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Bus/train vs Flights

  • timxc800

    Joined Travelfish
    9th August, 2012
    Posts: 1

    What do you guys think is the best way to get around Thailand? A lot of people have told me to take the bus/train. After all it's cheaper and it's a more authentic Thai experience. However, I have found that the flights are not too expensive and appear to be much quicker. For example, it takes 1 hour 10 minutes to fly from Bangkok to Chiang Mai as opposed to a 10 or 11 hour bus ride. Seeing as I will only be in Thailand for about 2 weeks I figure I would rather pay a bit more for quicker travel, rather than waste a day on a bus.

    Any thoughts? What do you recommend?

    #1 Posted: 9/8/2012 - 10:12

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  • Captain_Bob

    Click here to learn more about Captain_Bob
    Joined Travelfish
    27th May, 2006
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 1790

    Seems like you've already answered your question. Flights are fast and fairly cheap, but buses and trains are more of an experience. In particular an overnight sleeper train or a daytime "sprinter" can be a bit of an adventure. I often recommend for people to fly up to Chiang Mai then take a train back to Bangkok so they can experience both ways. Same for the south - train down fly back or vise-versa. Bus is usually faster than train but in my opinion it's not much fun at all being trapped in a small seat for hours. With trains you can get up and walk around, go discover the dining car, have a few beers, etc. See what trains are like on http://www.seat61.com/Thailand.htm

    #2 Posted: 9/8/2012 - 11:33

  • RiniRabbit

    Joined Travelfish
    31st July, 2012
    Posts: 78

    Hi timxc800
    If you need to save your time ,yes you can travel by flights and maybe AirAsia is good option for you or NokAir.
    If you want to have good experience like Captain_Bob said, I think travel by trains is really great for heading to Chiang Mai [img]smileys/smile.gif[/img]
    You will see beautiful places while sitting on trains also you will get lots of beautiful picture that you can't imagine.
    it just my opinion for you.
    Have a good trip.

    #3 Posted: 9/8/2012 - 22:23

  • busylizzy

    Joined Travelfish
    31st December, 2007
    Location New Zealand
    Posts: 2155
    Total reviews: 20
    Places visited:
    At least 107

    Depending on your destinations within Thailand, maybe consider renting a car. I did that with my sister for a week or so, covering some ground between Chiang Mai down to Samut Songkram area then back up to Bkk airport. We really enjoyed the flexibility to venture down side roads, stop in small towns that we would have missed otherwise, and visited roadside stalls that allowed us to meet with some locals, albeit briefly. The roads are very easy to navigate (although I didn't give the centre of Bkk a go!). It was a regular 'Thelma and Louise' experience.

    But if you're just keen to get from one major town to another as quickly as poss, flights are the way to go.

    Or save a night's accom, and take the night-train to/from Chiang Mai, as suggested by Cptn Bob.

    #4 Posted: 9/8/2012 - 22:40

  • LeonardCohe-

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2012
    Posts: 2148
    Total reviews: 11

    You won't experience much on a train but the food cart and the train stations. Fly then hire a car and drive around.

    #5 Posted: 12/8/2012 - 07:44

  • captainbkk

    Joined Travelfish
    16th February, 2012
    Posts: 472

    tipically people take overnight trains or buses for those long trips-for most of the trip the scenery is hardly exciting, but there are always determined rail-riders who take any chance to promote the iron roosters. Overnight means hardly any time ''lost''.Plane; the flight may be just 1 hr, but also add the BKK traffic woos, check-in, ride into town other side with rip-off tuks etc, and you loose half a day.
    Hire-cars; first have a look at Thai traffic before you decide.

    #6 Posted: 14/8/2012 - 06:39

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