A few ideas on how to get from the airport (Suvanabhumi) to Pattaya (Disneyland for adults
Please feel free to add any pertinent comments.
In the old days I used to get a bus or taxi for Don Muang to Ekamai bus depot and the Pattaya bus from there. Took at least 3 hours all up, you had to cross Sukhumvit with your luggage, and you stuck out like a sore thumb amongst the locals.
On the way back I took the aircon bus direct to the airport. Thats still one way to go, but with the new airport running smoothly now, its hardly worth backtracking to Ekamai and waiting for the slow bus.
So...when you exit the customs hall, bags in hand and ball-bag bursting, you will be greeted by dozens, if not hundreds, of taxi touts. They will spot you before you spot them. The dazed look on your face sends them into a feeding frenzy. By all means, use one if you wish. DO NOT PAY MORE THAN 1800B. Just bear in mind, that if the driver is from Bkk, he will very likely not know his way around Pattaya, so you'll have to navigate for him. Its bigger than it looks on the maps.
Here's hint...if you're arriving late at night or in the wee small hours and driving down, you'll need to book you hotel from the preceding night (ie: arriving airport 11.45pm on the 23rd, get to Pattaya around 1.30--2 am on the 24th, book your room for the 23rd) and ensure the hotel knows what time you're due in, specify that they tell the night manager, send a confirmation email before you leave home with the booking email they sent you as an attachment, and carry a copy of their email to you in your cabin luggage. Have the hotel phone number so the driver can call them. This is Thailand, things fuck up.
Many regular visitors have a regular driver to meet them at the airport. It is what I recommend you do. Prices vary, service is usually excellent. The driver will be waiting with your name on a piece of paper. Sometimes motorway tolls will be included, sometimes not. Sometimes you will think they are, but the driver will ask you to pay anyway. (I deduct it from his tip if he does). But from the new airport there are only a couple of toll booths, so its a moot point really. So here are a couple of contact email addy's.
Mr Toom. firstname.lastname@example.org
A lot of guys praise mr Toom, a few bad reports as well. 1200b including tolls.
Mr Dang. email@example.com
I've used Mr Dang the last three trips, as well as taxi services in Pattaya when I've needed to commute somewhere. 1000b, nominally
Remember these guys are the so-called "taxi mafia", they are not the actual driver. The driver pays a commission to the boss out of what you pay him. The drivers are usually good and will know where your hotel is, or at least the soi its on. By the way, dont expect a "taxi". You could be in anything. Last Christmas I got driven in a brand new Citroen saloon with the adjustable suspension.
Jan and Paul. firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul is a farang guy whose wife Jan provides a driver service. She speaks good English and can be very helpful. Her price of 2000b includes everything, even beer waiting for you in the car.
At the moment she is expecting a baby, so may be out of action until around November 2007.
Many hotels offer a chauffeur service when you book your room. Not a bad idea if you're coming in late. Just make sure you're happy with the price.
The Dynasty group provide a free courtesy bus if you stay 2 nights in their Bangkok (soi Nana) hotel and then go to their hotel in Pattaya.
A cheap hotel in a good location is the Globetrotter. Lars can arrange a car for 1300b, but the hotel reception closes early (around 11.00pm--midnight)
One last word on tips. 100b is probably sufficient, although I tend to give 200 if I'm happy. Consider this: an office worker with computer, literacy and numeracy skills gets about 15b an hour for a 40--50 hour week. Think about that before you start flashing a wad of play money to impress the girls.
Here's a useful link:
Info on taxis, and it mentions the Airport-Pattaya bus, but gives no details of where to get it or when it runs. Like I said, This is Thailand.
Here's a cut and paste of Bazzap's report on the Blue Bus. An excellent alternative for the cheapies. Thanks to Bazz.
I used the Blue Bus (Bell Travel Service) in August.
From the airport to your hotel in Pattaya for 150B. A great deal if it fits in with your flight times.
Airport to Pattaya:08.00/10.00/12.00/14.00/16.00/18.00
You can reserve a seat by email. email@example.com
Here is the email they sent me that should answer a lot of questions
Thank you for booking with us.
It is confirmed that your 1 seat will be reserved on 10.00 am bus from Suvarnabhumi airport to Pattaya on August 29th.
The fare is 150 baht/trip/person and it includes the transportation to your hotel in downtown Pattaya. Therefore, may I have your hotel's name lease so we could arrange the transportation for you.
At Suvarnabhumi airport, our staff will be waiting for you on 1st Floor gate#7 next to Tourist Police counter, holding a small sign of Pattaya - Bell Travel Service". Then she will lead you to the bus which is parked right outside the terminal. Her contact number is +66(0)89-449-8843.
Our company also provides the transportation from Pattaya to Bangkok. Here is the bus schedule from Pattaya: it starts at 6.00 am, 9.00 am and every 2 hours until 19.00 pm. Your destination can be either to Suvarnabhumi airport, Don Muang airport or hotels in Bangkok. However, there are only 3 departure times that have connecting transportation to hotels in Bangkok i.e. 9.00 am, 13.00 pm and 17.00 pm.
The fare to Suvarnabhumi is 150 baht/trip/person, to Don Muang airport is 350 baht/trip/person and to hotels in Bangkok is 300 baht/trip/person. These fares include pick-up and drop-off services from your hotel to your destination in both cities.
We look forward to servicing you soon. And if you have more questions, please feel free to contact me via this e-mail.
Thank you and best regards,
Bell Travel Service Co.,Ltd
Tel. Bangkok Office: 02-747-4673, 02-747-4675
Tel. Pattaya Office: 038-370-055, 038-370-056
Contact number is +66(0)89-449-8843
I hope this helps some one