How to Get Around in Pattaya
Pattaya is a city that has so much to see and do for the people living there. Whether you are looking for something to do in the city itself, or in the area surrounding the city, you are spoilt for choice. With so much to do, though, also comes the question of how to get around to make the most of it. Fortunately, Pattaya and the surrounding area is well catered for by a travel network that makes it easy to get around. There are a number of transportation methods available, and they are convenient and easy to use.
Throughout the city, you will often see open backed buses ferrying people from one place to another. These buses will generally follow fixed routes, and are a part of a network that covers much of the city. They are very easy to use, and also very affordable. At locations such as Pattaya bus station, you will find some of these buses waiting for new arrivals into the city. These will generally not follow a fixed route, but will instead take a number of people to their required destination, provided it is within a reasonable distance. They are among the most popular forms of transport, and are used by Thais expats and tourists alike.
Motorbike taxis may not be for the faint-hearted, but they do make for a very convenient way of getting around. Not only are they very affordable, but they also help to cut through the traffic, helping you to get from A to B as quickly as possible. The drivers are usually experienced on the roads, providing a journey that will be about as safe as you can be on a bike. Bear in mind it is the law that you should wear a helmet, and you will often be expected to do so.
Motorbike taxi stands are located throughout the city. The drivers generally know the city well, and will be happy to take you where you like. They are mostly expected to operate from their own stands only, and will usually not pick up passengers that are not at a stand.
While taxis are everywhere in Bangkok, they are not so common in Pattaya. Whenever you do see a taxi in Pattaya, it is likely to have bought somebody in from Bangkok, and are likely to be looking for a return journey. It is still possible to arrange for private transportation, though, and there are a number of services that can be arranged. It is useful to obtain the telephone numbers of some drivers in your area so that you can call them for transportation if needed.
Coach and Minibus
If you are looking to go on a group trip around Pattaya, or for a longer journey elsewhere in Thailand, there are plenty of buses, coaches and minibuses to choose from. Go to Pattaya bus station and you will find plenty of routes that will take you further afield, or at least to a Bangkok terminal that will have more routes available. There are state run services in addition to private services, and the vehicles used are often modern and very comfortable.
Boats and Ferries
For journeys that will take you over water, there are plenty of boat and ferry services to choose from. The main pier at Pattaya runs regular ferry services that will take you to the nearby islands. Tickets can be booked in advance through travel agents, or at the pier itself. If you don’t wish to use the public services, then you will find private hire speedboats that are able and willing to take you on your journey. If you are in a group, then hiring one of these between you wont cost much more than using a pubic ferry service. They provide a more personalised service, mostly taking you to the specific beach you wish to go to rather than another pier. They are also considerably faster than a ferry, although they can make for a bumpy ride.
Another option is to hire a vehicle and drive yourself. There are numerous agencies around the city with cars or motorbikes to rent at very affordable prices. Be sure that you are renting from a reputable service, and also that you are fully insured and legal to drive. The road laws do apply to everybody, and it is wise to be fully protected legally and financially in the case of an accident. You are expected to have a licence to drive, and foreigners are able to apply for Thai driving licences.