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Train from Chiang Mai to Patts


Bobson VaGene
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For my next trip I want to fly direct to Chiang Mai, spend 3-4 days doing touristy stuff then head to Pattaya via the scenic route. 

Is there a train like the well known Chiang Mai - BKK route & if so, how far in advance is recommended to book a First Class cabin?

Also best way to get from the station to LK Metro apart from just using a taxi service?

Edited by Bobson VaGene
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You need to go CM to Bkk first anyway then Bkk to Pattaya.

Bkk to Pattaya is not scenic and takes around 4 hours. I think there’s a 3 hour one but it’s infrequent. Unless you just love trains there are better ways.

 

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The rail network here is sparse to say the least. Everything North hubs via Bangkok. Then from Kanchanaburi  to head further South.

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Edited by alohaww
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And unless things have changed recently the train from Bangkok to Pattaya does not run on Saturday and Sunday

I have to keep reminding myself its a job :GoldenSmile1:
At Babydolls we are serious about fun

 

 

babydollsaddict.gif

 

 

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Sorry, you have some very specific questions on the train which I can’t answer, but I thought you may appreciate my review!

I took the train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai about seven years ago, as I thought it would be a bit of an adventure compared to flying.

I booked a first-class cabin just for myself, so that I had a bit of luxury during the 12 hour plus  journey.

it was great fun……..for about the first hour.

If you are lucky and get a new train, the first-class cabins i’ve been told are quite nice. However, I think I got a “standard“ train, and my cabin reminded me of the ones that soldiers used when they were being sent to the front line during World War One.

After about three or four hours looking out the window, although some of the scenery is very very nice, it does get a bit boring and you end up thinking “shit, I have another eight hours of this“.

Also, the train always feels like it is in third gear and the driver for some reason never put its into fourth gear. It just seems slow….very slow.

I did try to sleep, expecting the gentle motion of the train would rock me into a deep and restful nights sleep.  I ended up having one of the worst sleeps I’ve ever had, being woken up every time somebody walked past my cabin door (about every 60 seconds) or being jarred awake by some uneven tracks which I worked out were about every 5 miles.

The biggest problem was that the bed was about 2 1/2 foot wide, but my arse is about 3 1/2 foot wide.

i’ve now decided if I ever do the trip again, I’d prefer to spend an extra eight hours of debauchery in Bangkok, then pop to the airport and fly up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I’ve taken Bangkok to Chiang Mai, it took 14 hours and I echo the sentiments above.  I booked a month in advance, paid 500 supplement for single occupancy, and brought some whisky and cigars (although you’re not supposed to have alcohol).  It was nice scenery outside Chiang Mai but I slept so poorly that I needed a nap as soon as I checked into my hotel, and the air con on the train was cranked up so high I needed two blankets.

Retired

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13 hours ago, mattmoore1965x said:

Sorry, you have some very specific questions on the train which I can’t answer, but I thought you may appreciate my review!

I took the train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai about seven years ago, as I thought it would be a bit of an adventure compared to flying.

I booked a first-class cabin just for myself, so that I had a bit of luxury during the 12 hour plus  journey.

it was great fun……..for about the first hour.

If you are lucky and get a new train, the first-class cabins i’ve been told are quite nice. However, I think I got a “standard“ train, and my cabin reminded me of the ones that soldiers used when they were being sent to the front line during World War One.

After about three or four hours looking out the window, although some of the scenery is very very nice, it does get a bit boring and you end up thinking “shit, I have another eight hours of this“.

Also, the train always feels like it is in third gear and the driver for some reason never put its into fourth gear. It just seems slow….very slow.

I did try to sleep, expecting the gentle motion of the train would rock me into a deep and restful nights sleep.  I ended up having one of the worst sleeps I’ve ever had, being woken up every time somebody walked past my cabin door (about every 60 seconds) or being jarred awake by some uneven tracks which I worked out were about every 5 miles.

The biggest problem was that the bed was about 2 1/2 foot wide, but my arse is about 3 1/2 foot wide.

i’ve now decided if I ever do the trip again, I’d prefer to spend an extra eight hours of debauchery in Bangkok, then pop to the airport and fly up.

 

That pretty much mirrors my experience when I took the train from CM to Bangkok about 4-5 years ago.  The rain started rolling 5-ish PM, so I had about 1 hour of views before it got dark.  No grand vistas of oceans, rivers, or from the top of a hill or mountain.  Just a lot of green bush, which was pretty enough, for about 15 minutes.

I had a single cabin to myself.  The cabin was ok, not luxurious but not ghetto either.  I couldn't sleep a wink though, the wheels against the track were loud, and the train swayed significantly from side to side every few minutes.

I took the train because I had never taken a long overnight train before.  If someone would have told what it would be like at that time, I would have said "thanks, but no thanks".

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I have taken a nighttrain from Bangkok to Chiang Mai in December and they justed moved stations , so i was dragging my suitcases thru a new railwaystation to the back out and over a highway and then 3 railway lines to a old and run down station they used in the mean time.

They make the bunks in about a hour and not much to see.

I´m scheduled back in a couple of days but the only reason i use this is the bicycle case i have with me that is a pain to get on a internal flight.

Frank

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I used to take the train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and enjoyed it. I always booked a second class, air con, lower bunk sleeper. I'd go to a 7-11 near the station, buy two large bottles of Leo and some ice and snacks, then let the swaying of the car rock me to sleep. 

There used to be a day time "Sprinter" train if you want some scenery. The "Sprinter" wasn't any faster, but a great name, 555!

This info is dated, my last train ride in Thailand was circa 2012.

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Not trying to be a dick just a real question.

I am a plane guy.

I can fly to or from Chiang Mai for less than 1000 baht (1800 baht with checked bag).

Can someone explain the benefit of taking the train?

I am not saying it is a bad idea, I am just not educated on the pricing or the benefits.

Edited by LASportsNut
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15 minutes ago, LASportsNut said:

Not trying to be a dick just a real question.

I am a plane guy.

I can fly to or from Chiang Mai for less than 1000 baht (1800 baht with checked bag).

Can someone explain the benefit of taking the train?

I am not saying it is a bad idea, I am just not educated on the pricing or the benefits.

You would only do it for the ‘experience’ and you’d probably only want to do it once.

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Retired

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3 hours ago, LASportsNut said:

Not trying to be a dick just a real question.

I am a plane guy.

I can fly to or from Chiang Mai for less than 1000 baht (1800 baht with checked bag).

Can someone explain the benefit of taking the train?

I am not saying it is a bad idea, I am just not educated on the pricing or the benefits.

I have read several times that backpackers could take the overnight train and save the price of a room for 1 night.

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4 hours ago, LASportsNut said:

Not trying to be a dick just a real question.

I am a plane guy.

I can fly to or from Chiang Mai for less than 1000 baht (1800 baht with checked bag).

Can someone explain the benefit of taking the train?

I am not saying it is a bad idea, I am just not educated on the pricing or the benefits.

There are some sad people like myself that love long distance train travel. I have travelled all over Australia and a couple of trips to Udon Thani and Surat Thani from Bangkok. Last April I had planned to get a cruise ship from Sydney to Singapore and then over a week catch trains from Singapore to Chiang Mai. The missus wouldn't do the train trip and was going to fly up to Bangkok and then to Udon Thani where I would meet up with her.

Covid put a stop to this trip.

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1 minute ago, thegrogmonster said:

There are some sad people like myself that love long distance train travel. I have travelled all over Australia and a couple of trips to Udon Thani and Surat Thani from Bangkok. Last April I had planned to get a cruise ship from Sydney to Singapore and then over a week catch trains from Singapore to Chiang Mai. The missus wouldn't do the train trip and was going to fly up to Bangkok and then to Udon Thani where I would meet up with her.

Covid put a stop to this trip.

Tuesday 6th April 2021:
2: 10:10 Johor Bahru Sentral to Gemas 14:54 (12go.asia 12 months in advance)
ETS: 15:10 Gemas to Kuala Lumpur 17:34 (12go.asia 12 months in advance)
Stay overnight Kuala Lumpur

Wednesday 7th April 2021:
ETS: 10:04 Kuala Lumpur to Padang Besar 15:55 (not sure when ETS tickets are released ktmtrain.com looks like 90 days in advance)
46: 18:00 Padang Besar to Hua Hin 06:05 (Thairailwayticket.com 90 days in advance)
Overnight on train

Thursday 8th April 2021:
Hua Hin overnight

Friday 9th April 2021:
40: 16:01 Hua Hin to Bangkok 19:45 (Thairailwayticket.com 90 days in advance)
51: 22:00 Bangkok to Chiang Mai 12:10 (Thairailwayticket.com 90 days in advance)
Overnight on train

Saturday 10th April 2021:
Chiang Mai overnight

Sunday 11th April 2021:
Nok Air DD8622: 14:10 Chiang Mai to Udon Thani 15:15

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I used (in the very-dim-and-distant past) to take the late-evening departure from Hualampong, so that the final several hours, very scenic from Den Chai onwards, were in daylight, arriving lunchtime/early-afternoon depending upon the delays along-the-way.

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On 13/01/2022 at 22:13, LASportsNut said:

Not trying to be a dick just a real question.

I am a plane guy.

I can fly to or from Chiang Mai for less than 1000 baht (1800 baht with checked bag).

Can someone explain the benefit of taking the train?

I am not saying it is a bad idea, I am just not educated on the pricing or the benefits.

I can only speak for myself but the reason I take buses and trains and I've been all over this country is because I want to see what's between point A and B. Not Just get there. I've seen so many interesting things in many of the little interesting towns.

I have to keep reminding myself its a job :GoldenSmile1:
At Babydolls we are serious about fun

 

 

babydollsaddict.gif

 

 

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I took a trip from BKK to Chiang Mai once with the TGF. Paid for the first class sleeper. Had some attendants sell me beer and food from the dining cart I didn't know about (my fault) at a huge markup. Then the the train shutdown about halfway there and wasn't moving for hours and there was no AC in the first class area anymore. After suffering for a few hours in the heat, waiting for them to fix the issue, they eventually moved us to 2nd class for the rest of the trip and no refund or compensation of course once we finally arrived in Chiang Mai. Kind of soured me on further train trips in Thailand. Many nightmare bus trip stories as well. If I'm traveling around Thailand now, it's flight, private taxi or nothing.

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I've enjoyed all the first hand experience intel. And whilst I empathise with the notion that the journey deprives you of 10 extra hours of mongering, I can't escape the feeling that this would be a bucket list thing for me. I read that the railways were founded by King Rama V in the 1890s and, judging by the reports, the tracks are still the original item. The Thai-Chinese agreement of 2015 to build a high speed rail network is moving predictably slowly and the first line from Krung Thep to Korat has a public scheduled opening in 2026. The second line from Korat to Nong Kai on the Lao border is still in the planning stage. So Japanese-style shinkansen tourism in Thailand is unlikely in my lifetime. It looks like a single 19th century trip is on the cards before it's back to Thai Smile.

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