The coastal city of Pattaya is a popular destination noted for its beautiful beaches and fantastic nightlife.
In addition to the beaches there are offshore islands one can visit and other sites in the surrounding area. It’s definitely worth a visit for any tourist or expat who finds themselves in the Bangkok area, or even basing oneself there for awhile.
It is about 150 kilometers (90 miles) from Bangkok to Pattaya, but this doesn’t mean it’s hard to get there. It only takes about two hours on major highways to get there (though there may be traffic during rush hour or Friday afternoons).
Getting The Bus
The easiest method is to take a bus. Busses leave from Bangkok’s Northern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit), Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekamai), or the airport, and arrive at the Pattaya main bus terminal in Pattaya Nueau. The first-class bus is very comfortable and quick, with air conditioning and few stops, and usually costs 120 baht.
A second-class bus costs 100 baht, but may not have air conditioning and may make frequent stops, so it’s probably worth the extra 60 cents to take the first class bus. If you are arriving at the airport in Bangkok and going directly to Pattaya, there is a bus from the airport that leaves every hour and costs 130 baht, and you can make your reservation online before arrival.
Upon arrival you’ll likely need to arrange a taxi to get to your specific destination in Pattaya, or you can take the local “songthaew” city buses or hire a three wheeled tuk-tuk taxi.
Renting A Car
If you have a lot of luggage you may find a bus inconvenient and prefer to rent a car. This has of course the added convenience of being able to set your own schedule and drive directly to wherever you want to go.
There are numerous major car rental agencies such as Hertz, Avis, National and Budget located in the Suvarnabhumi district of Bangkok. They offer competitive rates and you can compare options and make your reservation online.
Hiring A Taxi
Another option is to hire a taxi to take you from Bangkok to Pattaya. From central Bangkok to Pattaya the official rate is 1500 baht, or if you are departing from near the airport in Suvarnabhumi 1110 baht, which includes the expressway fees.
These are the official rates but if you negotiate with your driver before you start you may be able to get a better rate. To get a taxi you can have your hotel or travel agency arrange one for you or simply go out to the street and flag one down.
The latter option actually gives you more leverage to negotiate a better rate with the driver. Make sure, however, that your driver is properly licensed.
Transit between Pattaya is so easy and dependable you’ll find that if your an expat or longer-term tourist you can easily base yourself out of Pattaya and commute to Bangkok as needed, thus taking advantage of the nice beaches and night life of Pattaya.