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To take train, or not . . .

  • azsha6617

    Joined Travelfish
    5th March, 2011
    Location United States
    Posts: 23

    Hello! I am leaving the US for Thailand May 12. This will be my first time out of the country *YAY. Am 24, female traveling alone. I arrive in bangkok, spending the first week up North before heading down to Phuket. Can't decide if i'd be better off flying or taking the train from BKK to Phuket. It's a looong train ride, but thought it'd be interesting. Is it comfortable, safe, and worth the 12 hrs if not on a schedule?

    Thanks!

    #1 Posted: 17/3/2011 - 13:56

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  • Nokka

    Joined Travelfish
    6th April, 2009
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 259

    There is no train from Bangkok to Phuket - it will mean a train, probably to Surat Thani and then a bus from there to Phuket, I imagine. Or a bus direct from Bangkok.

    Is it worth it ? Depends really. Will you have just travelled by train from the North to Bangkok ? If so, I think I'd fly. If you're up for a perfectly pleasant (comfortable and safe) overnighter on the train, followed by a longish bus journey - well - why not ? Its much more an experience than yet another flight, that's for sure. I'm pretty sure you will be able to buy through tickets (ie train and bus) all the way, though others may illuminate.

    #2 Posted: 17/3/2011 - 16:10

  • caseyprich

    Joined Travelfish
    3rd March, 2010
    Location China
    Posts: 1202
    Total reviews: 53
    Places visited:
    At least 48

    Nokka hits the nail on the head with that one. I recommend you take the train up north to Chiang Mai - then try to get a flight from there to Phuket will save you a lot of time. The train ride to Chiang Mai is much shorter and will still give you the experience.

    So - if time is an option - fly.

    #3 Posted: 17/3/2011 - 16:13

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2359
    Total reviews: 47
    Places visited:
    At least 98

    I'd definitely take the overnight sleeper train if I were going to Chiang Mai or Lampang, Nong Khai or Udorn, Ubon, Surat Thani, Nakhon Sri Thammarat, or Trang. But I agree with the others that flying to Phuket is the better option.

    More info on trains at: http://www.travelfish.org/feature/82

    #4 Posted: 17/3/2011 - 19:43

  • goonistik

    Joined Travelfish
    7th January, 2010
    Posts: 532

    I agree the overnight sleeper train is an acceptable and cost-effective option.

    But to get off the overnight train and than spend another 12 hours to travel to Phuket ? Yikes!

    A check at the Air Asia site and I found a ticket for Chiang Mai to Phuket for 2,184 baht. (Prices subject to change depending on seat availability, etc)

    The 2nd class aircon sleeper is 881 baht plus several hundred baht for the Bangkok-Phuket bus (don't know the current fare). You are only saving a few hundred baht. IMHO, save yourself a lot of hassle by flying.

    #5 Posted: 17/3/2011 - 20:31

  • azsha6617

    Joined Travelfish
    5th March, 2011
    Location United States
    Posts: 23

    Thank You so much!
    Is there anything/anywhere in Thailand that's not in the typical travel sites you'd recommend??

    #6 Posted: 18/3/2011 - 10:21

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6221
    Total reviews: 10

    The bus from Surat Thani to Pkuket is what - 100 km? Can't take that long.Gooni - 12 hours from Bangkok yeah, but 12 hours from Surat Thani?

    #7 Posted: 18/3/2011 - 11:10

  • goonistik

    Joined Travelfish
    7th January, 2010
    Posts: 532

    Madmac,

    You are right she can take the train from Chiang Mai to Surat Thani. And than short bus ride hence.
    The point I was trying to make is that it is cost-effective to take a flight. Especially when you consider travel time and the costs.

    #8 Posted: 18/3/2011 - 11:40

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6221
    Total reviews: 10

    For sure, the train is a lot slower. It is a nice ride, though - low on stress and comfortable. I took the night train from Nairobi to Mombassa and I still remember that ride with great fondness even though it was 12 years ago.

    #9 Posted: 18/3/2011 - 17:33

  • azsha6617

    Joined Travelfish
    5th March, 2011
    Location United States
    Posts: 23

    I figure I'll take train North then see if i'm up for that 12 hr ride or flight to Phuket. Thanks for the advice :)

    #10 Posted: 19/3/2011 - 08:33

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  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6221
    Total reviews: 10

    I would fly the second leg if you take the train from Chiang Mai or some like location. 12 Hours is one thing, 24 is another.

    #11 Posted: 20/3/2011 - 00:17

  • andyp3195

    Joined Travelfish
    27th March, 2011
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 3

    Hiya,

    I arrive in Thailand on May 19 and was also planning on spending time in Bangkok before heading to Phuket. I know you arrive a bit earlier, but perhaps we could meet up and travel together or something?

    My e-mail is andyp3195@aol.com if you are interested.

    Andy

    #12 Posted: 27/3/2011 - 22:51

  • Summer89

    Joined Travelfish
    7th March, 2011
    Location United States
    Posts: 9

    Hey,
    I'm leaving for Bangkok, Thailand on the 13th of May (this Friday!) from the US.
    I'll be in Bangkok till the 17th, take either an overnight train on the 17th or a day bus on the 18th to Chiang Mai for 3 days, fly down to Phuket-Krabi/Railay Beach on the 21or 22- the 26th.
    Let me know if you would like to meet up in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, or Phuket/Krabi and do some traveling together.

    #13 Posted: 10/5/2011 - 10:16

  • Summer89

    Joined Travelfish
    7th March, 2011
    Location United States
    Posts: 9

    Hey,
    I'm leaving for Bangkok, Thailand on the 13th of May (this Friday!) from the US.
    I'll be in Bangkok till the 17th, take either an overnight train on the 17th or a day bus on the 18th to Chiang Mai for 3 days, fly down to Phuket-Krabi/Railay Beach on the 21or 22- the 26th.
    Let me know if you would like to meet up in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, or Phuket/Krabi and do some traveling together.

    #14 Posted: 10/5/2011 - 10:23

  • Thomas922

    Joined Travelfish
    1st July, 2007
    Location Global Village
    Posts: 346

    See how popular you are OP? Congratulations on your first trip!. I am always happy to see my fellow countrymen (and women) escape our confines? What is your starting airport? If you have any on the road questions please ask. And when you are at internet cafe's check in with us. It helps us so much sometimes when we are stuck at home on the grind!

    #15 Posted: 10/5/2011 - 10:30

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