Hidden Bays, Ban Phe

Between Rim Pae and Aumphur Klang, we found what is probably the smallest national park in Thailand, with hidden small bays next to each other. You imagine yourself in the middle of nature at less than 500 meters from the road and the Marriott hotel. Mainly on weekends you will encounter some Thai visitors on the bays. During the week you are almost alone and have the bays for yourself.

The park is called Wang Kaew, as is like the accommodation. There are rooms, houses, and bungalows for rent (www.wangkaew.co.th). Please note that not all bungalows are located directly on one of the bays, so make sure to look carefully for the type of room you want to book, such as an ocean-view bungalow on the hillside or a beachfront house. Know that the people of Wang Kaew speak little English. Near Hidden Bay 1 there are some three-bedroom houses, smaller bungalows and private rooms for rent.

In Hidden Bay 2 you can camp near the water with shared bathroom facilities. If you prefer a private room, the Water Bungalows are an affordable alternative at 100 meters from the beach. In this bay are 2 smaller apartment complexes, some of whose owners rent out their apartments online through the usual websites.

In Wang Kaew is a restaurant, which is a 10-minute walk from both bays. Rim Pae beach is about 2 kilometers away and you can eat at the beach bars or at the hotels. If you have a car, you can take an evening trip to Ban Phe or Mae Pim (10-15 kilometers).

The mainland east of Ban Phe is a good place to start or end your vacation. The beaches are close to the international airport (2,5 hours by taxi) and you will find several beaches and hinterland to explore. However, we find the beaches between the airport and Ban Phe too touristy.

The steadily growing fishing village of Ban Phe in the Rayong province is well known as the starting point for Ko Samet. The town has a nice market on Monday and Thursdays with a mix of everything, a nice day trip! Other attractions in the area are Khao Laem Ya Cape or the Aquarium in Rayong, about 25 kilometers from Ban Phe.

Tung Prong Thong is a beautiful, protected mangrove area along the east coast, about 30 kilometers east of Ban Phe. Here, you have a stunning view of the mangrove forests. Take a relaxing walk on the one-kilometer-long wooden walkway above the mangroves or stroll through the fields. You can take a 20-minute boat trip which allows you to see many bird species. Tung Prong Thong is the perfect destination if you are a fan of conservation and ecotourism. The view is particularly beautiful in the morning or evening light.

From the airport, a taxi to the beaches east of Ban Phe takes about 2,5 hours and costs between 2,000 and 2,500 baht. From Bangkok, a taxi costs about 2500 baht, including the highway toll.

It is possible to take a bus or minibus in Bangkok from Ekamai Bus Station or the Victory Monument (250 baht). From the city it takes about 3 to 3,5 hours to get to Ban Phe. At Ban Phe you can take a shared taxi for 20 baht in the direction of Hat Mae Phim, which is 10 to 25 kilometers away from Ban Phe. The shared taxi will drop you off near your stay. An alternative is to rent a private taxi for the last part of the journey. In Ban Phe you can rent a scooter near the 7-eleven Pier.