To reach Pattaya there are only two mode of transport bus and a car. There are no direct trains as of now. The airport of Pattaya is still not a very favourite mode of transport. It is also 30 Kms away from Pattaya. However, why spend more when you can reach Pattaya in hundred and thirty Bahts. A taxi cost around 1000-1200 THB, whereas airfare is 1200 THB onwards. The Pattaya airport is U-tapao (UTP).
Maximum packages which are sold for Thailand have Pattaya in common. The most common package is four nights which has two nights in Bangkok and two nights in Pattaya. Travel packages which are bought from portals or travel agents usually have transfers as part of packages. These transfers are done in `Tempo Travelers’ which has a max capacity of 10 people. If you are couple or friends you share this tempo with other people.
Phuket now has direct flights from Delhi and Mumbai. Earlier you have to make a stop in Bangkok. Hence the visit to Pattaya was a favourite choice, but not anymore.
Now, coming back to reaching Pattaya in Hundred and Thirty Bahts, this is how you do it. The bus – it is available from Suvarnabhumi Airport. You don’t even have to get out of the airport. Moreover, you don’t have to pre-book, just walk to the counter. The timings are listed below. You can also check details here.
Once you land, complete the visa formalities and go through immigration formalities. Once done, pick up your checking luggage. They conveyers are just in front of you as your get out of the immigration counter. You are on level 2 as of now; your destination is level 1. Head towards gate 3 on level 2, most of the transfers happens from gate 3. As you reach gate three look on your right you will find Seven Eleven Store. This is where you can buy cheap water, 7 THB for 650ml and 12 THB for 1.5 L water bottle. You can buy other eatables as well, they sell very good sandwiches.
Here you will find escalators one going up to level 3, the one going down will take it to your destination level 1 gate no.8. On level 3 you will get food from KFC, Mac Donald’s, Starbucks and other international food brands. If you want to eat Thai Street food (which is cheap too) then head towards level 1. As you go down the escalators you will see gate no.4 of level 1. Head towards left and you will reach gate no. 8 which is also the last gate on level 1.
You will see two counter separated by the ribbon. The first one takes you to the counter which sells tickets for Hua Hin (a place near Pattaya). The second one will lead you to the Pattaya counter. Buy your ticket at the counter for 130 THB and wait for your bus. The buses leave every half hour. Just next to these counters you will also see that you can buy tickets for Khao San Road in Bangkok.
While you wait for your bus, just look to your left you see Airport Street Food. This place is fantastic. You will find all sorts of Thai Street Food at very reasonable prices. You can eat or pack your food for the onward journey to Pattaya. Just next to food court are the washrooms, just for the last minute tinkle.
You have to wait in front the counter where you have bought the ticket. They will call you once your bus arrives. They will escort you to the bus. You can carry only small backpack inside. The storage space above the seat is very small. If you have large luggage just hand your bag to the guy. He will put them in the bus storage. The bus has very comfortable seats. They have good leg room also. To reach your seat it might be a problem for big people. It was very narrow (that was the only negative). Now, the biggest excuse I have come across for not going by bus is the washroom. People with small bladder or sugar patients don’t opt for bus. The good news is that these buses have an inbuilt toilet as well (Yeahhh).
The bus journey was very comfortable. The bus air conditioning was kept at the right temperature.
Once you reach Pattaya, take a 10 THB Tuk-Tuk to reach your destination. Do not fall for the guys standing outside they will charge 100 THB onwards. Our destination was Sabai Lodge and Hotel in north Pattaya. We paid 20 THB each to reach our hotel. We had to change tuk-tuk as he was not going in the same direction.
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