The most spectacular train journeys in Thailand

Leave the urban overactivity of Bangkok and engulf yourself in the luxuriant nature of Northern Thailand, direction Chiang Mai.

Thailand has an enormous diversity of landscapes. So much so, that if after spending a day in Krabi the visitor crosses the country by train and reaches the peaks of Chiang Rai, he might well think that he has crossed into a different country. This charm means that, from a cultural and topographical point of view, the Land of Smiles is very diverse.

One way to enjoy Thailand is to cross the country on trains. Something that is possible due to its railway network and its train fleet. The affordable price of its tickets gives travelers the opportunity to experience an adventure, with amazing and beautiful views of the carriages. Next, we will tell you which are the most picturesque and fun train routes that you can experience.

Bangkok to Maeklong

Have you ever wanted to get on one of the slowest trains in the world? Well now it’s possible. We refer to the line that connects Bangkon with Mae Klong. The journey begins in Wongwian Yai (Bangkok) and the trip lasts two and a half hours, crossing the city and the countryside.

Its popularity is precisely due to the reason that makes this train so slow: it goes through the Maklong market, one of the favorite spots for Instagrammers visiting Thailand . The train must slow down and move slowly to cross the market that stands on both sides of the tracks. Its speed is reduced so much that it is possible to bump hands with vendors and market visitors.

Bangkok to Chiangmai

If you enjoy seeing landscapes, there is a trip that you should not miss. One that takes you from the capital of the Land of Smiles to its spiritual heart: Chiang Mai.

And for this crossing what better than the train to have the chance to admire the beauty of the impressive landscapes of the northern region. A fascinating experience where wonder meets astonishment.

Bangkok Hua Lamphong Station

Starting in the wee hours of the morning from Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong Station, your train tour will traverse historic Lopburi and Ayutthaya, as well as vast patches of jungle, as you head north. In this way, you can enjoy the spectacular views of the interior of Thailand, before getting off the train to visit the majestic temples of the north of the kingdom.

Bangkok to the Gulf of Thailand

How would you like to get to an island by train? Technically you won’t be able to, eye. But you almost will. The trains that you can take to Chumphon or Surat Thani from Bangkok take you to the coast and from there it is very easy to take a ferry to the islands.

Thanks to this formula, you can enjoy spectacular panoramic views by land and by sea. During the train ride, you will see sights as beautiful as Hua Hin and also be in awe of the views as you sail through the stunning turquoise waters towards Ko Phaluai, Ko Pha Ngam and other stunning islands in the Gulf of Thailand.

Bangkok to Nongkhai

Nong Khai is an attractive town in Isan, close to the border with Laos. It can be reached from Bangkok by train and the interest that it has is that it is one of the areas least known by tourists. Hence, it is ideal for romantic getaways as a couple or to live an experience of self-discovery.

An unforgettable crossing of Thailand

This crossing, which will take you from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, is a real journey of wonder. Get on this train and get ready to discover the authentic and luxurious landscapes of deep Thailand. You will have time to enjoy it with a minimum of 15 hours by train, and a speed of 40 km/h.

A speed that lets each image burn deeply into memory. You will be filled with light and amazing colors. A night trip, starting from Bangkok, to have the opportunity to be at the forefront of a sunset over the region of Mae Nam Chao Phraya and Kheuan Mae Wong. And be amazed by the marvelous brightness of the aurora over the jungle of Lampang, a few minutes from Chiang Mai.

Beyond the windows lined with wooden shutters, qualifiers and superlatives jostle for a description filled with exaltation facing the national parks of Lang San and Phu Kradung. They offer a silent plunge into vegetation overflowing with magic.

An inspiration which is amplified, by the punctuation of the few stops in stations which remain small clean and old bastions. This crossing is also an opportunity to be in the heart of the real Thailand, between rice fields, small villages and street vendors, a vision apart far from the common effervescence.

An experience to live to touch a magical moment with your fingertips. A radiance, colors, authenticity and a landscape combine to form a pure moment of escape.

A Thai train like no other

On the Bangkok station platform at 4:00 p.m., the train is already 35 minutes late, but that’s just to let you enjoy a little more of the gentle intensity of this city. Finally at the platform, it is nostalgia that rushes to the first foot engulfed in the train. And there, astonishment, it disappears immediately once the head is raised, to give way to the surprise of a train like no other, which announces a unique journey. A train that is made of wood, lined with billboards on its walls. The notion of too much is omnipresent, the more there is, the better, a remnant of Bangkok.

1st, 2nd or 3rd class?

After a passage and a furtive stop, in front of the private cabins (for 1 or 2 people) of the first class, with a bench that converts into two beds, a sink and a mirror.

It takes a few more steps, for second class and the ceiling fans. A second class with little folklore, where the surprise of encounters is there. Meetings that change this crossing into moments of sharing and human discovery.

Third class is probably the least comfortable, there is no ventilation and the seats are made of wood, not really great for a 15 hour journey.

Better to book your seats in advance if you really want to get a first class cabin. Moreover, it is necessary to reserve at all, to be sure to have a place in the train which one wishes. So remember to buy them as soon as your itinerary is complete.

Where are the berths?

A night crossing to make the 15-hour journey pass, which easily turns into 19 hours, more quickly, lulled by a sweet sleep. At first glance it is difficult to find the sleeping berths, apart from those visible in the first class cabins. And yet they are under your nose, the comfortable and well-padded seats are modular. They transform, not like Transformers cars but almost, to become your bed for the night.

There are two types of train, a first (older) which has a central corridor with on each side two seats facing each other which will turn into 2 berths. Or a modular bench, on each side that can be placed face to face.

And a second (more modern), with a corridor on the side and 2 seats of two places always facing each other, which will turn into 4 berths (2 above, 2 below). And for privacy a curtain will protect that of each berth.

The dining car of the train

The little curiosity of the restaurant wagon with its folklore look, with a checkered tablecloth encrusted in the table and an armchair straight out of the 80s, is worth a visit. A touch of kitsch, which accentuates the immersion in Thai daily life, to appreciate simple and tasty flavors.

As the sun sets and your expedition has started well, you have two choices, 1: you opt for a long night to discover Thai conviviality in the restaurant car. Or 2: you sleep soundly, to be in Olympic shape and ready to attack the visit to Chiang Mai like a champion.

Crossing points of the Bangkok-Chiang Mai crossing

  • Lop Buri
  • Mae Nam Chao Phraya
  • Khuan Mae Wong
  • Phitsanulok
  • utaradit
  • lampang

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