Utapao Thailand Airport - Why It's A Good Alternative For Getting To Pattaya

Utapao Thailand (Pattaya) International Airport.

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The airport is only about 45 minutes from Pattaya and 85 miles or 140 Km from Bangkok.

The airport U-tapao Thailand was a Military base for U.S Air Force during the Vietnam War which is part of the reason how Pattaya grew into what it is today.

Utapao was the "international gateway" in 2008.

This is because Don Muang (DMK) and Bangkok International Airport (Suvarnabhumi) where blockaded then.

Protestors at the end of November until beginning of December 2008 rioted and so there had to be an alternative solution to helping people get to Thailand.

And so came the fame of Utapao Thailand Airport.

What it Is Today

utapao thailand airport
utapao thailand airport

Bangkok Airways had scheduled flights and operated temporarily in 2008 between Utapao and

 • Siem Reap

 • Maldives

 • Guilin in China

in addition to that you also have flights from U-tapao to

 • Koh Samui

 • Phuket when the BKK international airport was blocked.

Great Alternative To Bangkok If

You're flying in from or to Siem Reap or Phuket.  You can use BangkokAir to fly to Utapao which is closer to Pattaya. 

You need a rescue flight in a hostile time in Thailand.  AirAsia operates rescue flights from Utapao should there ever need to be an evacuation.  Instead of going to Bangkok (where it's bound to be packed or where the problems are) you can fly out from Utapao Airport.

How To Get From Utapao To Pattaya?

The best way for you to go to Pattaya once you've landed is by either taking

A mini-van.  It will cost you around 250 baht and you will have to make frequent (annoying) stops but you can get to Pattaya in 30 minutes.  It's a nice change from the 2 hour ride from Suvarnabhumi.

A taxi.  Taxis can cost around 750 baht (including tolls.)  You can ask for meter and you'll definitely find one that will take you through Sukhumvit to Pattaya (just say "Bai Sukhumbit" and the driver will understand you.)

A baht bus.  You can maybe also find a baht bus that stops routinely along Sukhumvit.  It will take you towards Sattahip where you might have to switch and take another one to Pattaya.  You can always ask the locals who will help you find your way.

Deciding To Arrive Either in Utapao or Bangkok?

If you are visiting Thailand you will most likely flight into Bkk International Airport (Suvarnabhumi). See Also: How To Get to Pattaya from Bangkok.

Have a safe flight!

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