The trip from Hua Hin to Pattaya is about trading one of the most popular good-time resorts in the Land of Smiles for another. It’s about hopping across the breadth of the Thai Gulf, from the province of Prachuap Khiri Khan in the west to the region of Chon Buri in the east.
The multi-story hotels and manicured beaches virtually face each other, but 65 miles of seawater are in between. That means you’ll either need to skirt the Thai highways through Bangkok to make the trip, connecting buses with taxis, or wait for one of the rare direct coach departures. Let’s take a closer look…
|Hua Hin to Pattaya by Bus
|Hua Hin to Pattaya by Taxi
|Hua Hin to Pattaya by Train
|Hua Hin to Pattaya by Train and Bus
Hua Hin to Pattaya by Bus
Time – 4 hours
Price – $14
Comfort – 3/5
Some direct travel routes in Thailand still rely heavily on VIP bus services. The one from Hua Hin to Pattaya is among them. If you want to do this whole trip from A to B without stopping or changing vehicles, then the coaches are a good way to go. They take at least four hours in total, but usually closer to five or six hours because of the added time it takes to navigate the traffic around Bangkok along the way. There are at least two departures each day: One in the late morning and one in the mid-afternoon.
The direct bus has once again become popular since the boat from Hua Hin to Pattaya ceased operations.
Roong Reuang Coach is the only company currently running direct links on this route. It’s a relatively new addition to the lineup of long-distance bus providers in Thailand but uses very similar express carriages to all the other major operators. Expect two-by-two seat organization, airconditioned passenger spaces, dedicated luggage storage in the belly of the coach, and planned refreshment stops along the way.
Buses heading Pattaya way all leave from the main Hua Hin Bus Station near the airport. They drive north from there up the coast road, then skirt the ring roads around the Thai capital, then bend south into Chon Buri and into Jomtien Bus Station, which sits on the south side of Pattaya resort. To be honest, the route’s not all that scenic and you’ll spend plenty of time navigating built-up outer suburbs around Bangkok. That said, there are some pretty sections along the eastern gulf coast and under the karst ranges just outside of Hua Hin itself.
Hua Hin to Pattaya by Taxi
Time – 4 hours+
Price – $113
Comfort – 5/5
Despite the increased cost, there are a few good arguments for hiring a private taxi to take you all the way around the top of the Thai Gulf and into the party town of Pattaya. First off, this is the most comfortable way to go. You’ll have your own air-conditioned vehicle to ride in from start to finish, with dimmed windows to keep out the sun, upholstered seats, and even complimentary water. Second, taxis can pick you up anywhere you like on the Hua Hin side and drop you off wherever you like in Pattaya. This is an important feature when you realize just how wide and spread out these two big resort cities are.
Convert your trip from Hua Hin to Pattaya into a sightseeing tour around central Thailand. It costs more but means you’ll travel in comfort and get to see loads along the way.
And even the price doesn’t have to be that daunting. Remember that $113 is the starting rate for the whole car. That means any families or groups of travel buddies making the hop from west to east together can easily share the total and pay less per person. Dividing between a group of four will bring the individual cost to just under $30 each, which is well worth the markup compared to VIP coaches when you consider the gain in comfort.
And there’s more…departure times in taxis are 100% flexible. These will leave when you choose, perhaps to match up with the end of hotel breakfast or even to link with an incoming boat from one of the gulf islands just off Hua Hin. On top of that, drivers are often willing to add on any stops you might want to make along the way. It could incur an extra fee but that does mean that you could turn a boring travel day into something special – the historic railroad town of Kanchanaburi and the ancient temple center of old Siam in Ayutthaya are both possible pitstops here.
All taxi offers can be compared and even booked in advance online using 12GoAsia, one of Southeast Asia’s most trusted booking platforms. Easy!
Hua Hin to Pattaya by Train
Time – 1.5 days in total
Price – $8+
Comfort – 4/5
It is possible to ride Thai railways all the way through the capital and out to the hedonistic resort town of Chon Buri province. Just expect it to be a long trip. Yes, the locomotives are a downright fun way to move around the Land of Smiles, but schedules don’t always match up that well. And so it is on this journey, which will almost certainly warrant a whole night’s stay in the big city before beginning on the second leg down to Pattaya itself.
If you’d like to explore some of Bangkok and travel slowly, we can’t think of a better way to cover the distance between Hua Hin and Pattaya than the railways.
The initial part of the journey from Hua Hin to Bangkok should be a cinch. There are around 11 daily departures to the metropolis, taking around five hours each. They’ll bring you straight into the Hua Lamphong Station. The good news is that’s also where the trains leave for Pattaya. The bad news is that they probably won’t be running until the next morning. The best solution is to grab yourself a hotel and explore the surrounding Chinatown – it’s one of the buzziest parts of Bangkok, complete with wet markets and night bazaars.
Don’t stay out too late, though. The trains that go to Pattaya roll out of Hua Lamphong Station very early on, usually before 7am. They take around 2.5-3 hours in all, covering just over 60 miles of the track heading southeast down the side of the gulf. All locomotives will stop at Pattaya Railway Station, from where it’s a short taxi ride of 10-15 minutes to the main beach and the biggest hotels.
Hua Hin to Pattaya by Train and Bus
Time – Around 8 hours including transfers from train station to bus station
Price – $12
Comfort – 4/5
To avoid having to spend a full night in Bangkok itself but to keep the comforts of the Thai trains, you could swap out the second half of your trip for a minivan or bus. The first 10 departures of the day from Hua Hin to Hua Lamphong Station promise to get you into the capital by at least 10.30am. Even with some delays, that should leave plenty of time to cruise across to the bus terminals and hop on one of the very regular connections that hit the road to complete the trip to Pattaya.
Hit the rail lines to Bangkok and then change to a bus to make the trip over the Thai Gulf in time for parties on Pattaya Walking Street.
The good news is that getting from the train station to the bus station that serves Pattaya is a proverbial walk in the park. Simply hop on the BTS transit system and navigate to Thong Lor. That trip across town shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes and puts you within easy reach of the Ekkamai Bus Terminal. Alternatively, you can simply hop in a taxi at the train station, but ensure they put the meter on before you start to drive.
We’d recommend checking 12GoAsia to weigh up all the departure times from the Ekkamai Bus Terminal to Pattaya. You’ll be pleased to find that there’s something like 20+ going every single day, with lots after 12pm, which makes them doable after coming off the morning trains out of Hua Hin. Most are in 12-seater minivans, which tend to be well air-conditioned and have plenty of legroom.
Pattaya is the fun-filled party town of eastern Thailand. It spreads along a series of glistening bays on the edge of the gulf, unfolding in bumping bar streets, wild night markets, and lux hotels. It’s a great place to pick for your next destination if you’ve already been kicking back along the sands of Hua Hin. Sadly, there are no flights and no direct ferries currently running the route over the water. That means you’ll need to put together either train-minivan combo trips or book onto one of the daily coach departures. Most trips will get you from A to B in half a day, but some could warrant a stopover in Bangkok along the way.
Hua Hin to Pattaya FAQ
The boat from Hua Hin to Pattaya has ceased operations 2023. Please check the operator’s Facebook page for more information and contact details. https://www.facebook.com/RoyalPassengerLiner/
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