Pattaya Travel Guide - Get around
The city-produced "Official Map of Pattaya" is available at Pattaya
City Hall, and may also be available from the Pattaya Police,
the Tourist Police and the Immigration Police.
Songthaew is also known as public passenger pick-up vehicle.
Apart from a handful of privately operated examples, Pattaya
has no tuk-tuks and most ad
hoc local transport is undertaken by a flotilla of over 700 dark
blue coloured songthaews - pickup
trucks converted to buses, also called Baht Buses. The
official "bus" fare is 5 baht for trips within Pattaya, however
foreigners are universally expected to pay 10 baht. Having the
correct change is by no means essential, but does keep the potential
hassle factor to a minimum. Flat fares only apply when operating
as a bus; beware the driver of an otherwise empty songthaew, especially
one that's parked up at the roadside, who might presume (or decide
on your behalf) that you want to charter - in which case expect
a much higher fare of 100 baht or more, depending on your negotiating
The busiest route is the beach circuit: from the junction of
Second Road and South Pattaya Road, north along Second Road to
the Dolphin Circle roundabout; then south along the full length
of Beach Road; then briefly east along South Pattaya Road to complete
the loop. Frequency is virtually non-stop, and even at the most
unlikely hours, average waiting time is literally no more than
a few seconds.
The routes sometimes vary - for example with a left turn (from
Beach Road or Second Road) into Central Pattaya Road; or no left
turn at the Dolphin Circle roundabout (where Second Road, Beach
Road and North Pattaya Road meet) and going straight on to Naklua
(or even a right turn towards the bus station and Sukhumvit).
The only way to know the route for sure is to ask (but don't let
the driver mistake your asking as a charter request). Sometimes
the driver will just decide to turn down a random soi for no apparent
reason, or because he's just been hired as a taxi, but you'll
still be expected to pay your 10 baht if you've ridden for more
than a soi or two - however surprises such as these are few and
It's also easy to catch songthaews along South Pattaya Road,
Central Pattaya Road, and North Pattaya Road; in the case of the
latter, there's often a songthaew waiting at the Dolphin Circle
roundabout (they depart from here at regular intervals, or when
full, and the fare to the bus station is 10 baht) and there's
also a free songthaew service to the Tesco-Lotus supermarket on
North Pattaya Road.
For Jomtien, songthaews wait at the beginning of Pratamnak Road
(the continuation of Second Road, from the South Pattaya Road
crossroads), and charge 10 baht.
For Naklua, take a songthaew up Second Road to the Dolphin Roundabout.
If the songthaew turns left or right at the roundabout (ie it's
not one of the few that continue straight on to Naklua), disembark
immediately and cross to the north side of the roundabout, and
either walk or take a north-bound songthaew (10 baht) from there.
White coloured songthaews ply Sukhumvit Road, going as far as
Si Racha and Sattahip (20 baht); full-size buses to destinations
as far away as Trat and even Chiang Mai
also stop and pick up passengers on Sukhumvit Road (at the South
Pattaya Road, Central Pattaya Road, and North Pattaya Road junctions).
If you're overcharged by a songthaew driver, note the three digit
vehicle number (top left corner of the windscreen, also stencilled
on both sides and in the back) and report the problem to:
- Pattaya City Manager: dial 038429216
- Banglamung District Baht Bus Cooperative: dial 038221271 /
By local bus
After long delays, a government-subsidised public bus system
charging 30 baht/trip, 90 baht/day, 180 baht/3-day and 900 baht/month
was test-launched in August 2005. The long-term plan is for six
routes (three clockwise, three anticlockwise - map ),
with three air-con 34-seat buses per route making scheduled stops
from 06:00 to 02:00 at 20 minute intervals. The introduction of
facilities for wheelchairs, and additional open-top sightseeing
buses, have also been proposed.
As at mid-2006 the green line has been suspended, the frequency
on the remaining routes has been extended to 30 minutes, and the
one-trip fare reduced to 20 baht. How temporary or permanent these
changes are is unclear, but in the meantime, be aware that Pattaya
now has a lot of shiny new bus-stop signs which make no attempt
to tell prospective passengers that they are not in use. Brochures
with details of the routes/stops (but not times) are available
from the bus drivers; for updates, try dialing 038757340 /1 or
By motorbike taxi
The quickest way to get around is by motorcycle (motosai).
A moto-taxi will be less expensive than a songthaew charter, but
arguably less safe. Roadside moto-taxi stands are scattered throughout
town, and waiting drivers usually clap their hands or sometimes
call out to attract the attention of potential passengers; alternatively
just flag down the next available one that cruises by, as the
drivers are easily identified by their coloured vests. Some will
carry two (or more!) passengers - although this is illegal. Foreigners
can expect to pay around 30-40 baht for trips around the inner
parts of town.
Meter-taxis are a common sight in and around Pattaya. All are
from Bangkok; their drivers bring passengers from the capital,
and then operate locally until a return fare becomes available.
There are also some car services and non-metered taxis that operate
on an on-call basis; minibuses can also be chartered. These services
are suited primarily to longer trips outside the core of the town
or to another city, and can be arranged through most travel agencies
and many hotels/guesthouses.Expect to pay considerably more than
the cost of a songthaew charter, probably in the order of a few
hundred baht. If you are going back to Bangkok, there is the cheap
possibility of catching a taxi which has just came from there
(with some passengers) and has to return. Since the driver isn’t
going to get a passenger as soon as he leaves Pattaya, he’ll
be willing to take back a passenger for cheap which should cost
you no more than 500 baht.
If considering renting a vehicle, bear in mind that traffic in
Pattaya can seem very erratic by Western standards, and that driving
on the left can be confusing not only for those who have previously
only ever driven on the right, but also for those unfamiliar with
the common Thai practice (even the police do this) of motorcycling
alongside the kerb on the "oncoming" side of the road, or the
wrong way up one-way streets. The latter problem is especially
prevalent in the Pattaya Bay area, where the majority of the roads
in the main tourism zones are one-way; and the northern section
of Second Road requires great care as some treat the right-hand
"bus" lane as oncoming, while others do not.
Motorcycles and Scooters
Motorcycle rentals are a very popular way to get around, but
not the safest, especially in the case of visitors with limited
previous experience of motorcycling and Eastern traffic habits,
and even more so in Pattaya given the large number of motorcycle-mounted
holidaymakers who seem hell-bent on a Darwin Award. Also note
that a motorcyclist carrying a shoulder bag, and anything placed
in the front basket of a motorcycle, makes an especially easy
target for bag-snatchers. Also beware the "No Parking" signs -
fines are typically 400-500 baht.
Motorbikes can be rented without difficulty at countless locations
in Pattaya, including many hotels and guesthouses, usually without
having to produce a licence; however it's common for foreigners
to be asked to deposit their passports as security (to avoid this,
simply shop around until you find one of the many places that
will accept a photocopy instead); cash deposits are also often
required (1000 baht is not uncommon). Motorcycle rentals do not
include insurance, and both motorcycling accidents and motorbike
thefts are common.
- Take It Easy, Pattaya New Plaza, Second Road, tel.
+66-90077804. British management, open 09:00-19:00; sample
- - fully automatic 115cc scooter: 750 baht/4 days, 900 baht/week,
- - Kawasaki KSR 115cc: 1100 baht/4 days, 1400 baht/week, 4400
- - Honda XR 250 trail/enduro: 2000 baht/4 days, 2900 baht/week,
- Cheap Charlies, tel. +66-38720452, . Assorted
rentals from 100 baht/day, plus used motorcycle sales.
- East Coast Choppers, tel. +66-38303113, .
Harley Davidson rentals.
- Maipang Motorcycle Rentals, tel. +66-38361090
/ +66-38303406, .
- Jans, tel. +66-38373594. Advertises rates from
2000 baht/month for long-term rentals.
Noks Bike Rentals..at the "TAKE IT EASY BAR", Soi 7/8.. British
managed, open 24hours, also sells European bike helmets.
Cars and jeeps
Cars can easily be rented, and are a good way to explore beyond
the city limits, but they are not such a practicable way to get
around the busiest central areas as traffic can be congested,
and parking spaces can be difficult to find in the evening and
weekend periods. However the major supermarkets offer free parking,
and low-cost parking is available at the major shopping venues
such as Royal Garden Plaza, Central Festival & Big C on Second
Rentals without insurance start from around 800 baht/day for
small cars, and from as little as 600 baht/day for open-top jeeps;
cars with insurance start at just under 1000 baht/day, and come
down to around 5600 baht/week or 18000 baht/month in low season.
High season prices (from early November) are generally a few hundred
Getting the correct type of insurance cover on any rental car
in Thailand is extremely important. Commerical "Car Rental Company"
First Class Insurance provides the absolute full legal cover (as
opposed to limited personal or third party only insurance cover.
Request a copy of the policy document and check that it states
"For Comercial Use".
- Avis, tel. +66-38361627 (Dusit Resort) or +66-38428755
(Hard Rock Hotel), 
- Budget, Beach Road, tel. +66-38710717, 
- CCR Car Rent, Third Road, tel. +66-38489401
- Chalee Car Rent, Third Road, tel. +66-38720413,
- Hertz, tel. +66-26542553 (Marriot Resort) /
tel. +66-38716693 (Sukhumvit Road), 
- Holiday Car Rentals, tel. +66-38723814 (Second
Road) / tel. +66-38426303 (Third Road), 
- National, Liabchayhard Rd, tel. +66-38416125
- Q Cars, Jomtien, tel. +66-38231694, 
- Imac ATV Centre, at the Beach Road end of Tipp Plaza,
near Mike Shopping Mall - tel. +66-79532173 / +66-98884340
fax. +66-38227064, .
Has a small fleet of assorted models. Prices start at 1500 baht/day
for a 4-stroke 150cc quad with road tyres that can carry two
people; rates for larger models (some with off-road tyres) go
as high as 3000 baht/day.
Bicycles could, until recently, be rented at Jomtien - however
due to lack of demand the current options are to either bring
your own, or buy one locally - see the Do | Sports | "cycling"