Chiang Mai, Thailand

Getting In

 
 

By Train

Services from Bangkok's Hualamphong Train Station leave daily and take 12-15 hours to reach Chiang Mai. Daytime trains leave Bangkok at 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. with second class (281 baht) and third class (121 baht) carriages. Chiang Mai Train Station is about 3 km east of the city centre. There are plenty of songthaews and tuk-tuks waiting after each train arrival or you can walk to the city centre - exit the station, cross the open square and turn left to Charoen Muang Road, which goes to the city centre.

 
 
 
 
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Hualamphong Railway Station in Bangkok by 2T

Seats in each class differ in softness, width and can become uncomfortable after 10 hours. Carriages are kept clean, toilets and floors are regularly mopped during the journey. Vendors make regular rounds selling snacks, drinks and lacklustre meals and will try to inflate prices to tourists - so be prepared to get ripped off, haggle or bring your own.

Overnight sleepers provide comfortable bunks with clean sheets and pillows in first and second class.

  • First class is always air-con and beds are in a private two-bed compartments. In first class, the bottom bunk is used as a bench seat before having a futon mattress deployed onto it in the evening.
  • Second class is sometimes air-con and carriages open but each bunk has a curtain for privacy. Bunks are folded leaving pairs of facing seats and at some point in the evening, they get flipped down into bunks and made into beds.

If you're not in the mood for bed when your carriage mates are bedding down, you can head to the dining car for food and drinks.

Chiang Mai Train Station by Manop

Tickets can be bought up to 60 days in advance at any station in Thailand and larger stations accept payment with VISA/MasterCard. Booking in advance is advised, especially for the popular 2nd class overnight sleepers. Some travel agencies can procure tickets for delivery for a fee typically starting at 100 baht. Alternatively, the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) has an ticketing site (thairailticket.com) letting you purchase train tickets online and print out the tickets. However, you can only purchase 1st and 2nd class air-con sleeper tickets. The prices online are exactly what you'd pay at the train station.

 
Guide to
Chiang Mai
 
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