Good news for locals and tourists in Thailand. Two of the Kingdom’s most famous seaside resort- Pattaya and Hua hin will be from now linked by a ferry connection. The service is starting on January 1 but will be launched officially on January 12. It will be free for use until January 15 for any traveller. After the “New Year Gift”, normal fare is fixed at THB 1,250- a relatively high price (US$35).
However, travellers might be keen to fetch that high price as the link represents a major improvement in connecting both resorts. Pattaya is about 345km from Hua Hin by road, but only 105km across the Gulf of Thailand. The new link will consequently take only two hours compared to over five hours by road.
According to the Bangkok Post, Marine Department director-general Sorasak Saensombat on Friday led officials and representatives of the ferry operator, the Royal Passenger Liner Co, on an inspection of the double-decked vessel, its safety equipment and of the docking facility at Laem Bali Hai pier in south Pattaya. The three vessels, used for the service were manufactured in China. they are 38-m long and have a carrying capacity of 339 passengers. Each ferry has 286 seats on the first deck, with 44 business class seats on the upper deck, two VIP rooms and a crew of eight people.
The ferries can travel at up to 27 knots. Initially, only one ferry will be in use offering a daily single return between both resorts. If the success is there, three to four services could then be offered per day.