Traveling from Bangkok to Pattaya is pretty straightforward. You can make the trip by bus, minivan, or Taxi. The easiest and most affordable way to travel to Pattaya is to take the bus. Busses regularly depart from the Ekkamai bus terminal in Bangkok. It’s located just off Sukhumvit Road. You can easily get to the station with the BTS Skytrain. A bus ticket from Bangkok to Pattaya cost 131 baht ($3.75). Busses depart every 20-30 minutes all day long. The ride takes around 2-2.5 hours, depending on traffic. The bus will drop you off at North Pattaya bus station.
In this guide, I’ll explain how to travel from Bangkok to Pattaya, step-by-step. I’ll include information on station locations, travel costs, departure times, and more. I’ve made this journey many times over the years. In this guide, I’ll share my experience.
Visiting Pattaya makes for a great getaway from Bangkok. Pattaya also offers some excellent nightlife, beautiful islands, great Thai food, and some decent beaches. There are loads of things to do in Pattaya City.
Table of Contents
- Bangkok to Pattaya by Bus
- Bangkok to Pattaya by Minivan
- Taking a Taxi, Limo, or Private Car to Pattaya
- Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport to Pattaya
- Bangkok to Pattaya by Train
- How to Travel From Pattaya Back to Bangkok
- Renting a Car and Driving to Pattaya
I also made this YouTube video to outline the main points in the article.
Bangkok to Pattaya By Bus
The cheapest and most popular way to travel from Bangkok to Pattaya is to take the bus. Buses depart from the Ekkamai Bus Terminal (the Eastern Bus Terminal), the Northern Bus Terminal, and the Southern Bus Terminal in Bangkok.
If you’re staying near Sukhumvit Road, the Ekkamai Bus Terminal is the most convenient option. If you’re staying near Khao San Road, the Southern Bus Terminal is the most convenient way to get to Pattaya.
There are buses leaving to Pattaya every 10-60 minutes depending on demand and the time of day. The services run from 5 am to 11 pm every day. You never have to wait too long. Currently, a bus ticket from Bangkok to Pattaya costs 131 Baht (about $3.75). The ride takes around 2 and a half hours. The buses are run by a company called Roong Reuang Coach. They are also known as Pattaya Bus.
How to Get to the Bus Station
You can easily get to the bus terminal with the BTS Skytrain. It’s located on Sukhumvit Road in the Ekkamai neighborhood. Take the train to the Ekkamai stop. From there, it’s a 5 minute walk to the station. You can also take a taxi or Grab to the terminal. This may be a better option if you have a lot of luggage.
Here is the location of Ekkamai Bus Terminal on Google Maps.
Buying Your Ticket
Once you get to the station, you can buy your ticket at the window. You do not need to book in advance. You can just show up and buy a ticket anytime. Tickets are always available, even the busy seasons and during holidays. If one bus fills up, you can get a ticket on the next. Because there are so many departures, you shouldn’t have to wait more than 20 minutes.
The Bus Ride
Once you get your ticket, look at the departure time, bus number, and your seat number to help you find your bus and your seat. The station is small so it isn’t difficult to find your bus.
You will be assigned a seat. You don’t get to choose your seat. The ticketing agent just issues the seats in order. If you’re traveling with someone, you will get to sit together.
There are some shops at the station where you can buy snacks and drinks. There are also bathrooms available. It costs 10 baht to use the bathroom. There is also seating.
About 10 minutes before the departure time, you can board the bus. It’s a pretty efficient process. A baggage handler will tag your luggage. An attendant will check your ticket before you board.
The bus ride is easy and comfortable. These are air-conditioned buses. The ride normally takes about two hours. If traffic is heavy, it can take up to 3 hours. The distance from Bangkok to Pattaya is only 91 miles or 147 kilometers.
Before you board the bus, be sure to use the bathroom and have something to eat. There are no bathrooms on the bus. The bus doesn’t make any stops along the way.
This isn’t a very scenic ride. It’s flat. For the first hour or so, you’ll be dealing with Bangkok traffic. After that, you’ll mostly pass through developed areas. There aren’t any ocean views.
You can bring one large piece of luggage and one carry-on with you. The large piece of luggage will be stored under the bus. You can store the carry-on by your feet or in the overhead space if it fits.
If your main piece of luggage is small, like a carry-on-sized roller suitcase or a 40-liter backpack, there is no charge. If you bring a large suitcase or backpack or if your luggage is overweight, you will have to pay 20 baht extra.
Arriving in Pattaya
The buses arrive at North Pattaya Bus Terminal (the main station in Pattaya). The bus terminal is located about 3.8 km (2.3 miles) from Central Pattaya.
From the bus station, the cheapest way to get to the city center is to take a songathaew (shared pick up truck taxi). The taxis leave when they’re full. You shouldn’t have to wait more than 10-15 minutes. The songathew will drop you off right at your Pattaya hotel or pretty much anywhere on Beach Road. The ride costs 50 baht.
Depending on traffic and where the other passengers are going, the ride to central Pattaya or walking street takes around 15-20 minutes.
If you’re in a hurry, you can also take a motorcycle taxi. These cost around 80-100 baht to anywhere in Pattaya.
If you prefer, you can also take a private taxi. You will find drivers waiting around the bus terminal. You can also order a Grab. Taxis and Grab are slightly more expensive in Pattaya than they are in Bangkok.
Bangkok to Pattaya by Minivan
Another option is to take a minivan from Bangkok to Pattaya. The minivan services are slightly more expensive than the big buses. The ride costs around 170 baht. The minivans leave from the same place as the big bus, Ekkamai bus terminal.
There are a couple of advantages to taking a minivan over the big bus. First, it’s a bit faster. The ride takes around 2 hours. The bus usually takes around 30 minutes longer.
Another advantage is that the minivan driver will also drop you off at your hotel in Pattaya. You won’t have to take a songathew. Some minibus services will also pick you up at your hotel in Bangkok. You may be able to arrange this through your hotel.
Keep in mind that most drivers speak very little English so you should either know which soi (street or alley) your Pattaya hotel is on. Alternatively, you could tell the driver a landmark near your hotel. For example, if you’re staying in central Pattaya, you could ask the driver to drop you off at Central Festival, which is a big shopping mall near the city center.
The main drawback to taking the minivan is that luggage space is limited. If you have a big suitcase, you may be asked to pay for a second seat. In that case, you’re better off taking the big bus. Another drawback is that the minibus may not be quite as safe as the big bus. Some of the drivers go too fast. The minivans are also much less comfortable than the bus. They are cramped. Particularly if you’re on the taller side. Leg room is lacking.
Bangkok to Pattaya by Taxi, Grab, Limo, or Private Car
If you prefer private transport, you can also take a taxi from Bangkok to Pattaya. This is significantly more expensive than taking the bus. The taxi ride from Central Bangkok to Pattaya will cost around 1500-2000 baht ($43-$58). If the driver uses the meter, it should be around 1500 baht. The trip takes around 1 hour and 40 minutes if traffic is light.
Many taxi drivers won’t use the meter. They will try to negotiate a rate with you. Usually, the ride will cost 1500-1800 depending on how well you negotiate. The trip from Suvarnabhumi International Airport is a little cheaper. Expect to pay around 1200 baht.
In addition to the fare, you will have to pay the expressway fees. The highway between Bangkok and Pattaya is a toll road.
There are also black car services available. These usually cost around 1600-2000 baht, depending on the company you use. Limousine service is also available at a higher rate.
The benefit of taking a taxi is that they will pick you up at your Bangkok hotel and drop you off at your hotel in Pattaya. You won’t have to make any transfers. It’s stress-free. It’s also faster. You don’t have to wait for any other passengers.
Taking a Grab to Pattaya
You can also order a Grab to Pattaya. The trip costs around 1650-2000 baht depending on where you’re starting your trip. This is extremely convenient because you can simply order from your phone. You don’t have to negotiate. Personally, I recommend taking a Grab over taking a taxi if you want to take private transport.
How to Travel from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport to Pattaya
If you want to travel directly from Bangkok Airport to Pattaya, you can. There is a direct bus that connects Suvarnabhumi Airport and Pattaya. The bus trip costs around 143 baht ($4.15). The ride takes about 2 hours. You can buy tickets online in advance or in person at the airport.
The Suvarnabhumi to Pattaya bus leaves hourly between 7 am and 9 pm. The bus departs from the arrivals area around Gate 8 on level 1.
The bus drops you off at Jomtien Bus Station in Pattaya. From there, you can take a songathew, taxi, or motorcycle taxi to your hotel in Pattaya.
You can also take this bus from Pattaya directly back to Suvarnabhumi Airport. You can catch airport-bound buses from both Jomtien Bus Station and the North Bus Terminal in Pattaya. This is a great option if you want to skip Bangkok altogether and just spend your time in Pattaya.
If you fly into Bangkok’s other airport, Don Mueang, you can take the free shuttle bus to Suvarnabhumi Airport and then catch the bus to Pattaya. The shuttle bus operates hourly from 5 am until midnight. You can catch the free shuttle at the 1st Floor of the passenger terminal at Don Meuang. It will drop you off at the passenger terminal on the 4th Floor, Gate 5 of Suvarnabhumi Airport. From there, you can walk to the Pattaya bus pickup location on level 1 Gate 8.
For more info or to buy tickets, visit the airport bus website here.
Bangkok to Pattaya By Train
It is also possible to travel from Bangkok to Pattaya by train. This is the cheapest way to make the trip. An ordinary ticket costs just 31 baht.
There are two trains. The ordinary train (train #283) leaves at 6:55 every day. The rapid train (train #997) leaves at 6:45 am on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
The reason that the train isn’t very popular for this trip is because it only leaves before 7:00 am. Most people don’t want to get up that early. Particularly on the weekends.
The train is also slow. The ordinary train takes about 3.5 hours to travel from Bangkok to Pattaya. The rapid train takes about 2.5 hours. Both trains make lots of stops along the way. They also regularly arrive up to 1 hour late. The benefit of taking the train is that it’s more comfortable than the bus. You can get up and move around a bit. There are also bathrooms.
You can purchase tickets for the ordinary train #283 at the station when you want to travel. Tickets aren’t sold in advance. There are no reserved seats. Tickets cost 31 baht. This is basically a commuter train.
You can buy tickets for the rapid weekend train #997 online in advance. A ticket for the rapid train costs around 170 baht. If you plan to take this train, you should book in advance. Tickets do sell out.
The ordinary train has bench seats and open windows and fans for cooling. There is no air conditioning. There are toilets. No food or drinks are available on the train but vendors may walk through occasionally. The rapid train has 2nd class seating with reclining seats and air conditioning.
Once you arrive in Pattaya, you can take a songathew, taxi, Grab, or motorcycle taxi to your hotel. The train station is located a bit outside the city.
You can also travel back to Bangkok by train. The ordinary train departs Pattaya at 14:21 every day. The rapid train departs at 16:26.
In the future, the train trip should improve. Thailand has plans to build high speed rail. When this is complete, there will be multiple trips per day and the journey will take under an hour.
How to Travel From Pattaya Back to Bangkok
You have all of the same transport options back to Bangkok from Pattaya. To take the bus, catch a, motorcycle taxi, taxi, or Grab back to the Northern Bus Terminal.
The songathew will cost 50-100 baht. If there are other passengers going to the bus terminal, it will cost 50 baht. If you’re the only one going to the bus terminal, most drivers will ask for 100 baht. A motorcycle taxi will cost 80-100 baht. A taxi or Grab will cost a bit more.
Once you arrive at the station, buy your ticket (131 baht) and wait for your bus. There is a dedicated window for buses to Bangkok Ekkamai bus terminal. It’s a small bus station. You won’t have any trouble finding the ticket window or the bus. Everything is well marked.
At the station, you’ll find seating, some shops where you can buy snacks and drinks, and a bathroom that you can use for 10 baht. Buses depart every 20 or 30 minutes all day long. The earliest bus leaves at 4:30 am. The last bus leaves at around 9:30 pm.
If you’re traveling during a busy period, like a Sunday or during holidays, you might have to wait in line to buy your ticket. The last time I made the trip, I traveled on a Sunday and I had to wait for around 15 minutes.
If you want to take a minibus back to Bangkok, head to Central Festival in Pattaya. The minibus station is located near the back entrance on Second Road. Minibuses depart from 6 am to 10 pm every 30-60 minutes depending on demand. They depart when they’re full. Tickets cost around 170 baht.
If you prefer private transport, you can take a taxi back to Bangkok. Most drivers charge around 2500 baht (around $72.50). The fare back to Bangkok is higher because there are fewer taxis available in Pattaya. Taxis are a bit more expensive in Pattaya as well. There are also black car and limo services available if you prefer a bit more luxury.
Travel time back to Bangkok will be around 2.5 hours. If traffic is heavy, it can take up to 3 hours if you take the bus. If possible, avoid traveling on Sundays and during the early evening. Traffic is heaviest during these times.
Renting a Car and Driving to Pattaya
It’s also possible to rent a car and drive yourself to Pattaya. It’s a relatively easy drive. The road is well maintained. If you rent a car at Suvarnabhumi Airport and drive straight to Pattaya, you can avoid most Bangkok traffic.
All of the large international rental agencies have offices in Bangkok including Hertz, Budget, SIXT, Avis, National, etc. It’s a good idea to book online in advance to get the best price.
To rent a car and drive in Thailand, you will need an international driver’s license. You will also need a credit card. There is also a minimum age of 23 at most agencies. Some agencies will rent to people as young as 21.
Keep in mind that in Thailand, you drive on the left. If you’re not used to driving on that side of the road, you might not want to rent a car.
It’s a good idea to buy full coverage insurance if you rent a car. Fender benders and minor accidents are common in Thailand. There are lots of narrow roads and scooters zooming around. I recommend you rent a compact car so you can navigate narrow alleys.
Personally, I don’t like driving in foreign countries. I find it stressful. It is an option for those who want the freedom of having their own transportation.
Flying from Bangkok to Pattaya
It is possible to fly from Bangkok to Pattaya. A number of airlines offer direct flights including Bangkok Airways, Thai AirAsia, and Thai Lion Air. The flight takes just 37 minutes. Tickets start at around $130. Flying doesn’t really make sense for this short of a trip. It’s faster and less stressful to just take a taxi.
My Experience Traveling Between Bangkok and Pattaya by Bus
I’ve made the trip between Bangkok and Pattaya many times over the years. I find the bus to be the easiest and most affordable option. When I stay in Bangkok, I usually stay on Sukhumvit Road. From there, the Ekkamai bus terminal is easy to access with the BTS Skytrain. Sometimes, I just walk there from my hotel.
Buses depart frequently all day. I never have to wait more than 20 minutes. The buses also depart on time. The station is reasonably clean and organized. The buses aren’t the newest or the most comfortable but they’re fine. The trip always goes smoothly. For 131 baht, I can’t complain.
I have taken a taxi before. To me, it’s not worth the extra cost. I haven’t ridden this route in a minivan but I have taken minivans in other parts of Thailand. I don’t really like them because there is no legroom. I’m fairly tall so I find the bus to be more comfortable.
As you can see, there are plenty of options when it comes to traveling between Bangkok and Pattaya. You can take a bus, minivan, taxi, or train. You can also drive yourself in a rental car or even fly.
For most travelers, the Bangkok to Pattaya bus is the best option. Buses leave frequently all day long. You don’t need to book in advance. The station is conveniently located near Sukhumvit Road. Tickets are also cheap and the trip is relatively fast.
If you’re in a hurry or if you prefer private transportation, I recommend Grab. Alternatively, you can take a taxi.
Consider asking your hotel reception for recommendations. Hotels can arrange transport for you. In most cases, hotel pickup will be included. They sometimes have some pretty good deals.
Have you taken the bus from Bangkok to Pattaya? Share your experience in the comments below!
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Zachary Friedman is an accomplished travel writer and professional blogger. Since 2011, he has traveled to 66 countries and 6 continents. He founded ‘Where The Road Forks’ in 2017 to provide readers with information and insights based on his travel and outdoor recreation experience and expertise. Zachary is also an avid cyclist and hiker. Living as a digital nomad, Zachary balances his professional life with his passions for hiking, camping, cycling, and worldwide exploration. For a deeper dive into his journey and background, visit the About page. For inquiries and collaborations, please reach out through the Contact page. You can also follow him on Facebook.