Everything You’ll Need to Know on Traveling to Pattaya
Most likely you’ll be arriving into Pattaya from Bangkok, either at Suvarnabhumi Airport (also known as Bangkok International) or Don Muang Airport.
Both airports are within Bangkok and operate a free shuttle service between airports.
- At Suvarnabhumi Airport the free shuttle bus to Don Muang is located outside gate 3 on the 2nd floor arrival level.
- At Don Muang Airport the free shuttle bus to Suvarnabhumi Airport is located on the departure level, 4th floor near gate 5.
With no traffic issues the ride takes about 1 hour between both airports. So I only recommend using these free shuttle buses only if you have a lot of time. Buses start at 5am until midnight. Check out free transfer shuttle bus schedule at AOT’s official website.
Suvarnabhumi International Airport to Pattaya
For me whenever I arrive in Suvarnabhumi International you will have the best way to get to Pattaya which is using the bus service of Bell Travel at your disposal. You make a seat reservation on their website and you’ll get a confirmation email. You can make your reservation 3 months in advance.
You can find Bell Travel’s service desk at level 1 gate at at Suvarnabhumi Airport, they share a desk with other Pattaya bus companies. You will find a service representative who will check you in.
For 240THB one way Bell Travel will take you on a comfortable and clean bus from Suvarnabhumi Airport straight to Pattaya Bus Terminal (North Pattaya). From there you transfer to a mini bus which a driver will take you straight to your hotel doors or near it. It’s that easy peasy. They also charge 240THB going back to Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Though going from Pattaya to your hotel’s doorsteps in Bangkok, Bell Travel charges 370THB. Which is a fair price in my mind as it’s door to door service. Going from Pattaya to Bangkok cost more because of the traffic.
If you’ve got 3 to 4 people in your group you might want to consider a public metered taxi that charges an official rate of 1050THB plus 60THB highway toll. Keep in mind though if your entire party consists of hefty guys with lots of luggage it will be a tight squeeze. The public taxi center is located on the 1st floor passenger terminal between gates 4 and 7.
And avoid any private taxi services that approach you, these companies charge three to four times more.
There is also direct bus from Suvarnabhumi International Airport straight to Pattaya. You’ll find them on level 1 gate 8. It’s also a private company and they charge a cheap rate of 120THB and can get you to Pattaya in about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
However, keep in mind they stop off at their own bus stations. From there you have to find your own ride to where ever you will be staying in Pattaya. Please check out airportpattayabus.com for their bus timetables and more information.
Going from Don Muang Airport to Pattaya
Because of all those low cost airline carriers landing in Don Muang these days, Bangkok’s second busiest airport gets a lot of passengers coming in from many Southeast Asian nations as well.
There is a slight disadvantage if you are going to Pattaya from Don Muang airport, especially if you are on a budget or carrying a lot of luggage. You have less convenient ways for traveling to Pattaya.
But I’ve provided a 3 options for you and it all depends how much luggage you have with you:
Option A: city bus/sky train/pattaya bus (3 – 4 hours) This option is recommended for budget travelers with a backpack and small luggage.
Option A you’ll be taking a city bus to a Sky Train and onto another bus with the final destination of Pattaya.
When you’re heading out of Don Muang Airport look for the signs for the A1 and A2 bus stops sign. These orange air conditioned buses are clearly marked with it’s destination Mo Chit BTS station. The bus fare is 30THB and you pay the bus conductor. Make sure before you leave the airport to have some small change on hand.
A bus is available every 30 minutes (depending on traffic) from 7am to midnight.
A1 or A2 bus takes about 20 minutes to reach Mo Chit BTS station (if there is no traffic). At Mo Chit BTS station you take the Sky Train to Ekkamai Station. The train fare cost 42THB and the ride takes about 26 minutes. Keep in mind, the train rush hour can be horrible. Avoid taking the trains around 7am to 9am and 6pm to 8pm on weekdays.
Ekkamai Bus Terminal is right outside of the Ekkamai BTS station so you won’t have a hard time finding it. There are plenty of English signs pointing to the counter where you purchase a fare to directly to Pattaya.
What you want to buy is a First Class Bus Ticket to Pattaya which cost 124THB. First class bus goes directly to Pattaya after making one short stop at another nearby bus station. And there is space for plenty of luggage.
The bus will make a final stop at Pattaya Bus Terminal, located in North Pattaya. From there you are on your own for finding a way to your hotel. There are cheap Baht Buses (Songthaew) parked within the terminal that can take you along the main roads of Pattaya such as Beach Road. Baht buses charge about 50THB to Beach Road and area shared with other passengers mostly likely from the bus you came off of.
This option is the cheapest coming from Don Muang and cost under 250THB. Though it can take a decent amount of time because it involves 3 modes of transportation plus a bit of walking distance is involved. So this method could end up taking you about 3 to 4 hours to get to Pattaya.
Option B: City bus/sky train/mini bus (2 to 3 hours). This is also good for those with not a lot of luggage
This option involves taking the city bus to the BTS Sky Train to a mini bus station and final destination Pattaya.
Option B could potentially save you a 1 hour or more. At Don Muang Airport take the A1 or A2 bus to Mo Chit BTS Station. Take the Sky Train to Victory Monument BTS station, fare cost 31THB and takes about 8 minutes.
At Victory Monument BTS station, head to exit #4. Don’t worry even though the area looks very chaotic and crowded you can easily find the area where you can purchase a fare to Pattaya. There will be a lot of people which is why if you’re doing this option you shouldn’t have a lot of luggage with you.
You’re going to find a lot of shops selling mini bus tickets to Pattaya. Not all have the same price and service is pretty much the same as well as the quality of the vans. Prices for mini bus to Pattaya range from 90THB to 120THB.
Because these sales people deal with foreigners on a daily basis they can speak a fair amount of English. So don’t worry they will be able to help you and sort out which part of Pattaya you need to get to.
I mentioned this option can save you an hour compared to option A. However, there is no real set schedule to these mini buses regarding departure time. Drivers leave when the vehicle is full and these vehicles can hold up to 12 passengers. If you have slightly larger luggage there is some space in the back of the mini bus but if everyone inside has a lot of luggage you can expect to put your bag on your lap.
The advantage of Option B is that the mini bus driver can take you to your hotel, assuming it is easy to get to. If you’re staying within central Pattaya, meaning somewhere along Beach Road or Second Road and parts of North Pattaya the driver will normally be okay with taking you directly to where you’re staying.
Option C: Public Taxi at Don Muang Airport Straight to Pattaya
This is of course the easiest and most convenient way to get to Pattaya. Though you’ll pay for the convenience. However if your driver doesn’t want to turn on the meter it can be a total hassle. I highly recommend after you loaded your bags in the taxi, don’t close the door until the driver turns on the meter.
Just simply say to the driver “turn on meter”. If they play stupid get out of the taxi, get your bags and go back to the taxi kiosk to get another. There are a lot of taxis waiting and usually you will find one who will turn on their meter.
Public metered taxis from Don Muang will cost you between 1200THB to 1500THB including highway tolls and the journey takes about 1 hour 30 minutes. It’s not the cheapest option. However, most likely where ever you came from it’s a bargain.
Option D: hiring a private taxi advertised on internet or facebook
The private taxi option is the most expensive option but still reasonable. And when I mean private taxi I don’t mean the ones you find in Don Muang Airport. If you do a search on google or even Facebook for taxi Pattaya you’ll come across a handful of choices. Some of them charge 1200THB some charge 1500THB. I’ve even found some for 1000THB.
Though usually private taxi companies that charge cheaper rates don’t include tolls and gasoline. While a company that charges 1500THB one way includes them all.
I have used private taxis before from companies I’ve found on the internet. And even though they cost about 40% more than metered taxi I find that their services are good and stress free. They pick you up from the air port and drop you right off to your hotel in Pattaya.
Option E: Certain Chain Hotels in Bangkok Provide Free Mini Bus Rides A Sister Property in Pattaya
Lets say your plans don’t involve going to Pattaya from Don Muang airport directly and your plan is to stay near Bangkok’s red light district first. There is a popular chain of hotels in Bangkok run by the Dynasty Group that also run hotels in Pattaya.
By booking a Dynasty Group hotel in Bangkok you can get a free comfortable ride to their hotel in Pattaya. And their hotels are very good and the prices are reasonable too.
There are two hotels I recommend in the Dynasty Group and both are located right on Sukhumvit Soi 4 (Soi Nana) where the go go bars of Nana Entertainment Plaza (NEP) is situated. Both of these hotels allow hookers to visit guests in their rooms with no room penalty.
Dynasty Grande 1700THB/night: This is a 3 star hotel located just a few minutes walk to NEP but the hotel location is quiet. Many Thai freelancers can be found in the surrounding beer bars as well as the sidewalks. Click here to book this hotel.
2. Dawin Hotel 1800THB/night: This sister hotel is located not far from Dynasty Grande Hotel. So you’ll be near the same familiar places for find go go bars girls and Thai street hookers. Out of these two hotels, Dawin is better because it’s newer but it’s also a 3 star hotel as well. Click here to book this hotel.
After staying at either Dawin or Dynasty Grande Hotel in order for you to get that free mini bus ride to Pattaya you must book one of their hotels in Pattaya. And they have only one hotel called Dynasty Inn, located on Soi 13 near Second Road.
Dynasty Inn 1200THB/Night: This hotel has very reasonable room rates. Even though it is listed as 3 star hotel it’s more like a 2. However, it’s a clean hotel and really convenient because many oil massage parlors are nearby for happy endings and more.
Walking Street’s go go bars is nearby but Soi LK Metro’s go go bars are even closer. And yes Dynasty Inn Pattaya have no problem with hookers inside guest rooms too. Click here to book this hotel.