Tourists arriving in Bangkok usually have the choice of two beach resorts less than two hours from the capital. On the Western peninsular there is the seaside resort of Hua Hin. On the Eastern seaboard is Pattaya. You would normally have to choose between the two as it is quite time-consuming to drive back up to the capital before heading back down to the other beach resort. But, not any more with the opening of a new ferry service which will take tourists straight across the Gulf of Thailand between Hua Hin and Pattaya. Now you can easily do a loop without backtracking at all.
The high speed Catamaran was put into service only this month and will initially operate three times a week on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. The trip takes about three hours and fifteen minutes. It departs from Ocean Marina in Pattaya at 8.30 a.m. and the return trip from Paknam Pran in Hua Hin is at 1.30 p.m. At each end there is mini bus transfer service. The one way ticket is 1,600 baht and a return ticket is 2,950 baht. During December 2010 this price is dicounted to 1,200 baht and 2,400 baht. For more information, please visit their website.
If you are planning on using this ferry boat or have done it already then please let us know in the comments. It is the kind of thing that I would like to try at least once, though I probably won’t go for the return trip on the same day!