RAYONG & CHANTHABURI
Rayong & Chanthaburi are neighboring coastal provinces on
Thailand's Eastern Seaboard. Rayong province covers some
3,562 square kilometers. Rayong's provincial capital is 179
kilometers southeast of Bangkok. Chanthaburi covers some
6,338 square kilometers. The provincial capital is some 245
kilometers from Bangkok, and some 110 kilometers east of
Rayong. Both provinces are well known among Thais for their
tropical fruits, fine beaches, national parks and natural
Rayong - Attractions - in the city
King Taksin Shrine
The shrine is located in front of Wat Lum Mahachai
Chumphon, and commemorates King Taksin's brief sojourn in
Rayong following the fall of the ancient Siamese capital of
Ayutthaya in 1767 to invading Burmese. A Thai nobleman who
escaped Ayutthaya before its fall, Taksin was acclaimed king
in Rayong, and is remembered as the monarch who rallied the
Thais, and expelled Burmese invaders before establishing a
new Thai capital in Thon Buri, currently that part of
Bangkok occupying the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. A
large tree in front of the shrine is believed to have been
the place where Taksin's elephant was stabled. The shrine is
highly revered, particularly by Thais of Chinese ancestry,
and traditionally attracts large crowds during Chinese New
Wat Pa Pradu
This Ayutthaya period (1350-1767) temple enshrines a
large Reclining Buddha image, unusual in that the almost
12-metre-long image reclines on its left side, not the more
Phra Chedi Klang Nam
This 10-metre-high chedi is located on an islet at the
estuary of the Rayong River. Annual celebrations in the
vicinity each November feature exciting boat races.
Si Muang Park
Located in the town center, behind the city hall, the
park contains a Buddhist shrine in traditional Thai
Rayong - Attractions - out of the city
Sai Thong Beach
This fine sandy beach enjoys a peaceful and secluded
setting. Bungalow accommodation is available. The beach is
some 17 kilometers west of the provincial capital.
This small island is some 10 minutes from Sai Thong
Beach. Clear island waters permit fascinating underwater
views of coral formations. Bungalow accommodation is
Phayun & Phala Beaches
Located in Ban Chang district, some 33 and 36 kilometers
respectively from the provincial capital, both beaches are
connected, peaceful and eminently suitable for swimming.
Luxury hotel and economy bungalow accommodation is
Fruits are famous in Rayong, particularly from mid-May
until the end of June when durians, rambutans and
mangosteens are available, of excellent quality and at
reasonable prices. Several orchards in Rayong welcome
tourists to visit and sample their succulent fruits.
Mae Ramphueng Beach
This 10-kilometer-long beach falls within the Khao Laem
Ya-Ko Samet Group National Park. It is eminently suitable
for swimming and contains a particularly picturesque
Ban Kon Ao
A hilltop temple dominates this fishing village, 22
kilometers from the provincial capital. The area is subject
to wind and sea erosion. Beachside palms appear to rise from
sand pedestals bound together by tree roots.
Sopha Botanical Gardens
Located 17 kilometers from town, and near the ferry to
Samet Island, the gardens contain the most varied tree and
plant collections in Thailand. Traditional Thai architecture
helps beautify the area, besides displaying Thai antiques.
Khao Laem Ya-Ko Samet Group National Park
Khao Laem Ya is located on the mainland, some 6
kilometers from Ban Phe fishing village. Ko Samet, on which
Thailand's most popular poet, Sunthon Phu, created his most
famous work, Phra Aphai Mani, lies some 40 minutes offshore.
The park also encompasses major mainland beaches and lesser
islands to the east of Ko Samet.
22 kilometers southeast of the provincial capital, this
busy fishing community is the major point of departure for
visitors to Ko Samet. Ban Phe is famous among Thais for its
fish sauce and dried marine products.
This is Rayong's major attraction; a palm fringed
Tropical Island with fine white sandy beaches to the east,
and rocky headlands to the west. Snorkeling, windsurfing,
swimming, sailing and sunbathing number among major beach
activities. There is a large choice of accommodation
facilities. Satellite and somewhat pettite islands to the
east include Ko Kudi, Ko Khangkhao and Ko Rusi.
Located one kilometer east of Ban Phe, and also known as
the Casuarinas (pine) garden, the area is characterized by
these shade-giving trees, which line the beachfront road for
about a kilometer. The area is a favorite spot for picnics.
Laem Mae Phim
Located 40 kilometers from the provincial capital, at Km
26 on the coastal road between Ban Phe and Klaeng, this
popular beach attracts local tourists who frequent roadside
vendors selling fruits, fried squid, skewered oysters and
other local delicacies.
These 3 islands can be conveniently visited from Laem
Mae Phim. Fine sandy beaches characterize the islands.
Accommodation facilities are available.
Sunthon Phu Memorial Park
53 kilometers from the provincial capital, on the road
towards Klaeng, this memorial park is located at Kram
village, the birthplace of the poet's father. Designated by
UNESCO as an eminent classical poet, Sunthon Phu (1786-1855)
composed his famous epic poem Phra Aphai Mani on nearby
Khao Chamao-Khao Wong National Park
This national park is located some 17 kilometers off
Sukhumvit Highway at Km. 274, and some 76 kilometers from
the provincial capital. The park contains numerous plant and
tree species, colorful butterflies and birds, and a gently
flowing eight-level waterfall.
Rayong - Special Events
New Year & Red Cross Fair
Staged from December 28 until January 3, the event
features special exhibitions and entertainment.
Generally staged during mid-May, the fair celebrates
local tropical fruits, and features colorful floats,
processions, beauty pageants and local produce.
Phra Chedi Klang Nam Fair
This annual celebration occurs during the twelfth lunar
month at the time of Loi Krathong, Thailand's lovely
'Festival of Lights' and features exciting boat races.
Chanthaburi - Attractions - in the city
King Taksin the Great Monument
The equestrian statue of the king dominates the
provincial capital's park. The statue is prominently
featured on the green 20 baht Thai banknote.
Thailand's Largest Church
The riverside distinctly French style Church of the
Immaculate Conception is the largest Christian church in
Thailand and dates from the late 1800s.
Noen Wong Fort
This is part of the city wall built during the reign
mid-1800s as protection against Vietnamese forces. Old
cannon fortresses are still evident. A Maritime Museum in
the compound behind the fort wall houses archaeological
treasures, mostly medieval pottery, recovered from sunken
merchant vessels in the Thai Gulf.
Attractions - out of the city
Phlio Waterfall National Park
The 42,000-acre national park some 50 kilometers east of
Chanthaburi contains numerous species of wild animals, birds
and trees and plants. The focal point is the petite
waterfall that gives the park its name.
Laem Sing Cape
Some 31 kilometers west of Chanthaburi's provincial
capital, this area comprises largely a fishing community
with beachside restaurants specializing in native- style
seafood. Two historical structures in the immediate
vicinity, namely the Khuk Khi Kai, a jail built by the
French in 1893 to house Thai prisoners, upon whom chickens
used to defecate, giving the jail its name, and the Tuk
Daeng, originally the headquarters of a fort, but used as a
residence by French officers, attest to Indochina's colonial
Oasis Sea World
This coastal marine center some 6 kilometers from Laem
Sing Cape breeds and conserves dolphins from local waters.
The center stages daily dolphin shows and contains a small
zoo and aviary.
Khao Khitchakut National Park
Some 30 kilometers from the provincial capital, via
a turning at Km 304 on Sukhumvit Highway, and a 21-kilometer
drive through farmland and forest, this national park
contains the Krathing Waterfall and a famous cave named Tham
Rusi (Hermit's Cave) in a forest setting.
Laem Sadet, Khung Wiman & Chao Lao Beach
Accessible from Km. 301 on Sukhumvit Highway, and a
subsequent 27-kilometer drive, the natural combination of
beach, cape, mountain and bay provide a soothing setting for
swimming and sunbathing.
The town area around Si Chan Road is a major center for
Chanthaburi's nationally renowned gemstones, principally
rubies and blue star sapphires, which are locally mined and
polished, and can be purchased by the carat or in finished
Chanthaburi has long been known as a major producer of
reed mats. Modern techniques have been employed to produce
other products, including handbags, place mats and paper
Chanthaburi's orchards are famous for their succulent
fruits, which include Rambutans, Durians, Mangosteens,
Lagsat and Zalacca.
Chanthaburi - Special Events
Also staged mid-May, this fruit fair in the provincial
capital celebrates the abundance of durians, mangosteens,
rambutans and other local delicacies. Cultural shows and
exhibitions number among other attractions.