Rayong province (Thai: ระยอง) is a province (changwat) of Thailand. Neighboring provinces are (from west clockwise) Chon Buri and Chanthaburi. To the south is the Gulf of Thailand.
King Taksin (of Thailand) came to Rayong after the fall of Ayutthaya. During a short stay in Rayong he built a navy, and then went on to Chantaburi to collect his arms to fight back against the Burmese. There is a shrine in Rayong where local people pay respects to Taksin.
Although the north is hilly, the province consists mostly of low coastal plains. Several islands in the Gulf of Thailand belong to the province, including the popular tourist destinations, Ko Samet, Ko Mun and Ko Kodi.
The seal of the province shows the island Ko Samet. The provincial tree is Alexandrian laurel (Calophyllum inophyllum).
The province is subdivided in 8 districts (amphoe). These are further subdivided into 58 subdistricts (tambon) and 388 villages (muban).
The Shrine of King Taksin the Great (ศาลสมเด็จพระเจ้าตากสิน) Folklore says that King Taksin the Great tied his elephant to the tree while leading the troops to Chanthaburi for retrieving the Kingdom of Siam from Burmese occupation. The shrine houses a statue of the king.
Wat Pa Pradu (วัดป่าประดู่) This ancient temple dates back to the Ayutthaya period. The wihan houses a large reclining Buddha image, 11.95 metres long and 3.60 metres high. Unusually, the reclining Buddha image lies on its left-hand side.
City Pillar Shrine (ศาลหลักเมือง) This shrine was first built of wood. Then it was replaced by a concrete building with Chinese characteristics. The old city pillar was formerly in front of the shrine. A new one was later set up with a four-porched shelter.
Dhammarachanusornsatan (ธรรมราชานุสรณ์สถาน) Situated at Kaochamao Rayong, there are many brilliant shrine buildings that house several statues such as a statue of Somdej Phra Putthajarn Tho Phromrangsi, the famous Buddhist priest of the Rattanakosin Age, and King Rama 5. There is a coins and antiques museum which contains many memorable things. There is no fee for entrance.
Wat Ban Don Shadow Play Museum (พิพิธภัณฑ์หนังใหญ่วัดบ้านดอน) exhibits one hundred Nang Yai shadow-play characters, or Nang Yai, which is a large piece of leather carved and painted into different characters.
Phra Chedi Klang Nam (พระเจดีย์กลางน้ำ) In the middle of the Rayong River, two kilometres south of downtown near the mouth of the river, there is a pagoda on an island. It is a landmark for the crews sailing in the river to indicate that they are reaching Rayong province. On the full moon day of the twelfth lunar month, a celebration is held to change the robe covering the pagoda.
Si Mueang Park (สวนศรีเมือง) This place was once used for the execution of prisoners. Now it has been rebuilt as a public park. At the front of the park is a famous Buddha image of Rayong, Phra Phuttha Angkhirot.
Hat Laem Charoen (หาดแหลมเจริญ) Near the mouth of the Rayong River, five kilometres south of downtown, is the nearest beach from Rayong.
Hat Saeng Chan (หาดแสงจันทร์) Some seven kilometres from Rayong town, connecting to Laem Charoen Beach, the Saeng Chan Beach is a sandy beach.
Hat Mae Ramphueng – Ban Kon Ao (หาดแม่รำพึง – บ้านก้นอ่าว) Some 11 kilometres from Rayong town.
Khao Laem Ya (เขาแหลมหญ้า) From this sunset viewpoint, comprising scrub forest and cape, it is possible to see Mae Ramphueng Beach and Ko Samet.
Rayong Aquarium (สถานแสดงพันธ์สัตว์น้ำระยอง), Located in the Eastern Marine Fisheries Research and Development Centre (ศูนย์วิจัยและพัฒนาประมงไทยฝั่งตะวันออก), it houses various kinds of beautiful fish and sea plants. The centre conducts study, research, and testing regarding marine biology and behaviors of marine life.
Sopha Botanical Park (สวนพฤกษชาติโสภา) This 32-rai park is lush with many kinds of trees, particularly Thai flora. In the compound, three traditional Thai houses on stilts, nearly 100 year old, exhibit ceramics from various periods as well as prehistoric pottery from Ban Chiang World Heritage Site.
Suan Son (สวนสน) Just four kilometres from Ban Phe, 29 kilometres from Rayong town, many kinds of pine along with local trees provide shade for the visitors.
Khao Laem Ya – Mu Ko Samet National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติเขาแหลมหญ้า-หมู่เกาะเสม็ด) The park totals an area of 81,875 rai comprising land, sea and islands. Its major attractions include Mae Ramphueng Beach, Khao Laem Ya, and Samet Archipelago.
Ko Samet (เกาะเสม็ด) Some people believe that this is the miracle island in Thai classical literature by Sunthon Phu. Ko Samet is a famous beach attraction of Rayong. One of the beaches is Ao Wong Duean in the middle of the eastern side. This beach stretches in the shape of an almost-complete circle.
Ko Kruai, Ko Kham, and Ko Pla Tin (เกาะกรวย เกาะขาม และเกาะปลาตีน) These islands are approximately 600 metres north of Ko Kudi.
Ko Kudi or Ko Kut (เกาะกุฎี หรือเกาะกุด) The beach and coral reefs make it a nice place for a hideaway. Nearby islands are Ko Thai Khangkhao and Ko Tham Ruesi.
Ko Thalu (เกาะทะลุ) The island is another scuba diving site among coral reefs. The island totals an area of 69 rai, and most remains lush forest. While high cliffs occupy the west, white sandy beaches occupy the east and south of the island.
Suan Wang Kaeo (สวนวังแก้ว) Forest and garden, beach and beautiful bay characterize the park.
Laem Mae Phim (แหลมแม่พิมพ์) Without large waves, the beach is nice for swimming. Restaurants and bungalows are available along the beach. Laem Mae Phim is 48 kilometres from Rayong town.
Sunthon Phu Monument (อนุสาวรีย์สุนทรภู่) The monument was built to commemorate Sunthon Phu, a leading poet in the early Rattanakosin era, two centuries ago. There are statues of Sunthon Phu and characters from his famous literature.
Wat Saranat Thammaram (วัดสารนารถธรรมาราม) houses a main Buddha image imitated from the famous Phra Phuttha Chinnarat in Phitsanulok province. Four major pagodas surround the Ubosot. They include Phra Pathom Chedi, Phrathat Phanom, replica of Bodh Gaya, and Phrathat Chaiya. Mu Ko Man (หมู่เกาะมัน) Mu Ko Man comprises three islands: Man Nai, Man Klang, and Man Nok. Ko Man Nai (เกาะมันใน) This island is the location of the turtle conservation station initiated by Her Majesty the Queen. The project conserves the breeding of hawksbill and olive turtles.
Hat Phayun and Hat Phla (หาดพยูนและหาดพลา) The beautiful Phayun Beach is 32 kilometres from Rayong town. Phla Beach, only three kilometres from Phayun Beach, is a quiet beach with a shady sea pine forest.
Supattra Land Orchard (สวนสุภัทรา) The orchard is open for the public to witness its fruit varieties such as durian, rambutan, mango, grape, star fruit and longan.
Khao Chamao – Khao Wong National Park: (อุทยานแห่งชาติเขาชะเมา – เขาวง) This lush forest with a great variety of flora and fauna is the watershed of the Prasae River. Attractions in the national park
Namtok Khao Chamao or Namtok Khlong Nam Sai (น้ำตกเขาชะเมา หรือน้ำตกคลองน้ำใส) The waterfall comprises seven levels, stretching for three kilometres. The large pond called Wang Matcha, is a habitat of brook carp.
Pha Sawan (ผาสวรรค์) The viewpoint is 1.5 kilometres from the national park headquarters.
Namtok Khlong Pla Kang (น้ำตกคลองปลาก้าง) The waterfalls are three kilometres from the headquarters. Ferns and orchids grow well in this lush forest.
Namtok Khlong Hin Phoeng (น้ำตกคลองหินเพิง) The small waterfall is actually in Chanthaburi province, ten kilometers from the headquarters. Water runs all year round. Khao Wong (เขาวง) Many limestone mountains surround a flat plain. The mountains have a total of 80 caves inside.
Krommaluang Chumphon Shrine (ศาลสมเด็จกรมหลวงชุมพร) The shrine houses the statue of Krommaluang Chumphonkhetudomsak, founder of Thailand’s modern navy. He is honoured by the people of Rayong.
Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Herbal Park (สวนสมุนไพรสมเด็จพระเทพรัตนราชสุดาฯ สยามบรมราชกุมารี) The park grows various kinds of herbs and also as conducts research.
Taphong bike route (เส้นทางจักรยานท่องเที่ยวตะพง) Golf Driving Rang Amphoe Mueang Horse Riding Thai Massage Spa
Preserved seafood (ผลิตภัณฑ์อาหารทะเล) Seafood from Rayong has been a famous souvenir.
Fruit (ผลไม้) During May and June, orchards in Rayong produce durian, rambutan, mangosteen, etc.
Products from sedge mat (ผลิตภัณฑ์เสื่อกก) The in-house industry of Tambon Kram, Amphoe Klaen has quality products.
Crystal products (ผลิตภัณฑ์เครื่องแก้วคริสตัล) The crystal factory in Amphoe Pluak Daeng, produces export-quality crystal works by Thai skilled labour.