If Pattaya is part of your Thailand itinerary, going there from Bangkok makes a lot of sense. That’s because there are plenty of travel options and the distance from Bangkok to Pattaya is relatively short.
Plus, the beaches, Pattaya’s natural draw somewhat complements well with the shopping, dining and other city adventures Bangkok has to offer. No wonder this coastal resort city is a popular weekend destination among locals and expats. As a tourist, following what Thai people do bring you closer to an authentic Thailand experience.
Pattaya is located just 147 kilometers from Bangkok, making it a quick next stop from the capital in a multi-city Thailand itinerary. It is connected through Motorway 7, a toll controlled-access highway, as well as Highway 3 (Bangna-Chonburi route). Roads from Bangkok are well-paved but traffic situation can easily build up in the morning and early evening as workers travel in and out of Bangkok. However, unless you are pressed with time or have a flight to catch en route from Pattaya, you should be fine.
Your choice of travel may be influenced by your budget, location in Bangkok and preferred travel lifestyle. This makes traveling to Pattaya very convenient.
A. Based on your location
1. If you are coming from your hotel located at the heart of Bangkok.
Mo Chit: This station also known as Bangkok Bus Terminal / Chatuchak is not close to any BTS train station so getting here will be through other options including bus, taxi or by foot. Inside the station, look for the counter that serves tickets to Pattaya. Check the bus bay as printed in the ticket.
Ekkamai: Located next to Ekkamai BTS, this station serves more frequent trips to Pattaya. Follow the signs inside the BTS station, its just across the street. Once at the bus station head to right side and look at the ticket booth signs. Buses run about every 30 minutes and fares to Pattaya cost 125 THB.
2. If you are coming from Suvarnabhumi airport.
Taxis: Official metered taxis costs 1050 THB from the airport to Pattaya on a 80 to 90 minute journey using the expressway. However, it is not necessary to take this expedited route on off-peak hours, helping you save money. Another taxi option is to go to the departure section where there are more taxis dropping off than picking up passengers. This helps you save money as driver does not need to pay the airport fee of 50 THB.
Buses: From level 1 at Gate 8 at the arrival hall, Airport Pattaya Bus takes about two hours from Suvarnabhumi to Pattaya with hourly departures. However, buses departing at 9pm and 10pm will make a stop at North Pattaya bus terminal only. Other departure times will make a stop at Central and South Pattaya intersection. Bus fare is 120 THB.
Private vans: Certain private van operators such as Take Me Tour pick up passengers at the airport and take you (and up to 5 other companions) directly to your hotel in Pattaya. Rate of 2,100 THB is inclusive of fuel, taxes and toll fees.
3. If you are coming from Don Muang airport.
Take the A1 bus (take Exit 6) to Mo Chit for 30 THB. Do not get off at Mo Chit BTS but instead tell driver you are going to catch a bus to Pattaya. Driver will then drop you off in front of Bangkok Bus Terminal / Chatuchak. Locate the counter for Pattaya and seek help from nearby staff if you can’t locate it. Bus fare costs 120 THB.
You can also take the bus directly from Don Muang airport to Pattaya via direct expressway with trips at 9am, 12noon and 7pm. You can make reservations through the limousine service booths and airport arrival hall. Bus fare costs 280 THB.
B. Based on your budget
1. By intercity buses.
Inter city buses offer cheap fares and frequent departures up to 11pm.
Roong Reuang Coach serves the following schedules:
Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekkamai)
Bus fare: 108 THB
Departures: 5am to 11pm (every 30-40 minutes)
Northern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit)
Bus fare: 117THB (Motorway) / 108 THB (Bangna-Trad)
Departures: 4:30am to 11pm (every 30-40 minutes)
New Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai)
Bus fare: 108 THB
Departures: 8am, 10am, 12noon, 2pm, 4pm
Bangna Bus Stop
Bus fare: 108 THB
Departures: Every 30-40 minutes from Bangna bus stop (first bus 5:30am; last bus 9pm)
2. By taxi.
Obviously, taking the taxi is expensive, but it also provides convenience as your pickup and drop off points are typically just few steps away. However, in addition to the higher fare, traffic congestions especially around Bangkok’s downtown areas during peak hours can be a frustrating experience.
Fare between Bangkok and Pattaya is at least 1,000 THB but expect surcharges such as tolls if you don’t make prior arrangement with driver. If stuck in traffic, fares on metered taxis can easily soar beyond the initial estimate.
3. By air
Pattaya is served by U-Tapao-Rayong-Pattaya International Airport but there are no direct flights from Bangkok. And rightfully so, since travel time between the two cities is short so land-based transport system should do the job.
Additional Bangkok to Pattaya Tips:
- Ensure that you take licensed taxi when you travel. In Thailand, Airports of Thailand certificate are issued to legitimate taxi drivers and operators.
- When you take the buses, an overhead space is available for smaller bags for each passenger. Additional luggage may be charged for extra fee.
- Pattaya is a busy destination among locals during weekends and it adds up to busier roads and fewer bus seats available. So defer your journey during weekdays if possible.
- If you travel by air (U-Tapao-Rayong-Pattaya International Airport) from places like Chiang Mai or Udon Thani, make a booking for airport transfer prior to your flight as transfer services may offer more expensive rates when only booked after arrival.
- When taking the taxi from Suvarnabhumi Airport, it is better to take on drivers who are inside their cars. Those outside might have bribed the guards so they can park longer in choose passengers they can charge more.
- When taking the bus, seat numbers are marked at the backseat and not in front, so be aware when finding your assigned seat.
- Buses can also be a bit cold, a big contrast to the outdoor weather during summer months, so it is advisable to have extra layer of clothing handy.
- If your hotel is along the route, you don’t have to wait to get to the terminal and get off; just ask the bus staff you’ll alight at a specific address and it should be accommodated without much question.
- There may be stops along the way for bus to refuel, and along these stops, toilets (if not provided inside the bus) and snack shops are available nearby.