Skip to main content

To the Beach: Pattaya

Today we checked out from our hotel in Bangkok and traveled to the southeast side of Bangkok, to another city called Pattaya, popular for beach resorts.

The bus to Pattaya is departed from Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekamai), located near exit of Ekamai BTS Station. When we were looking for the ticket counter to buy the bus ticket, we were approached by a man who showed us the counter for Pattaya. He seemed trustworthy, and the ticket price they asked us was 130 Baht ($4) per person, not too much different than what I read in internet (~124 Baht). So we bought the tickets. He then led us the way to a minivan, put our baggage inside and asked us to get inside and wait (somehow we understood his body language). I was a bit worried, because this was not what I expected, to travel with a minivan. I thought we would be going by a bus!

Not long after that, other people started filling up the minivan, including tourists from Philippines and Indonesia, and some locals. The car would depart at 9.10am, but the car was quickly full of passengers, so off we went to Pattaya before 9am, and would take about 2 hours to Pattaya (depends on the traffic). Since the car was fueled with gas, every 1 hour it stopped in gas station.

When we arrived in Pattaya City (we knew it by seeing the welcoming board of Pattaya City on the way), the driver suddenly stopped somewhere in Sukhumvit Road, and he said it's the last stop and everyone should alight. This was AGAIN not what I expected! I expected we were stopped in Pattaya Bus Station, where we would take public transport to our hotel like we planned. I was so panic and about to cry. Even with my husband and 3G data in my iPhone, I still got lost!

Now when I read again some articles in the internet about going to Pattaya, I just came across this article:
Be wary of touts who solicit you at various bus stations in Bangkok. Most of them provide private minivan transport and won't drop you off at the main Pattaya station on North Pattaya Road. You will likely find yourself miles outside Pattaya. They also don't begin their journeys until the minivan is full. Unless you want to charter your own van, you should stick to the government buses or those offered by Roong Reuang Coach.
Oops, I think we just got that one. Bangkok is really a scam city! Anyway, after calling and asking several times with the hotel staff, and checking Google Maps in my iPhone, I started to understand a bit where we were. Luckily we were not miles outside Pattaya. In fact, we were really close to South Pattaya Road. Our hotel April Suites is located near Central Pattaya Road. The Air Condition Bus Station (where we should've stopped) is located near North Pattaya Road. The hotel staff said we could go to South Pattaya Road and take a public transport called Songthaew (I really didn't know how to spell it before I googled it) which would take us to Pattaya 2nd Road (Pattaya Sai Song). After the intersection between Pattaya 2nd Road and Central Pattaya Road we could stop there and walk to the hotel.

Our route to the hotel

We crossed Sukhumvit Road to go to South Pattaya Road, where some Songthaews are waiting for passengers. This dark blue public transport looks like this.

Songthaew in Pattaya

It starts to go when it's already full by passengers. My husband showed our hotel address to a girl and an old lady sitting beside us. They were then talking in Thai discussing about it, and with body language we understood that the old lady would show us when to stop. Along the way, we examined how they used this public transport. There were seats enough for 14 people to sit, and some spaces for people to stand. It can stop anywhere you want, not in particular bus stops. If you want to stop, just press the bell on the roof. Everyone paid 10 Baht to the driver when they alight, not depends on the distance.

I remember not long after we passed CentralFestival Beach Mall, the old lady told us to stop. There we could see our hotel sign. After paying 20 Baht to the driver, we crossed the road, to our hotel located in a small street (Soi), not far from the main road. We finally made it! If we were stopped at Bus Station in North Pattaya Road, we would have taken Songthaew to our hotel for 25 Baht per person. While from South Pattaya Road, we took Songthaew to our hotel for 10 Baht each (cheaper!), plus some drama.

After check-in and put our baggage, it was already 1.30pm. We walked to CentralFestival Beach Mall to have lunch. The weather outside was so hot, so we walked around this mall until the sun was tamed. They said it was Asia's largest beachfront shopping mall, facing Pattaya Beach.

Pattaya Beach

While having lunch, we booked online Bell Travel Service bus tickets to Suvarnabhumi Airport for the next morning. That is the best reliable transport service we can find to travel directly from Pattaya to Suvarnabhumi Airport (or vice versa). Our flight on the next day would be around 12.30pm, but the Bell Travel Service bus schedules to the airport are only at 06:00, 09:00, 11:00, 13:00, 15:00, 17:00, 19:00. Even though 6am was too early for us, but the next schedule 9am was too late for our flight, so we booked 6am bus. They would pick us up at the hotel at 5.30am. The bus fare from Pattaya to Suvarnabhumi Airport is 230 Baht ($7) per person.

It was so sad, we hadn't traveled much in Pattaya yet, but already planned to go the next early morning. Pattaya is well-known for the beach/water sports, partying in clubs and lady boy shows. But we didn't want to go for any of that. I was more interested to visit Mini Siam and Nong Nooch Garden, but half day tours usually start at 1.30pm, and we were already too late for that. So, let's just relax and enjoy the rest of Pattaya. We walked around the mall and the beach, and slowly walked back to our hotel at 5pm. Our hotel has a nice rooftop pool, so we would like to swim there while watching sunset.

Rooftop pool in April Suites Hotel

After swimming and taking shower, we then went outside to find some foods for dinner. We came from South Pattaya Road this afternoon, so this time we would like to see up to North Pattaya Road. We took Songthaew again along Pattaya 2nd Road, and randomly stopped at any crowded place. There were many bars along this road, and the local girls started to work. Everywhere I saw old white foreign guys (over age 50) with local girls. Pattaya is really their favorite place for retirement.

We finally decided to eat in one local food court on the street. In my Bangkok series I never posted a food picture right? Yes, because I am not a foodie. Since we already reached almost the end of my trip in Bangkok (plus Pattaya), let me post one Thai food picture: Seafood Pancake. It was so delicious!

Seafood Pancake

After dinner, we walked toward North Pattaya Road to take Songthaew back to our hotel. The Pattaya 2nd Road was spread out from South Pattaya Road to North Pattaya Road, but it was one way road. So, to go to the lower side of Pattaya 2nd Road, we had to go around to Beach Road then back to Pattaya 2nd Road. The Songthaews go along Beach Road as well. That night Beach Road was filled by  many Thai girls and lady-boys (can't really differentiate them) with sexy clothes standing and waiting to be approached. When we took Songthaew back to our hotel, we passed by the entrance of Walking Street. It was the famous night life and red light district of Pattaya.

Our route back to hotel from dinner

Roads in Pattaya are easy to understand right? I feel so stupid why I was so panic before. Ok, that was our half day and night in Pattaya. I hadn't spend much time in this city, but Pattaya with its crazy night life and many pathetic old foreigners, was definitely not my kind of favorites. 


Popular posts from this blog

Jeju Island in 3 Days

Jeju Island, the Hawaii of Korea, where couples usually go for honeymoon, and the place of many UNESCO Nature Heritage sites, is really beautiful and romantic. Some people say we need to spend at least 1 week to explore and experience the most of this island, but in my opinion 3 days are enough. Trust me, many places in Jeju only look good in advertisement, they're good at selling it. There are no interesting places in the North and West part of Jeju Island, so you can focus on East and South. East and South parts are amazingly naturally beautiful! Here's the itinerary I recommend.

Day-1: East of Jeju Island

Manjanggul / Manjang Cave
Spending time: 30-45 minutes
Hallasan, located in the middle of Jeju Island is the only volcanic mountain in Korea. It created several small volcanic mountains throughout Jeju Island, called Oreum in Korean. One of the biggest Oreum is Geomun Oreum, famous with its large lava tube system and designated as a UNESCO Natural Heritage site. It has few l…

Review: Homestay Cahaya Sikunir Dieng

Mencari penginapan di Dieng itu susah-susah gampang. Disana tidak ada hotel, adanya penginapan rumahan atau homestay. Beberapa turis kadang menginap di kota Wonosobo, sekitar sejam dari Dieng, demi mendapat penginapan yang bagus. Pilihan di travel apps hanya sedikit dan kurang cocok. Setelah browsing sana-sini, terutama baca review blog orang, saya hubungi beberapa homestay di Dieng baik lewat telpon maupun Whatsapp. Saat kami sudah mulai road trip Jawa Tengah tanggal 12 Desember, kami masih belum tau mau menginap dimana di Dieng tanggal 17 Desember nya. Karena waktu itu kami belum fix juga sih mau berapa malam di Dieng, 1 atau 2 malam? Kalau 2 malam, keduanya di homestay yang sama atau ganti homestay?

Akhirnya tanggal 16 Desember, sehari sebelum ke Dieng (saat itu kami di Solo), kami memutuskan untuk menginap 2 malam di Dieng. Malam pertama di Homestay Cahaya Sikunir, karena keesokan subuh nya mau sok-sokan melihat sunrise di Bukit Sikunir, dan malam kedua di Homestay Serayu. Untuk

Transportation in Jeju Island

These are some remarks regarding public transportation in Jeju.
Buses in Jeju Island accept Seoul's t-money card. You can buy and top-up it in convenience store, like GS25 and Family Mart.City buses normally charge 1000won for cash, or 950won for t-money card. If you pay by card, tap it to the machine when you aboard and when you alight. If you transit between 2 buses during a certain times, fee for the next bus can be 0won, or free.Intercity buses vary depends on the distance, usually between 1000-3000won. There's no different fee paying with cash or card. When you aboard the bus, tell the driver about your destination, he will tell you how much it is, and you have to pay there directly. If you pay by card, no need to tap it again when you get off.There are 2 bus terminals in Seogwipo city. The main bus terminal is in the south-east of downtown, near the Jeongbang Waterfall, which is also the old one. The second one is to the right of the E-mart in front of the World Cup Stad…