One of the most unspoilt regions of Thailand! Many kilometers of pristine beaches, small, untouched islands. Come see a part of Thailand that the large tourist crowds haven't discovered yet!
• The beach goes on for many kilometers, both towards Ban Phe (to the west) and towards Mae Phim (to the east). Easiest is to just walk across the main road and down to the Chackpong beach, next to and in front of the small Rayong Chalet hotel. Sun chairs are available, and massage. There is however no restaurant on this particular stretch of the beach (although you can buy ice-cream and drinks at the hotel).
• Towards the east (direction Mae Phim) there are numerous good beach stretches with local restaurants, sun chairs, and in some places different water sports available. Kim’s and Ken’s are mentioned above, and on this side of Novotel there is also e g Pol’s. Somewhat further away, 7-8 km from the house, is “Coca-cola beach”, which is very nice. They also have a PADI dive center, that arranges courses and dive trips to the islands along the coast.
• Trips by speed boat to Koh Samed and the smaller, uninhabited islands straight out from the Chackpong beach, can be arranged either through Chook or through one of the local restaurants. A daytrip costs around 1800 bath per person, including a cold lunch.
• You may also go on a larger, albeit slower, catamaran, where you get a western-style BBQ. 1200 bath per person, max 15 persons. Call “Stickan” at +66 861 55 1004.
• There are also local ferries to Koh Samed from Ban Phe. 100 bath one way, 40 min.
• The small islands are partly part of a national park. They have nice beaches (although sometimes crowded by day visitors from Koh Samed), snorkeling (feeding fishes with bread), and some easy trekking.
• Koh Samed is a good one- or two-day trip. Bookings can be made through Chook, but it is usually also easy to arrange everything on the pier where the ferry arrives to Koh Samed.
• At Koh Samed there is pretty good scuba diving available.
• A spectacular island to visit is the privately owned Mun Nork, outside of Mae Phim. Superbly beautiful. One night is the minimum stay. www.munnorkislandresort.com.
• There are three local restaurants between the gatekeeper and the main road: Rampan, The Orchid, and Chomtalay. All three are good, with both Thai and some western food, including child-friendly dishes like sausages with French fries. Chomtalay, up at the main road, is the most local of the three, with excellent Thai food, and very friendly staff. Their fruit shakes are delicious. All three restaurants have free wifi.
• Novotel, approximately 1 km away to the left on the main road, serves good western food, pizzas etc., but the Thai food is no better, and considerably more expensive, than the local restaurants.
• If you go down to the beach, and then to the left, there are a couple of good beach restaurants on the way to Novotel.
• A few hundred meters beyond Novotel, there are two very nice beach restaurants, Kim’s beach and Ken’s beach(!), located next to each other.
• Mae Phim has many good, local, seafood, restaurants.
• Half-way to Ban Phe is the Bari Lamai resort, with a very nice restaurant on the beach, perfect for dinners. A bit classier than the most other local beach restaurants.
Other excursions etc.
• Kim’s restaurant, just across the road from Novotel, arranges jungle trekking trips, elephant rides, etc. at decent prices. There you can also rent a water jet, 30 min for approximately 1500 bath, or go water-skiing.
• Just on the other side of Ban Phe is the Rayong aquarium. Well worth a visit, with lots of colorful fishes, sharks, large sea turtles, etc..
• Around an hour and a half away by car, close to Chantaburi, is a dolphin aquarium, Sea World, where you may swim with the dolphins for 45 minutes for around 2000 bath per person. Spectacular! Chook arranges bookings and transportation. Please beware that bookings must be made some time in advance.
• Close-by the dolphin aquarium there is also a very nice national park, with a secluded waterfall in the jungle, and pools teeming with fish that can be hand-feed. Usually a big-time favorite among children. Remember to buy enough beans for feeding the fishes at the entrance to the national park.
• In the vicinity of the house there are also a number of other national parks, spectacular temples, the world’s largest laying Buddha, etc.
• The nearest golf courses are close to Pattaya, about an hour away. There is also a spectacular golf course close to the Cambodian border, about two hours away, with its own hotel and restaurant.
• Hard-core shopping of all flavors is available in both Rayong (about 30 min away) and Pattaya (about an hour and a half away).
More info about the villa can be found on WWW.THAILANDVILLA.EU.