Songthaew - Baht Buses Pattaya - the cheapest way of getting around Pattaya!
Baht Buses (in Thai - songthaews) are Pattaya's version of Tuk Tuks - originally the cost of a ride on one was one baht (hence their name), however now a ride will cost you 10 Baht (still the cheapest form of transport around). These vehicles are dark blue pick-up trucks with opens sides and seats along each side and you will find hundreds around the city running 24 hours a day so you'll never have to wait long for a ride.
To flag down a moving Baht Bus just wave your hand palm-downwards (not palm-upwards, this impolite in Asia), and then hop on when it stops. All buses have buzzers, so when you want to get off just press a buzzer and the driver will stop, there are not set stops so you can get off anywhere along route.
The standard fare for a Baht Bus ride on the main routes in the city is 10 Baht. There are several main routes that Baht Buses take in Pattaya, these are:
- Central Pattaya - this is a circular route running north along Pattaya 2nd Road to the Dolphin Roundabout, then south along Beach Road to Walking Street.
- Jomtien - these Baht Buses run between Jomtien (Thanon Chaiyaphreuk Road), along Jomtien Beach Road, to Central Pattaya, around the corner from Walking Street. The buses from Pattaya towards Jomtien wait on 2nd Road, near the corner of South Pattaya Road, and can be recognized as a Jomtien Baht Bus as they have a white band cross the lower body of the vehicle. The drivers of these will wait for their bus to be full before heading off towards Jomtien.
- Nakula - from Pattaya some buses heading north along the 2nd Road will continue past the Dolphin Roundabout and finish as Na Kluea 4 Alley. If the bus you are on does not head north just hop off and wait at the start of Pattaya Nakula Road for another bus.
- Sukhumvit - you can read Sukhumvit from three main roads heading north, these are North Pattaya Road, Central Pattaya Road and South Pattaya Road. From Sukhumvit it is possible to head south on a Baht Bus to Baan Amphur and Bang Saray, however there are fewer buses along this route and due to the distance, it is expected to cost more than the standard 10 Baht fare.
Baht Buses Pattaya
If you ever find yourself going in the wrong direction on a Baht Bus just jump off, pay your 10 Baht fare and hop on a bus going in the right direction.
It is really useful to have a lot of small change or 20 Baht notes to hand for your Baht Bus fares, as drivers very often will not have (or don't want to give) change for larger notes, so if you can pay the exact fare it will be easier for you.
Baht Buses Pattaya can be hired to take you to a specific destination of your choice, however make sure you agree a fare with the driver before you get on. If a bus is parked and empty (and not at a 'taxi rank' such as on 2nd Road towards Jomtien), then it is best not to get on as these can be viewed as taxis for hire, therefore the driver will be expecting a higher fare and may try and persuade you to go to places where he will receive a commission, such as a massage parlor or show.