How to get from Pattaya to Utapao Airport?
Utapao airport is around 40 minutes drive from Pattaya and is the nearest domestic and international airport to the city. This makes Utapao the ideal airport to use for anyone visiting Pattaya or the east of Thailand. Until recently, very few airlines used the airport. However, the number of flights is increasing rapidly and the airport is being expanded to cope with the additional demand.
Likewise, new transport services are being added regularly. So, although I will try to keep this page up to date, some information may not be correct or there may be new or additional services running.
Public buses to Utapao.
Three bus routes linking U-tapao International Airport with three eastern provinces were introduced in May 2018 to serve passengers These bus routes run from the airport to Trat, Rayong and Chonburi. The routes are operated by private transport firms using air-conditioned buses with GPS tracking systems.
The service to Trat includes Chanthaburi on one of its stops, while the Chon Buri route also stops in Pattaya and Sri Racha town centre.
The buses being used are microbuses, seating a maximum of 19 passengers. Route 1 takes arriving passengers from U-Tapao to Trat and Koh Chang island, covering the distance of 220 km in just over three hours and making a stop at Chanthaburi bus station.
The second route, which is the shortest, goes through nearby Ban Chang to Rayong Bus Terminal covering 35 km in about half an hour.
The third route, which is 100 km long and will take around one and a half hours, goes to Chonburi bus station. This bus makes stops in nearby Sattahip, Pattaya and Si Racha.
Four buses will run each route daily.
Private taxi and Minibus services
AirAsia minibus. If you are flying on AirAsia, you can use their minibus service to get between Pattaya and Utapao. You’ll be given an all inclusive price, flight plus minibus, if you select Pattaya Central as either your starting point or destination, rather than the actual airport. The minibus picks up passengers from the side of Central Festival Mall in the city centre, or their hotel, if it is centrally located. ( You will have to contact the minibus company and arrange for a hotel pick up yourself ) Likewise, if you are flying into Pattaya Airport and want to head to central Pattaya, the minibus will drop you off outside the same mall.
Thsi service is run for AirAsia by Kitittron Transport, based in Pattaya. Their contact numbers are: 081 578 2991 and 093 003 9909. Or get in touch via Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Kittitron-Tranfer-Airasia-1922152754716366/
One thing to be aware of is that the minibus often waits until it is full before departing from Utapao. So your flight may land on time but then you can find yourself waiting for another flight before the minibus will leave. Therefore, we recommend taking one of the private companies that offer the same service and have minibuses that run to a fixed schedule.
Likewise if you are visiting Koh Samet and are flying on AirAsia, you can book a combined plane, bus and boat ticket on the AirAsia website. Just select ‘Samet Pier ( Na Dan )’ as your destination. Very convenient, but bear in mind the passenger boats only operate during daylight hours. If you’re arriving late afternoon or at night, you’ll have to stay on the mainland for the night.
PPK Travel ( Kungnang taxi ) run both shared minibuses and private taxis between Pattaya and the airport. A private taxi is 800 Baht one way. For larger groups a private minibus is from 1,200 Baht total. Tickets for the shared minibus are 300 Baht. For booking, see: https://www.facebook.com/pg/Kungnangtravel
Crane Travel Service. Another company that also operates shared minibuses for 250 Baht, with a pick up at your hotel in central Pattaya. Bangkok Airways recommend them to their passengers. To book a seat, call on 081-377-2778.
Nam’s Taxi Service. This is a small private taxi service that uses only female drivers. So if you prefer a calmer driver or a single woman travelling alone, this may be an alternative. They are based in Pattaya and can arrange transfers by car, SUV or private minibus to Bangkok and locations in Eastern thailand. See: http://www.namstaxipattaya.com/
For visitors travelling further afield, the private services mentioned about can all arrange taxis to popular destinations such as Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok, Don Mueang Airport, Koh Chang or Hua Hin.
Utapao to Pattaya by Airport Taxi
As you enter the arrival area at Utapao you will see counters for taxi services to hotels in Pattaya. There are three taxi counters just before the exit door at U-Tapao. The taxi price is fixed at 1,000 Baht. ( No haggling.) This is a very convenient way to get to the city centre. However there are a couple of cheaper options if you’re happy to share in a minibus, or take the time to pre-book a taxi from Pattaya to meet you. The same counters also sell tickets for the 250 Baht minibus services.
Booking by smartphone
You can book a taxi, by phone or through the website or, more commonly nowadays, the Facebook page of a transport company.
A popular website that covers transport across Asia is 12go.asia. You can also use this site to book either a private car or minibus ( 1,000 – 1,500 Baht ) for your trip to or from the airport. Check prices: https://12go.asia/en/travel/pattaya/utapao-airport
Uber has left Thailand in May 2018 when it’s operations were sold to a rival company, Grab. Grab is a Singaporean based company that operates around the region. You can use it to order everything from a motorbike taxi, to public taxi, to private car or limousine. Simply download the Grab Taxi app onto your phone and away you go. Grab cars usually charge around 800 Baht for the trip to Pattaya.
Bangkok to Utapao by Train
The Thai government is also planning a 225 Billion Baht high-speed train line linking U-tapao with Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports. Bidding is expected to open in June 2018 with a winner to be announced in November. The train service is scheduled to begin operating in 2023.