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Train/Bus from and to Ayutthaya, Lopburi and K'buri

  • jamiemcl

    Joined Travelfish
    30th August, 2009
    Posts: 5

    Hi all,

    Thanks for the hugely useful information for my questions regarding itinerary a wee while back. I am off at the end of this week, and had originally had the idea I would move from Chiang Mai (a few nights up in Pai) down through Sukhothai , Lopburi , Ayutthaya , Kanchanaburi and down to Bangkok (over 17 nights) leaving each place as I felt like it (within the limit of 18 days).

    However, it looks as though trains for the time I'm going (19/12 - 3/01) need to be booked in advance, rather than just on the day. I have tried out traveller2000, seat61 and thairailwayticket, and its left me massively confused. Given that it seems a lot of work to get to Sukhothai for what would be two nights, I'm now considering skipping it. So the idea was to take the train from Chiang Mai, jump off at Lopburi for a few hours, then carry on to Ayutthaya - Travelfish recommends doing this in the opposite direction, but it obviously doesn’t work CM to A as Thairailwayticket says that the 8.45am train from CM doesn’t get to Lopburi until 6pm that night.
    So, would it worthwhile to take a day trip up to Lopburi from Ayutthaya (I really do want to see those monkeys!)?

    Also, can’t seem to book a train Ayuttaya to Kanchanaburi (via Suphanburi) – none of traveller2000, TRT or seat61 seem to have this route, so any ideas where i could book the bus to Suphanburi and onwards?
    (Somtam had a useful post #14 at http://www.travelfish.org/board/post/thailand/4869_help-needed---itinerary-planning-headache- with the bus info, but where/should this be booked? Or can i just do it the day of or before?)

    Alternatively, could I stick to the original plan of winging it the whole way by just taking buses as it looks as though they leave far more often than trains? (thus also being able to go to Sukhothai as originally planned). Or do these, too, need to be booked in advance??

    I hadn’t stressed at all about transport, thought I could plan and move as I chose but by the looks of other forums this isn’t the way anymore..

    Thanks, and sorry for another novel of a post!
    JM

    #1 Posted: 15/11/2009 - 16:40

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  • jamiemcl

    Joined Travelfish
    30th August, 2009
    Posts: 5

    - Sorry it was Tilapia that had the useful bus info on the other forum link..

    #2 Posted: 15/11/2009 - 16:41

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2383
    Total reviews: 47
    Places visited:
    At least 98

    hi jamie,

    i'd just stick to your original plan and wing it, taking the train when it was convenient and the bus when it wasn't. the trains in thailand are pretty good, but as you've discovered, they have a limited route. for example, there is no train from ayutthaya to kanachanaburi without having to go through bangkok and switching train stations.

    just take the bus. your itinerary looks like a series of short hops anyway. with the bus you'll be able to get more directly to where you are going and avoid any backtracking, such as from ayutthaya to lop buri like you'd mentioned above.

    the only trains that really require advanced reservations are the long-haul, overnight sleeper trains and the sprinter diesel rail cars. otherwise, with trains and buses you can pretty much just show up and buy a seat on the next one. you are paying for transportation, however, not necessarily a seat, and i've spent plenty of train and bus trips standing the entire way or squatting on a little plastic chair in the aisle.

    because of that, it will be a good idea for you to scout out the transportation options to the next place as soon as you arrive at the new one. this will be extra true over the new year's holiday extended break, since all forms of transportation will be overflowing during that time. for the new year's break, you'll probably just want to find a comfortably spot wherever you are and shelter in place.

    i hope that helps. have fun and good luck.

    #3 Posted: 15/11/2009 - 21:44

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2383
    Total reviews: 47
    Places visited:
    At least 98

    hi jamie,

    i'd just stick to your original plan and wing it, taking the train when it was convenient and the bus when it wasn't. the trains in thailand are pretty good, but as you've discovered, they have a limited route. for example, there is no train from ayutthaya to kanachanaburi without having to go through bangkok and switching train stations.

    just take the bus. your itinerary looks like a series of short hops anyway. with the bus you'll be able to get more directly to where you are going and avoid any backtracking, such as from ayutthaya to lop buri like you'd mentioned above.

    the only trains that really require advanced reservations are the long-haul, overnight sleeper trains and the sprinter diesel rail cars. otherwise, with trains and buses you can pretty much just show up and buy a seat on the next one. you are paying for transportation, however, not necessarily a seat, and i've spent plenty of train and bus trips standing the entire way or squatting on a little plastic chair in the aisle.

    because of that, it will be a good idea for you to scout out the transportation options to the next place as soon as you arrive at the new one. this will be extra true over the new year's holiday extended break, since all forms of transportation will be overflowing during that time. for the new year's break, you'll probably just want to find a comfortably spot wherever you are and shelter in place.

    i hope that helps. have fun and good luck.

    #4 Posted: 15/11/2009 - 21:49

  • jamiemcl

    Joined Travelfish
    30th August, 2009
    Posts: 5

    Thats great, thanks exacto. Good to know I can go back to the original plan, wasn't keen on having rigid plans!

    Cheers!

    #5 Posted: 16/11/2009 - 02:46

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