I'm trying to sort out an overnight train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and getting very confused. We're traveling in January, but the Thai Railways site only allows you to check availability up to the end of 2006.
We'd like to take the 19:35 train (#35), since the arrival time seems most convenient. The Traveller 2000 web-site doesn't list this train. The site posted by Exacto (www.travelconnexcion.com) indicates that the only 2nd class sleepers on this train are a/c (we'd like fan if possible) and lists different dep/arr times on different pages. Another site (www.thaifocus.com) listed by The Man in Seat 61 offers both types of sleeper on this train, but at inflated prices.
Can anyone clarify what type of accommodation is available on this train, and where it can most reliably be booked?
#1 roverinexile has been a member since 12/8/2006. Posts: 18
The SRT can be reliable with reservations though a tad slow at replying to emails -- though once contact has been made they're aparently quite reliable. I'd suggest contacting them by email explaining your quandry and see what they suggest.
As for the timetable discrepencies -- I'd go with the official site as being the best site -- you can email them here: firstname.lastname@example.org and if you don't hear back in a few days email them again...and again!
#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,788
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Thanks somtam. I'll give it a shot, and keep my fingers crossed.
#3 roverinexile has been a member since 12/8/2006. Posts: 18
www.seat61.com is a very useful website. You can look at all Thailand trains there, and they even make sense of a difficult subject.
Don't prematurely dismiss the day trains to Chiang Mai, especially the 2nd class fan seats where you can meet a carriage full of great Thai travellers. Share your food, take photos from open windows and doors, and get by with just rudimentary Thai (pood passa nit noi).
I did this journey on the Rapid 101 train in October this year, leaving Hualamphong station @ 0600ish and arriving in Chiang Mai at 1930ish. Sure its longish, but its a great way to see the great central Thailand countryside. The only downside was that I had to get eventually off...
Alas, no response from Thai Railways, and, according to an agency, it now seems that all trains are fully booked for Jan 11th & 12th. It's still impossible to check the availability via the official website, as 2006 is the only year to select. Looks like we'll have to splash out and fly, as I really don't fancy an o/n KSR video coach. Or, has anyone had luck with buying tickets at the last minute?
#5 roverinexile has been a member since 12/8/2006. Posts: 18