Getting out of dodge :: Rayong

Due to the alcohol closures I decided to get out town for a few days. Plus I was sulking in my least commented post ever and I figured I needed a break from all that Bkk has to offer. You can only drink, pick-up and shag for so many hours a day. I needed to see the beach. For the record – no one goes to Pattaya for the beach. The beaches suck there and Jomtien is not much better. I have been to Hua Hin many times and get tired of the drive. So this time I chose Rayong since I have never been, the bus is super cheap and I heard there is even some nightlife there. 🙂

Before I get to the big getaway…

Big Mango getting some love. Stick and Dean.

Poor Jimmy Wales – founder of wikipedia. First the divorce, the breakup, the rumors that wiki is edited by 1% of its users (meaning it is not as open as people think) and now this. Rumor was whilst he was in Bkk for a conference he hit a member club. Wonder if he expensed that too?

I am a big Apple fan. In fact – I hate windoze. I sure wish Woz would go away though. Frankly I think he is jealous and bored. I say go play some more Segway polo. BTW – all web properties of the Big Mango Empire are created on a Mac. Deal.

First stop on this outing was the Ekkamai bus station. Easy to find. Say Ekkamai bus tour or something like rot tour Ekkamai and you will get there. Find the stall selling tix to Rayong. It is 152 baht one way in an air-conditioned bus. If you are traveling alone buy 2 seats for comfort. Try not to get the very back seats since they don’t recline and your back is on fire with the engine nestled right behind you.

Once you get to the bus station in Rayong use can use the small colored trucks to get around cheaply. Bypass any of the guys trying to sell you rooms or taxis. You really don’t need them. I knew where I wanted to go. Look below for the map. One of the longest stretches of beach in the area. By songthaew it was 20 baht. So to get to the beach from Bkk was – 60 baht to Ekkamai bus station, 152 baht to Rayong and the beach was 20 baht. 232 baht all in.

Map of Hat Mae Rumphueng Beach:
View Larger Map

All around this beach there are tons of small and large accommodations at many different price levels. I rented a motorcycle for 300 baht and drove way down the beach and found a guest house for like 700 baht but it was more than I needed really. The beach is amazing. Long, clean, clear blue/green water, white sand and not too many people. Perfect. Only a few hours away from Bangkok.

We had a nice seafood dinner for 700 baht including one bottle of whisky/mixers. We were stuffed. Fish, oysters, shrimp, squid and so on. Try doing that in Bangkok. Then we strolled on the beach and finished off our bottle. Really could not be more perfect.

As far as nightlife goes. Since it was a no-drinking night nothing was open and not much was planned to open up late far as I could tell. There appears to be one main street with all the action. Coyote clubs, pubs, Thai pubs, Thai discos, beer-bars and I guess even a few go-go bars. To find your way there is pretty easy.

The main drag in town is Sukhumvit. 🙂 Look for the Rayong City Hotel which is just off of Sukhumvit. Past the hotel is another long street called Ratbamrung. From about Soi 8 down to the smaller sois is where all the action is. My guess is that it would be a big change of pace from the Bkk scene and worth checking out. I plan on going back sometime and staying in town to enjoy action. Keep in mind for 20 baht you can get to the beaches. I am sure there is some other nightlife but this street is where the biggest concentration is.

Back to the real world.

22 thoughts on “Getting out of dodge :: Rayong

  1. Nice post. Was thinking of going to Hua Hin on my next trip in march. Now I will do more research about Rayong. Seems to be a nice alternative. For someone who has never been to both places, wich one would you recommend to go?

  2. @Phoenix, if u are into huge apartment buildings / hotels, construction sites, traffic & foreigners…go to Hua Hin, the place is one big building ground and a major tourist destination, the likes of Phuket…..

    if u are not: see the above post of Smitty….but do not hop-over to Samet Island, a National Park as it is….wild banana boats and jetskis will certainely run you over…..unless you walk to the south-end of the island where still some quiet resorts remain…

  3. Andy, thanks. I have been to Phuket several times already. If Hua Hin is similar, I might consider Rayong instead. How is the nightlife scene in Rayong? Any more info on that?

  4. I used to go to hua hin 5 years ago and loved it but it is overbuilt now for the most part. Rayong was cool. I think parts of Samet are pretty cool as well.

    The thing I liked about the outskirts of Rayong was how quiet and laid back it was. Unlike in Huan – the road separates the beach from the buildings. U can’t build on the beach side. So there is nothing built right next to the beach.

    I think the nightlife is small but looks like it might be fun. I plan a return to stay in the city to party at night but lounge on the beach during the day. Can’t be too bad…

  5. If you have a little more time – no, a lot more time – it’s worth getting that southbound train (Diesel Special Express!) and stepping off it at one of the little coastal resorts that everyone bypasses on the skinny “tail” of Thailand, where the country narrows to scrape the sides of the locomotive. That is, if all you want is beach and quiet. Ban Krut is a favourite; you can get a bungalow for 7-800 baht and just chill out for a few days. I have other secret destinations, even sleepier, where you have a cabin and a hammock on the beach, and all you have to do is stroll up to the “restaurant” and see what the day’s catch is. But if you’e after pool, hookers, and widescreen Premier League, better stay in BKK.

  6. It sounds like a slightly larger Chaam Beach.

    How easy was it to rent a motorbike? Was it like Phuket where they want you to leave a wad of cash and your passport as collateral? Which is technically illegal…but that doesn’t mean much here. 🙂

  7. Andy, Smitty, PE: thanks for the info. I will go to travel with my GTG and might also have at least 2-3 nights alone. I prefer some nice nigtlife when I am by myself, cos sleeping alone has to be avoided at all costs 😀 So does Huahin offer more nightlife compared to Rayong? Or would you say Rayong has enough girl material and fun to offer?

    I love hanging at the beach during the day and partying at night. A noisy road behind my back sounds rather like a turn-down to me.

  8. smitty, you get the train from BKK. Even the Special Diesel Express is pretty damn slow, but that’s part of the appeal. Plus, you get airline-style meals free! Pick up a map and a timetable from the station. The best train leaves early-ish in the morning, getting you to the coast by midday-ish. Farangs are a relatively rare sight on the train. You get off at the station of choice (little backwoods railway stations like you thought they didn’t have anymore), wake up a tuk-tuk driver, tell him to take you to a resort on the beach, take a look at 2 or 3 before making up your mind. Oh yeah – the train costs virtually NOTHING, but make sure your seats are together – sometimes the train is packed, and they try to split you up. It’s a great (and cheap) way to get away from everything for a few days.

  9. rayong – renting the bike was simple. give them an ID card and they gave me the bike. No money down.

    p – I did not see the nightlife in rayong so I can’t tell you but I don’t much care for the hua hin nightlife so I would gamble on rayong myself. beaches are nicer as well.

    pe – you da man, I smell another trip…

  10. Thanks for the post. I need to get out of town, needed a good suggestion. It sounds like it is just about my speed.

  11. Great post and advice. Does anyone have similar info for Udon or Ubon? I’ll be visiting both places from March 23-28. Thanks.

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  13. RAYONG – lived here in the city for 2 years now and I guarantee it’s got something for everyone :-)especially as we have many Farang/ Japanese/ Korean working here.
    Hotels/apartments are plentiful, prices are good as it’s not a tourist destination – if I want this Pattaya is just 40 mins drive and I can be on Ko Samet (worth a trip but expensive) within an hour.
    We have a big choice of entertainment but you really need to know the best places.
    I’m always happy to help the many visitors we get here. I’ve got an interest in the ‘PINK BAR’ located in the centre of town by Star market,Tesco Lotus the Star Hotel complex.
    Hope to see you some time.

  14. Off to Rayong in 2 weeks thanks for the G-2. Hua Hin was nice last year with the family safe beaches OK nightlife we stayed way down the end of the beach next to a fishing village and a giant rock. Good beach restraunts all around.

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  17. I’m in rayong right now in the city hotel. Gonna be here for another 3 days. I’m dying for some nightlife but things don’t look good so far. Dave, any recommendations ? Where can I get some action ?

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