Getting From the Bangkok Airport to Pattaya
You actually have a few choices for your ride to Pattaya. You can go the cheap route – take a taxi to the bus station, catch the bus to Pattaya, and then get another taxi to your hotel.
You can share a ride – either with someone you met at an online Pattaya forum or go with a group in a 6 – 9 passenger van. I have made a couple of good friends sharing the ride and the cost with one other person and have had nothing but bad experiences sharing a van with 8 others.
My preferred method of traveling from the Bangkok International Airport – Suvarnabhumi – to Pattaya is to book a ride online in advance and have the driver waiting for me when I arrive. I have found a reliable source at a Pattaya forum and have used him for the past 6 years and he has never let me down. He is always waiting for me right outside where you pick up your luggage. I have never been disappointed.
There is one more option – the notorious taxi mafia at Bangkok International. These are the pests that block your way as soon as you leave the luggage carousel. They have a clipboard in hand and will pester you even if you tell them that you already have a ride booked. They charge about double what I book my ride for and are extremely annoying.
The service I use is run by a guy named Mr. Toom and he has gotten so popular that he has had to outsource his service. He takes his cut and other drivers show up. He also provides a cell phone number in case you cannot locate your driver at the airport. He charges 1200 baht for the ride and that includes airport parking, tolls and the ride. You can also request a car that you can smoke in. If you want to stop along the way for a quick break – that is not a problem. Just let the driver know.
I have always gotten pleasant drivers, who let me smoke, and play music – either Thai or American. They get me to Pattaya in about 1 ½ hours and take me straight to my hotel or guest house front door. I usually tip about 20 Baht for the safe and efficient ride to my final destination.
So, my recommendation for your trip from the Bangkok Airport to Pattaya is to book in advance and have a comfortable ride to Pattaya. There is no sense flying half way around the world and start your vacation riding a bus. Book in advance and enjoy the last leg of your trip before you hit the night life of Pattaya. Have a safe and enjoyable holiday.