Skip Navigation

Sleeper trains

Travel Forums Asia Sleeper trains

1. Posted by chelseakyp (Budding Member 86 posts) 9y

Hi guys,

Myself and a friend fly into Bangkok on 14th June and then want to go down to the Southern islands, just wondering if the sleeper trains are safe and are they a good choice for transport down there?

We're on a bit of a tight budget so can't really afford to fly!

Thanks, Claire x

2. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 9y

Claire,
Trains are safer than buses if you are talking accidents. If you are concerned with theft, both trains and buses have issues. Sleeper cars on the overnight trains should be safer from thieves, but there are reports of travellers being robbed while asleep. You need to guard your valuables on any mode of transport.

I am going to suggest the overnight buses. Yes, there are more accidents with buses than trains. True, the Thais tend to drive like idiots. But, I still get on the biggest bus I can find and sit towards the rear. You generally do not have to make reservations for bus travel and it is usually cheaper.

There are two basic types of buses in Thailand. There are gov't buses that leave from a bus station and post a schedule. Then there are the private companies that the travel shops use. If you are on Khao San Road in BKK, all the shops will book a private bus down to Krabi/Phuket or Surat Thani/Samui. This is more convenient, but I recommend that you use the gov't buses. You can get to the Southern Bus Station on your own and take a gov't bus. This is the system the Thais use and it is safer from theft & cheaper. Much less theft on this system than the private bus companies. A comparison on fares might help you decide. A 1st class bus; BKK-Krabi is about 650 baht, 1st class sleeper car on the train is 1,200bt. A/C bus is 450bt, A/C sleeper car is 800bt. Unless you are willing to sit on hard seats in a third class fan car, the bus is cheaper.

Claire, you can fly this route; BKK-Krabi for the same as a sleeper train; about 1,200bt, tax included on Air Asia. My vote is to take an A/C overnight bus from BKK, for 450bt. This saves 1 night accom. and is less than half the cost of flying or the train.

Hope this helps with your decision.

3. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1596 posts) 9y

Quoting chelseakyp

Hi guys,

Myself and a friend fly into Bangkok on 14th June and then want to go down to the Southern islands, just wondering if the sleeper trains are safe and are they a good choice for transport down there?

We're on a bit of a tight budget so can't really afford to fly!

Thanks, Claire x

On any form of transportation you have to be careful. You are lucky, you have a second person with you - if one of you takes off for the toilet or something the other could stay to watch your gear!

If you mean can you both walk off and leave your stuff on your bunk will the stuff be safe - maybe yes - maybe no! I would never leave anything of value or importance behind out of sight. I would keep my passport and money with me anytime I wander off somewhere (even on planes or bus travel too!)

I often travel alone, when I have to leave my bunk area I take my bag with the important stuff with me, it's inconvenient but it's more safe. Remember if you get ripped off on a train, bus or hotel it may not be a local, the thief could also be a fellow tourist.

4. Posted by opospa (Travel Guru 1836 posts) 9y

Bus is uch faster than train. They are more comfortable and convinient as well. Many western tourists do take bus to southern island. Its is very cheap. Go to any TAT travel agent and get a ticket there. They will pick you up from your hotel. ;)