Bangkok, Pattaya,Phuket

Travel Forums Asia Bangkok, Pattaya,Phuket

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1. Posted by salbanil (Budding Member 3 posts) 42w Star this if you like it!

Planning to travel in mid February to Thailand from the United States. Want visit Bangkok for 3 days, Pattaya for 2 days, and Phuket for 5 days.

What is the best way to get to Pattaya from Bangkok?

Should we fly to Phuket from Bangkok? We want to have our return flight from Phuket or should I go back to Bangkok?

What is the best way to book hotel reservation for these areas.

We have been to Thailand before own a tour. This time we want to try and make our own arrangements.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

2. Posted by UliS (Travel Guru 133 posts) 42w Star this if you like it!

There are direct buses from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport to Pattaya (last stop near Jomtien beach). From the Eastern Bus Terminal Bangkok Ekkamai are very frequent buses and minibuses to Pattaya, for quite a bit more money you can have also point to point minibuses.
Bangkok to Phuket by bus would be a overnight bus from the Southern Bus Terminal, lowcost airlines like AirAsia, Nok Air etc. you can get very cheap if booking very early they will be leaving from Don Mueang airport.
From Pattaya is also a ferry to Hua Hin and from there by bus to Phuket.
I don't book ahead in Thailand (cheap places you can't book), agoda.com and booking.com are good.

[ Edit: Edited on 28-Sep-2018, at 00:22 by UliS ]

3. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 2264 posts) 42w Star this if you like it!

If flying from the US I would use round trip to Bangkok. If you are booking one way to Bangkok and one way from Phuket to the US the price of your plane tickets could be higher than round trip to Bangkok. Whenever you are booking tickets compare round trip prices vs purchasing 2 one way flights.

Coming from the US 10 full days is about the minimum I would recommend. Lots of time zones, first few days you might feel like crap.

Bangkok to Pattaya can be a cheap bus ride if you mean leaving from the city area. Ekamai bus terminal is off a Skytrain stop. Approximately 108 baht per passenger. How many people does "WE" mean? A whole big family group or a big bunch of guys out for nightlife? The cost of the bus ride times the amount of people vs the cost of a van ride.
https://pattayabus.com/V2/bangkok-to-pattaya-timetable/

Local transportation in Pattaya and Bangkok is cheap compared to Phuket.

If you use a bus from Bangkok to Phuket it will take around 12 hours. Going to the bus station, waiting for departure, etc. There are discount airlines you can use. Use a bus from a real bus terminal. Too many buses booked from private companies, especially from Khao San Road area, show in theft and other scams. Google up bus scams Bangkok. Always keep your passport, cash, jewelry, phone and precious valuables on your person or within view. Don't put valuables in any checked in bag! I prefer to lock my bags when using buses in any country. Always Google up scams to avoid.

Both Bangkok and Pattaya will be cheaper than Phuket. Phuket does have better beach areas if you actually intend to swim at a beach. Phuket has much better beaches than Pattaya! Pattaya Beach is no good for beach type swimming because the water is not clean enough for most Western tourists. For people from some other nearby countries the water may not be too much different than their beaches close to big cities. (Trash, plastic, styrofoam, sewage, etc.) Koh Larn island at Pattaya is marginally cleaner but it can be crowded. Ferry boat ride is cheap and worth the ride.

"What is the best way to book hotel reservation for these areas."

First you decide how much per night you want to spend on a room per night. There are search engines that can give you prices and take your money. February is not at the top of high season so there will be rooms you can get with walk-ins. For the first night or two have a room to head to especially if arriving late at night. There is an Accommodation section on this TP website.
https://www.travellerspoint.com/accommodation/

Google search will give you reviews for reliable booking sites for hotels. I see Agoda on several other travel forums. I never use one for cheap places. Bangkok is big so hotel location can be helpful. My first choice for Bangkok is a hotel where you can use the Skytrain or Airport Rail Link.

If you do choose round trip to Thailand my suggestion for the return flight from Bangkok is to spend the night before in Bangkok. If you intend to fly into either or Bangkok's 2 airports at the last minute you might run into flight cancellations due to breakdowns or weather related issues. Missing a scheduled flight home is expensive!

  • *Update on the Pattaya - Hua Hin ferry - I read that could be cancelled. Probably weather or not enough money to keep it afloat! 5 5 5 (Keep an eye on this.) Hua Hin is a cheaper beach area than Phuket. About 4 hours by bus from Bangkok. Trains also available along with private van hires.

https://thethaiger.com/news/pattaya/tat-criticises-operators-of-suspended-pattaya-hua-hin-ferry

Up to you.

4. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 926 posts) 42w Star this if you like it!

Lots of excellent advice by others already.
I would add that the beaches in Pattaya and Jomtien have just undergone a major clean up, however the water is still terribly polluted and they now have big fines for both littering and for even smoking on the beaches...
As per youtuber 'Kev in thailand'.

Personally I'd fly from Bangkok to Phuket and instead of using the Phuket Taxi Mafia I'd use this https://phuketsmartbus.com/

I have used agoda and been very happy those few times.
But Thailand really is the easier place to holiday.
The only time I've had any issues with finding hotels is high season (around Christmas) and Songkran, but you're not going during either of those.
Even then it was just a case of much more limited options away from my preferred location.
Do lots of research on the areas you want to stay in for all 3 places, as it can be a real pain having to rely on transport to get around, although the public transport in BKK is rather good.
Taxis in BKK get stuck in traffic, in PTY they have one way systems which can make a short journey long, and Phuket is just plain expensive for everyday use.

Vaping is illegal in Thailand, so if you do it then expect to get at least a few big fines.
Police are starting to fine riders on scooters for not having the correct licence and for not wearing crash helmets.
It's not a nanny state, so it's always 'buyer beware', so it's your fault for hiring a scooter that you aren't legally allowed to ride!

Finally, never ever get into a physical argument with anyone, but especially not with locals.
When the first punch is thrown then 20 other locals will appear, usually with sticks and always without mercy.
On top of this there are lots of people in Thailand training for MMA, so even another foreigner can cause you serious problems.
On this note, make sure you have decent Medical/Travel Insurance.
It probably won't be necessary, but if it is then it'll save you a fortune.

There's a guide on here, read it.
There are also lots of YouTube Vloggers in all 3 cities.
They generally give decent advice.

[ Edit: Edited on 28-Sep-2018, at 05:22 by Andrew Mack ]

5. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 2264 posts) 42w Star this if you like it!

TP guide for Thailand:

https://www.travellerspoint.com/guide/Thailand/

Post 6 was removed by a moderator
7. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 926 posts) 41w Star this if you like it!

I've just seen this Vlog which starts with a great explanation of how to use the BTS public transport in Bangkok; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndG1kK-fX_g

8. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 926 posts) 41w Star this if you like it!

Thanks for the message but it's better to ask questions on the thread, as more people can answer.
I haven't been to the floating market for 20 years so I can't really give advice but last time I visited, the hotel and every single tourist/tour shop (and there are lots of them) offered tours to the floating market.
I'm sure you can visit it independently as well. Maybe someone else here can advise.
IMO It's probably best to get a backpackers guide book like 'Lonely Planet' or 'Rough Guide' as they can tell you lots of info like that, however they're only a guide not gospel, as they do get out of date quickly.

As I mention above, I have visited it and it was quite entertaining, but not something I'd want to see a second time.

9. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 2264 posts) 41w Star this if you like it!

In Bangkok and major cities frequented by tourists it is no problem signing on to shared tours in person. If the hotel you are staying in does not have a tour desk you can sign up at many local travel agencies with a walk-in. Select a tour from a menu selection of tours one day and leave next morning from your hotel with the tour company loading you on a passenger van for the trip and at the conclusion bringing you back. You meet other tourists in these vans.

Easy-peasy!

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  • * In Bangkok I always get a hotel where I have easy access to city rail services. With an arrival before midnight you can even get from Suvarnabhumi to city areas using Airport Rail Link with connections to the Skytrain or even the subway. They have been extending and opening new routes since first opening. Eventually even a connection between Don Muang Airport and Suvarnabhumi Airport. Some of the extensions are in areas not previously visited that much by tourists.

http://www.urbanrail.net/as/bang/bangkok.htm

Post 10 was removed by a moderator