Rayong Botanic Garden: kayaking and bike trail
April 5, 2023
Table of contents
I am overwhelmed with positive emotions after Rayong Botanic Garden. Emotions and muscle pain )))
As you can guess from the name, “Rayong Botanic Garden” is something about plants. In Thailand, tropical vegetation is a novelty for most visitors. Also, the famous Nong Nooch Tropical Garden immediately comes to mind – an amazing place that amazes at least with its gigantic size and simply incredible number of plants (kilometers of man-made gardens and no less area of a plant nursery).
But Rayong Botanic Garden is more about something else. Here you can ride on small narrow boats (kayaks), and ride a bike in the botanical park.
The park itself is more like a forest with ponds. But this map tells us that these are rather islands in some large water (for example, a lake or a pond).
Looking at satellite maps did not bring much clarity.
The fact is that on small boats you can really drive a couple of circular routes.
There are also places to ride a bike on hiking trails, although you need to cross two wooden bridges.
When you ride a bike, it seems that you are riding along forest paths, and sometimes you go out onto the banks of small ponds and swamps.
And when you ride a kayak, you lose the sense of geographical location and after various water “paths” and large open water spaces somehow return to approximately the same place where you started your journey – just some kind of witchcraft)))
First of all, I was impressed by lotuses and water lilies (perhaps they are one and the same).
There are a huge number of them here!
You can ride a boat among them and enjoy unparalleled views of water flowers.
Also, many trees have inscriptions in the garden, so botany lovers will also find a lot of useful information for themselves.
Fans of sports, namely hiking and cycling, as well as rowing, should also like it here.
In general, in my opinion, Rayong Botanic Garden is primarily active recreation and sports in a beautiful place.
It is also a unique place where you can take colorful photographs of water flowers.
Finally, perhaps you will learn something here in terms of botany (especially if you can read Thai).
Entrance to Rayong Botanic Garden is free.
But bike and kayak rentals are not free.
The cost of renting 1 bike is 50 baht.
The cost of renting 1 kayak is 100 baht for one hour. If you are late for 20 minutes, you will additionally need to pay 50 baht. If you arrive more than 20 minutes late, you will be charged a full hour.
Look at this photo, it was taken in early April – there were a lot of water flowers!
The same place in February of the previous year – there are much fewer flowers.
Water lilies and lotuses are said to bloom from October to March. I saw with my own eyes that in April there are a huge number of flowers – as if blooming in full swing.
In July last year, the lotuses were in bloom, and in October 2 years ago there were no flowers.
It is possible that the number of flowers and the flowering period are influenced by various weather conditions and the biological cycles of flowers. But in general, look for the autumn, winter, and spring months as the most likely times to see water lilies and lotuses in bloom. And in summer the probability of seeing flowers is less, although this is not excluded.
As you might guess, this botanical garden is located in Rayong province.
Rayong is a province of Thailand adjacent to Chon Buri, and Rayong Botanic Garden is located a little over 100 kilometers from Pattaya. We went there on a motorcycle.
The following map shows the route you can take from Pattaya to Rayong Botanic Garden.
When leaving Pattaya on Sukhumvit road, turn right and follow to Sattahip.
At Sattahip, turn along the Sukhumvit road (refer to road number – 3). On the map, the bend in the road at Sattahip is marked as point A.
Continue straight on Sukhumvit, follow the road number at all interchanges – you need to stay on road number 3.
When you get to point B, turn right.
Follow the main road again to Point C to take an unremarkable left turn.
Drive forward a little to point D and turn right.
Move forward until you see Rayong Botanic Garden.
In general, the route is not particularly difficult, the main thing is not to leave Sukhumvit ahead of time, and not to miss a couple of unremarkable turns. I missed the right turns, as a result, on the first try, instead of Rayong Botanic Garden, I arrived at the Thung Prong Thong (Golden Meadow) mango forest (also an interesting place). And on the second attempt (yes, I only got to Rayong Botanic Garden on my second attempt a couple of weeks after the first attempt), I had to turn around and move back a few kilometers to find the right turn.
Rayong Botanic Garden is open from 08.30 to 16.30.
At 16.30 they stop renting bikes and kayaks. But the staff does not disperse and is waiting for the return of the last visitors.
Official website: https://www.facebook.com/rayongbotanic
Parking and toilets at Rayong Botanic Garden are free.
Parking is located under a canopy with green vegetation on the roof.
The motorcycle can be parked under a canopy.
Cars are parked in open space.
These interesting vegetables (zucchini, probably) grow right on the roof of the parking shed.
There are toilets next to the parking lot.
To the right of the parking lot, you will see employees who can give you general information about Rayong Botanic Garden, cycling and water routes.
You can also rent a bike or kayak here.
The area of Rayong Botanic Garden is nicely decorated.
There are several stalls where you can buy hats and cold drinks, as well as snacks.
A restaurant is hidden behind these stalls. Prices are low, food is delicious.
Also here you can buy flowers, sit on the benches, swing on the swings.
This is the entrance to Rayong Botanic Garden.
The entrance is free.
You can rent a bike or walk the route.
The route is a total of several kilometers.
There are 5 islands in total:
- Chamuang Island
- Taew Lek Island
- Taew Yai Island
- Kok Island
- Mai Nam Island
There are also two bridges, one of them (which is smaller) is simply called “Bridge”, and the second is Rak-Samet Bridge.
Also highlighted are places such as:
- Old paper bark tree. Their peculiarity is that they shed their bark. Depending on the season, this place can be flooded or dry.
- Water lily area. There are a lot of them here. This place can only be reached by boat.
- Climbing fern. Probably one of the most beautiful places here! The views are just fabulous.
There are about two dozen bikes for rent. At the same time, there are relatively few visitors – most of the bicycles are available for rent all day.
On bikes, you can adjust the height of the seat, but there is no rack and side stand.
You can adjust the gears. This is done with two levers, next to the numbers. One lever increases the value, the other decreases it.
At values closer to 10, the bike rides faster, but it takes a lot of effort to get uphill. At 1, the bike accelerates very slowly, but uphill rides become more comfortable. I rode in 10th gear, sometimes shifting to 5th.
The road is paved in places, not in others. In places it is off road. Although, perhaps we were just driving the wrong way))))
The paths fork, there are signs and stands where you can take a break and read information about plants and animals (in Thai).
Some trees are labeled with their species.
Previously, we bought panama hats and water. Water was very useful, and hats were mostly hung behind our backs, since it was quite shady there. But despite the shade it is very hot. Hats don't help with the heat, they only make it worse.
From time to time the forest ends and water is visible. These are either small ponds, or swamps, or channels between the islands.
At some point we reached the bridge. If you want an adrenaline rush, you can ride it on a bike.
On the other side there are swamps again, but already with water lilies (lotuses).
This place is called Old paper bark tree. During the rainy season, trees can be flooded.
Map marked “You are here” and direction signs.
On one of the shores, I found something like a shell graveyard – many empty shells. Either some animal eats them and leaves the remains on the shore, or they died en masse in one place for another reason.
The other side of the island and here you can see that nature has begun to change. The first ferns appeared.
And this is the region of ferns, on the maps this place is marked as “Climbing fern”.
Like a green hedge and a corridor of vegetation.
The ferns seem to want to cover everything.
Then we got to Rak-Samet Bridge.
This is another bridge. There are two roads to it: a shortcut (a narrow forest path, you can hit a tree or hit your head on a low branch) and a completely normal, comfortable road.
There is parking for bicycles here – you can leave your bike here, as there is nowhere to ride much on the other side of the bridge.
The bridge is very beautiful as it looks from the air.
Another photo from the air.
While kayaking, you will need to pass under this bridge.
Depending on the season, lotuses may or may not bloom here. Also, the water can be higher or lower (you can get stuck in algae).
You can see the water lilies in bloom, but the depth is shallow and there is a lot of algae.
If you want to take a break while kayaking, there is a place where you can moor.
After crossing the bridge, you will find a fork. But, in fact, this is one ring road. For the most part, cycling is more inconvenient than walking.
In one place the road looks like this. Most likely, during the rainy season, this place is under water.
A very flimsy bridge leads somewhere.
On the side where the camera is looking, there is a kayak route and somewhere there is a Water lily area, beautiful lotuses remind of this.
After a bike ride, we rested and had a bite to eat in the only restaurant.
We bought more water and went to rent a kayak. In fact, after a snack, my wife already wanted to go home, but I decided that if we have come such a long way to get here from Pattaya, then we need to take everything that life (in this case the Garden) has to offer!
This is a map of one of the kayak routes. The first option is how the artist sees the route.
The second option is how the satellite sees the route.
By the way, I did not quite correctly evaluate the kayaking. For some reason, it seemed to me that a kayak is such a relaxing trip on the water. That is, when you relax and admire the flowers. I somehow missed rowing… By the way, it was my first kayak. My wife convinced me that she was already kayaking, but during the voyage it turned out, that time she was a child and her grandfather was rowing, and she just sat and sometimes pulled red (pink) lotuses (they are edible)…
After payment, pick up life jackets according to your size. There are both large and small ones.
In fact, most of the way is not very deep (deep places are marked as dangerous). But the depth may depend on the season! In the rainy season, of course, it is deeper here.
Get on the kayak very carefully – it's easy to roll over.
When you are already sitting on a kayak, do not turn around either, sit calmly so as not to lose balance and not roll over.
Video of kayaking between lotuses and water lilies.
There are several types of lotuses, mostly red and blue, occasionally white.
You need to move on the green flags. In general, there are enough of them not to go astray. Only at the very beginning did we have a hitch where to go, as the green flag seemed to indicate the path through the thickets of lotuses. My wife figured out the situation, and we went around this place, but I saw how everyone else went to ram it through the lotuses.
Part of the journey is in the shade, but the other half is in the sun, so don't forget your sunscreen!
In general, the kayak is easy to control, but it blows a little with gusts of wind. Also, the boat is a little off course if you do not row (for example, while photographing). The wife even joked, “I hope we don't get charged for rumpled lotuses”.
In this photo, we are not trying to crush all the lotuses, we have buried ourselves in the thickets so that the boat does not blow away and so that we can relax a bit and enjoy the views.
No need to ram it, there is a convenient corridor.
There are many flowers there.
Just a sea of flowers!
Lotuses do not smell and do not need bee pollination.
Even if you take your time, the route is quite possible to swim in an hour. We did not immediately return, but swam a little around the area.
So, back to the “relaxing boat trip”, nothing particularly difficult, but rowing is quite a physical labor. I enjoyed the views, but didn't really rest…
In this video, birds that look like chickens (but they are not chickens) walk right on water lilies and eat something.
Sunset video of Rayong Botanic Garden as seen from a kayak using a wide angle lens.
I really liked Rayong Botanic Garden! The reserve itself is not very large, but due to the small number of tourists, one feels unity with nature here.
I will definitely return here, at least in order to go kayaking again.
At different times of the year, these places look different: different shades of nature in general (green, yellow, orange), different water heights, different plants bloom.
Here you can relax on a kayak or explore small nooks and crannies between the islands.
There is also another kayak route.
In general, this is a great place for active outdoor sports.
Tickets for buses, ferries and trains, including connecting routes:
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