Update: Free ride offered on Jan. 1-15 as a New Year gift
BANGKOK — Skip the four-hour drive between Pattaya and Hua Hin in favor of a 100-minute boat ride across the Gulf of Thailand when it launches in January.
The ferry service connecting the two popular tourist spots begins testing in December. The boats will leave from Pattaya’s Bali Hai pier and Hua Hin’s Fish Marketing Organization Port.
The January launch begins with one ferry which can accommodate up to 150 people on one round-trip per day, leaving Pattaya at 8:30am and Hua Hin at 3:30pm.
A larger vessel which can carry up to 262 passengers will go into service in February.
The project is operated by Royal Passenger Liner, the only firm to win a license from the Marine Department to operate along the route. Royal Passenger Liner also plans to launch water taxis connecting Pattaya to Sattahip, and Cha-am to Hua Hin.
Roll-on and roll-off ships designed to carry vehicles are also in the long-term plan, according to Marine Department chief Sornsak Saensombat.
The operator sought approval for a fare of 1,200 baht, but the rate had yet to be finalized.