I need some help booking my train tickets,
I want to get from Chiang Mai on April 17th to Bangkok. I was thinking the overnight train was our best option as it would save us paying for a hotel. However Im finding it really really difficult to get prices and understand the train plans.
Can anyone help? My friend and I would like to be seating together on the train, so from what I understand, we should get an upper and lower berth to ensure this? am i correct?
If anyone can point me in the right direction i would greatly appreciate it.
Also as it would be around the time of Songkran, would the prices inflate?
Thanks, Trishy x
I took it once before. I certainly could not sleep in those seats and it was actually a bit cold on the train. Never again.
I'd take an AirAsia flight and get a cheap room in Bangkok.
The prices might not inflate then but the trains could be full. As could the flights, so book early.
i also took the train and was not a great experience (as i found on arrival in chiang mai i had been struck down with dengue fever and felt pretty terrible through the night)..
however the actual train itself was pretty comfortable,withing a few hours of leaving bkk and heading north they guards on the train come around and unfold the bed's,everyone was flat out asleep or chilling by about 11pm..
when you book at the train station the people on the desk will sort your seats and beds for you,if your both wanting your own beds then sure they will sort it all out for you,pretty straight forward...its a pretty slow train and seems to take forever but if you can get a good few hours sleep through the night before you know it your arriving in chiang mai or your case bkk first thing in the morning...
however for an extra 1000-1500 baht you can prob get a flight with air asia direct into bkk...
You can buy tickets online from the Thai state RR or from a private agency. I bought from Charlie Connection Travel near the KSR area - just google for their website.
I bought the first class sleeper and it was quite comfortable - I plan to do the same when I use the train to the Lao border later this year.
I don't know what site you are looking at, but it seems pretty straight forward. Thai rail I booked my ticket from the train station, but you don't say where you are at the moment, so not sure if that is possible and as you say you'll be traveling over Songkran so yes you need to book early. The train was very comfortable, with a great night sleep,but the food is crap..hey just like the UK!
I wouldn't stress too much about the upper and lower berth. If you book online that's probably what the system will give you. Although it doesn't seem to offer you a seat specifically, only a choice of upper and lower. But asking someone on the train to shift down one seat wont be a big deal, or ask the conductor, they are usually very helpful. If you book in person at the station you can ask for it. I'm pretty sure I went second class and it was fine.
For more information on train travel in Thailand check this out. seat 61 thailand
go to rail station or maninseat61.com have excellent vid/tutorials on there too.
huge fan of this mode of travel,top tip is last train arond 730pm is the party/disco train in the buffet car anything goes after 9pm.
quite a wild ride.
Certainly check out Air Asia to see whether the cost is affordable to you.
I've always travelled by train (2nd class aircon sleeper) between BKK and CM. I always have dinner prior to boarding but take some snacks with me just in case. As I am a light sleeper I use ear plugs. This mode of transport does me just fine.
The last time I booked my tickets through a travel agent the system was computerised. The computer books you a sleeper anywhere within the carriage. To meet my specific request of a sleeper in the middle of the carriage (away from the toilets and carriage doors) the agent had to book and cancel until I got what I wanted. The agent charged a commission fee.
Being Songkran I would assume that the overnight train will be fully booked well in advance.
Hey i would def advise you to go via the overnight train its such an experience. I think i got my ticket from a tourist shop which are everywhere. I paid about 600baht for my ticket from Bangkok to Chaing Mai so i cant expect that the prices will be the same. Although they did say the trip would only be 12 hours but then it ended up 16 so do depend on the exact arrival time there. It was comfortable but slightly cold so as long as you have a hoody to hand youll be fine!
Youll have a ball using this travel. The economy class if fine as theres 4 bunks per room, and there absoultely fine. Enjoy and safe travels.