Pattaya Travel Guide - Get in
Pattaya is located 147km from Bangkok and can be reached in a
comfortable 2-hour drive. There are two convenient ways to get
- By the Bangkok-Chon Buri-Pattaya Motorway (Highway No.7) The
motorway is linked with Bangkok’s Outer Ring Road., (Highway
No. 9) and there is also another entrance at Si Nakharin and
Rama IX Junction.
- By Bang Na-Trat Highway (Highway No. 34) From Bang Na, Bang
Phli, cross the Bang Pakong River to Chon Buri and take Chon
Buri’s bypass to meet Sukhumvit Road., (Highway No. 3, passing
Bang Saen Beach, Bang Phra to Pattaya.
Most visitors arrive by road from or via Bangkok, many having flown in
to Suvarnabhumi (the "new" BKK). Much smaller numbers arrive direct
by road from the north and east, by rail from Bangkok, and by
air via U-Tapao from Ko
Samui or Phuket in Southern Thailand or
Reap in Cambodia.
A surprising number of visitors inquire about ferries across
the Gulf of Thailand - however no such services exist. Those determined
to go by sea may find that local dive shops can help, if cost
is not a consideration.
U-Tapao Airport  (IATA: UTP | ICAO: VTBU | tel: +66-38245295),
often known somewhat inaccurately as "Pattaya Airport", is at
Sattahip, just off the main
Sattahip - Chanthaburi (Sukhumvit) highway, 30km south of Pattaya.
Primarily a military facility, it's the closest airport fielding
commercial passenger flights, but only to a handful of destinations.
There are no commercial passenger flights connecting U-Tapao directly
Schedules (all daily, as at January 1st 2006):
Bangkok Airways (PG) 
flies to/from Ko Samui (USM) and Phuket (HKT) - UTP-USM
& USM-UTP flights are usually slightly less expensive than
BKK-USM & USM-BKK flights
- - PG272 - UTP (12:10) to HKT (13:50)
- - PG271 - HKT (14:20) to UTP (16:00)
- - PG252 - HKT (09:20) via USM (10:40) to UTP (11:40)
- - PG285 - USM (13:10) to UTP (14:10)
- - PG286 - UTP (14:40) to USM (15:40)
- - PG284 - UTP (16:30) to USM (17:30)
When booking flights to U-Tapao...
...consider pre-booking onward transport at the same time,
as competitively priced door-to-door transfer services may
not be available on arrival at U-Tapao on an ad-hoc basis.
The easiest way to transfer between U-Tapao and Pattaya is by
direct door-to-door minibus - driving time is normally about 30
minutes (200-250 baht per person for pre-booked services).
If speed and convenience don't matter, the ad-hoc option is to
hop on virtually any bus on Sukhumvit Road. Going south, if it's
a bus that terminates at Sattahip you'll have to swap buses or
finish the journey by songthaew; if it's going further east (eg
Rayong, Chanthaburi or Trat) it'll drop you off at the airport
entrance as it goes by. Going north, wait for a bus that's going
further than Sattahip and then you won't need to transfer. Alternatively,
the white songthaews that ply Sukhumvit Road between Pattaya and
Sattahip charge just 20 baht.
Or to buck the trend big time, go by rail (3rd class, weekdays
only) between Pattaya and Sattahip, get off just before or after
the line crosses Highway 3, and connect with the airport by songthaew
or bus. The fare for the 40-50 minute train ride is 6 (yes, six!)
baht - depart Pattaya 10:18AM, arrive Sattahip 11AM; depart Sattahip
1:30PM, arrive Pattaya 2:21PM - but don't forget, no trains on
Saturdays or Sundays.
Airport (BKK) is Bangkok's shiny new successor to Don Muang.
Only 110km from Pattaya (40km closer than Don Muang), transfers
by road are inexpensive and quick (currently around 80-90 minutes)
and getting quicker as the upgrades to the connecting highway
Don Muang Airport
(new code: DMK) was superseded by Suvarnabhumi on September 28th
2006, subsequently re-opened on March 24 2007, and currently handles
Nok Air, One-Two-GO, PB Air and most Thai Airways domestic flights.
The easiest way to transfer is by taxi; the most economical alternatives
are to go by bus via Moh Chit (Bangkok's Northern Bus Terminal),
or to go by train via Hualamphong (only practicable in the Pattaya
to Don Muang direction).
First class bus
1st class buses from Bangkok to the North Pattaya
Road bus station are air-con, almost always have an on-board toilet,
are essentially direct (ie no stops), and provide a no fuss, no
frills, hassle-free service. Departures from the Eastern (Ekamai)
Terminal and Northern (Moh Chit) Terminal are frequent (every
20-40 minutes, depending on the time of day; more frequent still
at public holiday weekends) and usually take 2-2.5 hours; those
from the Southern (Sai Tai Taling Chan สายใต้ตลิ่งชัน)
Bus Terminal are less frequent and take a little longer.
Departure times & fares (as at June 2006):
- - Ekamai (East) to Pattaya - first 05:20, last 23:00 - 127
- - Pattaya to Ekamai (East) - first 05:20, last 21:00 - 127
- - Moh Chit (North) to Pattaya - first 05:00, last 20:00 -
117 baht (tollway route: 121 baht)
- - Pattaya to Moh Chit (North) - first 05:20, last 20:00 -
113 baht (tollway route: 121 baht)
- - Sai Tai Mai (South) to Pattaya - 05:30, 08:30, 10:00, 12:00,
14:00, 16:00, 18:30 - 117 baht
- - Pattaya to Sai Tai Mai (South) - 06:00, 08:00, 10:00, 12:00,
15:00, 18:00 - 113 baht
- - Suvarnabhumi Airport to Pattaya - 09:00, 13:00, 17:00 -
- - Pattaya to Suvarnabhumi Airport - times to be confirmed
- approx. 120 baht
Fares may vary slightly depending on the route taken - for example,
at busy times when the Moh Chit service uses the elevated express
tollway, a marginally higher fare applies - however exact prices
are always clearly posted at the official ticket counters.
All 1st class direct services to/from Bangkok use the recently
redeveloped bus station on North Pattaya Road. These buses are
usually full when they depart, and must be boarded at the terminus.
Tickets are sold at the bus station; it's not possible to pre-book
these services more than an hour or so in advance. Usually, if
the bus that's due to leave next is already full, there will be
seats available on the next one. The longest queues are for the
very early morning departures from Pattaya - to get a seat on
the first bus of the day you need to be in the ticket queue at
least 30-40 minutes early; however the bonus is that these pre-rush
hour services can take as little as 90 minutes to get to Bangkok.
From the North Pattaya Road bus station songthaews (a
cross between a pickup truck, a share-taxi, a local bus and two
pews) depart when full (every few minutes). The fare to anywhere
on Beach Road ("the beach") is 20 baht; press the buzzer button
on the underside of the roof when you want to get off.
Pattaya to the Eastern (Ekamai) Terminal: if requested,
this bus will stop at the On Nut Skytrain Station (station
map ) on Sukhumvit
Road. Depending on your final destination and the traffic conditions,
you may want to transfer to the Skytrain (system
map ) there; if so, wait until
the bus departs Pattaya and then confirm with the crew that you
want to be dropped off at "On Nut". NB: this bus does not
stop to pick up passengers at On Nut (or anywhere else) on the
Pattaya from/to the Southern (Sai Tai Mai) Terminal: if
the direct bus is fully booked, take the Eastern (Ekamai) Terminal
bus instead, and use the #511 (air-con, every 30 minutes 24/7,
20 baht) bus to connect between Ekamai and Sai Tai Mai.
Pattaya from/to Suvarnabhumi Airport - two services runs
to and from Suvarnabhumi Airport. Bell Travel (tel 038-370-0556,
02-747-4673) to Airport: 06:00, 09:00, 11:00, 13:00, 15:00, 17:00,
19:00 and to Pattaya: 08:00, 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00, 18:00.
Their bus travels directly from the terminal building to the northern
bus station. This service includes delivery/pick up to/from your
hotel in the 200Bt price(Feb 2009). The governmental bus (112
Bt) to (as of July 2008): 9AM, 1:PM, 4PM, 7:30PM and from: 6:30AM,
9AM, 1PM, 5 pm. This travels between the Suvarnabhumi Transportation
Center and the bus station in Soi Chayapreuk, Hat Jomtien. There
is (as of Feb 2009) government service from the transport center
to the northern bus station (106 Bt) from: 06:20, 08:00 09:00,
11:00, 13:00, 15:00, 17:00 and 19:00.
Second class bus
2nd class services (air-con, usually no on-board toilet) don't
use the expressways, and make frequent (and sometimes lengthy)
stops, hence they take considerably longer than their 1st class
counterparts (which at worst will only halt momentarily once or
twice to let passengers jump off on the final approaches to their
destination). As at June 2006 the 2nd class fare is 100 baht,
so the difference in price doesn't amount to much.
Many 2nd class buses from Bangkok continue on to Jomtien, so may
be worth considering if that's your final destination and you're
not in a hurry. For travel from Jomtien to Bangkok they have the
advantage that they can be flagged down and boarded as they crawl
along Jomtien's seafront road (Jomtien Beach Road - Thanon Hat
Jomtien), avoiding the need for a preliminary trip to the bus
The terminus for 2nd class services to/from Bangkok and other
short-haul destinations is on South Pattaya Road, but in practice
these buses pick up and drop off the majority of their passengers
en route. Tickets are sold both at the bus station (although advance
booking may not be possible) and on the bus itself.
The New airport bus service, not very well advertised, from SUWANNAPUMI
airport,is brand new,as are the buses,DIRECT from the airport,and
terminates at Jomtien beach road & Soi Chiaproek,it costs
112 bt (approx 4 us$). Currently 5 return trips either way per
day.You won't get too much info on this service,as it is not a
private company, it is run by government employees,and you will
be directed to the taxis and mini-buses,by the touts at the airport.Upon
arrival at Jomtien, (1 hour or so ) there are many guest houses,and
hotels,prices vary from 550bt, ( Maggie Mays ) to 3,500bt( Nusa
Playa ) cheap and cheerful,to luxurious.
Minibus / Passenger Van
- Bangkok - minibuses run
between Pattaya and Bangkok's hotels and Khao San Road,
offering the convenience of a door-to-door service for around
400 baht/person. Departure times vary, but 9AM / Noon / 5:30PM
are the most widely advertised. Driving time is about 2 hours,
however it can take quite a bit longer overall (especially if
you're the first to be collected and the last to be dropped
off). One such service runs direct between Pattaya Dynasty Inn
(Soi 13) and Bangkok Dynasty Inn (Soi Nana), and can be arranged
through the Dynasty Inn reception desks.
- U-Tapao Airport (near Sattahip) - about 30 minutes,
200-250 baht; departure times to suit flight schedules (pre-booking
especially important when flying to U-Tapao)
Phe (gateway to Ko Samet) - about 90 minutes,
150-200 baht; departures typically 7:30AM, 11:30AM, 3PM.
It's also possible to travel by minibus to Hat Lek (for the southern-most
border crossing between Thailand and Cambodia) but
not every day of the week; this service may or may not go via
depending on overall demand. As at January 2006: depart 7:30AM,
arrive around 2PM, 700 baht, Tuesday and Friday only - but liable
to change, so enquire locally for the latest schedule details.
Travel agencies (ubiquitous throughout Pattaya) plus many hotels/guesthouses
sell minibus tickets, and tourist-oriented services such as these
invariably include collection from your hotel/guesthouse/wherever
(allow extra time for this - times quoted above are approximate
transit times and make no allowance for the vagaries of the collection
To Bangkok - widely advertised in Pattaya at 800 baht
(the lower price is because it'll be a Bangkok cab returning home),
and easily arranged through most travel agencies and hotels/guesthouses.
Minibuses can also be chartered taxi-style from around 1800 baht.
From Bangkok - prices range from 1500 baht (the official
meter-taxi rate) to 1000 baht; arranged car services will tend
toward the higher end, but licenced meter-taxis should be negotiable
to the lower end of the range. Allow about 90-120 minutes, depending
on where in Bangkok you're coming from; more around rush hour.
From Suvarnabhumi Airport - the official meter-taxi price
to Pattaya is 1050 baht (1100 baht to Jomtien) plus the 60 baht
highway ("motorway" or "expressway") toll. Allow around 80-90
minutes in favourable conditions.
Scams to watch out for when headed for Bangkok by taxi
include being told that the pre-paid price is fully inclusive,
but then, on arrival at the first toll booth, being told that
the expressway fees are extra.
Many of the more upmarket hotels can arrange (for an additional
fee) to have you met at the airport gate by a personal driver
with a limousine, thus avoiding the need to negotiate with taxi
Provided it's a weekday, the most economical way to travel between
Pattaya and Bangkok by public transport is by rail - the one-way
fare is just 31 baht, and if you've never experienced a 3rd class
Thai train, this can be an interesting experience.
From Monday to Friday, a single daily 3rd class (non-aircon)
train departs Bangkok's
Hualamphong Train Station at 6:50AM and arrives at the main
Pattaya station at 10:18AM, before continuing on to Sattahip;
it then returns via Pattaya at 2:21PM and terminates back in Bangkok
at 5:40PM (on Saturdays and Sundays it turns back to Bangkok at
Chachoengsao, so is of
no practical use for getting to or from Pattaya at weekends).
Regardless of direction, simply turn up and buy a ticket at the
station - this train can't be pre-booked.
Pattaya has two train stations, both just east of Sukhumvit Road:
- Pattaya Train Station (tel. +66-38429285) is
the main stop, just north of the junction with Central Pattaya
Road (from Sukhumvit Road, turn into Soi Pornprapanimit and
then turn left immediately before the road crosses the railway
line). A Baht Bus waits here for the train to arrive
and charges a reasonable 30 baht/person to anywhere in the Pattaya
Beach area; in the opposite direction, budget around 40-50 baht
for a motorbike taxi from Beach Road. Facilities comprise a
small snacks / chilled drinks counter, toilets, a solitary payphone,
and the ticket office - which also sells maps of Pattaya.
- Pattaya Tai Train Station is a small unmanned halt
about 3 km further south, and hence closer to Jomtien, near
the Sukhumvit / Thepprasit Road intersection.
At the main Pattaya Train Station, tickets must be bought before
boarding and are only sold in the final 30 minutes prior to departure.
The fare from/to Bangkok is 31 baht, from/to Sattahip 6 baht.
As the Pattaya Tai halt has no ticket office, passengers are
permitted to board here without tickets and then pay on the train
(32 baht to Bangkok).
The surcharge for transporting a bicycle (up to 20 kg) between
any two points on this line (ie Bangkok-Sattahip) is 80 baht.
Tickets for other journeys can be purchased (up to a maximum
of 60 days in advance) at the Pattaya Train Station ticket office
between 8AM and 4PM; the same tickets can also be arranged through
Pattaya agencies, who will add on a 200-300 baht markup to cover
their assistance and the cost of sending a moto-taxi to collect
the tickets from the station.
From other regions
By road: Sukhumvit-route 2nd class aircon buses operate
from Bangkok's Eastern (Ekamai) Bus Terminal and pick up and drop
off on Sukhumvit at the Pattaya Nua / Pattaya Klang / Pattaya
Tai traffic lights. Fares from/to Pattaya are Sattahip 20 baht, U-Tapao (Sukhumvit
traffic lights, does not access the airport itself) 35 baht, Rayong (bus station)
50 baht, Ban Phe (Sukhumvit traffic lights,
does not detour into the town) 60 baht, Chanthaburi (bus station)
115 baht, and Trat
(bus station) 165 baht. Some terminate at Chanthaburi, however
it's easy to transfer between there and Trat.
By road: for most (if not all) destinations in Isaan, it's not necessary to go
via Bangkok. If a direct service isn't available, it's usually
possible to connect via Nakhon Ratchasima (Khorat).
Tickets get sold very quickly! But it beforehand, a day or two
Nakhonchai Air Co.  (tel. +66-38427841
/ +66-38424871) provides "VIP", 1st class, and non-aircon
passenger services (plus parcel services) to Ubon Ratchathani (~11
hours) as follows:
- VIP (32 seats, 540 baht) departures 17:15, 18:35, 20:15, 20:30,
- 1st class (465 baht) departures 07:45, 17:45
- non-aircon (3rd class, 255 baht) departures 16:45, 18:00,
Roong Reuang Coach operates five Isaan services from the bus
station on North Pattaya Road (the 1st class Bangkok bus terminal),
all of which are air-con and go via Aranyaprathet (1st class
209 baht / 2nd class 162 baht / ~5 hours) and then either Buriram and Roi Et or Surin and Yasothon, and then terminate
(~13 hours) as follows:
- 2nd class via Surin & Yasothon (428 baht) departs 07:00
- 1st class via Buriram & Roi Et (553 baht) departures 08:30,
- 1st class via Surin & Yasothon (551 baht) departures 17:30,
By rail: it's possible to take the train from Pattaya
to Chachoengsao (weekdays
only) and switch there to a train to Aranyaprathet, or vice-versa,
but either way the connection can only be made by spending the
night in Chachoengsao. For trains to Nakhon Ratchasima (Khorat),
Buriram, Surin, Si Saket, Ubon, etc, connect
via Bangkok's Hualamphong station.
By road: it's possible to travel direct to/from numerous
locations in Northern Thailand,
however it's often quicker overall to go via the Northern (Moh
Chit) Terminal in Bangkok. Much depends on final destination,
time of travel, and available services; but if in doubt, the safest
bet will usually be to stick with the 1st class buses and go via
Nakhonchai Air Co.  (tel. +66-38427841
/ +66-38424871) provides "VIP", 1st class, and non-aircon
passenger services (plus parcel services) to Chiang Mai
Sai from premises on the southbound side of Sukhumvit Road
(30/7 Moo 9), one block south of the junction with Central Pattaya
To Chiang Mai (approx. 13.5 hours):
- VIP (32 seats, 670 baht) departures 14:30, 17:25, 18:30, 19:00
- 1st class (620 baht) departures 14:45, 18:15
- non-aircon (3rd class, 345 baht) departs 06:15
To Mae Sai (approx. 15 hours):
- VIP (32 seats, 770 baht) departures 15:00, 17:00
- 1st class (720 baht) departs 15:15
- non-aircon (3rd class, 390 baht) departs 12:15
It's always worth considering pre-booking long-haul bus tickets,
however more often than not seats will still be available an hour
or so prior to departure.
By rail: it may be possible to use the one daily (weekdays
only) train to/from Pattaya to connect with a northern line overnight
train at Bangkok's Hualamphong station (pre-booking is advised
for berths on overnight trains; this can be arranged at or via
Pattaya Train Station).
The options for Southern Thailand are
to fly to U-Tapao (near Sattahip) direct to/from Ko Samui or
or else to go via Bangkok. Note that a direct bus service between
Pattaya and the Southern Bus Terminal in Bangkok was introduced
in 2005; also that it may be worth considering using the one daily
(weekdays only) train to/from Pattaya and connecting with a southern
line overnight train at Bangkok's Hualamphong station (pre-booking
is advised for berths on overnight trains; this can be arranged
at or via Pattaya Train Station).