Have you watched the Fyre documentary on Netflix or Hulu? Think of Wonderfruit Festival the Fyre event, Thailand version that actually happened! With accommodation (tents) on-site and a mix of smaller installations “burning man” style, there you go, you have the Wonderfruit Festival. The Wonderfruit Festival launched back in 2014. Like any festivals, the earlier you get your tickets, the better as the more you wait, well prices hike up!
For four years Wonderfruit was held in the same location within the Siam Country Club but for the first time in its history in 2019, it was held on a new set up but still at the Siam Country Club. Did you know Wonderfruit is a family-friendly event? They give access to all ages and even dogs can attend!
What is Wonderfruit Festival?
Celebrated in Pattaya, Thailand, Wonderfruit is called a celebration of art, music, food and ideas. It is literally the Coachella mix with Burning Man, South East Asia version. It lasts a few days and you can stay on-site.
Where to stay during Wonderfruit Festival
Wonderfruit made it easy to find accommodation within and outside the festival area on their website. The cheapest option being “bring your own tent” and putting it up in a designated area; General Camping Access is around 20$US. They also provide a glamping experience from fan/AC tents (30-40K THB ~ 1000$US+, they somehow sold out so quickly) to Boutique RVs (70K THB ~ 2300$US+). Most of these accommodations sleep four people so you can share with friends and split the price, which makes it not bad at all for 4 nights. Staying on-site is the best option if you’re looking to fully immerse yourself in the Wonderfruit experience and you’ll be avoiding the hassle of getting transport to and from Pattaya a couple of times each day.
Pro-Tip: Note that you will need to purchase festival tickets separately as the camping and RV passes (unless it is specified otherwise) do not include the entry into the festival.
Wonderfruit also has some hotel partners like [email protected] Pattaya and others, but you are free to stay wherever you want but non-partner hotels won’t have the bus shuttles to the festival, which adds to the inconvenience if you don’t want to stay at their partner facilities. We personally stayed at MASON PATTAYA, which was a very premium accommodation but had our own bus transportation arranged by the Tourism Board of Thailand. If no hotels fit your liking, you can try to find an Airbnb to your liking near the free shuttle service to the festival. Give Booking.com a go if you want to see other hotel options that tick all your right boxes.
Transport to Wonderfruit Festival
Wonderfruit Festival is held at The Fields at Siam Country Club in Chon Buri. It is a two-hour drive from Bangkok and about twenty minutes from Pattaya. That you are staying in Pattaya or at Wonderfruit, make sure to read up on how to get to Pattaya and then to the festival grounds as there are no public direct transfers to the festival other than the hotel shuttles that are officially partnered with the festival.
If you’re planning on driving to Wonderfruit, this is the location for your GPS map: Phornprapha 1 (after Siam Country Club Waterside) at 50 Moo 9 T. Banglamung, Pong, Bang Lamung District, Chon Buri, 20150, Thailand.
Getting from Bangkok to Pattaya
From Suvarnabhumi Airport: When landing at Bangkok’s main international airport Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), there are a couple of options to get to Pattaya. Note that there are no direct transfers to Wonderfruit so you will need to pass through Pattaya unless you are renting a car or taking a taxi straight out there. The cost of a taxi to Pattaya can be around 1K THB ~ 33$US, so think the cost of being a bit more to get to the festival directly. You could think also going to [email protected] and take the free shuttle from there.
By bus, there is the Airport Pattaya Bus leaving from Level 1, Gate 8 at the Arrivals Hall. It runs between 5:30 AM and 10 PM. The direct bus service which costs 120 THB ~ 4$USD per person. Pay the fare at the counter before getting on the bus. The bus will drop you at the North Pattaya Road bus station, from there you’ll need to find additional transport to get to your accommodation or festival. The full schedule for the Airport Pattaya Bus is available here. You can take the same bus from Pattaya to go back to the airport in Bangkok. Once you arrived in Pattaya by bus, you can either hire a car, get a driver, book a Grab, get on the Wonderfruit shuttle bus or get a taxi.
From Don Muang Airport: When landing at Don Muang Airport (DMK) main international airport, you can do the same and take a taxi straight to the festival for approximately the same price as from the other airport. The most common way though is to get the simple Bangkok-Pattaya bus or minivan. It doesn’t have the same convenience than landing at Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) so do consider this when booking your flight. You will have to get to Northern Bus Station (Mo Chit) is nearest to Don Muang, From Don Muang Airport, the simplest way to reach the bus station is by taxi. There is a small airport surcharge (50THB) and the journey should cost around 200THB ~ 6.60$US including the airport fare but this will depend on the traffic conditions. Buses and minivans to Pattaya run daily from both stations. Schedules and tickets are available directly from the station counters.
Another option is to take the free shuttle bus to Suvarnabhumi Airport from Don Muang Aiport to then take the Airport Pattaya Bus which leaves from Level 1, Gate 8 at the Arrivals Hall, we wrote about previously. This option is a slight detour but if you are on a budget, that is an option.
Taking the bus to Pattaya from Bangkok
Going to Pattaya from Bangkok or vice versa is quite easy is by bus or minivan. There are frequent daily services operating from the Eastern Bus Station (Ekkamai) and the Northern Bus Station (Mo Chit) which are both located on the BTS Sukhumvit Line. You can choose one of the two stations depending on where you are staying in Bangkok as one might be closer than the other. The distance to Pattaya from the Eastern Bus Station is shorter than the Northern Bus Station but it doesn’t really matter, you should go to the station that is the nearest to you.
Both buses and minivans are air-conditioned and the bus takes a bit longer than a minivan to reach Pattaya. The minivan drivers drive quite at a high speed so tend to arrive before buses. If you’re prone to car sickness, take the bus. Minivans can be more cramped. Buses can allow more legroom and you get a designated seat when you buy your ticket at the bus station. Try to arrive early to pick the seat you want.
Schedules vary between both bus stations. Buses from the Eastern Bus Station leave approximately every thirty minutes between 5:20 AM and 11:20 PM daily at the cost of 117THB ~ 3.88$US. From the Northern Bus Terminal, it is between 5:30 AM and 8 PM.
Where to get tickets? Visit the station kiosks and there is usually no need to pre-book unless you’re travelling on Friday or Saturday, do arrive before the scheduled departure time to guarantee you’ll get a seat.
All buses and minivans arrive at the North Pattaya Road bus station. From there you’ll need to arrange your own transport to your hotel or to the festival.
Driving from Bangkok to Pattaya
You can drive from Bangkok to Pattaya from Bangkok by getting on the Chonburi-Pattay Highway Route 7 which heads east towards Pattaya. The journey is about 150 kilometres from Bangkok and should take no more than two hours. It’s quite straight forward as you stay on this road until you reach Pattaya.
Advice for Wonderfruit Festival
What to wear at Wonderfruit Festival
People at Wonderfruit take the dressing up game very seriously, planning every day a different crazy outfit. I mean, I did compare this to Coachella and Burning Man, so people definitely treat Wonderfruit as the same occasion to dress up!
You chose whatever style you want but sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, and scarves are absolute musts. The sun can be strong if you spend all day there and it can be very dusty hence a mask or scarf just in case it bothers you.
Bring your ID or have a photo of your ID
Your ticket is tied to your name so you will need to have your printed ticket and an ID to enter the festival ground. I was able to get in with a photo of my passport on my iPhone. You won’t be able to buy 4 days of the festival and give your band to someone else for 2 days out of the 4 as each ticket is tied to your name. If you were planning to sell a day of your package, you won’t be able to, unfortunately.
Don’t remove your wristband
Don’t remove your wristband because you will not be giving a new one if you lose it or if it is removed or damaged because you have removed it. They certainly won’t be recharging your money on your wristband if you have lost it.
Download the Wonderfruit app
A cashless festival
Wonderfruit operates a cashless payment system via RFID using a wristband which is at the same time your entrance. You will need to top up your wristband in order to be able to make purchases onsite at the festival. There are many designated top-up stations spread across the festival site using cash or card and never was it a very long wait ever, which is great!
Refunds on the top-ups
You can get a refund on funds left on your wristband before you leave the festival grounds but remember that only bands that were topped-up by cash can get a refund. If you did you top-up by credit card, you will have to find a way to spend it all. Do make sure you get your refund before you leave the site as they don’t allow any refunds after the festival has ended.
Bring cash just in case
You never know when you need cash so don’t rely on the ATM down there, just bring some just in case. On top of that, going straight to top-up by cash will save you some time from queuing at an ATM.
Get a local SIM Card
If you are not from Thailand and want to stay connected to share all of your stories and experience at the festival, make sure you get your local Thai SIM card before arriving at the venue. Ideally, get it at the airport when you land in Bangkok. There are some packages around 200 THB (with DTAC) or 300 THB (True Move, bit more data) for enough data to last you a week. It’s quite cheap!
You will be using your phone a whole lot which will drain your phone battery quite quickly. Have a portable charger to be on the safe side. There are charging stations on-site but you won’t always want to go in search for one and missing out on something going on somewhere else.
Ear Plugs to protect your ears
If you plan to be there every day and have long exposure to loud sounds you’ll need to keep your ears protected with some earplugs.
Drink more water than usual are you will be walking around in the sun and quite warm weather. With people smoking around and everything, that can give you headaches so you want to make sure you are well hydrated. There are water fountains on-site where you can fill up your bottle of water for free.
Set a Meeting Spot with your friends
There are a lot of people attending this festival and the grounds are huge. Setting a meeting point before going to any stages is essential to all meet up at some point.
Who to Watch & What to do at Wonderfruit
Wonderfruit is about much more than just music and that includes many activities and performances to experiences across the festival field. It can be overwhelming to find what you want to do but the website is quite friendly to us to filter out the types of things to do there.
In terms of music, there is of everything. From Thai folk funny traditional music to Hip Hop, Electronic Latin to Trap scenes you can attend and have a blast.
What to drink and eat at Wonderfruit
Like any festival, it isn’t cheap! Especially to drink. First of all, you must know that everything is cashless and you charge the money on a band.
Pro-Tip: If you charge your money cash, you can take it out at the end of the festival. If you charge by credit card, you will have to use all of what you charged on your band and you won’t be able to be a refund.
Amenities at the Wonderfruit Festival
Cash machines: There are cash points available on site but don’t forget that the festival is cashless and you’ll need to withdraw cash to then top it up on your wristband at designated top-up stations. Do still bring cash as it will be useful for a taxi back to your hotel in Pattaya or if you want to buy some extra things at the markets in the festival… some sellers might be okay taking your cash.
Lockers: There are lockers if you feel like leaving some personal belongings and valuables. Of course, for an additional fee. The lockers are located at the Information Tent and useful if you are camping and need to store the essentials well-secured.
Merchandise: The official Wonderfruit merchandise is available for purchase on-site. Most of it ties in with their sustainability objectives, like buying their mug to fill up your alcohol will give you 10% off for every drink you buy.
Medical Services: No worries, if you need anything or in an emergency situation, there are ambulances and paramedics will be available 24 hours a day on-site. Safety first!
Toilets and showers in the camping areas: Don’t worry, there are showers and toilets if you stay on-site!
Nanny Services: As you know, the festival is family-friendly but if you decide you want to leave your children, you can leave them in the hands of qualified nannies at Camp Wonder.
Disclaimer: We were invited to a FAM Trip by Thailand Tourism Board. All our coverage, recommendations and opinions are our own. Thank you.