Often overlooked for its glitzy and more popular neighbors, like Bangkok, Pattaya, and the Koh islands, Rayong is a small fishing town, that has managed to hold on to its authentic Thai charm. A favorite among young urbanites, Rayong is a gem largely undiscovered by tourists. And since it is easily accessible from Bangkok, at only a two-hour drive and Koh Samet, with a 45-minute ferry ride, this unspoiled beach town is a perfect pit stop for on-the-go travelers.
With its pristine beaches, gorgeous greenery, bustling markets, local sites, and a busy nightlife - all in all, Rayong is perfect for a quintessential Thai holiday, minus the jostling of countless tourists. Here’s your to-do list for when you are in Rayong.
1. Mae Ramphung Beach
Sink your toes into the soft golden sand of the longest beach on the eastern coast - Mae Ramphung Beach. Lined by casuarina trees, this pristine beach has plenty of food shacks, serving delicious seafood and local delights. Mostly frequented by locals, this vast stretch, dotted with umbrellas, hosts a few intrepid travelers who come for swimming, paddling, or simply relaxing with a beer. A delightful park cuts the beach in half and offers well-manicured palm-fringed gardens, with lots of places to rest in the shade.
Mae Ramphung Beach
Address: Rayong Province, Thailand
Duration: around 1-2 hours required.
Near by Food: Tamnanpar Restaurant, Classic Forest Restaurant
2. Khao Chamao-Khao Wong National Park
Spanning a whopping 20,000 acres (8,093 hectares), this park nurtures a rich growth of tropical forest, alongside bountiful flora and fauna. The two trails allow you to walk through the wilderness and observe wildlife thriving in their natural habitat. Fed by the Prasae River system, the dense Khao Chamao-Khao Wong National Park also provides tents and lodges for adventurers, though you must first register with the tourist center.
Khao Chamao-Khao Wong National Park
Address: Khao Chamao District, Rayong, Thailand
Price: from 6 USD
Opening Hours: 8am - 4pm. Daily.
3. HRH Princess Herb Garden
Tucked between Chonburi and Rayong, the HRH Princess Herb Garden is a little treasure trove of herbs, housing nearly 20,000 plants, categorized neatly into over 20 sections. A plant lover’s paradise, this wedge-shaped property allows you to meander through the well-maintained pathways and marvel at the sheer number of herbs, grouped as per their use, and their inherent medical abilities.
HRH Princess Herb Garden
Address: Tambon Map Kha, Amphoe Nikhom Phattana, Rayong
Opening Hours: 9am - 4pm. Tue-Sun.
Duration: around 1-2 hours required.
Access: A little distance from Highway 36
4. Rayong Aquarium
An attraction for all ages, the Rayong Aquarium houses indoor and outdoor sections, home to diverse marine life, like sharks, turtles, stingrays, and a delightful variety of colorful fish, including the popular clown fish. The aquarium also features a fossil museum, displaying extinct animals as well as rare species, like Irrawaddy and humpback dolphins. It also holds exhibitions, showcasing the life of the fishermen and various fishing tools. A day spent among these gorgeous aqua friends promises a fun-filled, wholesome family experience.
Address: Phe, Mueang Rayong District, Rayong, Thailand
Price: from 0.90 USD
Opening Hours: 10am - 5pm. Tue-Sun.
Duration: around 1 hour required.
Access: 4 km (2.5 miles) from Ban Phe’s Pier
Website: Rayong Aquarium
5. Yomjinda Walking Street
A quaint, interesting street, lined with old architectural wonders, historic landmarks, and local shops, selling traditional food and fair trade crafts, Yom Jinda Walking Street should definitely be on your list if you want to get a feel of the local culture. Music, dance, and puppet shows add to the vibrant downtown atmosphere and the delightful night market fulfills all your retail needs.
Yom Jinda Walking Street
Address: Yom Jinda Road, Rayong 21000, Thailand
Duration: Around 2 hours required.
Near by Food: Naidol Makham Thao, FinSushi
6. Koh Kloi Market
This market, also seen as an interesting attraction, duplicates the ways of an ancient bazaar. A row of small wooden houses, along a water body, double up as antique shops, lending a vintage vibe to the entire place. Here you’ll find authentic handmade accessories and lovely antique items that are a far cry from the usual ‘I love Thailand’ souvenirs. The Koh Kloi Market food zone is a place where you can relax with a chilled beer and authentic delights.
Koh Kloi Market
Address: 65/3 M.3 Bypass 36 Road, Choeng Noen subdistrict, Rayong 21000, Thailand
Opening Hours: 10am - 9pm. Daily.
Duration: Around 1-2 hours required.
7. Phra Chedi Klang Nam
This beautiful Buddhist structure is built in the middle of an island at the mouth of the Rayong River. The 10-meter (32.8-foot) high pagoda, now surrounded by dense mangrove forests, used to be the landmark that showed sailors they had arrived in the city. The surrounding marshlands also house a Mangrove Research Center, which is yet another point of interest, usually visited after the impressive Phra Chedi Klang Nam.
Phra Chedi Klang Nam
Address: Pak Nam, Mueang Rayong District, Rayong 21000, Thailand
Price: from 0.60 USD
Opening Hours: 6am - 5pm. Daily.
Access: 2 km (1.2 miles) from Rayong city
8. Koh Mun Nork
No trip to Thailand is complete without experiencing real island life, and Koh Mun Nork offers just this. A private island that requires advance reservations, Koh Mun Nork offers a stunning deserted beach, surrounded by dense jungle, where you can laze about and swim at your own leisure. An overnight destination, the island boasts rich marine biodiversity and is a diver’s paradise. Enjoy some unforgettable moments on this slice of heaven which, thanks to the resort authorities, still retains its wild, untamed beauty.
Koh Mun Nork
Address: Laem Tarn Pier, Koh Mun Nork, Rayong 21190, Thailand
Access: 38 miles from Rayong city
Website: Koh Mun Nork
9. Prasae riverside village
Located along the mouth of the Prasae Estuary, this riverside village in Klaeng District houses an interesting community of locals, who promote tourism by showcasing a model of a fishing village. This means you can explore the village on a three-wheel motorcycle and absorb their culture and lifestyle, which includes some fascinating activities, like sailing out at night in search of fireflies, frequenting the golden mangrove forests, or simply lazing on the peaceful beach.
Prasae riverside village
Address: Prasae River mouth, Klaeng District
Duration: around 1 hour
10. Sky View Tower at the Mangrove Research Center
This 22-meter (72.2 foot) high tower, located in the Mangrove Research Center, offers incredible views of the serene mangrove-flanked river. A wooden walkway lined with a wide variety of mangroves, labeled in Thai, leads you to the Sky Tower and to a panoramic view of the houses, river, and the forests. With no entrance fee, the research center, along with the Sky View Tower proves to be an educational and scenic site.
Sky View Tower at Mangrove Research Center
Address: Ban Paknam, Paknam Subdistrict, Rayong 21000, Thailand
Duration: around 30 - 40 min required.
Access: 10 mins drive from downtown Rayong
Discover the untouched beauty of Rayong
This little beach town in the eastern part of Thailand, accessible from all popular haunts, like Bangkok, Pattaya, Koh Samui, and Koh Samet, is an idyllic destination for sun seekers. An ideal mix of nature and artifice, Rayong is bustling enough to house beachfront shacks, night markets, and religious structures, yet remote enough to nurture dense mangrove growth, natural waterfalls, fruit farms, and deserted beaches. Indulge in this coastal adventure for a few days of absolute bliss, far away from the madding crowd.