December 2014: Bangkok to Pattaya via Public Transport

Another guide! To bring you from Bangkok, Thailand to Pattaya, Thailand.

To begin with, Pattaya is about 1.5 hours – 2 hours drive away from Bangkok. As most people would have known, the more convenient way to get from Bangkok to Pattaya is to flag a cab or book a transfer service in advance. They cost usually at least 900 baht to 1,500 baht per trip depending on the number of travellers and model of car. Interesting?

Today, we bring you along our journey from Bangkok to Pattaya by taking inexpensive public transport!

So if you have been following us on our travel route so far, you would have found out from previous posts that we have arrived in the heart of Bangkok, Hua Lamphong Railway Station. And our next destination is Ekkamai, Eastern Bus Terminal. It will be a good idea to try remember these location names. Anyway, there are a couple of routes to The Eastern Bus Terminal of course, for example, taking public buses or the train. To reduce the travelling time and not subject ourselves to unpredictable traffic conditions, we went ahead to take the train.

Taking the train is a lot more straightforward and with the help of signs and navigation maps, it will be challenging for foreigners to be lost.

Step 1: Accessing the MRT Station

What you need to understand is, there are a couple of train systems that are connected to each other at certain stations. Hua Lamphong Railway Station is the station that the cross border train from Butterworth arrives at. It also connects to other states across Thailand.

Here are some visuals for guidance:

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Alighting from the cross border train, head towards the exit straight ahead, then turn left into the main hall.

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Turn right to exit the hall. When in doubt, consult the ticketing staff or customer service officers.

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Situated underground, Hua Lamphong MRT Station entrance is just right outside Hua Lamphong Railway Station.

Step 2: Get to Sukhumvit MRT Station

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Heading towards Bangsue direction, alight at Sukhumvit MRT Station.

Step 3: Transit to Asoke BTS Station

Here’s a map to help you clear the confusion because we have already mentioned 3 different train networks.

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In order to reach Ekkamai BTS Station, we will need to transit from Sukhumvit MRT to Asoke BTS. Thankfully they are connected in a way.

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You need to tap out of the MRT system though, then purchase another set of tickets to enter into the BTS Station.

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Step 4: Alight at Ekkamai BTS

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On the side note, interestingly they listed some of the tourist attractions for each station, which we think will be very tourist-friendly!

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Follow the signs and proceed to exit no. 2 – Eastern Bus Terminal.

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You will arrive at a building like this. Hopefully it has completed the slight renovation when it’s your turn to visit them.

Step 5: Board Bus to Pattaya

Upon arriving at Eastern Bus Terminal, head all the way into the main hall, then you will see a prominent counter with orange stripes. It is situated at the right end of the entire line of ticketing counters. Purchase your bus ticket from there then proceed to the waiting area.

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The ticket will state your respective seat numbers, the bus plate number and the departure time.

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Once you are on the bus, you can relax for the next hour or two. They will ask where would you like to alight though. So check out where exactly would you like to go, and if you are like us, heading to the Central and Southern Pattaya, then tell them that you will sit all the way to the bus terminal.

When in doubt, ask. (I know, again lol) 😛

And there are no food trolleys running down the aisle this time, so before boarding, you might want to settle your meals first. Regarding the frequency of the bus, it should be about 15 – 30 mins apart, relatively frequent.

In Summary

Hua Lamphong MRT > Sukhumvit MRT – 54 Baht for 2 person
Asoke BTS > Ekkamai BTS – 50 Baht for 2 person
Bus from Eastern Bus Terminal > Pattaya – 248 Baht for 2 person

Total – 352 Baht for 2 person

Prepare at least another 360 Baht for transportation from Pattaya Bus Terminal to your hotel. There will be SongTiow operators waiting at the Pattaya Bus Terminal to try solicit for business, charging 100 Baht for 2 person to bring you deeper into Pattaya. They will not send you to your hotel of course, so you will have to flag a cab or board other SongTiow circuits to get you to your destinations.

Useful tip #1: SongTiow usually costs about 20 Baht per person, per boarding. DO NOT ask how much. Not if you want to avoid being ripped off. Just board, press the bell to alight, pay and go.

Useful tip #2: If you are heading to a slightly more remote or uncommon area, sometimes SongTiow drivers will bargain for a one-time chauffeur service – easily charging at 200 Baht one way. Which is really way too much, just like how taxis will bargain. Consider the time of the day when taking these transports, if it is a non peak period, say early morning on a weekend, then you stand a good chance of bargaining. If they don’t agree to your negotiation, stand firm and politely tell them it’s fine, you can wait for another one. In our experience, one driver drove off a bit, hid outside of our vision to observe, then hit the reverse gear to come back agree to our conditions.

Useful tip #3: Form alliance with fellow tourists or foreigners. That will usually protect you for quite a bit and if you have the numbers, its easier to strike a deal regarding transportation.

Useful tip #4: SongTiow runs on circuits, very similar to shuttle buses in a fixed route, in loops. So certain destinations require changing of the SongTiow circuit. You might have to get off your current circuit, then transit to the another circuit.

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**Hope that we have once again provided valuable insights to your travelling experience! Stay safe and have fun!

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