How to Get from Bangkok Airport to Pattaya

Depending on your time of arrival and how much you want to spend, there are a number of options for getting from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport to Pattaya. A comfortable air-conditioned bus will get you straight from the airport to Pattaya for as little as 106 Baht whilst a public taxi will cost around 1,400 Baht (as of April 2008). Journey time is between 1.5 – 2 hours. Having just returned from a few days in Pattaya I thought it would be helpful to post the current situation.

Bus to Pattaya

When Suvarnabhumi first opened in September 2006, getting a bus to Pattaya meant going via the transportation centre or getting an airport bus to Mo Chit or Ekamai bus terminal. Fortunately, it is a lot easier now with direct services available from Bangkok airport to Pattaya.

Government Bus Service
From the arrivals hall on Level 2, go down to Level 1 and walk towards door number 8. There is a counter inside the building which will sell you a ticket on the air-conditioned government bus service to Pattaya. The fare is 106 Baht 124 Baht (price checked September 2011) and the departure times are:

07.00
09.00
11.00
13.00
15.00
17.00
19.00
20.00
21.00
22.00 (stops at Pattaya north bus station only)

I haven’t yet taken this bus, but I asked at the counter and they told me it stops at all three bus stations in Pattaya: North Pattaya (Pattaya Nua), Central Pattaya (Sukhumvit Road) and Jomtien Beach where the service terminates. (Note: the 22.00 service only stops at Pattaya north bus station)
More details here »

Bell Transport Company
This is a private company who are part of Roong Reuang Coach Co. Ltd and run the service under license from the government. They seem to have a good reputation with the Pattaya expat crowd and I used them myself for my return trip from Pattaya to Bangkok airport. They don’t have an actual counter at Bangkok airport but you will see the sign with ‘Bell Travel Service’ which is located on Level 1, door number 8 very close to the government bus counter. The fare is 150 Baht 200 Baht (price checked September 2011) but this includes drop-off (via mini-bus) to your hotel in Pattaya. Their buses depart from Bangkok airport to Pattaya at the following times:

08.00
10.00
12.00
14.00
16.00
18.00

More details on the Bell Travel website.

Buses from the Public Transportation Centre
The Transportation Centre is approximately 10 minutes drive from the main terminal building. To get there take one of the regular free shuttle buses (white colour) from the allocated kerbside points on Level 1 (there is one just along from the Airport Express kiosk and another just opposite Bangkok airport’s best kept secret.) Some of the buses call at airport offices to set down or pick up airport staff. On arrival at the Transportation Centre head past the counters selling tickets for buses to destinations in Bangkok and continue towards the large 7-Eleven store. Just before 7-Eleven there is a kiosk for T.H.E. Transport Co. Ltd. This is who I used on my recent trip to Pattaya. The fare to Pattaya is 109 Baht 124 Baht (September 2011) with large comfortable buses which are air-conditioned and have a toilet on board.

The bus I took was the 11.00 which took 1 hour 45 minutes to reach the North Pattaya bus terminal where the service terminates. From the bus terminal a shared songthaew to central or south Pattaya is 20 Baht. One thing that impressed me this time on arrival at Pattaya bus station was the presence of tourist information staff (easily spotted in blue polo shirts) offering genuine and helpful advice to new arrivals at the bus terminal.

Update September 2011:
Please note that since this report was originally written in 2008, things have changed slightly with regards to the service from the Public Transportation Centre (PTC). It appears that all Pattaya bus services commence from the PTC before calling at Level 1, door Number 8 to pick up all other passengers. Times from the PTC are:

06.50
08:50
10.50
12:50
14:50
16:50
18:50
19:50
20:50

More details here »

Public Taxi to Pattaya

The public taxi counter at Bangkok airport is located on Level 2 (the same level as arrivals). The counter is actually just a small desk set up on the kerbside just outside of the terminal building. Join the queue and when you reach the desk you will be asked where you want to go. The person at the counter will then write out a ticket, hand it to you and allocate your taxi. This ticket will have the price of your fare written down because it is a set fare to Pattaya and is not charged on the meter. You do not hand over money to the person at the counter; instead you pay the driver on arrival in Pattaya. The last time I used a public taxi from Bangkok airport to Pattaya was in July 2007 and the price was 1,300 Baht (including expressway tolls) but I’m advised by Pattaya regulars that the current price as of April 2008 is 1,400 Baht.

As the taxi drivers are Bangkok-based they may have limited knowledge of Pattaya’s streets and hotels, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself stopping at a service station in Pattaya whilst the driver asks for directions to your hotel.

AOT Limousine Service

An official AOT (Airports of Thailand) limousine service to Pattaya will set you back around 3,000 – 3.500 Baht. Kiosks are available from inside the terminal building near baggage reclaim and again as you enter the arrivals hall.

Unlicensed Taxis

Despite occasional clampdowns by airport authorities, there are still large numbers of taxi touts inside the arrivals hall so be prepared to be approached by somebody offering you a taxi service. My advice is to just ignore them and make your way outside to the official taxi counter or use the bus services mentioned above.