I visited Rayong and Chanthaburi post TBEX Asia 2015 FAM trip in Thailand. I was invited by Tourism Authority of Thailand for this trip. I was biased towards Rayong before I went but post trip, it is difficult to pick up a favorite. I spent just one night in Rayong but I managed to visit many tourist attractions in Rayong, Thailand.
The distance between Bangkok and Rayong is approximately 182 kilometers. It is a 3 hour drive. But we had many stops along the way. Our first stop was a bathroom break at a petrol station. In Thailand finding a clean washroom is never a problem. We extended this break into a coffee break as well. I loved it. Without tea or coffee I almost always end up sleeping throughout the way!
Our second stop was for the lunch at the Tamnanpar Restaurant in the Rayong Province itself. The place is lush green. It creates a tropical rain forest atmosphere. They found food for me too, the only vegetarian member in the entire group.
Stomach full, my eyes started dropping automatically when we went back to our van (a Lexus too!) but we reached our next stop quickly.
It was the Songsalueng Natural Agriculture Center. It is a project derived from the King Bhumibol’s philosophy of ‘sufficiency in economy’.
The farm has been founded by Mr. Somsak Khruewan, the village headman. He accompanied us throughout on the tour. But he didn’t speak any English. However, our capable guide Khun Kob (Khun is like our ji and Kob is a nick name) translated throughout.
The farm is huge and organic. It had various stations like the charcoal station, the manure station, pigs, turkeys, fields and more! For me the most memorable was trying my hand at constructing a drip irrigation barrier. I was an utter flop at it!
After spending more than an hour we continued our journey to Rayong. We next stopped a little short of the Tung Prong Tong Mangrove Forest. We got out of our vans and got into the tuktuks. We went around the place at a leisurely pace and finally reached the stunning forest.
As soon as I started walking on the wooden bridge leading to the main viewing area (the first picture) I was enchanted. We got bad weather the evening we went. So our guide and the TAT team volunteered to take us again in the morning. And that is how we got the good light you see in the first picture.
We went via the beach in Klaeng but simply didn’t had the time to stop there.
Anchored there is a huge naval ship HTMS Prasae and it has such an interesting history. Unfortunately I could once again only click a hurried picture.
We continued our tuktuk ride to the to Prasae River Bridge along the Prasae River. Prasae is a fisherman’s village.
We stayed at the Baan Chansamut Homestay in Prasae. It is a fabulous place. We reached there finally in the evening. We hopped on to the boat for the sunset dinner.
We were a sturdy bunch of bloggers, a lot of us got up in the morning to stroll around the old market in Prasae. I was humbled to witness the ‘offering of food to the monks’ in the market. It was such a local thing. From there we headed to the mangrove forest again.
After spending sometime in the Mangrove Forest now bathed in the morning light, we headed back to the hotel for breakfast. Our next stop was Chanthaburi.