We are thinking of taking the train rather than the plane from Chiang Mai to Bangkok (17.55-7.00). We will be travelling on to HCMC later the same day. However I have a few questions:
1) we are a family of five (3 kids aged 12, 10 and 5) Will we be able to fit into two 1st class compartments or would it be better for a good nights sleep with 3? it is difficult to see how big the beds are...
2) when we arrive in Bangkok at 7 in the morning we would like to find somewhere to leave our bags for a few hours before we continue to the airport to catch the plane to HCMC - do you know if this is an option at the station?
3) how long will it take us to make it from the station to the airport - planning on flying in the afternoon (3-4 o'clock I think)
hope for some informative answers :-)
#1 Caswell has been a member since 3/8/2009. Posts: 7
Train is a good choice, done that trip myself a number of times. I dont really know about this new 1st class compartments, as i usually go for 2nd class sleeper. In 2nd upper bed you sleep one person and in the lower bed you easely sleep one adult and a child or 2 lovers. There is a left luggage in bankok trainstation and to go to airport you just hop on the subway, change to bts (skytrain) and chainge again to airport link. Takes about 2h if your unlucku. Faster would be a meter taxi takes from 30 to 60 min depending on traffic. I often opt for the bts as im trawelling alone bit i think it will be cheaper for your whole family to opt for the taxi. Ask a cabdriver when you arrive how long it takes to get to the airport from hua lompomg around that time you want to go. It is difficult for us to know as bangkok is under constant rebuilding. Happy traveling.
#2 drzap has been a member since 29/1/2011. Posts: 1
You can get a good sense of the 1st class sleepers on http://www.seat61.com/Thailand.htm
and it's going to be at the discretion of the railway ticket booth if they let you triple-up in one of the adjacent compartments but if so I think it would be suitable for your family comfort-wise. Just note the aircon can be really cold and dank so sleep with some warm fleecy clothes in addition to the supplied bedding.
i'd think you'd be able to fit into two first-class compartments too, but like Bob says, it will depend on if the ticket seller will be able to accommodate that request or not. the train being in thailand, it won't hurt to ask!
the advantage of taking two first-class compartments is that you can get adjacent compartments with a pass-through door. adds a bit of safety and security for you, since i'd guess the adults will be in one compartment and the children in the other. one of the reasons i like the first-class sleepers is because the aircon Bob mentioned above is adjustable through those type of nozzles you find on an airplane. twist open for more or closed for less.
no matter what, book ahead if you can because the trains fill up.
i'd want to leave a big chunk of time, along the lines of two hours, for the trip from Hualamphong to the new airport - particularly on a weekday. odds are it will take less than an hour, but i'd much prefer to be an hour early than an hour late for my check in. cheers.
Thanks a lot for your informative answers! Travelfish is always the place to go :-)
#5 Caswell has been a member since 3/8/2009. Posts: 7