Once overlooked in favour for the other beachy, sun-lit areas in Thailand, Rayong has been getting some international attention from travellers. Most still prefer the other destinations, like KohSamui, but many hotel rooms in Rayong are booked by travellers looking to enjoy that are quieter than most destinations.
In additions to postcard worthy beaches, Rayong also offers a look into traditional Thai life that have become rarer in the more tourist-heavy destinations, with many inhabitants in the region still making a living by drying squid, catching fish, and the like.
For those interested in the sleepy seaside, here’s some of the things you can enjoy.
See Wat pa Pradu
A destination for the history buffs and culture-hounds, this ornately decorated wat, a building housing a Buddhist temple. With fewer visitors than the grand temples in the capital, it’s much more enjoyable for travellers to enjoy at their own pace. Built during the Ayutthaya period, between 1351 and 1767, Wat Pa Pradu features aesthetic touches from multiple cultures, with a Chinese shrine, and a 12-metre-long Buddha resting his head on his left hand, like classical European sculptures.
Walk through the historic area of Yomjinda Road
Situated near a bend in the Rayong River, this traditional walking street is basically a still of old Thailand. Unlike the modernized Sukhumvit Road, Yomjinda Road remained underdeveloped for decades, until some artists, artisans and businessmen, earlier in the millennium, opted to revitalise the area. They put up new coffee shops, art galleries and museums, while retaining the old-timey, traditional aesthetics and feel of the area.
Cycle past wonderful scenery
If you’re a cyclist or a cycling aficionado, then you’ve got reason to book hotel rooms in Rayong, as the area sports 70 kilometres of paved trails ideal for cycling. Visitors can either opt to go on their own or sign up for a guided tour with Rayong Bike Tours. This cycling club welcomes participants of different skill levels from across the world to enjoy; die-hard athletes can compete with the team, while the novices can participate with one of the more laid-back nature rides.
Shop at the local market
The best time to visit the local markets are during the early hours of the morning, before the tropical midday heat sends people packing. Evenings are also a great time, as that’s when the hawkers offer up all sorts of delicious food. Tapong Fruit Market, just off ofSukhumvit Road in Rayong City, offers lots of fruits for people to enjoy. For those looking to stay in the shade, the Ban Phe Market, located in a small village up the coast from the city’s main hub, offers snacks and even edible souvenirs.