Pattaya, Thailand

Getting Around


Vehicle Rentals

If you are considering renting a vehicle, bear in mind that traffic in Pattaya can seem very erratic by Western standards. Furthermore, driving on the left can be confusing for those used to driving on the right. It is common to see motorcyclists riding along the kerb against the flow of traffic and the wrong way on a one-way street. The latter is prevalent in the Pattaya Bay area, where the majority of the roads in the main tourism zones are one-way.

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Motorcycles and Scooters
Motorcycle rentals are very popular for getting around Pattaya but not the safest, especially in the case of foreigners with limited experience of motorcycling through undisciplined traffic. Also note that a motorcyclist carrying a shoulder bag and anything placed in the front basket of a motorcycle, makes an especially easy target for bag-snatchers. Also beware of the "No Parking" signs - fines are typically 400-500 baht.

Motorbikes can be rented without difficulty at countless locations in Pattaya including many hotels and guesthouses (usually without having to produce a licence). However it's common for foreigners to be asked to deposit their passports as security (to avoid this, simply shop around until you find one that will accept a photocopy instead). Cash deposits are often required and rentals often do not include insurance - motorcycling accidents and thefts are common here. Some outlets have third-party insurance which covers you for medical attention.

Beach Road in Pattaya by Ilya Plekhanov

Cars and Jeeps
Cars can easily be rented and a good way to explore beyond the city limits. However, they are not practical for getting around, especially in the central area with the congested traffic and difficulty finding a parking space. However, major supermarkets offer free parking, and low-cost parking is available at the major shopping venues such as Royal Garden Plaza, Central Festival and Big C on Second Road.

Rentals without insurance start from around 800 baht a day for small cars and from as little as 600 baht a day for open-top jeeps. Cars with insurance start at just under 1,000 baht a day, coming down to around 5,600 baht per week and 18,000 baht per month during the low tourist season (July to September). High season prices (November to February) are generally a few hundred baht more.

Getting the correct type of insurance cover on any rental car in Thailand is extremely important. Commerical "Car Rental Company" first-class insurance provides the absolute full legal cover (as opposed to limited personal or third party-only insurance cover). Request a copy of the policy document and check that it states "For Commercial Use".

Small road in Pattaya by Khaosaming

Local authorities have taken efforts over the few years to improve the quality of the beaches but they are still lacklustre by Thailand's standards. Over-development brought by mass tourism has destroyed some of the natural charms the area once had. However, the plethora of hotels and guest houses as well as easy access from the capital and airport makes it a popular weekend getaway. Catering for over five million visitors annually, Pattaya is also able to offer an excellent range of eating options from Thai to European.

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