Last week saw the inaugural of Thailand newest train product linking Bangkok to Pattaya and Sattahip every week end. An excellent transport alternative to vans and buses which link until now the capital to the seaside resort.
The special tourist train from Bangkok to Pattaya and Sattahip will circulate every Saturday and Sunday until September 30. Its maiden ride took place on Saturday and is expected to further spur tourism in the eastern region. Trains will leave Bangkok early in the morning and return in late afternoon.
State Railway of Thailand deputy governor Thanongsak Pongprasert said the agency would evaluate the services and if they prove popular with both domestic and international travellers, it could increase frequencies, add more carriages and ultimately turn the service into a permanent one.
The special train leaves Hua Lamphong station in Bangkok every Saturday and Sunday at 6.45am, arriving in Pattaya at 9.13am and reaching Ban Phlu Ta Luang in Sattahip at 9.50am.
The return trip leaves Ban Phlu Ta Luang at 3.50pm, reaching Pattaya at 4.26pm and arriving in Bangkok at 6.25pm. Average speed for the train is around 80 km/h.
The train makes several stops en route to Pattaya, and after departing Pattaya will it stop at Pattaya Floating Market, Yanasangwararam and Nong Nooch Garden before reaching its final destination at Ban Plu Ta Luang in Sattahip.
Anont Luengboribun, a Transport Ministry inspector-general and the acting SRT governor, said operators in Chon Buri would provide transport services from Pattaya station to other tourist attractions in Chon Buri. This includes among others Sri Racha Zoo, Pattaya floating market,
The train offers a higher comfort than normal operating carriage. All the coaches are air conditioned with new seats.
Fares from Bangkok to Pattaya and the final destination are set at THB 170 (US$5.60) and reservations are recommended, according to the SRT. Seats can be booked via the SRT hotline at 1690 around the clock.