Ban Phe is often referred to as the gateway to Koh Samet as this where the ferries and speedboats leave from when people go and visit the island. This perhaps does Ban Phe an injustice as the area has plenty to offer in it’s own right. Ban Phe is surrounded by the fantastic beaches of Suan Soi and Hat Maerampung and these are well worth a visit.
The small town of Ban Phe in Rayong Province is rapidly expanding from what was once a sleepy fishing port. It is somewhere that is easy to get to from Pattaya (approx. 1 hour drive away), Bangkok Airport (approx. 2 hours drive away) and Rayong which is just a matter of minutes away. The obviously makes the town easily accessible to large groups of people.
Although the town is relatively small it has a number of international restaurants serving delights such French, Italian and Swiss food along with the usual bars offering English and other European dishes. There are a few hotels in the town and quite a few guesthouses and hostels that cater more for backpackers and those looking to make the short journey across to Koh Samet. For those looking to stay longer there are a few villages where houses can be rented for periods of 1 month upwards (depending on the landlord).
There are a couple of massage and spas in the area for those looking to wind down after a long day travelling or perhaps seeing the local sights and attractions. There are of course shops and supermarkets available along with pharmacists and all the usual things that you would expect in a town.
One of the things that the Rayong Province is perhaps most famous for is the wide selection of golf courses that are in the area. Getting to these courses is something that is very straightforward from Ban Phe. Other sports that are available in the area include a gyms, banana boats (that are available on most beaches), cycling and the Cable Rides and Rainforest Tour at Kao Yai Da which is around 25km away.
All in all this is an excellent place to spend a few days escaping from hustle and bustle of Pattaya. You are sure to feel more relaxed on your return. For those of you who are looking to make the journey perhaps you could think about renting a car from Pattaya Rent Car which is located on the Pratamnak Hill.