My travel companion and I are flying from Samui to Pattaya and would like to continue on to Trat (and the Cambodian border) via bus. I have noticed that the airport in Pattaya is located well east of town, and I am wondering if we can catch a bus from near the airport. How and where can we catch a bus heading to Trat? Also, does anyone know a rough cost for this bus trip?
#1 jbanana has been a member since 7/12/2007. Posts: 2
Pattaya's airport (Utapao) is miles out of town - miles, from memory it's about an hour by taxi into Pattaya, but it's been a long time since I've done that trip.
I'd recommend transfer into Pattaya bus station and then get a bus from there to Trat. I don't know the fare, but would guess somewhere around 100-150B for an air-con bus to Trat
The chances of getting a bus from Utapao is NIL .
It isnt even close enough to the road to wave one down .
Also , all the Guys I know that use Utapao regularly make sure they have a taxi booked , as they are normally pretty scarce.
I would be tempted to get a taxi to Rayong bus station rather than Pattaya , but to be honest I am guessing .
You'll need to get a minibus into Pattaya - about 45 min or more to town.
From Pattaya there is a bus service but I don't have details...however if you're going to Koh Chang, it's not necessary to go to Trat.
Any travel shop or hotel will book you on a minibus to the Koh Chang ferries direct...I guess about 250/300.
The journey time will be about 4.5 hours once you clear Pattaya (picking up other passengers from their hotels).
If you need to stay inn Pattaya (reccommended!) you can get a basic double room with air, TV, ensuite etc for 450/500 baht. Over 650 you should get a pool.
If you go to Trat you then have to get a Song taew or some other form of transport to the ferry so that will take time.
There are some cute guest houses in Trat if you arrive there too late for the ferry.
The last ferry over is meant to be about 7 pm but in October they were finishing a bit earlier than that.
I'd recommend you book a room for your first night on Koh Chang as it's a real hassle trying to find a place without wheels if you arrive "unannounced". room on Koh Chang can be VERY EXPENSIVE and booked at this time of year especially at Xmnas (farang holiday) and New Year (THAI holiday)
#4 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560
no direct bus from pattaya to trat belive it or not! have to flag one down on the highway thats coming from bangkok - trying it myself tomorrow so will report back!
#5 celianz has been a member since 15/12/2007. Posts: 16
There is more than one bus station in Pattaya. I checked with the Airdrome Bus Station on Sukhumvit Road (not far from where Central meets Sukhumvit Road) and found out that a bus to Trat stops out front. I was told that the bus does not pull into the bus station like the regular runs.
This info was valid a year ago! I was informed that the times were 0700, 0900, 1100, 1500 and 1800. Since the Trat bus was not connected to the regular bus company the "ticket window people" were not that helpful. Lady running the little store was a fount of information and spoke very good English.
Stay in Pattaya for a day or two and check the city out. Choose a cheap hotel off Pattaya 2nd Road (area between Soi 8 and Mike Mall is okay) and figure out what your options are to get to Trat. From this Pattaya location you can walk to many places. Baht bus travel is 10 baht for foreigners in town by the way.
You might be lucky when you get to the Pattaya airport and another Farang can help you with a ride into town or share a ride - who knows?
#6 sirhalberd has been a member since 30/12/2007. Posts: 295
There will be a bus service to Trat....it's just a matter of finiding it........the road goes through Chantaburi and klaeng so check thoae out too.
If it's Koh Chang you're after there are simply dozens of options.
As has been said there is more than one bus station in Pattaya.On Sukumvit is a station but I think mainly for Issan, then there is the North road one. Buses on Sukumvit will stop at various places to pick up passengers.
However, if you ask at a travel shop or hotel they should be able to sort you out with one.
As I said before there are loads of minibuses bookable too
#7 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560
NB - Koh Chang is VERY busy at New Year...it is both a Farang AND THai holiday....pre-booking is highly recommended.
The resorts along that coast will also be booked up
#8 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560
Sitting here with a timetable for the Bus Station that gets mentioned above .
Services are :
Rayong to Chiang Mai
Rayong to Ubon Ratchatani
Rayong to Mae Sai
Rayong to Kho Khaen
Have used the Pattaya to CM before and it was fine overnight trip apart from the aircon was FREEEEEZING.
Back on topic , dont forget there is a LOT of Visa Run services that run to Trat daily from Pattaya. Probably a little pricer than doing it by bus , but it will take you directly to the border .
So they ALL go to Rayong the first stop on the way to TRAT......
#10 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560
They all go through Rayong [Bus Station] on the way south .
I wouldnt say it was first stop .
I find a lot of the buses going south-east from Ekkamai ,ask customers where they are going , and the driver makes up his routing from that .
Yes quite....first major town then...we are talking about how to get to Trat....all these buses go in that direction....it may require some changing of vehicles but with a bit of common sense you get my point
#12 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560
Apologies for such a belated update - it looks like a post from a few weeks ago didn't show up. I didn't make much of an effort to keep up with the forum/thread while traveling, but now home, have more time and interest in posting.
So...we wound up changing our flight to arrive in Bangkok instead of Pattaya Utapao, and took a bus from there to Trat. With no interest in whatsoever in actually seeing Pattaya, and the earliest posts leaning towards ease of travel from BKK, the small fee to change the flight seemed worthwhile.
We flew from Samui to BKK, took the free shuttle to the Airport bus terminal, bought the ticket (243 baht, 5 hours) and continued on to the Cambodian border the day after arriving in Trat.
Additionally, Bangkok Airways has a route from Samui to Trat in the works.
Many thanks to everyone for your help, this website is absolutely invaluable. I'll get my act together and post some trip reports in that forum.
#15 jbanana has been a member since 7/12/2007. Posts: 2
This is what you missed in Pattaya...
Here are a few thoughts on Pattaya for those who can’t make up their mind, or are worried about the sex industry and what it’s like for single women, couples, children etc,
Pattaya is a cheap and in general cheerful town On the Eastern seaboard of Thailand, the climate is great....just about the driest place on the Thai coast and the cost of living is cheap.....
The image most people have of a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah is really a result of careless and sensationalist reporting by various media around the world. It is true that there are many middle-aged men who have found they can afford to retire here often with a wife or girlfriend half their age...who are we to judge? - ...but it is also a fun holiday resort and great value for money.
There is also a lot to do if you are a family on holiday.
Visually, the beaches in Pattaya are not up to much compared to elsewhere in Thailand; it’s a very urban environment...rows of umbrellas and deck-chairs. Although people do swim, the sea is rather polluted…how much is unclear….they claim to have cleaned up the water a lot in the last few years and have marked of areas for swimmers. Neighbouring Jomtien beach about a 15 min “bus” ride away looks to be more swimmer-friendly but there is the occasional bout of untreated sewerage there from time to time. (This IS Thailand!). Cosy beach and Sugar beach between Pattaya and Jomtien offer less crowded or urban alternatives. Bear in mind that what is done to monitor pollution on any of the beaches throughout Thailand is not clear. Inevitably, ALL the main holiday beaches in Thailand are subject to pollution from time to time depending on season wind and tides.
All the same many people enjoy the beaches in and around Pattaya....At both Pattaya and Jomtien beaches you can hire all sorts of water sports stuff, and it’s all pretty cheap. All beaches have plenty of people selling drinks and snacks etc....have a fresh coconut and drink the liquid inside through a straw....very refreshing!
Off shore there are one or two islands with much nicer beaches, they are easily accessible for a day trip. If you go to Koh Laan, the main beach is really just a row of restaurants etc., but, it’s well worth hiring a moped and driving over to the other side of the island.....views from the top are great and there are some very quiet beaches there. Or simply walk along the coast for a bit to get away from the crowds.
Further down the coast towards Sattahip there are some quite reasonable beaches, Ban Sare or Ban Amphoe for example.
On the mainland, Pattaya offers a range of amusement parks, gardens, and theme parks and various sports.
There are numerous good quality golf courses, horse riding and motor sports, both karting and a car racing circuit. There are some small airfields nearby for fans of light aircraft too.
Nong Nooch Tropical Gardens although recently scandalised by the Beeb for their treatment of Elephants is worth a visit, just don’t support the Elephant rides. Elephant village is similarly not to be supported. Pattaya Park is a Water World amusement park that offers all the usual water rides plus a revolving restaurant and some hair-rising ways of getting up there and back down. Mini Siam is a miniature tour of Thailand - full of bus-loads of tourists with a MacDonald’s’ at the entrance. Million year old stone park has beautiful gardens - feed the 5ft long catfish! And cringe at the abysmal treatment of tigers and crocodiles. Further a field is Sri Racha tiger Zoo...to be avoided at all costs, and Kao Keow Open Zoo, a refreshing change from the usual callous way animals are treated in Thailand. There is also the “Water World” Aquarium on Sukumvit Rd. Any hotel or travel shop will arrange to take you there. For kids and the easily pleased, there’s also Ripley’s Believe It Or Not and Toys R us!
The Sanctuary of Truth is a rather unexpected attraction given the nature and reputation of Pattaya as a holiday destination. Built by a wealthy business family to celebrate the religions of the world in is an enormous hand-carved wooden building built on a small promontory at Naklua the Northern end of Pattaya.
You’ll need a Sawngthaew or Motorcycle taxi to get there and it is rather dear to get in....current price unknown.
Work on the building seems to be continually in progress, and provides employment for many artisans and craftsmen from all over the country.
A walk around the site you’ll see carvers at work, inside the building are signs explaining each section of the building, and just marvel at the wonderful carving.
The building itself is amazing but there are also some peripheral attractions that don’t seem so wonderful. One can rent a horse to ride around the site. At the time your correspondent was there one of the animals had got out of control and was being chased around the site by clearly untrained staff.
Another “attraction is the dolphin show. Here a small species of Dolphins -are put through there paces in a muddy pond, balancing balls and splashing the audience....it’s all rather embarrassing really.
However, all in all despite the rather second rate other attractions the site is well worth a visit.
Pattaya offers some of the best shopping outside Bangkok, and it is actually more accessible being sited in a much smaller area. Along the beach stalls shops and arcades offer all the usual souvenir stuff and some things that might cause a few raised eyebrows.... (A Samurai Sword or replica gun?!?!). Lots of ersatz stuff and big brand copies, CDs and DVDs for 150 baht, computer programs.....
The malls (Check out “MIKE’S” & “ROYAL GARDEN PLAZA” - accessible from Beach Rd or Second Rd) offer more quality goods still at great prices. Royal garden has a good eatery on the top floor and Mikes has a public swimming pool on the roof!
Other Malls around town include “Big C” on 2nd road, Tesco’s on Pattaya North (Nua), and Carrefour on Pattaya Central (Klang). All these have a range of other shops and restaurants all under one air-conditioned roof. Tesco and Big C also have stores on Sukumvit Rd - the main road from Bangkok.
Eating out in Pattaya & Jomtien is a treat! There’s everything form every country and it’s all cheap! Even the up=market stuff is half what you’d pay in Europe. You can eat US, French, Russian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Full English Breakfast, Italian, Belgian, Dutch, German.......what am I doing? The list is endless.
There’s one I’ve missed out....THAI food! Thai food is wonderful.....everything from mild Chinese based noodles to hot and spicy Issan food....seafood, barbeque, Tom Yam soups...try it...you’ll love it.....if you want to spend a bit of Money try Ruen Thai on 2nd road or Sugar Hut on Thap Phraya Rd, the hill between Jomtien and Pattaya. Ruen Thai has great food from the all regions of Thailand and puts on an ethnic floor show music, dance or even demonstration Thai boxing! Sugar Hut is in fact a very beautiful resort, the restaurant is in a traditional Thai style wooden house. The atmosphere is amazing.... you remove your shoes on entering the dining area and the seating is either traditional low or for those of us who are less flexible there are “normal” height chairs and tables. Everything is teak and silk....just a pity the menu is so badly written and the food is a little on the bland side, but for a one off evening out it’s a must.
At the other end of the price range there are the small Thai restaurants and street stalls dotted all over town....many won’t have a menu in English so just walk in, sit down and look hungry.....let them bring you something and try and guess what it is you’re eating....for (a lot) less than $5 for 2 you can’t go wrong. A bowl of street noodles can be as little as 15 baht.
Just one phrase you might find useful....”Mai Pet” (one for the Geordies!) - this means “not hot”...it won’t mean no chillies but it might bring it down to a level where you can just about eat it! - “Mai Prik” is NO chillies at all.
And for the mindless, bootless and unhorsed, the culturally stagnant and the grossly obese, there is the usual plethora of fast food outlets....McD’s, KFC, and Burger King....how can people eat that stuff!?!?!? And WHY when you are in a land of gastronomic delights, would you? (My comfort food of choice is a big plate of liver and onions - mmmmmmm!)
The night life in Pattaya is legendary....although now the bars officially close at 1.00pm; this does not stop some places from turning music down and carrying on till the early hours of daylight.
There are discos, clubs bars of sorts including the girlie places....
The sex trade ripples through the town like veins through a stilton, and in a similar way gives the place its distinctive character. Unlike the red-light areas of Europe and America, they aren’t really sleazy; mainly it consists of small open bars where (middle-aged) men sit drinking beer and talking to the “bar-girls”. If a tryst is arranged it will take place I one of the hundreds of hotels. There is very little open display of lewdness as this is not approved of in Thailand. The “Go-go Bars” are behind closed doors and have naked or semi naked girls pole dancing or rather holding a pole and swaying to music. You and your family would not be admitted to a Go-go bar. If you went to an open beer bar you would be treated as a perfectly ordinary customer and the girls would dote on your children. (They are mostly mothers themselves). ..............and as for the “seediness” how many men do you know go to Hamburg or Amsterdam and find a wife?
For something a little more “wholesome” - on 2nd road spend an hour or so at the Malibu Bar....it’s a girl and lady-man show....a low budget affair, they make their own elaborate costumes and mime to well-known western songs. Every night they tread the boards from 8 till about 12.00 midnight...sometimes poor and amateurish but always entertaining...DO NOT miss Tina Turner! This guy is actually quite professional and very good indeed. He does a couple of performances every night and the place fills just to what his act. Unfortunately sometimes he has to take time off (twice a night, 7 days a week, year in year out - who wouldn’t?!?) and the act is performed by a less talented stand-in. All -in- all a great friendly atmosphere, lots of couples and even kids - and no smut!!!!....no admission charge, and they do food.
If you are finding the heat a bit too much there are plenty of enclosed air-conditioned bars with a western theme, be they Irish, English, Belgian or whatever. Here you can eat “comfort food” and watch replays of your favourite old TV shows and live football.
If you’re tired out by all this...get a massage. Make sure it’s actually a massage establishment and not a “gentleman’s relaxation” facility! There are plenty of small boutiques you can go in and get a 1or 2 hour leg rub for about 200 to 400 baht and some beautiful Spas that will pamper you for the best part of a day for a few grand.
Pattaya remains one of the few seaside towns where anyone can do what they’ve always dreamed of.... But at half the price!
#16 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560