Getting around Pattaya and surrounding areas

Getting around Pattaya city

 

Pattaya City 7 (1)

 

There are common things that all of us do  when we start  getting a little bit settled  after the anxiety of the moving in: we want to know, to see, to taste, to watch everything because  everything is new, everything is so  different, so exotic..and we want to do everything in the first day.

So, the first thing we do is  to check our accumulated files with all that we had researched visiting different websites, at the same time  handing   that over-used Thailand Tourist Guide bought  back at home, or just  get a new one while starting to plan where to go  during the first long weekend…Phuket, Krabi, Chiang Mai…and the list go on and on.

But, first comes first: what about starting with Pattaya and its surroundings?  So, questions as how do I get to Bangkok from Pattaya, or what about those small islands that are not so far from Pattaya, Koh Chang, Koh Samet or koh Larn that is just in front of Pattaya and seems too be so close ?

Also, before thinking of holidays, there are the daily worries: How do I get to   the supermarkets? Where is the hospital? How will we  deal with the children going to school? Where is…?  And the list go on and on

So, based on our own experience of years living in Pattaya, we  have included in this section information that will  save  your time and efforts.

 

Getting to know Pattaya

 

Pattaya City- Sunrise at Pattaya Bay- Denise del Barto 4

Good morning, Pattaya. You just have to wake up early enough, to be rewarded with this view, breath deep, smile, and start a new day.. Photo Credit: Denise del Barto

 

Now, a good start for knowing Thailand is to get knowing Pattaya. A good start for knowing Pattaya, is  just  getting around, exploring.

Pattaya is a  very well connected city, talking in terms of transportation, and this is  a great advantage for  traveling. Going to Bangkok for a weekend, or just for one day, is not an issue any more thanks to the linking system of motorway and highway. When talking about trips abroad, the Suvarnabhumi International Airport  of Thailand is at only an hour and half – without getting into Bangkok as it was in the not- so far past, when we had to travel all the way to Don Muang Airport.

Also, we shouldn’t forget U Tapao, which is  much smaller airport than  Suvarnabhumi and Dong Muang, but probed to be apt for domestic and some international flights and that , is has been  upgraded for a while with the purpose of having  many more airlines operating  there, what it is phenomenal advantage for us, because it is  located just  a  few kilometers south from Pattaya.

And then, if you like adventure, there is always  the train that will take you  to Bangkok, although it will take some more hours to get there…

Connecting Pattaya with the region and further

Roads and main Highways in Pattaya area

Just to have a general orientation when talking about roads that connect Pattaya with the region, we have to have in mind that :

  1. Highway 3 starts in Bangkok an goes all the way down the East Coast though Chonburi, Bang Saen, Sri Racha, Ao Udom, Laem Chabang, Naklua, Pattaya, Jomtien, Na Jomtien, Sattahip, Bang Chang, Map Ta Phut, Rayong, Chantanaburi and finally, Trat. It is interesting to know, that when in town, it becomes Sukhumvit Rd.
  2. Motorway 7 goes down from Bangkok and joins Highway 36 at the  East of Sukhumvit Rd (close to  Regents’ school).
  3. Highway 36 runs Southeast connecting Pattaya with Rayong.
  4. Route 331 runs further inland, which is the old route between Bangkok and Sattahip.  

Going from Pattaya to Bangkok

Connection Pattaya- Bangkok by car:

There are three ways to go to Bangkok by road:

  1. Along the Pattaya-Chonburi-Bangkok Motorway 7 which is the favorite among  expats  because there is a Service area half way  with many options for coffee, snacks or lunch-dinners. Apart Thai restaurants and coffee shops, we also  could find two Starbucks, Mc Donal, and more; Important to have in mind is that there are  good restrooms which could be public ones or just inside coffee shops.
  2. A  second option is driving  along the Highway 3  or Sukhunvit all the way to Bangkok. For doing this, you shouldn’t have to have a fixed agenda for your day in the capital because  due to Bangkok’s infamous traffic is really difficult to predict how long it will take you to get there. But  it is ideal for knowing the dynamics of Thai life as this rout  follows the coast, so you will get into every single town and city between Pattaya and Bangkok..it will be a colorful trip, believe us.
  3. The third option, follows the Highway 3, passing Bang Saeng, Chonburi, where a bypass connects with the Highway 34 named Bang Na-Trat  ( elevated Highway) before entering Bangkok. This one is the favorite among Thai drivers  because the tolls are cheaper than those of the Motorway 7, but its  downside is that  there is not a Service Area such the one on Motorway 7.

 

 

 

If only I’d known…

  • When going to Bangkok along Highway 3- 34 (Bang Na-Trat road), you always could ask to the driver to go  along the motorway 7 saying that you will pay for the toll, or  get into Bangkok along the fourth option.
  • A fourth  option that  derives from the previous ones:  we could always go along Motor way 7, stop at the Service Area, and after  enjoying your  coffee along with some snacks,  just get the exit to  the Elevated Highway ( HW 34)..so everybody will be happy: you and your driver.

Going from Pattaya to Bangkok by Public Transportation

Thailand has an efficient and not so expensive network of public transportation, in terms of long and short distance,: air-conditioned buses,  for long distances, train line connecting to Bangkok, and baht buses, motorcycle taxis and taxis in the city.

Pattaya-Bangkok by Bus:

You could find more information visiting this website: www.pattayabus.com/en/routes-schedules/bangkok-to-pattaya/

Roong Reung Coach (or North Pattaya Rd Bus Station)

Here you are able to buy tickets for going to  : Ekamai Eastern Bus Terminal ( convenient for reaching Shopping Malls and business areas along Sukhunvit rd);  Morchit Northern and Northeastern  Bus Terminal ( located across Chatuchak Weekend Market) and Southern Bus Terminal  at Sai Tai Taling Chin (convenient for reaching  Hualumphong Raiway Station).

 

Pattaya Bus Station- North Pattaya Rd 3

Two buses going to Mochit Bus Station and Ekamai Bus Station are ready for departing from North Pattaya Road Bus Station. Photo Credit: Silvia Muda

 

If  only I’d known...

  • As general  criteria, and  because  the heavy traffic of Bangkok,  you will save time time if you get off the bus at the first BTS station ( Udon Suk )  as soon you get Bangkok; except when you need to go  to Ekamai’s Bus Station area. So, you should have  this in mind before buying a ticket for Morchit or Southern Bus Stations, just buy a ticket to Ekamai Bus Station, and then get off the bus as soon as you get Udon Suk BTS Station, which is shortly after the bus leaves the elevated  Highway 34, and get into Sukhumvit Road.
  • If you go on a Shopping day to Bangkok, say Chatuchak Market,  China Town, Little India, ann because  shops open between 10 -11am, a good idea is get off the bus at On Nut BTS Station, there’s a Tesco Lotus  Supermarket , so you could go to the restroom, have a good coffee before getting on the BTS on your shopping day.
  • Another way to go to Bangkok, is going by bus to Suvarnabhumi Airport and getting the Airport Line ( elevated rapid train), so you will be into the Public Transportation System Network straightaway and then change stations to get where you are heading.

 

Bangkok BTS Station 4

Just arrived from Pattaya, we get off at any of the BTS Stations that are on the Patatya-Bangkok bus route and we will find ourself ready  for  going to our final destination on train. Udon Suk BTS Station, Bangkok. Photo Credit: Silvia Muda

 

Going from  Pattaya to Suvarnabhumi International Airport and back

if you are in Pattaya, you could get your tickets at  Roong Reung Coach ( North Pattaya Rd Bus Station), or at the offices located on Thappraya rd ( inside Foodmart Supermaket’s parking lot) near traffic lights with Thepprasit Rd.

Trying to Get Pattaya from Suvarnabhumi International Airport:

Now, if you are at Suvarnabhumi airport, just arrived from your home country, do not have anybody waiting for you and you wish to get Pattaya, there are different options:

Touted limos and mini vans are invariably more expensive than a taxi, good option for one or two people) but if you are traveling in a group, it is a real solution.
A less expensive  choice are the buses that leave from the airport’s Transport Centre. Just go  down, buy a ticket on one of the buses leaving for Pattaya every two hours, and get your ticket. The journey takes about  an hour and half, arriving  at  the North Pattaya Road  and Jomtien (Thrappaya Rd ) bus stations.
Better yet,  you could arrive in style via the airport limousine service ( 24 hrs). Book one in advance or, upon arrival, locate the nearest service counter in the arrival hall (Second Floor).

You could find more  information visiting these websites:  

Travelling from Pattaya to South Thailand: Cha Am, Hua Hin, Koh Samui, Petchburi, Phuket, Surat Thani

By Minivans

  1. Leave regularly via Bangkok or directly from: Second Road heading North  just past traffic lights at Pattaya Klang ( Central) , next to Tops Supermarket
  2. Pattaya Tai ( South) at the corner of Soi 10 a private minivan travels to Hua Hin everyday.

By Bus

The Roong Reung  Company ( North Pattaya  road Bus Station) operates a Yellow Bus that leaves from North Pattaya Bus Terminal and goes to Cha Am, Hua Hin, Koh Samui, Petchburi, Phang Nga, Phuket and Surat Thani, among other stops. Find more information visiting this website: www.iloveyellowbus.com/en/home.php

Travelling from Pattaya to  North Eastern Thailand : Buriram, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Mukdahan, Nakhon Ratchasima ( Korat), Nong Khai, Roi Et, Surin, Sisaket, Ubon Ratchathani, Yasothon:

  1. Nakhon Chai Bus Terminal, located on eastern side of Sukhumvit, Road , just past Pattaya Klang ( Central) intersection heading South.  Website: www.soidb.com/pattaya/bus-terminal/nca-pattaya.html
  2. Booking office located on the Western side of Third Road about 80 meters from Pattaya Klang ( Central) traffic Lights.
  3. 407 Patana Bus Station  for the North- eastern Thailand located on the estern side of Sukhumvit Road, just passing Pattaya Klang ( central) junction heading North.  You always  could find more information visiting this  Website: www.soidb.com/pattaya/bus-terminal/407-pattana-pattaya.hml
  4. The Roong Reung  Company ( North Pattaya  road  Bus Station) operates a line to the North east . These buses depart initially from Rayong and call in Pattaya on their way.  You  always could find more information visiting this    Website: www.iloveyellowbus.com/en/home.php

Travelling from Pattaya to Trat ( for going to Koh Chang, Koh Kood, Koh Maak)

North Pattaya Bus Station. Just take the   blue and white air-conditioned bus that goes from Bangkok to Trat. For more information visit this website: www.thailandee.com/en/transportation-thailand/bus/buses-from-pattaya-to-trat

Travelling from Pattaya by Train

A daily service (each-way) operates on the Eastern Line of the State Railway of Thailand between Pattaya and Hualumphong Station in Bangkok. Currently, the 14.20 train from Pattaya station is a free journey.

To be sure of the time table, you could  visit  the State Railway of Thailand website:                                     www.railway.co.th/checktime/checktime.asp?lenguage=Eng

Travelling from Pattaya by Plane

 

Suvarnabhumi International Airport - Bangkok 9

Suvarnabhumi International Airport. Photo Credit: Silvia Muda

Suvarnabhumi International Airport

Pattaya is about 120 kilometers (75 miles), about a hour and half by road to  Suvarnabhumi  Airport, Thailand’s International hub. This is in general, but depending which way you goes and the time of day, it could be more than 90 minutes. It is advisable to have this in mind at the time of planning trips abroad. The airport can be  accessed from both High Way 34 (Bag Na-Trat Highway)  and Motorway 7.You could get any information about your flight visiting  Suvarnabhumi International Airport’s  official Website : www.suvarnabhumiairport.com/en

U- Tapao International Airport

Pattaya is also served by charter flights via  U-Tapao International Airport ( where the American soldiers were based) which is 45 minute drive from the city. This airport is part of Thailand  Air Force, so it is militarized area. There are also some domestic routes from here. You could get any information about your flight visiting U-Tapao International Airport‘s  official Website : www.utapao.com.html

 

Getting around in Pattaya City

Lets  go around Pattaya  by Songthaew

 

Bath buses May 2016 2 (1)

Pattaya has no tuk-tuks ( more commonly  seen in Bangkok and  Si Racha so, the  ad-hoc local transportation is undertaken by a flotilla of “Songthaews’, which are covered pick up trucks with open sides and back, two benches for seating, also called “Baht Taxis”. Jomtien Beach Road, Pattaya. Photo Credit: Silvia Muda

 

Pattaya has no tuk-tuks ( more commonly  seen in Bangkok and  Si Racha), so the  ad-hoc local transportation is undertaken by a flotilla of “Songthaews’, which are covered pick up trucks with open sides and back, two benches for seating, also called ‘Baht Taxis’. Legal baht buses have a logo and a number stenciled on the inside and outside of the truck for identification. The colour indicates the route.

Fares

The official “baht bus” fare is 5 baht for short trips within Pattaya. However, us, being farangs or foreigners, or expats, are universally expected to pay 10 baht. Longer trips will cost more. Having the correct change is by no means essential, but it does keeps low the risk of having a bitter hassle.

For a group of 5 up people, what is considered a charter trip, within Pattaya area the fares are posted at the rear window of every baht bus, plus the 10 baht per person.  Flat fares only apply when operating as a bus.

 

Bath Buses Pattaya 2

The official “baht bus” fare is 5 baht for short trips within Pattaya. However, us, being farangs or foreigners, or expats, are universally expected to pay 10 baht. Be aware that the driver of any baht bus will stop dead exactly where you have pushed the buzzer, in the middle of the road, in the middle of the traffic or as it happens in this case, over the Zebra line, not at the next corner  30 meters ahead, as you , being new in the city, would have thought. Pattaya city. Photo credit: Silvia Muda

Baht buses Routes in Pattaya city

Baht buses have certain routes, but do not always stick to them. The busiest route is the beach circuit: from the junction of Second Road and South Pattaya Road, north along Second Road to the Dolphin roundabout; then south along the full length of Beach Road, turning left until completing the loop at the junction of South Pattaya Road with Second Road. Frequency is virtually non-stop, and even at the most unlikely hours, average waiting time is literally no more than a few seconds.

 

 

The routes could vary: turning a left turn  from Second Road into Central Pattaya Road; or  avoiding turning left on Dolphin roundabout to take Beach Road, but going straight on to Naklua Road, or even a right turn getting on North Pattaya Road towards the Bus Station and Sukhumvit.

It is also easy to catch songthaews along South Pattaya Road, Central Pattaya Road, and North Pattaya Road ;  in the latter case, there’s often  baht buses waiting at the Dolphin roundabout, heading north to  Station or just to Tesco Lotus supermarket.

It is not  complicated at all….. once you get practice.

Note: for more information about Pattaya streets names and location, please go our section Pattaya city information

Bath buses of different colour means different routes
  1. Dark blue with a white band across the lower part of the body are those  baht buses which  go from Naklua to Jomtien.
  2. White baht buses with a blue band across the lower part of the body run on Sukhumvit Rd. and go towards Si Racha and Sattahip.
Transportation- Bath buses 5 (1)

Blue Bath Buses run into the city, along their fixed routes. Photo Credit: Silvia Muda

Transportation- Bath buses 8 (1)

White with a blue line bath Buses run along Sukhumvit Road. Photo Credit: Silvia Muda

 

If only I’d known…

  • Stop a baht bus (weaving your hand downwards a couple of times) that is going in your direction and climb aboard in the back.  It is more convenient if you know before hand the route, because if you ask  the driver where he is going  or ask him to go somewhere specific, he  will assume that you want to hire him privately and as a result, the price will increase
  • If you have any doubt about the route that the baht bus is taking, just take any baht bus which goes in your direction. .. If it takes a turn that is not on your direction, push the buzzer, jump off, pay your 10 baht and get on another baht bus that is is going your way.
  • Be aware that the driver of any baht bus will stop dead exactly where you have pushed the buzzer, in the middle of the road, in the middle of the traffic, not at the corner  30 meters ahead, as you had thought to be the most logical option to stop.
  • Baht buses can be hired for the day, or you could request a specific destination. In these cases, negotiate the price before you board. Do not argue with the driver over the fare, if you are not happy with the fare, just wait for another bus and start the negotiation all over again.
  • Baht buses parked outside hotels or stores will charge more
  • It would be useful if you have business cards written in Thai for specific destinations, in case a hired driver has difficulties understanding English or your Thai; this goes also for taxis, motorbike taxis.
  • If you have a serious problem with the baht taxi driver, you can go to Tourist Police with the number of the baht bus  and time of the day; they should be able to help.
  • It always helps having a small coin bag inside your handbag,..or a 20 baht note in the wallet and be happy giving it.
  • The  only way to know the route is to ask, but be careful of not giving the driver the impression that you want a charter trip.
  • Sometimes the driver will just decide to turn down at random soi for no apparent reason. Be aware that you are expected to pay your 10 bath and just leave the bus looking for another one.
  • Be aware of the driver of an otherwise empty baht-bus, especially one that’s parked at the roadside, who might presume or decide on your behalf, that you want to charter, in that case, expect a  much higher fare of 100 bath, depending of your destination and your negotiating skills. In these cases, you should negotiate beforehand.

 

Getting around Pattaya by Motorbike Taxi

 

Motorbike Taxi

The quickest way to get around in Pattaya is, beyond any doubt, going by motorbike (in Thai, motorsai). Photo Credit: Silvia Muda

The quickest way to get around in Pattaya is, beyond any doubt, going by motorbike (in Thai, motorsai). A motorbike-taxi will be less expensive than a baht bus charter, more expensive than a baht bus but it may not be the safest, especially if you are terrified – rigid on the seat  putting in risk your and the driver’s security.
Roadside motor-taxi  stands scattered through out town, and waiting drivers usually clap their hands or sometimes call out to get the attention of any potential passenger …or if it is you who are looking for one, just say on a loud voice: “Motorsai”..and he or she will pick you up where you are. Easy!

Motorcycle drivers are easily recognizable because they wear coloured vests with numbers on the back. Groups of drivers sit at street corners, in front of popular restaurants, bars, hotels, hospitals. The fare is negotiable and although not always cheap, but it is the quickest way to get anywhere in town.

 

Moto Taxi- Station

Groups of drivers sit at street corners, in front of popular restaurants, bars, hotels, hospitals. Pattaya Beach Soi 4 and Second Road, very close to a Pattaya International Hospital. Photo Credit: Silvia Muda

 

If only I’d known…

  • First and most important; do not hire a motorcycle taxi if you are afraid of motorbikes , or just don’t trust them. You will sit behind the driver so rigidly that you will put both of you in peril.
  • If you have some errands to do, you can hire a motorbike taxi for the whole trip. Also, after a while of hiring the same motor bike-taxi driver, who sits at the corner of your home, for example, he will do some errands for you.
  • During rainy season, taking a motor-taxi could be tricky, not only for your security when roads became very slippery, but also you will get completely drenched. Motorbike-taxi drivers stop at the first shop awing to get refuge, so be prepared to be standing under a shop awning for a while.

 

Transportation - Moto taxis 10 (1)

Motorcycle drivers are easily recognizable because they wear coloured vests with numbers on the back. Sukhumvit Road. Photo Credit: Silvia Muda

Getting around Pattaya By Taxi:

 

Pattaya City 6 (1)

Meter-taxis became a common sight in and around Pattaya. Photo taken from a Bath Bus, Pattaya Beach Road. Photo Credit: Silvia Muda

 

Meter-taxis became a common sight in and around Pattaya . There are more than local companies, a fact that has improved during the last few years. Not all of the taxi drivers are willing to use the meter, so you should insist when getting into them. They are easily  found in front of the biggest  hotels, shopping malls, and tourist attractions.They are painted in blue with yellow or green and yellow.
There are also some car services and non-meters taxis that operate on a call basis.

 Travelling by Minivans:

These services are suited primarily for groups and for longer trips, especially trips outside the city and could be arranged through most travel agencies and hotels. The fare is more expensive than baht buses, and are already fixed. It is ideal for going in group of 10 -11 people.

If you like independence from drivers, you could rent a motorbike or a car..or a bicycle.

Renting a motorcycle:

 

Motorbikes for Rent

One of the many Motorbike Rental shops in Pattaya. Photo Credit: Silvia Muda

 

There are numerous motorbike rentals throughout the town. The rental costs around 150 – 200 Baht  per day for a short time rental; it gets cheaper if you rent for a week, or on monthly basis.

A lot of motorcycles for rent are automatic gear, although  manual-geared ones are also available. For renting the motorbike you are asked to show your passport, and to pay a deposit in cash  which will be given back at the end of the  period established on the contract.

 

If only I’d known…

  • Usually you are not asked  for your driving license for renting the motorbike, but the  police could stop you at any time and place. So it is important to have a Thai driving license if you stay for a long period or an International one, even on holidays…just to avoid fines..
  • Be aware that insurance is  not included on the rental price.
  • Check for any details or damages that the motorbike could have as any small damage paint peeled off, etc  and ask them to be included in the contract. If  not, you will be at high risk of paying for them when giving back the motorbike.
  • Wearing a helmet is a ‘must ‘in this case. Do not rent a motorbike in a place where you won’t be supplied with one. Just go to another one, there are plenty  of them in the city.
  • Drive carefully, not thinking of what you are doing, but also of what all other Thai drivers of motorbikes, cars, pick up trucks,  trucks, buses are or could be doing. Clearly, we don’t share the same logic about driving and safety. Others can do very risky and unexpected things when they drive.

 

Renting a car in Pattaya:

There are car rental companies around Pattaya. Prices vary depending of the model. Long term rental is more reasonable. However, driving in Pattaya might not be an ideal holiday as the traffic in Pattaya can be very frustrating especially during the rush hours, weekends or long weekend holidays. At the time of signing the contract,  you will  be asked to show your passport, and pay a deposit in cash. Check about insurance.

 

If only I’d known…

Check along with the shop staff if  the car has any small damage and ask it to be included on the contract…if you don’t and they see it when you’re giving back the car..well, you could very well pay for respraying the whole car.

 

Renting a bicycle in Pattaya:

 

Going by bike Pattaya

Riding a bicycle has its benefits, but we should be careful of going on the main roads in peak hours, it could turn a little bit risky. Naklua Road, Naklua , Pattaya city. Photo Credit: Silvia Muda

Bicycling is a good way to discover Pattaya. It is healthy, environmentally-friendly and cheap. There are not so many  bicycle rental services although the number is growing.

Most of them can be found at the motorbike rental shops or you can buy one  at malls or hypermarkets but these bikes may be not in a very good state. Specialized bicycle shops have more options and better quality to choose from. Also, there are bikes available at some hotels and resorts but there might be only for their guests only.

If only I’d known…

Bicycling along Jomtien and  Pattaya Beach roads is great, but is should be done early in the morning due to two main reasons: it is not so hot yet, and the traffic is very light… you really will enjoy the view, cool air, the colours of Pattaya waking up, you will discover another city!.

 

Walking around Pattaya city:

Walking is one of, if not  the best way to explore and discover Pattaya life, but it may be best to walk in the morning or evening as the heat in Thailand can be unbearable at midday. If you would like to walk along the street, well, you might have to pay extra attention to the path and the cars.
There is a  beautiful and recently renovated promenade along the Beach Road which provides a good view of Pattaya’s bay. Jomtien Beach Road also has its promenade beautifully upgraded and it is a little more protected from the sun thanks to those old mangrove trees that provide not only shade, but makes the view much more pleasant.

Walking in the early morning has an especial charm when fishing boats come back from the sea, loaded with  their fresh seafood…so it could be a good time also for some shopping …On both Pattaya and Jomtien Beach roads, there are many vendors and shops on the other side of the promenade…or sharing with you the path.

 

If only I’d known…

  • When going for a walk, good walking shoes, loose clothes and a bottle of water are recommended…also, do not forget your mobile, in case you have any problem, and small cash..there will be always a 7/Eleven for buying more water.
  • A golden Rule: when you decide to cross any road  just do it in one smooth move. Do not hesitate, suddenly speed up or change your mind in the middle of the move! Thai drivers would expect you to cross, not to stop, so they will drive where you are at that moment, expecting you to have moved forward, as you were supposed to move. If you are still there…well, they will hit you. Simple. If in doubt, then wait for a better time to cross.
  • If you are part of a group, do the same: do not hesitate. May be it would be useful if one of the group waves their hand up and down, as Thais do, just to make sure that drivers know that you are crossing, and that they, should stop. It is simple, but never ever get into a panic state and stop.

 

Good to remember:

  • If you are thinking of riding a motorbike, or driving a car by yourself, before “hitting the roads”, just spend a few minutes reading some  interesting comments that we found in an old edition of “Living in Pattaya”, a PILC publication, to which we have added our own comments, after getting some experience in Pattaya’s roads:
  • As any other city in the world, Pattaya has its  traffic rules…so  be prepared to expect the unexpected, to drive defensively, and always  drive at a speed that would allow you to stop “‘dead” at any minute. Having this in mind, driving in Pattaya is an enjoyable adventure.
  • Remember that in Thailand we drive on the left. So stay in the left -hand lane except when overtaking another vehicle.
  • Thai drivers rarely blow the horn, and if they do so it will be as a warning, never as a means of venting anger. If you see a case, there a high possibility that the driver is a “farang” , meaning:  an expat.
  • Accidents are serious in any case, at any place, in any country…but here, if a “farang” is involved, guilty or not guilty , he or she is expect to be blamed, and to pay medical, damage and/or some financial compensation. A golden rule: Do not have an accident …
  • Keep in the glove compartment a copy of your vehicle insurance, and a  telephone number of your Insurance or rental company. Usually at an accident scene, the vehicles wait until the insurance company representatives arrive (it might be 30 minutes or more) to take details, fill in the claims forms and photograph the evidence.
  • Double your attention and be prepared to react in time when confronted with an unexpected situation… that could be at any given minute.
  • Roundabouts are an undecipherable dilemma for Thai drivers. Do not take for granted what we do in our home countries, that vehicles on the roundabout have ‘the right of way’. Do not dispute with buses or trucks; being heavier, bigger and broader, they just take the right of way over smaller vehicles when they can – that means everywhere and nearly always. Do not underestimate motorbikes; they could come from the most unexpected side and some people drive as if in a video game.
  • With the exception of main roads which have established directions, all  other  ”sois” , meaning minor roads, alleys, paths, do not have any established direction…so be prepared to deal with vehicles coming on the opposite way, although the width of the soi only allows one vehicle at time … Breath in, and try to look for a place where to squeeze your car, because Thai drivers won’t think of doing that, they could be  seated hours at their wheels with their vehicles front to front waiting for the other to make the first move.
  • Motorbikes and sometimes cars travel on the wrong side of the road, because they want to avoid a detour, or just to park  on the other side from direction that they are going.
  • Motorbike drivers use, the whole width of the lane, what means going to the right and left, as they were cars, so be aware when you want to overtake them.
  • Motorcyclists, barely look for oncoming traffic when they make a  turn  without stopping..may be, if they have a passenger they could sign with they hand, waving  it up and down, showing you to which side they are already turning.
  • At Traffic Lights, many cars and motorbikes ignore the red lights, or just use the second a half between colours change. So another golden rule: be aware, prepared and alert at any intersection, both as a driver or pedestrian.
  • Also at traffic lights, when lights turn yellow, Thai drivers like to speed, so check whether there is somebody behind you before stopping and waiting for the red light.
  • Driving at night could be, at least, riskier, as invisible pedestrians and poorly lit motorcycles tend to underestimate the speed of a car when crossing a road. Street vendors  with also poorly lit motorcycles and side -cars full of their stuff, can decide to stop at any minute, at any place when detecting a possible customer.
  • Bear in mind that some drivers will not indicate if they are going to turn or they are confused about left and right and indicate the opposite way or forget to cancel a previous turn signal.
  • In busy parking lots, it is common to park in front of vehicles already parked. Put the gear in ‘neutral’ with the hand brake off, wheels straight, so attendants can move you car letting others  in or out.
  • Do not drive if you have drink..or do not drink if you drive.

 

In case of an accident in Pattaya:  

Do not panic. Keep cool and common sense. Defend your argument firmly but never shouting , Thais are not used to it, they will stop being cooperative and you will be the one whose caused the accident…guilty or not guilty.

  • Do not move your vehicle until the police officer arrives.
  • Call your insurer, the car rental company. Do not sign anything and do not admit any liability before they arrive. Liability will be defined by the police and the insurance company.
  • Try to find a English speaker Tourist Police whenever possible

 

Note:

After living in Pattaya for a while you will realise that there are more, much more than what we just have told you in this page, but to include all it  is  an up-the hill task, for not saying just impossible. We tried to give you an introduction, an idea of what you should expect to find in terms of transportation in  your new home city .

Pattaya is a city that you must experience yourself. As we do. Every single day is a new experience, a new challenge, a new discovery. But we really hope  that we had been of help with the information collected in this page. Although you might find further information when you were already  living here, we tried to help giving you a general view of your choices. If you have some comments, please, lets know. In the way we will keep linking Pattaya together.

 

error: Content is protected !!
Skip to toolbar