Although Don Mueang International Airport plays second fiddle to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport these days, it wasn’t always the case! Don Mueang was one of the first international airports in the world and was known as Bangkok International Airport until Suvarnabhumi was built to replace it as the main gateway to Thailand. Even so, Don Mueang reopened after renovations and has grown to become the world’s largest low-cost carrier airport. Although you wouldn’t fly here direct from Europe or North America, there are direct flights from many other Asian countries as well as throughout Thailand itself. So, if you’ve landed at Don Mueang from somewhere else in Thailand or Asia and you want to do some partying or spend time on the beach, where should you go? Pattaya, of course! It’s the closest major beach resort to Bangkok, and the perfect place to let your hair down!
Options for Travel from Don Mueang Airport to Pattaya
Pattaya is situated almost directly south of Don Mueang Airport but to get there by road you will have to drive a little bit around the Gulf of Thailand. This does add some mileage to the trip – it’s about 150 kilometers (94 miles) driving distance from Don Mueang Airport to Pattaya, so with the traffic it will still take you around 2.5 hours even if driving yourself. We wouldn’t recommend driving yourself though, as roads in Thailand can be a little tricky if you’re not used to the signage or the large levels of traffic. The bad news is that there are no buses going directly from Don Mueang Airport to Pattaya, but there are many different buses and van companies who operate from Bangkok itself to Pattaya. For the best convenience, taxis will drive you direct to Pattaya, without having to make a stop in Bangkok first.
Don Mueang Airport to Pattaya by Taxi
If you arrived at Don Mueang Airport and want to travel directly to Pattaya, taking a taxi is the best option. It takes time, extra money and extra hassle to have to go right into Bangkok city center first, so this is why taxis are so convenient, however, going by taxi is by far the most expensive way to go, so the cost may be prohibitive to some travelers.
When you come out of the terminal at Don Mueang, there will likely be many public taxis waiting for your business. While you could travel in one of these taxis, our recommendation is to book a private taxi in advance. Doing this means that you are guaranteed the taxi will be there and it saves you having to wait around in a line, plus it saves you the hassle of trying to negotiate the price for traveling all the way to Pattaya.
Booking a private taxi in advance means you will pay a fixed price, and you can book your taxi to be there for you no matter what time of day your flight arrives. The price varies depending on the type of vehicle that you book, and again, booking in advance gives you the option to choose the size of vehicle that’s best for you rather than having to make do with a standard size sedan which would commonly be available outside the airport.
Rates are cheapest for an Economy type taxi which is intended for just a couple of passengers. If you’re visiting Thailand with your family or a group of friends, you have the option to book a larger vehicle such as a 4-passenger SUV or a 9-passenger van. You can book all of these very easily through the travel website 12Go.asia, where you can see search results from a number of different taxi companies and book your choice online.
Don Mueang Airport to Pattaya by Bus
As mentioned above, traveling by bus from Don Mueang Airport to Pattaya is not as straightforward as taking a taxi. This is because there are no direct buses traveling from Don Mueang Airport to Pattaya, so you’ll have to first travel somewhere else in order to get a connecting bus to the south.
There are lots of different options for this though, which is good. The downside is the additional time it takes, and of course the extra added hassle of having to travel somewhere else first. This all will change if the new rail link to Don Mueang Airport ever gets built, but right now that project is on hold. For now then, you can either travel into Bangkok, or you could take a connecting shuttle bus to the other Bangkok airport, Suvarnabhumi, and take a direct bus from there to Pattaya.
Airport Shuttle Bus operates direct buses between the airports, but it does take 1 to 1.5 hours. From there, you’re looking at about a 2 hour bus ride to Pattaya. The other option is to head into Bangkok. You can get a bus to the nearest BTS station, which is Mo Chit, and head into the city from there for numerous buses to Pattaya. Or, an easier option is to go to Mo Chit and get a direct bus to Pattaya from there. You can book these buses through 12Go for travel with Roong Reuang Coach. There are two departures per day (at 1pm and 6:30pm) and it takes around 3 hours.
It’s also possible to travel in a van from Mo Chit New Van Terminal, which is essentially in the same place as the bus terminal. Going this way, you will have more departure times to choose from, but the vans will likely cost a few dollars more than the bus.
If you’re happy to head into Bangkok first, your options for vans and buses to Pattaya increase substantially. You can travel with 12Go Transport on a van from Makkasan Station, or take a bus or van from the Khao San Road area.
So, although there are plenty of ways to get from Don Mueang Airport to Pattaya, the only way to travel directly between these two places right now is to get a taxi. Book your private taxi online for peace of mind and you’ll arrive in Pattaya just two hours later.
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