Top 15 BEST Things to do in Rayong

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If you're looking for the top things to do in Rayong, here are the must-experience activities and attractions you should check out.

Rayong is a beachy getaway destination located on the eastern coastal part of the Gulf of Thailand. Many people in a hurry to get to the more hip places like Pattaya, Bangkok, and the Koh islands ignore this hidden gem.

Rayong is probably one of the few places in Thailand that have not been overrun by a huge number of tourists. The site is still in its pristine and untouched condition and thus is a perfect choice for someone that is looking for a tranquil and solitude filled weekend getaway or a full-blown vacation with plenty of things to do in Rayong.

Rayong is an absolute favorite among the locals as they flock here in large numbers during the weekends. While on weekdays, Rayong is quiet and deserted as there are not many people around but come weekend, and you are greeted with sights of Thai families enjoying themselves in the shady beach restaurants while their kids play in the sandy beaches.

Unlike the overcrowded and touristy places like Pattaya and Jomtien, where you see more foreigners than locals, here in Rayong, it is entirely the opposite. Here you are more likely to bump into local Thai families, college students, and urbanites from nearby Bangkok who come here to let their hair down after a stressful week.

In terms of accessibility, Rayong is just over an hour’s drive away from glitzy Bangkok and 45 minutes away from Koh Samet, which is one of the most beautiful island destinations near Bangkok.

While most people consider Rayong as a stopover on their way heading towards Koh Samet however, that does not mean that there is nothing to do here.

Rayong has a lot more to offer than you might think. Here you can get delectable local food at shady beachside restaurants, fresh seafood from the local seafood market; you can also get a variety of tropical fruits like durians, rambutans, and juicy mangoes.

Let’s dive into some of the interesting things to do in Rayong that can help you explore this region to the fullest.

Top 15 BEST Things to do in Rayong

Visit the Rayong Aquarium

If you are bored with the never-ending beaches and mangroves and would like to see something new, then visiting the Rayong Aquarium might sound like a good alternative. Unlike the big ones found in another metropolis, this one is a small one.

Even then, it boasts of 43 tanks and a huge glass tunnel that showcase exotic underwater life. Since Rayong experiences very hot days and a lot of rain, especially on such days when your plans for a beachy day get marred, you can instead visit this aquarium. The experience will you beaming from ear to ear.

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Khao Laem Ya–Mu Ko Samet National Park
via Wikimedia Commons| Wiranya Youwattana

Go to Koh Samet

Koh Samet is one of the most beautiful islands that is 4 hours away from the city of Bangkok. It is part of the Rayong province and is extremely popular among the tourists. Its pristine translucent aquamarine waters are sure to take your breath away the minute you get a glimpse of it.

About 90% of the island is occupied by the national park of Khao Laem Ya Mu Ko Samet. Most of its popular beaches are located inside this national park. The Diamond Beach or Haad Sai Kaew and Ao Phai are two of its most famous beaches that have great options in terms of eateries and beverages.

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See the Rayong City Pillar

Just a few blocks up north of Yomjinda Road on the Lak Muang Road is located this ancient shrine of the Rayong City pillar. The vibrant and ancient pillar perfectly embodies the spirit of this city.

Locals visit the Rayong city pillar to pay their respects, make donations, and burn aromatic incense sticks while saying their prayers. This pillar acts as the epicenter for the Thailand festival or the Songkran festival that is held each year in April.

WHERE TO STAY? Best hotels in Rayong 

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Wonder about nature in Koh Talu area

Koh Talu, or the island with a hole as translated in English, is a quaint island located 11 kilometers from the mainland. The island covers an area of 1.6 square kilometers.

It is a go-to for those people that want some peace and solitude, and so in order to steer clear of drunken partygoers and the usual glitz and glamor of the mainland, they wind up here. Over 60 percent of the island is covered in thick foliage while the rest is dotted with resorts and plantations of coconut.

Here you can go snorkeling in the reefs, or kayaking. You can even go hiking up through the forests towards the highest point of the island. Here you get to witness the clear blue sky and snow-white clouds guaranteed to melt all of your worries away.

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Sunset at Khao Laem Ya Mu Ko SameT National Park
via Wikimedia Commons|Wiranya Youwattana

Watch the sunset at Khao Laem Ya

While the famous Koh Samet stays abuzz with an endless slew of tourists, the serene beauty of Khao Laen Ya often gets overlooked. Most of the area of Khao Laem Ya is covered with grasslands. On a map, it resembles a finger reaching up to Koh Samet.

Boasting of an enchanting sunset viewpoint perfect for going on a picnic Khao Laem Ya is truly a must-see for all nature lovers. You can pitch a tent on its crescent moon shaped beaches and doze off under a starry night sky.

It is essentially a national park and consists of Mae Rum Phung and Ban Khon Ao beaches along with several other small islands. It is located at a distance of 125 miles from the capital city of Bangkok and is easily accessible via highway 7. You can take a bus or a private taxi to get here.

WHERE TO STAY? Best hotels in Rayong

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 Koh Mannork
via Wikimedia Commons|ida P.

Admire the fascinating beauty and serenity of Koh Mannork

Koh Mannork is part of a three-island group that also includes Manklang and Mannai. Koh Mannork takes away the cake as the most popular one out of the three.

The island is privately owned by the Thai navy and is just 3 hours away from Bangkok. It is an ultimate destination for an overall relaxing experience. While you are here, you might also bump into its beautiful residents- the peacocks.

The island is blessed with pristine forests and sandy beaches, providing you amazing views of the sea and the lapiz lazuli sky. This is the place to be if you are searching for peace and solitude, which is very hard to come by in Thailand.

READ ALSO:  Top 11 BEST Things to do in Koh Samet
 HTMS Prasae
via Wikimedia Commons </a

Scramble Around a Warship

Care to dwell into some historic warcraft? The HTMS Prasae is an erstwhile Royal Thai Navy warship that has now been transformed into a historical exhibit. It is a 30-minute walk and a 10-minute drive away from Tung Prong Thong.

The Warship served during the Korean War and World War II. After the war, it was handed over to Thailand in 1951, and till 22 June 2000, it served in the Royal Thai Navy.

Entry to see this Warship is free, and it is open seven days a week from 7:30 in the morning to 6:30 in the evening. Visiting this Warship is one of the unique things to do in Rayong to see the historic side of Thailand, the party capital of Asia.

WHERE TO STAY? Best hotels in Rayong 

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Get your seafood supply at Ban Phe Market

The Ban Phe Pier falls on the way to the island of Koh Samet. Its Ban Phe market bustles with a large number of people, mostly locals that come here to get their hands on fresh from the sea seafood. From fresh squids, octopuses, shrimps, and even seafood snacks like dried shrimps, this market will surely vow your palate with its varied seafood options.

You get even take these snacks back home to reminisce about Thailand, and every time to take a bite, you will surely be flooded with nostalgia.

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See More Mangroves and Climb the Skyview Tower

If you are short on time and want to squeeze some more places to sightsee before hopping on a plane back home, the Mangrove research center and the Skyview tower is your ultimate bet.

The Mangrove research center is located a mere 15 minutes away from the city and can easily fit into less than an hour’s worth of exploring. The Skyview tower has 11 storeys and provides breathtaking aerial views of the reserve.

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Walk around Yomjinda Road (Old Town)

The Yomjinda road consists of a few old neighborhoods that have now been transformed into a charming and artsy old town based on the concept of celebrating the Thai culture and heritage.

The acclaimed Yomjinda road is built alongside the Rayong River and consists of teakwood buildings with heavy inclinations towards Chinese architecture.

Yomjinda road is dotted with numerous cafes and art galleries that act as perfect stopovers for when you get tired exploring its various attractions like the King Taksin Shrine, Wat Pa Pradu, and the city pillar.

WHERE TO STAY? Best hotels in Rayong 

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Wat Pa Pradu
via Wikimedia Commons

See a Reversed Buddha Statue

The Ayutthaya period temple known as Wat Pa Pradu is located to the other side of Sukhumvit Road from the Ymjinda road.

It is famous for its reversed Buddha statue. Normally the Buddha lies in a reclining position on his right side with his right hand supporting his head, but in this temple, it is completely the opposite; the Buddha is seen reclining on his left side with his left hand supporting his head.

This might just be the only reversed Buddha statue in the entire Thailand. Locals flock here to offer their prayers and can be seen burning incense sticks and lying prostrate in front of its huge Buddha statue.

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Things to do in Rayong: Phra Chedi Klang Nam
via Wikimedia Commons|Y.Thanongsak

Pay respect to the floating pagoda, PhraChedi Klang Nam

The pagoda of Phra Chedi Klang Nam was built in the year 1873 by Phraya Sri Samut Pokchaiyachok Chitsongkram. It is located just 2 kilometers down south of Amphoe Muang, near the Rayong River.

The pagoda is built on an islet in the middle of the Rayong River. The pagoda measures 10-meters in terms of height and is surrounded by thick mangrove forests. In the olden times, this pagoda acted as a landmark for people to let them know that they have reached the Rayong precinct.

Each year during the full moon day of the lunar calendar, the robe that envelops the pagoda is changed. The Loi Krathong Festival is celebrated here.

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Visit the King Taksin Shrine

King Taksin was famous for the reinforcement of the Thai forces after the Burmese forces demolished Ayutthaya. He bravely fought the invaders, reclaimed Ayutthaya, and established the present city of Bangkok as its capital.

The concrete elephant built inside the shrine is covered with numerous ribbons and is thought to be the exact spot where King Taksin tied his elephant. If you find yourself wandering in the Old Town vicinity, you should visit this shrine dedicated to one of Thailand’s most lauded heroes.

WHERE TO STAY? Best hotels in Rayong 

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Ban Ko Ao- The fisher man’s village

Located at the end of Hat Mae Ramphueng, the fisherman’s village of Ban Ko Ao is one of Rayong’s most famous places where you get a taste of the typical and rustic fisherman’s life.

Tourists can witness the various methods used by the fishermen of this village to catch fish and also see them process seafood. Another must-see attraction of this village is the great Catholic Church, which is over 100 years old.

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Explore The Strawberry Town

Remember that Holland trip that you so excitedly planned for strawberry field trips, but for some reason, you could not go? Well, you can do that while in Thailand! Quite frankly!

The Strawberry town brings typically up images of endless fields of juicy red strawberries, but it has got absolutely nothing to do with strawberries.

In fact, it is sort of like a theme park built around the concept of Dutch architecture. You can see Dutch houses, buildings, and even a windmill to boot. Visiting the strawberry town can be among those interesting things to do in Rayong that you can be a fun activity to do with your kids as there is a children’s playground on the premises.

The strawberry town is a bit hard to categorize as it is a bit of a theme park, has lots of restaurants, and is also a resort known as the Brookside Valley Resort. It is surrounded by lush green forests and has immaculate lawns and grounds. Definitely one of the many exciting attractions that you cannot miss while in Rayong.

WHERE TO STAY? Best hotels in Rayong 

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