The start of the daily service from Pattaya to Hui Hin started on February 12th after being delayed several times by bad weather.
The ferry leaves Pattaya at 10,30 am and returns from Hua Hin at 1.30 pm. The service was averaging between 50% & 60% for every trip which is not bad when you consider they have a capacity to carry 346 passengers on their air conditioned high speed craft.
They also claim 80% of all the people travelling were foreign tourists. This in itself is not surprising when you take the fare into consideration, sadly many Thai people just couldn’t afford it. There was initially a promotional far of 999 Baht which has now risen to 1250 Baht, you can also add another 300 Baht to use various business class options upstairs.
There are some small discounts for school students who “like or share” details on social media, 10% will be taken off the fare if you can prove you have done it. However I wonder just how many students can afford such a high fare in the first place?
You really have to compare the 1250 Baht fare to the 400 Baht bus fare, certainly the bus takes a little longer but the price difference is rather large, especially when most people travelling will have their wife or girlfriend with them.
When you take into consideration that last month was the high season and many tourists would have been attracted to the new interesting service, you must then wonder what the low season will bring?
We certainly wish them all the best and hope they succeed as it is another terrific attraction for Pattaya. However we have strong doubts due to the expensive fair. To take a comparison from HCMC (Saigon) in Vietnam, their high speed ferry to Vung Tau is only 350 Baht for a 90 minute journey. This makes the Pattaya service seem a little over the top.
Finally in Hui Hin dredging a channel for the ferry to use has been temporarily halted for fear it is adversely affecting the marine habitat, ecological system & artificial coral reefs in the surrounding area.
A number local fishermen complained that barges were dropping mud only 800 meters from the shore during the first three days of dredging, and one to two kilometres on Sunday. They said the mud was dropped in areas where artificial coral reefs were built to attract fish. This mud also caused the sea to become murky and rather smelly.
Meanwhile we will continue to monitor the situation and report any new developments.