6 June 2024

As the morning sun illuminates the coastline of Rayong province, set out on a journey through the scenic and tranquil Thung Prong Thong mangrove forest. Nestled within the serene Sam Phu community in Pak Nam Prasae, Rayong province, this sprawling expanse of greenery offers a captivating coastal walk, rich in scenic vistas and natural wonders.

Spanning 2,400 acres, the Thung Prong Thong mangrove forest serves as a symbol of the enduring spirit of conservation and community stewardship. Once a thriving hub of fishing and agriculture, the area inevitably started showing signs of environmental degradation.

The vast Thung Prong Thong mangrove forest is a symbol of the enduring conservation and community stewardship.//Photo: TAT’s Rayong Office

However, through the collaborative efforts of the Pak Nam Prasae Sub-district Municipality and local residents, it has been transformed into a cherished sanctuary for both wildlife and visitors alike.

The thriving mangrove forest offers a sanctuary for a diverse array of plant species and serves as a vital habitat for aquatic life, including shrimp, shellfish, and mudskippers. The two-kilometer nature trail provides visitors with a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the beauty of this coastal ecosystem, fostering a deeper appreciation for the delicate balance of life within.

The invitation to explore comes in the form of a wooden boardwalk, an architectural marvel seamlessly integrated into the lush landscape. As you venture forth, the meandering path leads you through a tapestry of mangrove forests and vibrant fields of Prong Thong trees (Yellow Mangrove).

Beholding nature’s majesty from an observation deck is testimony to the resilience of the mangrove ecosystem.

The ethereal golden light filtering through the canopy envelops you, casting a serene ambience over the surroundings.

As you progress, educational signs offer glimpses into the diverse ecosystem thriving within the mangrove forests. Towering Samae and delicate Lamphu trees stand tall, their presence evidence of the vibrant tapestry of life within this coastal sanctuary.

Upon reaching a panoramic vista, you are greeted by a breathtaking spectacle. Stretching out before you is a sea of Prong Thong trees, their leaves shimmering in the morning sunlight. From the vantage point of the observation deck, you behold the majesty of nature’s design, an awe-inspiring monument to the resilience of the mangrove ecosystem.

The majestic Samae tree silhouetted against the morning sun.//Photo: TAT’s Rayong Office

Continuing your journey, you come upon the sacred shrine of Samae, a poignant reminder of the spiritual guardians woven into the essence of this natural sanctuary. After offering your respects, you proceed, guided by the gentle harmony of rustling leaves and the distant calls of seabirds.

As you reach the midway point of your expedition, the towering Samae tree casts a regal silhouette against the morning sun. Enveloped in a gentle, golden light, it stands as a profound reminder of the enduring beauty that envelops Thung Prong Thong.

For those with an insatiable appetite for adventure, the journey reaches its zenith at the retired Prasae Naval Ship, where the tranquil waters of the river meet the sea. As you retrace your steps along the familiar path, you are treated to a final display of nature’s splendor: the interplay of light and shadow cast by the Kong Kang trees, a mesmerizing dance upon the forest floor.

As you bid farewell to Thung Prong Thong and return to the hustle and bustle of everyday life, you carry with you  memories of a journey unlike any other. Through the winding mangrove forests and along the pathways of Thung Prong Thong, you have discovered not only the beauty of nature but also the profound connection between humanity and the environment.

Visitors enjoy a leisurely stroll through the coastal forest along the Thung Prong Thong walkway.

Plan Your Visit

Thung Prong Thong is situated in the community of Ban Samae Phu, Paknam Prasae, Klaeng District, Rayong Province. To explore Thung Prong Thong, visitors should leave their cars in the designated parking area, where parking is available for a fee.

From there, they can hop on a three-wheeled motorcycle taxi operated by locals to reach the starting point of the walking trail. The optimal time for a visit is the morning when cooler temperatures prevail.

By Thai PBS World Feature Desk