Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Train to Chiang Mai from Bangkok

Northern Thailand city of Chiang Mai is the 5th biggest city in Thailand. The city is remarkable greener and calmer than Bangkok and is one of the important culture and art center in Thailand. The city was once very difficult to access so this isolation created a very unique and interesting culture which can be seen in the city even today.

You can take a flight from Bangkok to Chiang Mai (700 km distance) or take a bus but the most popular ways to travel between Bangkok and Chiang Mai is by train. You can buy your train tickets in Hua Lamphong train station ( beware of scammers who will try to direct you to some bogus ticket offices).

Getting from Chiang Mai train station to city center takes less than 10 minutes ride. There are at least 6 trains from Bangkok to Chiang Mai from 08:30 AM till 10:00 PM in the night. The journey takes 1w to 15 hours and a first class sleeper on the train costs 1,700 Thai Baht. The train is a very popular way to travel between Chiang Mai and Bangkok so if you are planning to take the train, book in advance.

There are 1st class sleepers, air-conditioned 2nd class sleepers, non-air conditioned 2nd class sleepers, 2nd class seats and 3rd class seats options on Chiang Mai - Bangkok trains. 1st class sleepers have 2 berths and your ticket will buy one bed so you will travel with strangers. You can have sole occupancy of a 2-berth sleeper for an extra 500 baht (£10 or $16). The most popular class is air-conditioned 2nd class sleeper.

The best would be getting a night train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai in a first class sleeper and spend the night on the road. This will save you hotel money and effectively it will be less tiring and time consuming than taking flight from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. Even if you want to see the Thailand country side, night train like this is still a very good option. The last one third of the train ride will be in the daylight and you will have a chance to watch the sunrise from the Chiang Mai train in the morning. The scenery in this section is in the mountains and is particularly good.

Train to Chiang Mai from Bangkok
Chiang Mai train offers a fantastic view of Northern Thailand's hills.
We recommend you to take 9/10 trains because the night travel will be very convenient and the new Chinese-built high-quality sleepers on trains at these hours are excellent. These new trains feature seat- mounted screens for watching TV and movies during your journey and aircraft -type toilets, not the old kind that drop straight onto the tracks. If you cannot find a ticket on this ultra popular trains, 13/14 is the second-best sleeper train using the next most modern cars. This train still passes the best scenery near Chiang Mai in daylight.

First class sleeping compartment in new Thailand trains. These trains serve the Bangkok - Chiang Mai services at 9 & 10. Photo - Bangkok Post

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