A Guide to Transport from Bangkok to Pattaya
It isn’t a long way from Bangkok to Pattaya, only 150km – which is well under 2 hours drive. This makes it an ideal sport for a holiday or a short break by the sea. The quickest way to get from Bangkok to Pattaya is to just hop in a taxi. However, this is also the most expensive option. Alternatively, there are regular air-conditioned buses and minibuses running the route which are inexpensive. So which is the best way to get from Bangkok to Pattaya?
Well. that depends on your priorities and style of travelling. In this post I’ll go through how to do the trip by taxi and some of the services available. But I’ll also cover the cheaper options, by public bus, by minivan and even by train.
Some people will still take a taxi or private transfers, others will go for an efficient bus service. And maybe just one or two of you will take the train. :-) But after reading this article you should have a better idea about which transport is best for you to use if you want to get from Bangkok to Pattaya.
Let’s crack on . . .
How to Travel from Bangkok to Pattaya by Taxi
A taxi is the most expensive of the options listed on this page but it is also the quickest and most convenient. A direct door to door service with no unnecessary stops.
Drivers will head out of Bangkok on the overhead expressway and take the motorway all the way to north Pattaya. From there it’s just another 10 – 20 minutes drive to most hotels in central Pattaya. The total driving time from central Bangkok to central Pattaya will be around 2 hours. And from Suvarnabhumi Airport to a hotel in Pattaya will be just 90 minutes or so.
You’ll have to pay extra, to cover the tolls, for using the expressways and motorway out of Bangkok. However, this will shorten the journey considerably and also cut down on driving time compared to taking the normal roads.
You may see some articles mentioning you can save money by telling the driver to use the regular roads, not the expressways and motorway. This is true. On the face of it you might save about 200 Baht or so in toll fees. But those articles are written by people who have never actually driven from Bangkok to Pattaya.
In order to save yourself a few dollars the driver will first have to get out of the city centre. This means crawling through 30km of traffic lights & junctions before he can speed up. Then the driver will have to take the Bangna-Trat Highway out of the south of Bangkok to Pattaya.
This is a horrible road to drive on as it’s used by nearly all the trucks heading into Bangkok from ports and factories on the eastern seaboard. It is also a much longer route than going direct on the motorway as the road runs along the coast. Expect lots of traffic, a much slower journey and an unhappy driver if you want to use this route.
Taxi drivers will want to negotiate a fixed price from your hotel in Bangkok to a hotel in Pattaya. As a rule this shouldn’t be more than 1,500 Baht. This won’t include expressway and motorway tolls. Your hotel will be able to organise this in advance or you can talk to any of the taxi drivers that will be waiting outside your hotel.
It is also possible to use ‘Grab‘, (the equivalent of Uber in Southeast Asia). They have options for a Grab Taxi or a Grab Car. The taxi are regular taxis that can be booked using the app. Prices for regular taxis are a little higher. A private car and driver will be under 2,000 Baht.
Taking a Taxi from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Pattaya
Firstly, ignore the signs you see in the Baggage Claim for official taxis. these are actually for the airport limousine service (not public taxis).
TIP: If you need to exchange money to pay for your taxi to Pattaya, don’t do it at the currency exchanges in Baggage Claim or on the Arrivals level. You will get an awful rate. Instead, head down to the currency exchanges in the basement of the airport.
Follow the signs for ‘Trains to Bangkok’ . The exchanges are located near station for the train into Bangkok. All the exchange booths here have far, far better rates than elsewhere in the airport. This video shows how to get there from Arrivals level and compares the rates .
The limo service is good, but it’s more for people with expense accounts rather than the average traveller. Don’t be tempted to take an airport limo. It will cost you well over double a normal taxi.
Once you have got your luggage you then have to head down to the Ground floor (Level 1) of the terminal building to take a taxi. Just follow the large overhead signs to the taxi rank. Once at the taxi rank, you will see automated ticket machines. Just press a button and you will receive a printed ticket which shows the bay where your taxi is parked. Walk over to the bay, give the ticket to the driver and tell them where you want to go. ( If you are travelling with 3 or 4 people or have a lot of luggage there are certain ticket machines for larger taxis – SUV type vehicles. )
The official fare from Suvarnabhumi to a hotel in Pattaya is 1,050 Baht. But you will have to negotiate and agree a fare with the driver before setting off. Some drivers may do it for 1,000 others may want 1,200 Baht. You may pay a few dollars too much. But it’s better to have a friendly negotiation rather than piss off the guy who’s going to be driver you the next 130Km.
It is also possible to book private taxis online. There are numerous travel agents that offer this service via their websites. For example these have all been in business for many years and you will find them recommended on various forums and websites. Compare rates on these sites: http://www.namstaxipattaya.com , http://www.thaitaxitour.com/, https://www.thaihappytaxi.com/ , https://pttaxiservice.com/services-rates/
Or for safe online booking by credit card and a choice of private transfer and taxi companies, enter your travel details and search below:
How to Get from Bangkok to Pattaya by Bus
Taking a public bus from Bangkok to Pattaya and quick, cheap and easy.
For most people staying in central Bangkok, the easiest bus station to reach in order to take a bus will be Ekamai Bus Station on Sukhumvit Road. Ekamai BTS sky train station also right outside the station. Signage in the bus station is in both Thai and English. And so it’s easy to see where to buy tickets, which bay the bus departs from and the departure time.
You can also buy tickets in advance at the bus station, this is handy if you want to travel at a specific time and date during weekends or holiday periods when buses will be busier than usual.
Buses depart around every 30 minutes from 05:00 to 23:00 and a one way ticket for a modern, air-conditioned 40-seater bus is just 119 Baht. The journey takes around 2 hours. Maybe a bit more depending on traffic.
It is also possible to take a public bus to Pattaya from the Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai), which is to the west of the city centre. There are eight daily departures per day. Buses leave every 2 hours from 05:30 to 19:30. Ticket price is 119 Baht. The journey takes around 3 hours.
And for people staying in the northern suburbs of Bangkok or arriving at Don Meuang Airport and wanting to take a bus to Pattaya, it will be easier to go to Mochit Bus Station. Airconditioned buses depart every 30 minutes between 05:00 and 20:00. Ticket price is 128 Baht. The journey takes around 3 hours.
Only hand luggage is allowed onboard the bus. Backpacks and suitcases must be stowed in luggage space under the bus. One quick tip, bring a lightweight jacket or sweatshirt – as some buses have ice cold aircon.
All buses to Pattaya will terminate at Pattaya Bus Station on North Pattaya Road. From here most passengers will take a ‘baht bus’ (shared pick up truck taxi) to their hotel. This is just 50 Baht if you are staying on Beach Road or Second Road, for example. You will see baht bus drivers waiting for passengers as soon as you get off the bus.
Alternatively, if you want to go direct to your hotel or are staying at a more remote location, use a motorbike taxi. This will be anywhere form 50 to 100 Baht. Obviously, this is only suitable if you have a small backpack or bag, as you have to take this on a scooter. Finally, metered taxis can also be found parked roadside outside the bus station.
From Suvarnabhumi Airport to Pattaya by Bus
Visitors flying into Suvarnabhumi can taker a bus direct from the airport to Pattaya bus station. Roong Reuang Coach (Airport Pattaya Bus) and Bell Travel Service run the bus services between the airport and Pattaya. The journey time from Suvarnabhumi to Pattaya is around 1 hour 45 minutes.
These services are reliable, inexpensive and a very cost effective way to get from the airport to Pattaya.
When you arrive at Suvarnabhumi, clear immigration and Baggage Claim and then from the Arrivals level take the elevator down to the Ground floor (Level 1). head to Entrance 8. You will see the ticket counter for buses to Koh Chang, Hua Hin and Pattaya there.
Bell Travel Service run their service, which has an option to be dropped off at your hotel in Pattaya. There are departures for Pattaya six times per day at 8.00, 10.00, 12.00, 14.00, 16.00 and 18.00. The ticket price is 300 Baht / person.
Roong Reuang Coach run the #389 Airport Pattaya Bus service. This has departures every 30 minutes between 07:00 and 22:00. Ticket price is 130 Baht. It won’t drop off at hotels in Pattaya but does drop off at three locations in north, central and south Pattaya. So, after being dropped off, passengers will only be a short baht bus or taxi ride from most hotels in central Pattaya.
Each passenger is allowed a carry one bag and one backpack or suitcase with a maximum weight of 20kg. It is possible to take more luggage but there will be a surcharge depending on the weight and number of bags.
Need less to say, these services are very popular. If you are travelling during High Season, then it’s better to book a ticket in advance. If you book a bus around 2 hours after your flight lands then you’ll have some leeway in case of any unexpected delays. And if your flight is on time, there’s an inexpensive food court adjacent to the bus ticket counter, where you can grab some cheap food and a drink while you wait for the bus.
How to Get from Bangkok to Pattaya by Minibus
There are numerous private minibuses that run between Bangkok and Pattaya. These are door to door services that pick up and drop off at passengers hotels. Tickets can easily be booked a day or two in advance at hotels in Bangkok or Pattaya or any tour agent. Ticket prices are usually around 300 – 400 Baht per person.
The cheaper services will pick up passengers by minibus and then take them to a bus station where they get a regular bus to Pattaya. And from the bus station in Pattaya another minibus is used to take passengers to hotels.
It is often just as quick, and also safer, to use one of the public bus services. As whilst the shared minibuses can be convenient, the driver also has to driver around a lot of hotels to pick passengers up and a lot of other hotels to drop people off. If you have bad luck and are the first to be picked up and last to be dropped off, expect to spend a few hours on the minibus journey.
Another downside is that there’s far more space on a big bus than inside a minivan. Passengers are often packed in like sardines and space for luggage is limited. So it may not be a relaxing journey.
In general minibuses will pick up from hotels in the main tourist areas of central Bangkok i.e. Makkasan, Rachprarop, Asoke, Ploenchit, Ratchadamri, Langsuan, Wittayu Rd, Lumphini Park, Pathumwan, Phyathai, Phetchaburi, Ratchathewi, Rama 1 ,Rama 4, Silom, Surawong, Sathorn and Sukhumvit.
And will drop off at most hotels in Pattaya in North Pattaya, Central Pattaya, South Pattaya, Pratamnak Hill, Naklua and Jomtien beach.
How to Get from Bangkok to Pattaya by Train
Not many visitors opt to take the train from Bangkok to Pattaya, but is is possible to do. It is also the cheapest way to get from Bangkok to Pattaya. However, there are a few reasons why taking the train isn’t a popular option for travellers.
From Monday to Friday there’s only one early morning train per day. This only has 3rd class seating, which means wooden bench seats and no air-conditioning. It’s also very slow. The train takes around 3 and a half hours to do the journey. The journey itself isn’t very scenic. So it’s not worth taking as a sightseeing trip.
The good news is that taking to train from Bangkok to Pattaya is a slightly better option at the weekends. On Saturday and Sunday the third class train is replaced by an air-conditioned service. This is faster, it takes around 2 and a half hours. But the train also leaves Bangkok very early morning and tickets are more expensive than if you took the bus.
Bangkok to Pattaya Train Timetables
There is one daily train early morning from Bangkok to Pattaya. And also one train, in the afternoon, from Pattaya to Bangkok.
The train from Bangkok departs from Hualamphong Station in the city centre. This is the largest train station in Thailand and is easily accessible by taxi or subway. (Location)
Pattaya railway station is much smaller than you might think for a city that receives several million tourists a year. The single platform station is located just a few kilometers inland from the beach. There’s no wi-fi or restaurant at the station. And no public transport to the station, you’ll have to take a taxi or walk to get there. (Location)
|997 (Rapid – Saturday & Sunday)||06:45||09:13|
|283 (Ordinary – Monday to Friday)||06:55||10:34|
|997 (Rapid – Saturday & Sunday)||14:21||18:15|
|283 (Ordinary – Monday to Friday)||16:26||18:55|
How to Buy Train Tickets from Bangkok to Pattaya
Third class seats, for the ‘Ordinary’ trains 283 and 284, can only be bought at the station on the day of travel. Passengers can’t book tickets in advance. The carriages only have fans and there’s no assigned seating. A third-class ticket is 31 Baht per person between Bangkok and Pattaya.
The weekend only ‘Rapid’ trains, 997 and 998 – are fully air-conditioned and have comfortable seating. There is only one class of ticket. Seats can be booked in advance or you can buy tickets at the station. The fare for second class air-conditioned seat on a Rapid train between Bangkok and Pattaya is 170 Baht per person.
Is there a train from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Pattaya?
No. But the trains from Bangkok to Pattaya stop at Latkrabang station which is close to the airport.
So, from Suvarnabhumi Airport you could take a 10 minutes taxi ride or hop on the Airport Link train and go one stop to Latkrabang Station. And from there take train to Pattaya. But this is really only an option for dedicated train enthusiasts who are landing in Bangkok very early morning.
The Best Way is . . .
Go for a taxi from your hotel in Bangkok to hotel in Pattaya, if time is the main factor in your decision making. That is the quickest way to do the journey.
If you are willing to add an extra hour or so onto your travelling time then taking the bus will save you a lot of money. Buses are modern, air-conditioned and run regularly throughout the day. This is the most popular way to get to Pattaya is by bus. It is also the most cost efficient, when both time and price are taken into account.
A door to door minivan offers some of the convenience of a taxi or private transfer. But is likely to be more uncomfortable than a bus and take longer, as the journey will involve multiple pick ups and drop offs in Bangkok and Pattaya.
And finally, if you are an early riser who simply loves travelling by train, then just take the train. Or maybe you have a budget of under a dollar for the journey and don’t want to exceed that. In which case, the train would also suit you too, as this is the cheapest way to get from Bangkok to Pattaya.