Mae phim is a sleepy little seaside village in Rayong, on the East coast of Thailand. It’s 215 km from Bangkok, that’s about 2 hours from BKK airport. Blessed with a long shallow bay and soft golden sand, the main draw is the beach. Oh and the seafood of course. It’s a great place for a beach break for few days…..
We’re currently escaping the smoky season in Chiang Mai. Although we had heard about the smoke, we kind of wanted to see it for ourselves. The irony is not lost on me now, as visibility on a bad day is down to just 400 meters! The smoke can irritate your eyes, nose and chest, some people are effected worse than others, although this year has been particularly bad. Many people who live in CM vacate during this period, which can start in February and last until the rains start in May. We didn’t plan to, but it turns out we can’t live there – so we’re exploring instead.
We started off visiting friends in Jomtien in Chonburi province, and we don’t want to overstay our welcome so we’ve headed East to Rayong province. There wasn’t any planning behind our choice, other than we wanted a beach town and accommodation which allows a dog. Hat Mea Phim came up, so here we are! Here’s the beach on a blue sky-sunny day….
It took about 1 and ½ hours by taxi to get here from Jomtien, costing 1000 baht. I thought that was expensive, however we can’t get a public bus with the woofer. We could have chartered a songthaew, but I’m not sure Mr could have survived a long journey sat stooped over (most are not tall enough for him to sit up straight in)…and it would have been really hot too!
Mae Phim is a little slip of a village. There’s one 7-11 (that’s right – a solitary 7-11) for a country which has a 7-11 every twelve paces or so, this perhaps gives you an indication of the size of Mae Phim! You can see the beach from the road, unobstructed by any buildings save a row of beach-side restaurants. There are no high rise buildings near the beach so it feels like it is – a small settlement by the sea. This beach is a favourite spot for holidaying Thais, and you see large colourful coaches descending on a Friday. It seems the resident foreigners are either retirees or young families. There are a few shops, restaurants and resorts but no raucous night life. And I guess that’s the point really, this is a place to come to escape the hustle and bustle.
Mae phim beach is natural and uncluttered with a shallow slope into sea. The main photo was taken as the sun was setting, my favourite time on the beach! There are umbrellas and chairs put out by restaurants who will serve you fresh seafood, but these do not encroach too far onto the sand. There is still plenty of empty beach if that’s what you’re after. The sand is fine, golden and beautifully soft to walk on. The sea here is a pretty greeny blue colour, quite clear and very clean. The local residents here look after their village and beach which is nice to see!
We took to the beach most mornings, making the most of the (unseasonal) overcast weather. Harro, as you know, has no fur, so cannot stay naked under the tropical sun for too long. Happily the overcast weather meant we could stay most of the day on the beach without overheating! He was off the lead and chased the ball across the flat sand, stopping to dig for no reason every now and again. His little tail wagged at maximum speed and it was nice to let him run around! We took a spot on an empty beach in between restaurants, and only saw three stray dogs the whole day. They were friendly and looking for food rather than territorial. We kept Harro close and there were no incidents.
The last time Mr saw the beach was July in the UK – it’s so nice to be by the sea again. We’re here exploring the area for 5 days, so you can expect a little more about Mae Phim!