Rayong History, Thailand
The history of Rayong can be traced back to 1500 BE (Buddhist Era) when the Khmer settled around that area. The Khmer establishment has been recorded as archeological evidence. Rayong was primarily mentioned in the Thai chronicles in the late Ayutthaya era in 2113 BE during the rule of Ayutthaya’s King Somdej Llra Maha Dhamaraja.
The Burmese army was constantly invading Thailand. The capital city Ayutthaya was invaded by the Burmese soldiers during 2309 BE. The whole city was burned and destroyed. Praya Vajiraprakan, the king of Ayutthaya at that time, managed to flee towards south near the coast along with his followers. On his way to Chantaburi in the east, he stopped at Rayong to reinforce and strengthen his soldiers. The people at Rayong supported him enthusiastically. He was given his new title of Phra Chao Taksin or the King of Thonburi by the natives.
After the king strengthened his army and navy, he headed back to Ayutthaya. Over there he bravely fought with the soldiers and regained independence for his people. This was a landmark victory which led to the formation of the new capital at Thonburi. The people of Thailand built a shrine in his memory in Rayong and it attracts numerous devotees each day.
During the 20th century, the American forces used Sattahip as a military base when they were fighting against Vietnam. With the war coming to a halt, the forces stationed at Sattahip base and other regional Thai bases, used the area for their relaxation and other recreational activities. This action did not bring about much of a change in Rayong, but it did create the modern Pattaya.
Rayong was blessed to have Sunthorn Phu, one of the most revered poets in Thai history during the Ratanakosin era, some 200 years ago. Phra Aphai Mani is considered to be the finest piece of Thai literature, written by him. The local people built his statue to commemorate this great poet.
The oldest Buddhist temple of Rayong was built in the Ayutthaya era. It is over here that you can see the reclining Buddha which is almost 12 meters long.
One of the old places called Si Mueng Park was used to execute the prisoners earlier; however now it has been renovated as a park.
Rayong is primarily fishing and an agricultural province and has stayed away from the limelight. Today its major industries are auto and steel. The province is very well connected by road.
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