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Thailand forum

Bus/train vs Flights

Posted by timxc800 on 9/8/2012 at 10:12

What do you guys think is the best way to get around Thailand? A lot of people have told me to take the bus/train. After all it's cheaper and it's a more authentic Thai experience. However, I have found that the flights are not too expensive and appear to be much quicker. For example, it takes 1 hour 10 minutes to fly from Bangkok to Chiang Mai as opposed to a 10 or 11 hour bus ride. Seeing as I will only be in Thailand for about 2 weeks I figure I would rather pay a bit more for quicker travel, rather than waste a day on a bus.

Any thoughts? What do you recommend?

#1 timxc800 has been a member since 9/8/2012. Posts: 1

Posted by Captain_Bob on 9/8/2012 at 11:33

Seems like you've already answered your question. Flights are fast and fairly cheap, but buses and trains are more of an experience. In particular an overnight sleeper train or a daytime "sprinter" can be a bit of an adventure. I often recommend for people to fly up to Chiang Mai then take a train back to Bangkok so they can experience both ways. Same for the south - train down fly back or vise-versa. Bus is usually faster than train but in my opinion it's not much fun at all being trapped in a small seat for hours. With trains you can get up and walk around, go discover the dining car, have a few beers, etc. See what trains are like on

#2 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,950

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Posted by RiniRabbit on 9/8/2012 at 22:23

Hi timxc800
If you need to save your time ,yes you can travel by flights and maybe AirAsia is good option for you or NokAir.
If you want to have good experience like Captain_Bob said, I think travel by trains is really great for heading to Chiang Mai [img]smileys/smile.gif[/img]
You will see beautiful places while sitting on trains also you will get lots of beautiful picture that you can't imagine.
it just my opinion for you.
Have a good trip.

#3 RiniRabbit has been a member since 31/7/2012. Posts: 78

Posted by busylizzy on 9/8/2012 at 22:40

Depending on your destinations within Thailand, maybe consider renting a car. I did that with my sister for a week or so, covering some ground between Chiang Mai down to Samut Songkram area then back up to Bkk airport. We really enjoyed the flexibility to venture down side roads, stop in small towns that we would have missed otherwise, and visited roadside stalls that allowed us to meet with some locals, albeit briefly. The roads are very easy to navigate (although I didn't give the centre of Bkk a go!). It was a regular 'Thelma and Louise' experience.

But if you're just keen to get from one major town to another as quickly as poss, flights are the way to go.

Or save a night's accom, and take the night-train to/from Chiang Mai, as suggested by Cptn Bob.

#4 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,152
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Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 12/8/2012 at 07:44

You won't experience much on a train but the food cart and the train stations. Fly then hire a car and drive around.

#5 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
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Posted by captainbkk on 14/8/2012 at 06:39

tipically people take overnight trains or buses for those long trips-for most of the trip the scenery is hardly exciting, but there are always determined rail-riders who take any chance to promote the iron roosters. Overnight means hardly any time ''lost''.Plane; the flight may be just 1 hr, but also add the BKK traffic woos, check-in, ride into town other side with rip-off tuks etc, and you loose half a day.
Hire-cars; first have a look at Thai traffic before you decide.

#6 captainbkk has been a member since 16/2/2012. Posts: 472

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