PATTAYA AREA - GETTING AROUND

 

TAXI'S: There are now some metered taxis in Pattaya but they are very limited in number and often refuse to use the meter.

SONGTHAEWS: Many locals and tourists use the plentiful "Songthaews" or "Baht buses" to move around the Pattaya, Na Klua and Jomtien area's. These are basically open backed utility trucks with narrow padded benches. Thais pay THB5 for a short journey within the area, Tourists pay THB10. There are a few "buzzers" in the rear section, simply hit the button as you approch your destination. Get off, walk to the passenger window, hand over THB10 and walk away, don't ever ask how much. If you have travelled beyond the THB10 limit, the driver will very quickly point this out to you.Hailing the Baht Bus is a simple process of waving one down (heading in your direction) with the palm of your hand facing down.

Beach road and Second road are one way so you need to be on the correct road, to travel in your chosen direction.

There are a few different routes, mainly the circuit around beach road and second road, and over to Jomtien from south Pattaya.

If you want to go somewhere out of the way, stop an empty one and bargain hard. You can also sit in the front if he's alone. They can be useful for shopping and transporting larger items.

 

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For further reading on Pattaya Transport options click HERE

MOTORBIKE TAXI'S: Are a cheap, plentiful, quick and convenient way to get around Pattaya, although there are obvious road safety risks associated with their use. They tend to congregate at "taxi stations" scattered around the city and are identified by their coloured vest with a number on the back.

Short journeys start at around THB30-40, but you should negotiate the price before setting off, and only pay once you've reached your destination safely. Ensure you're given a proper fitting helmet to wear for the ride and HANG ON!.

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CAR RENTAL: Pattaya has numerous car rental companies, most of which are reputable and reliable. Ensure you have an International Driving Permit and your National Licence. Most companies will not ask to see the International Permit, but having one is the LAW. Ensure you take out first class insurance, and it's a good idea to snap off photo's of your hire car from different angles in case of any dispute about damage later on. Pattaya is a very busy area so be cautious and drive defensively on the roads. Road accident statistics in Thailand are horrendous, so be careful.

road signs 

(Link to Thailand Road signs)

Further advice on negotiating Thai roads HERE.

Multi-National Rental Companies operate out of Pattaya like AVIS and BUDGET. There are also many local hire car companies like HOLIDAY RENT-A-CAR with economy models starting at THB790 per day including insurance. The local companies will normally accept a cash deposit (usually for the rental fee plus the selected insurance excess amount) in lieu of a Credit card payment.

MOTOR-SCOOTER RENTAL: This is a fun way to get around Pattaya, but remember road accidents are common, so it is not recommended for the novice. You will find motorbike rental places scattered around the city, and rates usually start at THB150 per day, with reductions for longer term rentals. A deposit of around THB1000 is normal, but ensure you get a reciept so you can claim it back at the end of the rental period.

As with a hire car, make sure you have the appropriate International Driving Permit, and your National Licence in case of an accident or interlude with the Thai Police.Take photo's of the bike before you take it away in case of any dispute about damage later on.

It is NOT ADVISABLE to ever leave your PASSPORT as a security, but having a photocopy on hand, to leave with the hirer if required is a good idea. If a hirer insists on having your passport, move on and try someone else.

Make sure you also get a well fitting helmet as part of the rental.Helmets ARE MANDATORY, you will be caught and fined if you fail to wear one. Fines start at about THB250 and go north from there. Also consider good footwear andappopriate clothing to give you some protection should the worse happen.

BE WARNED!

If you wear jewellery like gold chains, it is highly recommended that you put them in your pocket or leave them in the hotel safe when riding a motorbike or in the back of a songthaew. Thieves will quite commonly race up beside you, as you're in motion, and try to snatch gold chains from your neck. They are quite brazen and this happens to Thai people and tourists alike.

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