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Does the train get booked out ?

  • Lecker

    Joined Travelfish
    11th May, 2006
    Posts: 4

    Hi
    I've been reading your suggestions on the train theme and I got some questions please.
    - does the train get booked out?
    (i've heard that you have to book more than 2 days in advance) ?

    That travel connexion site why do they ask me how much it is, dont I want them to tell me. Do they just reserve it or do you buy them .

    Is the 1st class AC adjustable?

    And do ferrys and buses leave at 4 am in the morning?

    I guess I could go on and on . but that is just my main thing
    so thanks to anyone replying

    #1 Posted: 11/5/2006 - 14:14

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  • somtam2000

    admin
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    Joined Travelfish
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    Location Indonesia
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    Hi Lecker,

    Welcome to Travelfish!

    1) Yes the train gets booked out, but generally only around public holidays and long weekends. Around the Songkhran (Thai new year) public holiday in April, the train is often booked solid. That said, if you're flexible, or travelling mid-week you shouldn't have a problem. I've never bothered to book more than a day in advance and have always got a seat. If the train is full there is always the bus.

    2) travelconnexion are a travel agent in Bangkok -- they're in no way related to Travelfish, so I can't really answer that one sorry!

    3) No, from memory the cars are air-con and non-adjustable, but its been a LONG time since I've taken an air-con train (I prefer fan). Another travelfish member may have a better answer.

    4) No.

    #2 Posted: 11/5/2006 - 14:56

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2359
    Total reviews: 47
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    Hi Lecker,

    Thailand is pretty much a spur of the moment place, so planning even just a few days ahead will normally get you the train reservation you want. Having said that, if you really want to travel on a specific date or a specific type/class of travel, booking ahead will make that more likely to happen for you.

    I can only speculate about why Travel Connexion asks you to input the price of the train ticket, but I think it is to be sure they understand which train and class of travel you are selecting. Their website does include a good list of the train schedule and associated fares, so it should be easy for you to input the correct fare for the trip you want.

    I just used their service, and after I'd sent the train ticket request, they sent a link to input my credit card information. It was easy. They bought the tickets for me, and now all I need to do is drop by their office on Khao San Road to pick them up. They can also mail the tickets to you for an additional fee if you prefer.

    The first class sleeper compartments do have adjustable air conditioning. That's one reason I like them so much, since you won't get frozen out like you can in the second class A/C cars.

    I think an overnight train trip is a must do on a Thailand visit. I hope you have a good experience. Regards.

    #3 Posted: 11/5/2006 - 20:40

  • Lecker

    Joined Travelfish
    11th May, 2006
    Posts: 4

    Hi thanks a lot for answering so quickly. I love this site , it is deffiantly the best I have found so far.

    I am leaving June 1st and I will get to bagkok the 2nd and I wanted to take the train on june 4th to chumpron but I checked on the thai railway site and it seems like the train I want to take at around 11 pm has no space. It says 0 in that section . I deffinatly want to take the sleeper train but I dont want to get to chump. in the middle of the night. since I want to take the ferry to ko tao.
    So maybe I will just try the travel conx....

    But you say if I go to the station on the 3rd I could get a seat for the 4th ?
    I guess I wil ljust have to see. it's all fun and games.

    thanks again

    #4 Posted: 12/5/2006 - 02:07

  • ELS

    Joined Travelfish
    12th May, 2006
    Posts: 1

    We are leaving for Thailand next week, and had been planning to follow the "book the train a couple of days in advance" advice. However, while nosing around the Thai Railways site, I noticed that there were only a couple of 1st class seats left on the Chiang Mai - Bangkok overnight run on the day we wanted.

    By the time we contacted Thai Railways, figured out that they don't respond to their email quickly*, found an alternative on-line agent to book through (traveller2000.com), and booked something, our preferred train (the #2) was full (or at least 1st class was), and we are going to have to take an alternative (#14).

    Similarly to Lecker, we're trying to do a train (Chiang Mai to Bangkok) connecting to a plane (to Ko Samui) connecting to a ferry (to Ko Tao). I suppose that if we were more flexible, then we could find something in another class or at another time, but since we're trying to make these connection, we don't have that luxury.

    As for AC, my impression is that it isn't adjustable. IIRC, seat61.com has some pretty good info on the trains, and they recommend bringing a blanket.

    Hope this helps,

    ELS.

    *Apparently online ticket sales with Thai Railway is good from 1 month before your travel date through to two weeks before. This is because they are so slow responding to your emails, that anything received after two weeks before your travel date may not get dealt with in time.

    #5 Posted: 12/5/2006 - 08:21

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
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    Location United States
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    Total reviews: 47
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    Dear ELS and Lecker,

    Sorry to read that you are having trouble getting the train seats you need for your trip. What I said was that normally you can get the seat you want just a few days in advance, but if you aren't flexible on when you can travel, then best to book as far in advance as possible. perhaps a travel agent can help you. I've had luck before with a travel agent getting a cancellation ticket for me. Good luck finding what you need.

    As for the A/C? ELS is correct that the aircon isn't adjustable in the second class compartment and you'd be happiest to have a long-sleeve or a blanket with you. But it is adjustable in the first class compartment.

    Cheers.

    #6 Posted: 12/5/2006 - 08:41

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