This page is essentially a Pattaya Travel Information Guide in order to provide you with as much assistance as possible regarding all forms of transport you may need when visiting one of the most sort-after entertainment holiday resorts in Thailand.
Navigating your way around Pattaya itself is relatively easy as most of the time you can simply walk to the beaches, shopping malls and restaurants.
For everything else, there are plenty of air-conditioned taxis, motorcycle taxis, open-aired Songthaew pick-up trucks, luxury ocean cruisers as well as a motorcar, motorbike and motorboat hire to transport you, your family and friends to all the adjacent beaches and islands, nearby towns and various places of interest.
Songthaew pick-up trucks are probably the most popular form of transport in Pattaya. They easily carry a fairly large group of passengers along some of the resorts busiest routes including those around Pattaya 2 nd road and Soi 2 road. You will see them cruising up and down the beach road during the day and night.
One of the problems you may encounter is trying to find an actual bus stop along the various routes. You will, however, find a few outside the bigger supermarkets such as the Big C as well as other designated places where Songthaews regularly park while the drivers wait for passengers. These pick-up trucks usually operate from early in the morning until well after midnight.
Songthaews travel the roads frequently so you would seldom have to wait long. All you have to do to catch the driver's attention is to simply indicate with your hand in a similar manner to that which you would do if you were hitchhiking.
Once the vehicle stops, you just hop on board. A few passengers, eager to catch a ride in a hurry or when the truck is sometimes full, will often stand on the foot platform when the going gets tough. You may do likewise should you so wish.
The standard fee for any singular trip is 10 Baht per person irrespective of the distance travelled but this is only in the city itself. I believe locals pay half this amount. However, should you be travelling with a Thai companion, you would be expected to pay the full fare of 10 Baht each. It's the Thai way.
I frequently use this form of transportation when I am in town, partly because it is extremely convenient and also because it's a heck of a lot of fun hopping on and off.
The pick-up trucks have a hard canopy connected to a metal frame which keeps the sun at bay and plastic sidewalls which roll up and down to keep out the rain if it comes down. At the back, they have bench-type seats on either side on which you can sit.
In order for the driver to stop at the destination of your choice, simply press one of the buzzers, seen attached to the inside canopy crossbar. The driver will acknowledge your request to disembark and only then do you pay.
Metered Taxis are fairly self-explanatory and plentiful throughout the resort with the added advantage of being air-conditioned which I have to add, is an absolute blessing from the heat be it day or night. Metered charges start at 35 Baht so a short trip around the city centre would not burn a hole in your pocket.
This form of transportation is also excellent for trips to other beaches in the not too distant vicinity. The beaches around Jomtien Bay are only 10 kilometres away from Pattaya so it may be preferable to hire a taxi to take you there.
Motorcycle Taxis are a great alternative if you want to get anywhere fast with drivers always readily available on call. You will recognise motorcycle taxi drivers by their often brightly coloured waistcoats. If you are going to be in Pattaya for a while, then the option of hiring a motorcycle could be a wonderful solution and a rather efficient way to travel around the resort and surrounding regions.
My only concern here is that there seem to be far too many accidents involving motorbikes in Pattaya. It would appear that some tourists and many locals alike don't always employ the best of driving skills, so you might consider this choice a little risky. I have seen a good few cuts and bruises on arms and legs at times.
I personally feel that there is little if any real need to hire a car in Pattaya should you not be going anywhere other than the resort itself. Perhaps hiring a car for a scenic drive along the east coast towards the Cambodian border as I did once, can be a wonderful experience. If you ever decide to take a vacation on Koh Chang Island, then I highly recommend that you travel this way by car.
Another rental option would be to hire a motorboat should you wish to travel the superb bays around Pattaya and Jomtien or a luxury cruiser should you wish to ride the great ocean waves in the Gulf of Thailand. Many luxury resorts have their own luxury boats for your exclusive private use so don't be afraid to ask.
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