For many tourists, Pattaya is the first and only place they get to see on their trip to Thailand. Prior to arriving in Pattaya or any other city in Thailand, you should do some research about essential things to look out for. One of those things is how to get around.
Wherever you live, you probably have a good idea of how to get from point A to B and might assume that it’s similar in Thailand. Well, you might be surprised to see that it’s not.
We want to make sure that you will not run into problems while trying to get to your desired destination. Here are the ways you can get around in Pattaya and everything you need to know about them.
TaxiTaking a taxi is most likely something we are all familiar with and would be the first choice when trying to get somewhere. Pattaya and many places in Thailand have taxis all over the place, but it’s not as simple as getting in and driving to your location.
First of all, taxi drivers will probably not go with a meter, unlike in Bangkok, this is fairly common in Pattaya. Although there are some taxis with meters, you will have a hard time getting the driver to actually turn it on. It certainly helps to know this in advance, so you can try to bargain for a better price, since most drivers want to charge you more than they should.
UberIn recent time Uber has been gaining traction in parts of Thailand and just recently expanded its services to Pattaya. The great thing with Uber is the ability to get a driver directly to your location and and also let him know where you want to go beforehand. Additionally, you’ll get an estimated price for you ride which is completely cashless. This means that you will need a smartphone that is capable of running the dedicated application needed to use this service. Within the application you can add a credit card to complete your payment with.
The major benefit with Uber is the fact that you will not be ripped off, or charged too much. Upon arrival at your location, you can just get out and continue your day. The application itself has some great features which allow you to see the current location of the driver as well as an estimated time of arrival of both the driver at your location and the destination that you wish to go to.
Unfortunately, there is a downside to all of this. Uber is not being widely accepted in Thailand, some services are technically illegal. In addition to this, there were incidents in which taxi drivers were forcefully trying to remove the passengers from their Uber ride.
Uber poses a serious threat to normal taxi drivers, as it’s significantly cheaper and therefore more people slowly gravitate towards Uber services. Taxi drivers often can’t afford to charge the actual meter price, which is why they will charge as much as 300% more in some cases.
Motorbike TaxisThis option is easily one of the most convenient and cheapest. You will find motorbike taxis everywhere but looking out for the drivers with a colored vest with a number on the back. A short trip will set you back around 30-40 THB. One thing to keep in mind is to always negotiate for a price before you get on the bike. Also, you want to be sure to ask for a helmet, as the traffic can be quite hectic and accidents do occur frequently.
Songthaews “Baht Busses”This is a very cheap option when you are trying to get somewhere. A Songthaew is essentially a small Pick-Up with a roof and seats in the loading area. The fare is various but mostly, the price shows next to the buzzer. They offer a buzzer in the rear, so by the time you are reaching your desired location you just press it and the car will stop. Be sure to walk up to the passenger window and pay your fare, don’t ask for the prize, as they will take this opportunity to charge more than that. If you went for a longer trip, they will let you know to pay extra.
Rent a CarRenting a car is especially useful if you’ve rented a long term condo or apartment in Pattaya. You will have the chance to go outside of Pattaya and take a day trip. Car rentals can be found easily and most of them are reliable, however, we recommend looking up some reviews ahead of time. Once you’ve decided on a car you like, you should definitely capture the condition of the vehicle by taking multiple pictures.
You are by law required to carry an international driving permit, so make sure you have that with you upon renting your car.
Rent a MotorbikeQuite similar to renting a car, a motorbike is a great way of getting around the city. It is important to note that driving a motorbike is more dangerous, because, as previously mentioned, the traffic can be quite hectic and therefore you should have a least a decent amount of experience when driving a motorbike.
If you do find yourself confident enough to drive on the wild streets of Pattaya, then you also want to take multiple pictures of your bike, before driving off. In some occasions, the rental service will point out damages on the bike, that may have been there before, but you will have no chance of proving it. In addition to the above, it’s important to always wear a helmet, no matter how confident you feel, and of course, never drive when you’ve had a beer or two before. The Thai Police can be quite ruthless, especially among tourists.
Happy HolidaysIn conclusion, there are plenty of ways to get you to mostly anywhere you want to go. Whether you rent a motorbike or simple go with a motorbike taxi, this option is probably the quickest at a moderate price.
A regular Taxi will get you anywhere you want and is safer than a bike, but at the same time will most likely cost you a lot more. A Songthaew, also known as a “Baht Bus” will do just the same as a taxi, but is certainly cheaper. Rentals are great when you are looking for some independence and especially are staying in Pattaya Apartment for a longer period of time.