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Chiang Mai by train

  • shakester

    Joined Travelfish
    5th September, 2006
    Posts: 37
    Total reviews: 4

    Hi there

    We're off to Thailand next month, just for a bit. We plan to take the train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, and we have been toying with the idea of making the trip by day.
    The two of us love train journeys, but we can't be quite sure about which one to take- one that leaves early mornig and chugs through all to Chiang Mai or one that leaves after lunch and gets there in the wee hours of the next morning....Anyone here done either of these? Is this all-day trip worth it?
    thanks...
    cheers

    #1 Posted: 13/9/2006 - 18:53

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  • Tilapia

    Click here to learn more about Tilapia
    Joined Travelfish
    21st April, 2006
    Location Canada
    Posts: 1425
    Total reviews: 15
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    At least 113

    If you're going to be in a rush to get there, then take the overnight train. If you aren't in a hurry, I'd break the trip up into a couple of stages. There's a lot to see between Bangkok and Chiangmai.

    The overnight sleepers are great, especially the 2nd. class, no a/c cars. Comfy, roomy, and fun.

    #2 Posted: 14/9/2006 - 01:05

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2410
    Total reviews: 47
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    At least 98

    shakester,

    i'm a big fan of the overnight train too, and always take the overnight train every chance i get. you'll still have the opportunity to see quite a bit of the countryside, particularly in the morning while approaching chiang mai, which in my opinion is the prettiest part of the journey as well.

    you might consider taking the train up to ayutthaya, making a day of it there, then catching the overnight train from ayutthaya directly to chiang mai.

    tilapia's suggestion about breaking up the trip if you are not in a hurry is excellent. you can stop off in ayutthaya, phitsanulok (for sukhothai), and anywhere else you choose.

    whatever you decide, have a great trip. and if you go overnight, the second class no a/c is a solid and affordable choice. if you are up for a splurge, the first class sleeper compartment is fab. cheers.

    #3 Posted: 14/9/2006 - 08:26

  • marianwarren

    Joined Travelfish
    12th March, 2006
    Posts: 270
    Total reviews: 13

    Hi shakester

    Must agree with all the above. The overnighter is heaps of fun. Spent most of the night both ways looking out the window anyway. Enjoy.

    Regards

    Marian

    #4 Posted: 14/9/2006 - 10:16

  • shakester

    Joined Travelfish
    5th September, 2006
    Posts: 37
    Total reviews: 4

    thanks guys

    tilapia, exacto: i wish we could really make stops en route. Am still thinking about it, but it looks we will end up giving both Ayutthaya and Sukothai a skip this time- we have 2 or 2.5 days in Bangkok as of now, and it might be getting too rushed.
    So I guess Special Express Train # 13 from Bkk has sleeper berths right? It leaves at 7.30 and gets in at about 9.30am. What about the Express #51 that leaves at 10pm and gets in past noon?

    [I KNOW I have read the details about which kinds of trains have berths and which don't, but I can't for the life of me remember where I read it!]

    Thanks a lot!


    marianwarren- just thinking of sitting at a train window makes me yearn for it...

    #5 Posted: 14/9/2006 - 10:53

  • marianwarren

    Joined Travelfish
    12th March, 2006
    Posts: 270
    Total reviews: 13

    Hi again shakester

    There's some train info on this site

    http://www.seat61.com/Thailand.htm click on 'What are Thai trains like" then there are times and fares for BKK - CNX

    Hope this is useful

    Regards

    Marian

    #6 Posted: 14/9/2006 - 15:44

  • shakester

    Joined Travelfish
    5th September, 2006
    Posts: 37
    Total reviews: 4

    thanks marian
    beenthere before but had lost patience with it. I think it gives me an answer but I was hoping someone who has done it would know. The perfect train seems to be the 7.30pm one, but it doesnt have 2nd class non-aircon, which s what we want. Aircon will be such a drag!

    #7 Posted: 14/9/2006 - 16:27

  • pritcj

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd September, 2006
    Posts: 3

    hey, im joce, a 15 year old who just spent 2 months in chiang mai, i would defintally take the overnight option we went overnight one way and day the other to bangkok, it was the most amazing experience, we all had so much fun, all the hostesss are great, you just haev to be wild, try to talk thai to them they love it, be ready to be laughed at, enjoy every moment of your trip , it was the most incredibal experience of my life and i have traveled a lot through school, chiang mai belw my mind away , visit as many temples as possible defintally doi su tep, its the main temple in chiang mai and its commonly known if you travel to chiang mai and miss doi su tep you might as well of stayed at home.
    hope some of this was relevant.

    #8 Posted: 23/9/2006 - 16:30

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