Separated by the Gulf of Siam, the two resort towns are connected by direct bus, van and passenger ferry routes. You can reach Hua Hin from Pattaya by train, too, but you will need to connect via Bangkok what means longer travel time. The overland distance between Pattaya and Hua Hin is about 350 km but as far as it requires to pass through the outskirts of Bangkok traffic can be thick and the whole journey takes between 5 and 6 hours if you travel by bus and costs under THB500. A ferry will whisk you to Hua Hin in mere 2 and a half hour for THB1,250 up.
Ferry from Pattaya to Hua Hin
A passenger ferry between Pattaya and Hua Hin was launched in January 2017 and since then it is by far the fastest way to travel between the two destinations. The ferry makes one daily trip in each direction. It leaves Pattaya at 1pm and takes between 2 and 3 hours to reach Hua Hin depending on the sea conditions. Tickets cost from THB1,250 and up – there are VIP cabins on offer, too.
In Pattaya, the ferry leaves from Bali Hai pier located very centrally close to Walking Street and docks at Khao Ta Kiab pier in Hua Hin.
Note that when the sea is rough, those prone to seasickness do feel sick. Come prepared and take your medicine in advance.
Buses from Pattaya to Hua Hin
The only bus company that serves Pattaya–Hua Hin route direct is Bell Travel. They offer daily departures from Pattaya Northern Bus Station located in Pattaya North Road, 250 m from Sukhumvit Rd. The bus leaves at 11am and brings you to Hua Hin by 4.30pm. The route is served by a VIP24 bus with 3 seats per row what ensures quite a comfortable ride with plenty of leg space. Tickets cost THB470. In Hua Hin, Bell Travel buses arrive and depart from RRC Bus Station 400 m north of Hua Hin Airport on route 4.
Apart from the direct Pattaya–Hua Hin bus there are passing by buses including Yellow Bus which calls both to Pattaya and Hua Hin on their Rayong–Donsak route. It can be slightly inconvenient schedule-wise as the bus to Donsak leaves Pattaya at 8pm and gets to Hua Hin in the small hours, but it costs slightly less.
Other options include changing buses in Bangkok. Take a bus from Pattaya to Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal Sai Tai Mai or Ekkamai (THB150-200; 2-2,5 hours) and then hop onto any south-bound bus heading to Chumphon, Suratthani or Hat Yai from there. Travel time should be between 6 and 8 hours depending on your connection.
Note that it is also possible to connect via Suvarnabhumi airport. Both Bell Travel and 387 Bus run regular buses to the airport (2 hours; THB150-270). You may want to consider this option if you are based in Jomtien in Pattaya as 387 Bus leaves from there. Similarly, to get to Hua Hin from Suvarnabhumi airport there are buses every other hour till 7.30pm (4 hours; THB340).
Vans from Pattaya and Hua Hin
There are direct vans from Pattaya to Hua Hin leaving from South Pattaya Road Soi 10. Normally they depart every 2 hours from 8am till 4pm and cost THB400 but they are not bookable online or in advance and operate on first come–first served bases.
Another option to reach Hua Hin by van is to travel via Bangkok. There are frequent van departures to all the three Bangkok bus terminals from Pattaya, but it is probably even more convenient to get to Bangkok by big bus as described above and then switch onto a van.
There are a number of van companies serving Bangkok–Hua Hin route. JKP Morchit operates from Morchit Bus Terminal (THB220; 4 hours); Malee Van have frequent departures from Southern Bus Terminal (THB180; 3 hours); Nor Neane Transport leave from Ekkamai (4 hours) and can bring you to your hotel in Hua Hin (THB280).
Taxi from Pattaya to Hua Hin
Taxi fare for Pattaya–Hua Hin trips fluctuates within THB3,000 for a 3-passenger car to THB4,600 for a minivan. Some of the recommended companies include Glassflower and Hua Hin Cars.
Train from Pattaya to Hua Hin
While it is possible to get from Pattaya to Bangkok by train it is not really recommended. There is 1 departure a day at 2pm arriving to Bangkok at 6.20pm; 3 class seat only; THB50. If you are longing for a new experience, go ahead. In Bangkok, the train will bring you to Hua Lamphong train station where you can hop onto another train to Hua Hin (4 hours).