Just been in Bangkok which brought up to me the point of fake TAT officials. They will be outside Hualamphong station and tourist destinations waiting to direct you to the accomodation or tours they get kickbacks from. And they will often tell you downright lies, for instance the bloke outside the station said there was no train to Pattaya. There is one at 6.55 and there is also a station inn so it is easier to catch in the morning. This train costs 31 Baht where a bus would be at least 500.
The fake office also quoted me 1200B per night for accomodation in Bangkok and 850B in Pattaya, saying I'd find nothing cheaper. I was able to get 600B in Bangkok, although I probably could have done better, and 525B in Pattaya.
Directions seem to be a bit of a problem too. I have had tuk-tuk drivers give ne the exact wrong directions when I do not use them but street vendors always seem ready to lend a hand even if you don't buy anything.
#1 mic59 has been a member since 30/7/2008. Posts: 107
I have seen the touts at the train station with badges that said "official so and so" on them, but I ignored them. They were too pushy, real TAT officials are government workers and not too many of them venture out to dig up business!
Bus ride to Pattaya from the Ekamai bus terminal (off a Skytrain swtop) is only around 125 baht for the 2 hour ride on the VIP bus. Almost the same price and time for the Pattaya bus from Mochit too! The buses run about every 20 to 40 minutes, if there are extra passengers they assign a spare bus to move the crowd.
The train is cheap but you have to get up early and it takes longer. Think it is still around 4 or 5 hours. A good diversion but if you are in a hurry the bus is faster.
When the train arrives in Pattaya it is almost out in the sticks. Cheap 10 baht bus travel is not always available! The Bangkok to Pattaya bus terminal is much closer to the main areas of Pattaya, usually only a 20 baht or 10 baht ride to the beach or you can walk.
In Bangkok a meter taxi will be cheaper than a tuk-tuk, and air conditioned too! Never bargain the ride for a meter taxi cab, insist on the meter and the ride WILL BE CHEAPER! If the taxi driver wants to bargain, just move out to the street and wave another one of the hundreds passing by.
There are lots of scams in Bangkok, some of them involve tuk-tuks taking passengers to places they don't want to go. Google it up. If you know where you want to go - you can ask your hotel desk clerk to write that destination in Thai for the driver to read. Always try to have exact change or at least small bills to pay the taxi drivers or they may claim they cannot make change hoping you will be stupid enough to say "keep the change!"