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It is very common for travelers to Thailand to head straight for its mystic beaches upon arrival. Here we will explain the most economical means of reaching the city of Pattaya from both airports. The connection is direct from the major Airport Suvarnabhumi (BKK) and indirect from the low cost airport Don Muang (DMK).
From the main international airport one has many direct means of reaching Pattaya. There are several bus options:
Bell Travel Service buses
These depart every two hours and they allow you to pre-book your time of departure online, just give yourself enough time for any delay and immigration and customs. Bell Travel buses ticket counter is found at gate number 8 on level one once you have cleared immigration and customs. The buses depart six times per day at the following times: 8.00, 10.00, 12.00, 14.00, 16.00, 18.00. There is an option for a ticket that will drop you off at your hotel directly or simply at the Pattaya Bus terminal. In either case everyone disembarkes at the terminal and goes into smaller vans if they have a ticket for hotel drop off.
389 Airport Pattaya Bus
This service offers sixteen buses per day from 07:00 till 22:00. They have several drop off locations in Pattaya and the rate is 134 Baht per person. The bus departs Suvarnabhumi on level 1 gate 8.
To catch a bus to Pattaya you can transfer to Suvarnabhumi airport and follow the options discussed above. Just remember it is not possible to take the free shuttle between airports if you do not have a boarding pass for an outbound flight at the destination airport. So you will have to take a taxi (150-350 baht) or the public bus 555 or 554 (for 36baht.)
The closer option to Don Muang Airport however is to make your way to one of two options the Eastern Bus Station (Ekkamai) and the Northern Bus Station (Mo Chit). Both stations are equally advantageous, but getting to each one is different. Ekkamai Bus Station can be reached via bus and skytrain, while Mo Chit Bus Station is most practically reached by taxi.
Don Muang to Ekamai Bus Station
To get to Ekkamai Station take bus A1 or A2 just outside of Don Muang to the Mo Chit Sky train (BTS) station. Then board the BTS skytrain at Mo Chit and ride to Ekkamai station and get off. Just next to the platform you will find Ekkamai bus station. Buses run about every 30 minutes to Pattaya during normal daytime hours. Last reported fares were around 125 baht and the estimated ride time in good traffic is 2 to 2.5 hours to Pattaya.
Don Muang to Mo Chit Bus Station
To get to Mo Chit bus station one might assume that it would be next to the Mo Chit BTS skytrain station, however it is not, it is almost a half hour walk away. So it does not make sense to take the A1 bus to the skytrain station and then to get a taxi to the Mo Chit Bus Station for 50 baht and wait in traffic. The best option if departing from this bus station is to take a taxi directly from Don Muang Airport to Mo Chit Bus Station. Taxi rates will vary, but it should be 150 baht. Buses run between 04:00 and 22:00
Directly to Pattaya in Taxi
Finally you can negotiate a taxi to bring you to Pattaya from either airport, but it will cost around 1000 to 1500 baht and not all taxi’s will be willing to go. It may be the only option at very late hours when the bus companies have limited or no service. In such a scenario it might be better just to sleep nearby the airport and wait till the following day.