10 November 2010

Retreat in Rayong

Rayong boy on gayromeo
Rayong boy on gayromeo
One of my best memories of last year's holidays was a short trip I made with Tam and Phi Kho to Rayong Province … so I had decided to spend one or two nights there again in the middle of my Pattaya stay. I had made my housework so I had found a nice hotel in the middle of Hat Mae Ramphung, facing the beach and with reasonable rates.

I was not too keen on Tam coming with me, especially as I had spotted a nice local lad on Gayromeo who could have made a good companion for the night, but in the same time Tam had been a little bit upset by the fact I had gone to Isaan alone, so I owed him some compensation. I just feared that he would be bored stiff as the hotel was in the middle of nowhere except for the beach.

Moreover we went there on a Monday and a Tuesday night to escape the crowds (and get better rates) – and there was really no crowd at all : like last year, a 10 km long beach with almost nobody except good and cheap seafood restaurants, which were our only entertainment. Unfortunately the sunshine was much less generous than last year with clouds desperately obstructing the sky, which somwhat dampened my mood.

Tam used the day we spent there to go to Rayong Town ; like me he likes to walk in town, to feel the atmosphere and visit temples and shopping malls … he went alone as I was sitting on the beach waiting for the sun to break through (which it did very shortly and very slightly). In the evening we were walking along the poorly lit beach road looking for a restaurant, thinking it would be nice to open a farang-oriented homestay with male staff and special transportation to and from Pattaya … the beach provides a nice change from the overcrowded Jomtien chairs and the overpriced Pattaya restaurants, you just have to provide the night entertainment to lure the crowds.

I came back to the Pattaya hustle and bustle with some relief – and on a bus so slow that it finally got on my nerves especially as I could see the sun finally shining through the dirty windows.

A rare sight on weekdays : tourists on Mae Ramphung Beach
A rare sight on weekdays : tourists on Mae Ramphung Beach
Practicalities : from Pattaya hop in any Rayong-bound bus from Sukhumwit Road ; in the main Rayong Bus Station (in downtown Rayong), songthaews leave to Hat Mae Ramphung every 30 minutes. Or have your own wheels.

There are many hotels and guesthouses along the beach and they are almost deserted during weekdays – we staid in Rayong Beach Hotel in the middle of the beach, go to http://rayongbeachhotel.com/ for more.

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