Take a Trip to Pattaya @ Nakhon Chai Air Bus Company

A lot of my friends back in Europe ask me why I live in Korat and not in places that they have actually heard of like Bangkok, Pattaya or Phuket. For a lot of you the answer will probably be the same as mine - Korat is a far nicer, more cultured and safer city to live in than any of the above mentioned places and also differs by still being a truly Thai city.

Personally, the thought of living and spending every waking hour in somewhere like Pattaya isn't in the least bit appealing. But that said, it is a fun place to visit every once in a while, especially when friends are visiting from abroad.

To go even further out in a limb, I would go as far as to say that having your home base in a nice, relaxing but busy city like Korat and getting out of town to places like Bangkok and Pattaya for short breaks is a much more sensible proposal than living in either full time.

Now that's been established, how are we going to get out of the city when we feel like a much needed break? Well I would highly recommend using the Nakhon Chai Air Bus Company. Now before you get all excited that What's On Korat has given you yet another scoop in terms of a new form of transport, the company doesn't actually have any Air Buses, flying in a bus down to Pattaya, or anywhere else for that matter, would be quite difficult in my opinion since the air bus has yet to be invented.

What they do have however, is high quality, comfortable coaches, excellent drivers and an amazing (for Thailand) safety record,

They offer three different classes of coach, Gold, Silver and Economy. 

Gold is their highest class with only three seats per row as opposed to the normal four, thereby giving every passenger approximately a third extra seat width. The seats are big, mega comfy and reclining with an additional control for a pop up leg rester in front of your seat. The Golds also feature proper air conditioning (it can actually get too cold sometimes, even for a Farang, thankfully quality, clean blankets are provided). You'll also get numerous plasma screens attached to the roof at various positions, snacks, water, and hot meals. Plus a on-bus toilet and hand washing facilities.

The Silver Class have the normal four seats per row layout but feature a thinned down version of the quality seats found in the Gold Class. The air-con, plasmas, snacks and drinks remain the same, but the meal is normally a cold chicken, sausage and rice dish, The toilets seem smeller but are still thankfully useable.

The Economy Class is again four seats per row, but the quality of the seating is lower than in the higher classes, the space in between the rows us also quite a bit less. Air-con is good, but only two TV'a at the very front of the bus, and there is no food or water and no toilet, 

As is normal you usually get what you pay for in life, and this is a case in point. Economy is the lowest class, and obviously doesn't compete with the higher classes but it is still far higher quality than most of the buses of competing companies. The Economy Class buses although being more cramped and less fully featured than the Gold and Silver are spotlessly clean, in great physical condition both inside and out as well as mechanically, are very well driven and offer great customer service. Which can't be said for a lot of the buses in Thailand.

Unfortunately, the Gold Class doesn't currently operate on the Korat to Pattaya route giving you the choice of Silver or Economy.

They leave Korat five times a day at 13:00 (Silver), 22:10 (Economy), 23:00 (Silver), 23;20 (Economy) and 00:55 (Economy) with stops at Kabinburi, Chonburi, Pattaya and Rayong plus a few smaller towns. The journey time to Pattaya is around five and a half hours.

The Silver Class is very popular and is normally booked well in advance. You can get tickets from the Nakhon Chai Air Office which is the first office on the left hand side row of Bus offices in front of where the buses park in Korat's main bus station. They are available on the day your travelling or can be purchased a few days before, or you can book them by telephone with a credit or debit card and pick them up at the station before leaving by phoning 044 251 952.

If your planning a weekend away and Pattaya is your chosen destination book a ticket with Nakhon Chai Air, their buses won't quite fly you down there but they'll come very close. Highly Recommended.


Silver Class - 283 Baht or 337 Baht if booked in advance

Economy Class - 220 Baht or 262 if booked in advance


Best Bites

Fine Dining @ 8 Dining
Yaki Tori Don @ Sap Shabu
Kurobuta Pork Collar Steak @ Dish Up NBK
Cheese Fondue @ Chez Andy
Jalapeno Burger @ Hip Industry

Thing's to do...

Eat by the river @ Wang Naen
Refill your gas @ The Gas Shop
Grab a bargain @ Craigslist, Thailand
Open a Bank Account @ Bangkok Bank
Buy a Cheap Flight @ AirAsia.com

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