U-Tapao–Rayong–Pattaya International Airport (UTP)
U-Tapao–Rayong–Pattaya International Airport (UTP) serves as an increasingly popular gateway to Thailand’s eastern seaboard and the thriving resort city of Pattaya. Boasting modern facilities and with a significant upgrade completed in 2018, the airport forms part of the Thai government’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) plan, which seeks to drive growth and investment in the region.
Nestled halfway between the city centers of Rayong and Pattaya, the airport is about 45 kilometers south of Pattaya and 30 kilometers southeast of Rayong, in Ban Chang District. It serves as an excellent hub for visitors wanting to explore the eastern parts of Thailand, including the renowned Pattaya beaches, golf courses, and entertainment districts.
The airport terminal at UTP is a combination of old and new. The new international terminal opened in 2018 boasts of modern facilities, including an increased number of check-in counters, an expanded departure lounge, and enhanced security systems. It also has several retail shops, eateries, and duty-free outlets for passengers to explore. The older domestic terminal maintains a more traditional feel yet offers essential services.
Getting Around the Airport
Moving between terminals is easy as they are located within the same building. A well-lit, signposted walkway connects the two, ensuring passengers can navigate effortlessly between domestic and international facilities.
Services and Amenities
Along with standard airport amenities like ATMs, currency exchange services, and car rental booths, UTP provides free Wi-Fi throughout the terminal building. There’s also a tourist help desk where visitors can get useful information about local attractions and transport options.
Airlines and Destinations
Several airlines operate from UTP, including Thai AirAsia and Bangkok Airways, providing links to domestic destinations such as Ko Samui, Phuket, and Chiang Mai, as well as international destinations like China, Russia, and Malaysia. Charter flights also frequently operate, particularly in the high tourist season.
Getting to and from U-Tapao–Rayong–Pattaya International Airport (UTP)
Traveling to and from U-Tapao–Rayong–Pattaya International Airport is convenient with several transportation options available.
Airport Limousine and Taxi Service
Upon arrival, passengers will find the airport limousine and taxi service desk right at the arrival hall. The taxis are metered and available round-the-clock. They can take you directly to Pattaya, Rayong, or any other nearby destinations.
Car Rental Services
For those who prefer to drive on their own, car rental services are available at the airport. Several companies, including international brands like Hertz, Avis, and Budget, have counters at the arrivals hall. It is advisable to book in advance during peak seasons.
The airport operates a shuttle service that connects the airport to Pattaya. The shuttle runs according to the flight schedule and it is often the most cost-effective way to reach Pattaya city from the airport.
Private Transfer Services
For a more comfortable and hassle-free journey, consider booking a private transfer service. Numerous companies offer this service from UTP, and they can be booked in advance online.
There’s also a public bus service that connects the airport to Pattaya, but it runs on a limited schedule.
If you’re driving to UTP from Pattaya, take Route 3 (Sukhumvit Road) southeast out of Pattaya and follow the signs for U-Tapao airport. The journey typically takes about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic.
From Bangkok, UTP is approximately a 2-hour drive. You will need to take the Chonburi-Pattaya Highway (Route 7), then continue onto Route 36. From there, switch onto Route 3 and follow the signs to UTP.
Bear in mind that road conditions and traffic can vary, so it’s always wise to allow for extra travel time.
UTP’s location offers access to some of the top attractions in Thailand’s eastern seaboard. Nearby, you’ll find the bustling city of Pattaya with its beaches, water parks, cabaret shows, and vibrant nightlife. Rayong, too, offers beautiful beaches and is a gateway to the stunning island of Koh Samet.
How early should I arrive at UTP before my flight?
It is usually recommended to arrive at least 2 hours before a domestic flight and 3 hours for international flights.
Can I rent a car at UTP?
Yes, several car rental companies operate from the terminal building.
Does UTP offer duty-free shopping?
Yes, there are several duty-free shops in the international terminal.
Is there a currency exchange service at UTP?
Yes, there are currency exchange counters in the terminal building.
Can I get a taxi to Pattaya at UTP?
Yes, taxis are readily available at the airport.
Are there direct flights from UTP to Phuket?
Yes, certain airlines operate direct flights to Phuket.
Is freeWi-Fi available at UTP?
Yes, the airport provides free Wi-Fi services for passengers.
What dining options are available at UTP?
The airport offers a variety of dining options, including cafes and restaurants serving Thai and international cuisine.
Is there a left luggage facility at UTP?
Yes, left luggage services are available at the airport for passengers who wish to store their bags.
Are there hotels near UTP?
Yes, several hotels are available near the airport, ranging from budget to luxury options, to cater to a variety of traveler needs.
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