Thursday, April 6, 2017

Back in the Mango

Beautiful Sand for miles and miles

We are back in the big mango.  Got back yesterday in the late afternoon after it started to rain mid morning.  But the day before was just beautiful and we had a great day at the beach just hanging out and eating.  It wasn't too hot as there was a breeze and cloud cover and we were under the umbrellas.

We definitely enjoyed our stay at Mae Phim Resort.  Its an older hotel but has a lot of charm and is beautifully landscaped.  It has many of the palms and trees we have at our resort, but much bigger in size.  The location is directly across the beach and within a stones throw of the big restaurants that are directly on the beach.  We had dinner at one of these restaurants and the food was great, although very expensive for the area.

Mae Phim one of the bigger beach communities and is on the eastern end of Rayong near Chantaburi province.  In normal traffic, its about a 3 hour drive from the mango.  When you are in a beach community and it rains, there aren't a lot of options.  It did give us a chance to drive back the long way from Mae Phim, passing a lot of beaches and small beach towns along the way.  

I liked the area around Ban Phe because its an older part of Rayong where in the past, fresh fish was sold from the stores near the piers.  Ban Phe is also where one catches the ferry to Koh Samet Island - mostly a place for day trips these days for tourists.  Before it got crazy with all these tourists from Pattaya, we used to be able to buy fresh shellfish and fish from these stores and bring them in plastic bags to restaurants in the area and they would cook it for you to your specs.  The local fishing community is all but gone now and only businesses servicing the tour buses remain.  There are still some stores selling fish, but most are selling dried shrimps, squid, and other preserved seafood items for tourist consumption.  B said that the seafood selection is now better in Khlong Toei than here, and its cheaper too!

But progress marches on in the land of smiles.  I could only chuckle as we were coming back as to how far this region has come.  It was like yesterday when the only way to come this area was the coastal route on Sukhumvit Road (Hwy 3).  When the motorway opened up, I was one of the first people on the motorway as I got diverted (lost) coming back from some golf in Rayong.  It was at night and only a handful of cars were on this motorway.  Since then, it has been expanded to twice its size and is a major route for those coming from Bangkok and Suvanabhumi Airport to Pattaya.

The Super Mega Pit stop...miles of stores and restaurants

At around the 50 KM route is what I call the super mega pit stop.  Whoever developed this had a lot of vision as this place is packed.  Its on both sides of the motorway and each contains hundreds of shops that cater to the motorists.  There are multiple gas stations, multiple 7Elevens, KFC, McDonalds, Starbucks, etc.  There is Thai food, shopping, and everything else to entice you to spend your money.  It was a great place for us to stop as we were getting hungry and I was getting a bit sleepy after a long drive.

We got back around 3PM and crashed for the rest of the day.  As they say, after vacation, its time for a rest.  

PS:  Turns out the picture from the previous post was not from Rayong, but from Hat Pra Nang beach

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