Sitting only 150 km south of Bangkok along the Eastern Seaboard Pattaya is easily reached from the capital by bus, van or taxi. The travel time is between 2 and 3 hours and it is highly dependent on traffic and on the route as some buses call to Chonburi, Sri Racha or Laem Chabang on the way and others go direct. There are big buses to Pattaya from all the three bus terminals in Bangkok, all arriving to Pattaya Northern Bus Station plus a direct transfer from Suvarnabhumi airport. For more flexibility opt for Bangkok–Pattaya van. Vans leave from different locations throughout Bangkok and some bring you right into the centre of Pattaya. Bus and van tickets to Pattaya cost between THB120 and THB400. Taxi remains the fastest and plushest way to travel door-to-door with prices fluctuating from THB1,700 for a 3-passenger car to THB4,000 for a private van accommodating up to 9 pax.
One of the best motorways in the whole country, motorway 7, links Bangkok to Chonburi and Pattaya, so getting from Bangkok to Pattaya by bus, by taxi or by private car is usually smooth as silk.
From Bangkok to Pattaya by bus
There are three major bus terminals in Bangkok: the southern Sai Tai Mai, the northern Morchit and the eastern Ekkamai, the two latter being the most convenient option for getting from Bangkok to Pattaya due to their location. Buses to Pattaya leave throughout the day and seats sell out quickly as the route enjoys great popularity both with locals and foreign travellers.
Ekkamai bus terminal is the most logical starting point if you are heading to the Eastern Seaboard. It is conveniently located by the eponymous BTS station. Buses from Ekkamai may bring you to Pattaya in mere two hours, but to be more realistic, consider three hours as a norm as they often detour from motorway to let passengers get off in Chonburi, Sri Racha or Laem Chabang. Pattaya Bus operates three buses from Ekkamai – in the morning (9.30am), in the afternoon (1.30pm) and in the evening (5.30pm), all at THB127.
Morchit, located in the north of the capital, is a convenient choice if you stay anywhere in the area or arrive to the bus terminal by a shuttle bus from Don Mueang airport. Note that regardless the fact that there is a BTS station of the same name, you will need to take a bus or a taxi for a short ride to the bus terminal from BTS Morchit. Buses from Morchit take about three hours to reach Pattaya and also cost THB127 with Pattaya Bus company. There are three buses a day at 9am, 1pm and 5pm.
In Pattaya, buses arrive to the Northern bus station located in North Pattaya Road, 200 m from Sukhumvit intersection. To get to the city from there you have a choice of songthaews (THB40 per person), motorbike taxis or normal taxis – always negotiate the cost of your ride in advance.
From Bangkok to Pattaya by train
Technically, it is also possible. There is a morning train #283 which leaves Bangkok at 6.55am and arrives to Pattaya at 10.34am. It makes plenty of stops on the way and in general not a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Prepare to spend about four hours in a third class fan seats only carriage and do not expect breath-taking views. But true, you will have a lot of opportunities for exciting people watching. Out of all Pattaya train stations the most picturesque one is probably Huay Yai train station. And yes, tickets are dirt-cheap.
From Bangkok to Pattaya by taxi
If you travel with a lot of luggage or with a large family or a group of friends, consider taking a taxi which will bring you from Bangkok to Pattaya door-to-door. We recommend the company Glassflower because of their excellent service, comfortable and clean cars, best prices and their understanding that the safety of the passenger comes first. Glassflower also has minivan available that can accommodate groups with up to 12