Bangkok to Pattaya - How to go?
For lots of visitors Bangkok is missed off the trip to Thailand which is a great shame. This is far more likely for anyone who heads straight out from the airport to one of the islands or simply goes on to Pattaya, Koh Samet or Koh Chang.
With the new airport now on the eastern side of the city this is far more likely to happen than in the past when the international airport was to the north of Bangkok.
So, how easy is it to go for a few days in Bangkok from Pattaya? The answer is it is very easy but there are very big differences between the big city life of Bangkok and the relatively easy going lifestyle of Pattaya.
To get from Pattaya to Bangkok there are plenty of options and most are reasonably priced.
Air Con Bus
This is by far the most popular way. There are blue air conditioned buses leaving the bus station every half hour and they have two destinations:
Ekkamai: This is on the eastern side of Bangkok, on Sukhumvit Road. The bust station is right next to the Ekamai Skytrain station so from there it is an easy trip into the centre of town. As an example, the station ate Sukhumvit is just 6 stops down the line and costs 35 Baht. All the major hotels are in this area, both expensive and cheap. Just down the escalator fro Sukhumvit Skytrain is the entrance to the underground MRT, and from there its another easy trip to other parts of Bangkok . Journey time is about 2-2 1/2 hours depending on traffic in Bangkok
Mo Chit: This is the other air con bus destination, and the one many of the Isaan bar workers use because it is also the station for buses to the North East, and their home villages. The journey time is similar to the bus to Ekamai, but the connections to the city are not quite so good. The Skytrain station Mo Chit is quite close but not walking distance as is the MRT Station at Chutajuk. This is where the famous weekend market operates, so maybe a day out at the market is something to consider.
The bus tickets are bought from the ticket office at the bus station, and the various destinations are posted above the windows in both Thai and English. The fare from Pattaya to Bangkok is now around 110 Baht. Seats are allocated by number, so if you are one of the last to buy a ticket for the time of bus on the ticket, then the chances are you will be near the back or on the back row. This is not wonderful but bearable for a couple of hours.
There are no comfort breaks and the sole purpose of the driver is to get that bus to Bangkok, regardless of traffic. Some very creative, but generally safe driving is done by these drivers. To get to the Pattaya -Bangkok bus station, take a Baht Bus ( 20 baht from the Dolphin roundabout) or hire one just for your own use at 80 Baht. Motorbike taxis ply a regular service from the centre of Pattaya to the bus station.
There are regular ‘ordinary’ buses travelling along Sukhumvit Rd in Pattaya and these include non air conditioned red buses. Cheap but not so comfortable for a 2 hour journey
There is one train a day passing through Pattaya Railway station. Apparently it is scheduled to arrive and leave Pattaya at 2.50pm. The fare is 100 Baht, but this service is something not too may go for..
Thai Airlines Van
This would be good if the van went into Bangkok but obviously it is there to serve airline passengers and goes to Suvunarbhumi Airport, some way short of Bangkok city centre. It would then require a taxi from the airport or a long trip over to the regular bus station for the trip into town.
The good news is that the taxis from Pattaya to Bangkok are roughly half the price of the comparative fare in the other direction. All along Beach Road and Second road there are signs offering a taxi rate to Bangkok of between 800 and 1000 Baht. The reason being that having brought one fare to Pattaya the driver needs to get a fare for the return, so cuts the rate. Any hotel will arrange for a pick up direct from the lobby. The fare does not include toll fees, and these can reach 120 baht, depending on which part of Bangkok a passenger needs to go to. One point worth remembering is that should your journey be an early morning one, make sure the driver looks sufficiently alert as some of these guys drive Bangkok to Pattaya and back overnight and sometimes get very tired. The last thing anyone wants is a sleepy taxi driver doing 140Kph down the expressway
Hotels and travel agents sometimes promote a service which is really not that great, and that is the hotel van service to Bangkok. It is not a personal service and all that happens is the van picks guests up from a lot of hotels in Pattaya and then takes them to the bus station where a bus goes on to Bangkok. In truth you may as well get the air con bus which goes from the same bus station. There are vans which go to Victory Monument in Bangkok, so the best advise is to ask the hotel for times of the direct service.