From Bangkok, a beach escape doesn’t get as convenient as Pattaya. The seaside resort town is just two hours away by car from downtown, and even closer from Suvarnabhumi International Airport, the latter just 90 minutes away. Pattaya may not be as postcard-blissful as southern Thai destinations such as Koh Samui or Krabi, but its proximity to Bangkok and developed infrastructure ensures there’s something for everyone, any time of year.
Getting to Pattaya by plane
The closest airport to Pattaya is U-Tapao International Airport (technically in the neighbouring province of Rayong), a 40-minute drive past Pattaya City. Regional airlines link the city in the Gulf of Thailand to domestic destinations of Chiang Mai, Phuket, Udon Thani, and Koh Samui. International travellers can also bypass Bangkok and fly into U-Tapao directly from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.
Getting to Pattaya by taxi
To get to Pattaya, flag down any taxi in Bangkok, or at Suvarnabhumi Airport – rates start from around THB 1,200 for a one-way journey. You can also hail a ride from your ride-sharing app from the capital city, or go through any of the private taxi companies plying this well-trodden route between Bangkok and Pattaya. If it’s your first time to the country and you need additional peace of mind, the concierge at your hotel in Bangkok will be able to arrange for transportation.
Getting to Pattaya by bus
If you’re travelling by yourself or with just one other person, a more cost effective way to get to Pattaya from Bangkok is by bus leaving from the Eastern Bangkok Bus Terminal, located just off Ekamai BTS skytrain station. Buses depart from here very regularly (approximately every half an hour); similarly priced buses also depart from the Northern Bus Terminal and the Southern Bus Terminal at less regular hours. Tickets for an air-conditioned bus costs just over THB 100 per passenger. There’s also a bus to Pattaya that departs Suvarnabhumi Airport four times a day for THB 130 per passenger. Pattaya Bus Station is less than 10 minutes by car from COSI Pattaya Wong Amat Beach.
Getting to Pattaya by minibus
From the Eastern Bangkok Bus Terminal in Bangkok, travellers have another option to get to Pattaya – minibuses, similarly priced to the buses. Pros: Slightly faster than the buses, and you can ask to hop off in Pattaya along the route (as opposed to getting off at the Pattaya Bus Terminal). Cons: Less roomy, and less space for luggage.
Getting to Pattaya by boat
Travellers going between the seaside towns of Hua Hin and Pattaya can skip Bangkok altogether – and the 5-hour journey on land – and instead commute by boat across the Gulf of Thailand. Launched in 2017, a ferry service linking the two destinations brings beachgoers from Hua Hin to the Bali Hai Pier in South Pattaya in just two hours.