Asia : Southeast Asia : Thailand : Eastern Thailand : Eastern Gulf Coast : Ban Phe
Ban Phe is on the gulf coast of Eastern Thailand in Rayong Province. Ban Phe was previously mainly known as a stop-over for the Ko Samet National Park “Khao Laem Ya - Mu Ko Samet" as well as a seafood processing town, mainly for fish sauces.
Today, tourism is steady growing and Ban Phe's main source of income is shifting to tourism.
Ban Phe exists as a port for ferries to Ko Samet and for limited fishing. Ferries between Ban Phe and Ko Samet usually take 20-45 minutes, depending on the speed of the boat and which beach/pier they use.
Take a very dark blue songteow from Rayong bus station in Sukumwit Soi 39, or flag one down along the way. Cost is B25.
There are direct 1st class air-con buses between Ekamai (Eastern) Bus Terminal in Bangkok and Ban Phe, departing hourly. For timetable and further information, see .
Turn right off Sukhumvit Rd at km231 and keep going for 5 km or turn right at km238 and keep going for 3 km.
Airport Public Transportation Service, Bangkok Airport Limousines  or public transport will drive you to the pier within 2.5 hours or less.
Ban Phe is a small town and not too difficult to traverse. The entire town is about 4 km long, making it easy to get around on foot. There are also plenty of motorcycle taxis.
To get to Ko Samet from Ban Phe you can take a speed boat for around 2,000 baht or take the ferry for 50 baht. The ferry departs approximately every hour depending on how close to capacity each ferry is. A number of tour companies operate from the port. They are mostly fair and reliable.
While the beaches in the immediate area of Ban Phe are not very nice due to the pier, go a few kilometres in either direction and the beaches are quite nice and practically devoid of Western tourists.
Heading east out of town 2 km leads you to Suan Son National Pine Forest. The road runs right along the beach and the farther away from town you get the nicer the water is. Once you get 3 km from town the beaches are almost as nice as those on Samet. With only one short incursion inland, the road basically runs along the sea all the way to Lam Mei Pim, 24 km away. There are several five-star resorts and condos along this stretch of beach
Heading west will eventually lead you to the beach Hat Maerampung. The road is not direct, but if you make the trip you will find 7 km of very nice beach with a number of restaurants, resorts, and cheap hotels.
In the fish market, many shops offer local seafood products such as fish sauce, sun-dried cuttlefish, dried shrimp, etc. Just half a mile from the fish market are the local tourist trinket markets - key chains made from seashells and grotesque blowfish lamps. Most of these tchotchkes are meant for local Thai tourists who stream down from Bangkok on weekends. But if you are a serious seashell collector you can find some bargains tucked away at the stalls in the back.
TEFL International , offers TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) courses on a monthly basis. Tours of the school are given during regular business hours, and drop-ins are welcome to stop by and audit a class for free.
Christies Bar is a quality venue, great bar, staff, food (Western and thai) and music.
Tawan-Inn Has a chef with 10 years experience in Europe, who prepares both Thai and Western food of high quality. Dining outside in the garden is possible.
A few great bars are located in the centre of Ban Phe. Christies and Tawan-Inn are well known and frequently visited. Tawan-Inn has a nice garden and offers BBQ during dry seasons.
To Ko Chang: shared minibuses depart regularly to the Laem Ngop piers, where you can get onto the car ferries to the island. Private minibuses  will carry passengers the entire way to their resort on Ko Chang, not just the ferry, and include ferry tickets with their rates.