At 10 baht per person, per ride (subject to change) for most routes, the only way to get around Pattaya cheaper is by walking.
Getting Around Pattaya by Baht Bus
At 10 baht per person, per ride (subject to change) for most routes, the only way to get around Pattaya cheaper is by walking. The baht bus (aka songthaew) is the most popular and convenient way of getting around downtown Pattaya, and to and from Jomtien and Naklua.
What is a Baht Bus?
The baht bus (so called because back in the day it cost a baht) is a pickup style truck with a canopy roof, and 2 bench seats in the back for passengers. The photo below shows the dark blue colored baht bus which operates in downtown Pattaya, Jomtien and Naklua.
How to use a Baht Bus in Pattaya
New Pattaya baht bus rules and regulations: According to legislation, Pattaya baht buses must operate on one of several given routes, and passengers must only embark and disembark at ‘stops’ assigned along the baht bus route. In reality you will find most Pattaya baht bus drivers ignore these rules.
Hailing a baht bus: If a baht bus is going in your direction you may be able to hail it down. The polite, correct way is to beckon with an outstretched arm, with you palm facing down. It’s also common practice for an empty baht bus to beep its horn as it passes by, if you want it just wave it down and jump on.
Boarding a baht bus: You can ask the driver where he’s going if you wish, but it’s best just to get on. If the driver asks you where you are going, I would say nothing or even wait for the next baht bus. Once you tell a driver where you are going, and he takes you there, he could well charge you a charter fee of 100 baht or more, depending how far he detoured from his route.
Exiting and paying: When you want the baht bus to stop, either because you are at your destination or it is no longer traveling in your desired direction you should press one the buzzers located above your head. Go to the passenger window and hand over the fee, don’t ask how much. Don’t worry, if you are not paying enough he will call you back.
Pattaya baht bus routes: There are several so called baht bus routes in Pattaya, but don’t assume just because a baht bus ‘route sign’ states South Pattaya – Naklua or any other route, it will remain on that route. If a baht bus is going in your direction, get on. If it deviates from your expected route, get off and wait for another.
The most popular baht bus route in Pattaya is the loop which goes anti clockwise north along 2nd Road from south Pattaya Road, turns left at Dolphin Roundabout and then south on Pattaya Beach Road. Routes also include Pattaya to Jomtien and Naklua. Click on the map link below to see the most popular baht bus routes in Pattaya.
Pattaya baht bus stops: After the new baht bus legislation was put in to effect, a number of designated “baht bus stops” were introduced. In most cases the ‘baht bus stops’ are denoted by a red zone, as seen in the photo below.
Pattaya baht bus fees: Most baht bus trips in Pattaya cost 10 baht per person. The exceptions are for longer trips such as Jomtien to North Pattaya, for which some drivers charge 20 baht. You should make sure you give the correct fare, many drivers are reluctant to give change if you pay for a 10 baht ride with a 20 baht note. I can tell you that from personal experience.
Chartering a baht bus in Pattaya: If you ask a baht bus driver to take you to a destination outside his usual route you are chartering him. Whether you are taking a short trip to meet your friends in a local bar, or hiring the baht bus for a full day sightseeing tour of attractions in Pattaya you need to negotiate a price first.
What’s a reasonable price for hiring a baht bus in Pattaya?. The best way to determine a fair price is check the rates to your chosen destination with the GrabTaxi app, then come to your own conclusion.