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BUS OR TRAIN?

Travel Forums Asia BUS OR TRAIN?

1. Posted by beckish (Budding Member 21 posts) 9y

I`ll be in thailand in 2weeks, just wondering if travelling from bangkok up north then back down south is better by train or bus, I`m hearing lots of mixed reviews about both-good and bad! Think I`ll be taking the overnight trains as these seem the best option for where i`m going and the time i`ve got (3wks), but haven`t quite made my mind up yet, anyone got any info on what the overnight sleeper trains are like?

2. Posted by frosty (Full Member 107 posts) 9y

Quoting beckish

I`ll be in thailand in 2weeks, just wondering if travelling from bangkok up north then back down south is better by train or bus, I`m hearing lots of mixed reviews about both-good and bad! Think I`ll be taking the overnight trains as these seem the best option for where i`m going and the time i`ve got (3wks), but haven`t quite made my mind up yet, anyone got any info on what the overnight sleeper trains are like?

I like the idea of taking the overnight SLEEPER train up to Chiang Mai. This will save you from paying for another night in a hotel. Get your train tickets a couple days before your ride. Try for bottom bunks and bring some snacks and drinks with you. Always good to have some handi-wipe things to clean up with on treks and tours too! Train leaves in the evening and arrives in Chiang Mai in the morning around 7 or so.

On any form of transportation - keep your passport, money, cameras and valuables with you in your walk around bag, not in any check in bag!

I would fly back from Chiang Mai to the next destination unless you want to check out taking a boat from Chiang Rai for a few days. Chiang Mai to "down south" somewhere is a long run for ground travel.

Lots of opinions on this subject I would imagine.

3. Posted by beckish (Budding Member 21 posts) 9y

Cheers Frosty, a few handy hints there! I could do overnight sleepers back down to bangkok then down south, hey at least I`ll save on hotel fares!!!!!!!

4. Posted by opospa (Travel Guru 1837 posts) 9y

Train will be better. It is much safer than bus. Couple of months ago,there was a bus accident which killed few people. At least train got low percentage of that. Safety first mate!

5. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

Hello Beckish:)

Over night sleeper trains are wonderful, if u travel first class. Beds sheets and somebody bringing u food. I have not tried second class.
Third class is very basic. A wooden seat, and vendors getting on the train at every stop, to sell cheap food.

Trains are often booked up, so go to the train station a few days before u want to travel and book, if u are particular about how u travel. Otherwise, u will have to settle for what is available.
It is supposed to be possible to book, by phone, but I heard that there is rarely somebody to speak English with.

Here are the train time tables for Thailand. U can change it, to English.
www.railway.co.th

The bus is comfortable enough, if u dont mind sleeping on a seat that reclines a little. Like on a plane. Busses leave more frequently, so u dont necessarily have to book in advance. Although, for overnight ones, maybe it is wise to do so.

Mel

6. Posted by beckish (Budding Member 21 posts) 9y

Thanks guys, think I`ll def be taking train now!!! safety first with me as it`s my 1st time travelling, and I`m doin it on my own, AAAAARRGHH!!!!!!:;)

7. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

Oh yeah!!!
I forgot to comment, about safety, in my post.
On over night buses, if u leave your backpack, in the luggage hold(which u will have no choice about, if it is anything more than small), there is a good chance of it being rifled through and some of your stuff stolen. And they dont just take valuables either. I met one guy who had his razor, a paper notebook and some other such items stolen. Wise to take the train, at night, if u are concerned, about this.

Dont worry, about going to Thailand alone. It is the most peaceful place I have ever travelled. It is the only country where I have never experienced sexual harassment. Also, attacks on women are rare. But having said that, dont get too careless. ;)

Mel

[ Edit: Edited on Apr 20, 2007, at 5:14 AM by Mel. ]