Getting Around Pattaya
Pattaya’s main tourist area spans little more than a few kilometres. Getting around Pattaya on foot is very feasible. Many of the shopping malls, hotels, bars, restaurants and nightlife hot spots are all within walking distance of one another. This makes it easy to explore the city during the day and at night. It’s worth remembering though that Pattaya can get extremely hot during the day. Unless you are exceptionally fit you may find walking much more than 200 meters an effort at times due to the humidity. Fortunately, Pattaya has some fantastic public transport options if you would prefer to give your feet a rest. The Baht Bus is a particular favourite because it is cheap, regular and reliable.
Unlike much of Thailand, there are no Tuk-Tuks in Pattaya. Instead, people tend to get around on a baht bus. A baht bus is basically a pick-up truck which has been modified. It has a hard canopy top and two benches either side in the back that can accommodate about 8-10 passengers. Baht buses can be seen everywhere in Pattaya, especially along the main routes through the city. You’ll never have to wait more than a few minutes for one to pass you. When it does, simply flag it down and hop on the back.
As a general guide, the standard fee is 10 baht. If you are looking to travel a little further then check the fare prices displayed in the back of every baht bus. If you need the driver to take a detour to a specific address that’s not normally a problem. It’s always a good idea to agree on the price with the driver before you set off though.
Motorbike taxis offer a quick and convenient way of getting around Pattaya, especially during busy periods. The taxis are easy to find as the drivers can be found gathered on nearly every street and operate 24 hours, 7 days a week. It’s worth noting though that hopping on a motorbike taxi is not for the faint-hearted and can be dangerous. It’s another ridiculously cheap way of getting around Pattaya, but if you’re a poor backseat driver then you may find the Thai way of driving difficult to get your head around.
To get a motorbike taxi, simply walk down the street and raise an arm at the next passing taxi bike – it’s as easy as that. It’s always a good idea to agree a fare with the taxi rider before you begin the journey and always remember to wear a helmet. Riders will always have a spare one for you to use. Just like in many other countries, it is illegal in Thailand to drive the wrong way down a one-way street, jump red lights, exceed the speed limit and undertake other road users. However, you may find that these road laws all go out the window when you ride on the back of a taxi bike.
Car & Bike Hire
Another option for getting around Pattaya is to hire a scooter or car. Although it’s a practical way of travelling around the city it’s not hugely popular with tourists because the baht bus and taxi bikes are just an easier alternative. Hiring a 100cc or 125cc scooter will cost you approx. 150-200 baht per day. If you hire for a longer period it’s likely you’ll receive a cheaper daily rate.
Most hotels and resorts offer bike rentals. There are also hire shops scattered across the city with various different makes and models to choose from. Choose from automatic and semi-automatic scooters. You will see various 600cc to 1000cc motorbikes for rent by Beach Road. DO NOT rent these unless you are an experienced motorbike rider. We have read of too many bravado tourists who felt invincible whilst on holiday ending under a bus on these large motorbikes.
Hiring a car is another option. However, unless you are planning to explore beyond the city there really is little point as you’ll only end up spending hours stuck in traffic. Again, there are many hire shops scattered across the city with prices ranging from 800 – 1,200 baht a day, depending on the age and model of the vehicle.
Our best advice about driving anywhere in Thailand is not to think that the rules which seem to govern how Thais drive will be allowed by tourists. They frequently don’t. Drive sensibly and comply with the law and you should be safe. Always wear a helmet when riding a bike and don’t drink under the influence. You will be fined 200 Baht by the Police if you are stopped driving without a helmet by the Police. Also, remember that in Thailand you drive on the left.