There are three main Pattaya bus terminals dotted around the resort town, with each operated by a different company and serving different destinations. One operates exclusively between Pattaya and Bangkok’s three big bus terminals, another only stops at Suvarnabhumi International Airport while the third takes passengers to other places around the country.
Prices and quality levels vary slightly, depending on where you are travelling to. However, all of the stations listed below offer perhaps the best combination of safety, speed and affordability when it comes to travelling to and from Pattaya.
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Air Conditioned Bus Terminal Pattaya
The main Pattaya bus terminal is found on North Road (Pattaya Nua), close to where it meets Sukhumvit Road. Fully named the “Air Conditioned Bus Terminal Pattaya-Bangkok”, its services combine comfort and convenience with fairly impressive speed and low ticket prices, making it one of the most popular methods of travelling to and from the country’s capital.
The buses which operate from the large terminal belong to the Roong Ruang Coach Company and are modern, well maintained and fully air conditioned. In fact, they can sometimes get to be too cold, so it is advisable to bring at least a long-sleeved top with you. These buses cover the distance to and from Bangkok in between two and three hours (depending on traffic) because they use the high-speed expressways and have only a couple of designated stops along the way.
There are three services running from the Pattaya Bus Terminal to Bangkok, going to the Eastern Bus Terminal in Ekkamai (124 baht per person), the Northern Bus Terminal in Morchit (136 baht) and the Southern Bus Terminal at Sai Tai Taling Chin (136 baht). Tickets cannot be booked in advance. Instead, you have to go to the relevant counter at the terminal and they will give you a seat on the next available bus. With departures every 30 or 40 minutes from 04:30 to 23:00, you won’t have to wait long.
The bus station is quite a comfortable place to wait, with plenty of seating available, a newspaper stand, a couple of places to buy snacks and public toilets (which costs 5 baht to use). For travellers arriving from Bangkok, you will find a choice of songthaews (pick-up truck taxi) and taxis (including motorbike taxis) waiting by the entrance to take you on to your final destination. Expect to pay around 20 to 50 baht per person for a songthaews into central Pattaya.
- Location: North Pattaya Road, North Pattaya
Airport Bus Station
There is a bus service from Pattaya directly to Suvarnabhumi International Airport, but it is not operated by Roong Ruang Coach Company and therefore does not depart from the North Road Pattaya Bus Terminal. Instead it leaves from the Airport Bus Office, which is in the carpark next to Food Mart
Supermarket on Thappraya Road, a short distance from the junction with Thepprasit Road. Again, tickets cannot be booked in advance and need to be bought from the office on the day of travel.
The airport buses leave every hour on the hour from 07:00 to 21:00 and take approximately two hours to reach Suvarnabhumi Airport Departures (Level 4). Tickets cost 122 baht per person. As with the Bangkok buses, the vehicles are generally clean and well-maintained, they make use of the main highways and they have no other stops along the way, making them among the fastest, safest and most convenient means of getting to the airport.
- Location: Near Food Mart Supermarket, Thappraya Road, South Pattaya
Provincial Bus Station
The third Pattaya bus terminal is the provincial station, which is situated on Sukhumvit Road next to the entrance to Soi 59. It is mostly operated by Nakhonchai Air, which runs long-distance bus services right across the country, but mostly operates from Bangkok. The station’s grubby-looking frontage advertises services to Ubon Ratchathani, Sisaket, Surin, Buriram, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Mae Sai, Phayao, Phrae and Phitanulok.
Inside, the station is quite clean, with a small shop and some seating available. Most of the signs and information boards are written only in Thai, however, as the overwhelming majority of the travellers are locals. Prices are generally very low – often little more than a couple of thousand baht to get to the furthest extremes of the country – and the vehicles are fairly well cleaned and maintained.
- Location: Soi 59, Sukhumvit Road, Central Pattaya