Escape from the bustle of Bangkok in just over two hours’ drive to this beachside city surrounded by tropical fruit farms. Rayong has plenty of temples and shrines to explore, farms where you can pick your own fruit and the Rayong Aquarium. Rayong City is also the gateway to the Khao Chamao-Khao Wong National Park.
Spend a few hours visiting the shrines and green parks of the city. Start in Shri Muang Park in the city’s center, where a Buddhist shrine, a perfect example of Thai architecture, is built atop a lake. The City Pillar Shrine on Lak Mueang Road has more Chinese elements, while Wat Pa Pradu features a 36-foot (11-meter) long reclining Buddha from the early Ayutthaya period, between the 14th and 18th centuries.
In the nearby fishing town of Ban Phe you’ll find the Sopha Arboretum, a large botanical garden with a heritage Thai stilt house that contains a ceramics museum displaying artifacts from different eras in Thai history.
Discover aquatic wildlife without the need for diving paraphernalia at the Rayong Aquarium. See reef fish and the mangrove-dwelling shellfish that provide the economic base for many of Thailand’s fishermen. The turtle pond houses hawksbills, olive and leatherback turtle species. Examine older life forms in the Fossil Museum.
Drive or take a taxi to the Khao Chamao-Khao Wong National Park to see the limestone geology and waterfalls that are the habitat of tigers and elephants. Get your admission permit at the tourist center and set out on a hike through the greenery.
Enjoy the fruits of the ocean, and of the orchard, two of Rayong City’s specialties. Head to Suphattra Land to taste longan and star fruit, and wander amid durian, rambutan and mango trees.
Feast on the catch of the day, fresh from the Gulf of Thailand, at restaurants you’ll find all along the beaches of Rayong City. Most of the city’s nightlife is concentrated around Ratbamrung Road. Have a relaxed drink at a bar, catch a concert or DJ session at the Rayong Brew or head out late to nightclubs.