't break the Bank. I like the Rayong beaches, and MaeRamPheung seems as nice as anywhere to stay.
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Old 16-10-2007, 11:00 PM   #24 (permalink)
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gps co-ordinates would be a nice addition to these threads.
My primitive instructions hopefully will suffice baldrick- I have no GPS.
Not hard to get to though- MRP is clearly signposted off Route 36, a few km's beyond Rayong. Ban Phe and beyond, just follow the coast from MRP.
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Old 17-10-2007, 12:22 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Great piccies and thread Sabang
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