Pattaya To Hua Hin Ferry.
After what appears to be a reasonably successful trial period, the Pattaya to Hua Hin ferry is soon to open it’s doors officially on the 12th, as they host an opening party this month. During January this year, Royal Passenger Liner Co. operated the new service for Free, carrying passengers back and forth to Hua Hin. The journey starts in Pattaya at the Bali Hai Pier and heads across to Saphan Pla ( the main port in the centre of Hua Hin).
Unlike travelling by car, this journey across the open waters will take approximately one and a half hours, instead of the four hours in a car. Obviously weather conditions will affect the travelling time, but based on their trial month, the expected time is around the quoted time frame. If the weather forecast predicts unsuitable weather the ferry will not operate. This is most likely during the Rain Season when conditions will be at their worst.
The cost of this journey is 1,200฿, a price that has upset many Thai people as they claim this fee is not affordable and they will be unable to take advantage of this service. Will a dual-pricing initiative be implemented, only time will tell, but right now pricing is aimed at tourists. There are currently two proposed journeys available. Departing Pattaya at 10.30am each day the Pattaya to Hua Hin ferry will arrive at 12.30pm. The return journey will depart Hua Hin at 1.30pm arriving in Pattaya at 3.30pm.
The Pattaya to Hua Hin ferry should be a welcome addition to the current methods of travel, despite a return journey costing 2,400฿. There are alternatives, a mini-van would set you back 500฿, but who wants to be crammed into a van travelling for hours on Thailand road network? There has been speculation that if the service does prove to be as popular as the operators hope, ticket prices may be reduced to encourage using this service.
It appears that this service is here to stay. Government officials carried out huge clear ups across both marinas, removing unwanted and illegal operators. The speedboats that had littered the Bali Hai area for over a decade were evicted and forced out, as were the illegal operators across the waters in Hua Hin in Saphan Pla. It should make for a nice change to be able to hop across the waters and spend a few days relaxing on the beaches in Hua Hin, and likewise for those in Hua Hin to come over and enjoy the nightlife of Pattaya.