Hi! Thanks for the great Howto on traveling from Bangkok to the islands!
From that info, I realized that I can a train to Kanchanaburi without going into Bangkok from the south. Is it a scenic route? Would you recommend other stops along the way to check out between Chumphon and Kanchanaburi or would you suggest getting to Kanchanaburi and exploring from there?
Thanks again for this site!
#1 karyn has been a member since 10/6/2006. Posts: 30
Ummm, I didn't say that you can head south from Kanchanaburi did I? If I did it is a mistake! You will need to go back to Bangkok to get the train south, OR catch a bus from Kanchanaburi to Ratchaburi from where you can then jump on the train.
Definetly allow a couple of nights in Kanchanaburi if you can, another good destination on the way south is Prachuap Khiri Khan province.
Sorry about the confusion! After reading your original info, I looked into the train system a bit and came across this information (not directly from you)...
..If you're coming from Southern Thailand, you can travel direct to Kanchanaburi and the River Kwai Bridge without going into Bangkok - just change trains at Nakhon Pathom (64 km south of Bangkok), where the branch line to Kanchanaburi leaves the main line...
The site I found is quite interesting, but I am not sure if I can mention it or not...? It has information on train travel in Cambodia and Vietnam as well.
Thanks for the suggestion of Prachuap Khiri Khan!
On a different note, is it worth taking one's own snorkeling stuff to the islands or renting/buying there?
#3 karyn has been a member since 10/6/2006. Posts: 30
Ahh yeah -- you can change at Nakhon Pathom or Ratchaburi -- no problem listing other sites -- if I don't like the site I'll just delete it ;-)
Re the snorkelling stuff, it depends how much snorkelling you're planning on doing... the quality of stuff on offer for rental can vary trmendously, and there's nothing quite as irritating as a leaking mask -- but if you're only planning a couple of snorkels, I wouldn't bother lugging the gear around.
I'm glad I stumbled across this thread! We are in the early stages of planning our Thailand trip for next late Jan/Feb. We're looking at flying into Bangkok and connecting to a flight to Chiang Mai, and renting a car and exploring for a week or so, then flying back to Bangkok for a few days, training it to Kanchanaburi for 3 - 4 days, then to the islands for about 2 weeks. The amount of internal travel is feeling a bit daunting, and we've been trying to figure out how best to approach this islands. From this info, I take it that we can train it from Kanchanaburi - Chumphon (with a change over), and then catch a boat to Ko Tao? How did you find the Kanch - down south train trip Karyn?
The other option is to train back to Bangkok (from Kanchanaburi) and then fly to Phuket, and boat it to Ko Lanta, etc.
#7 JessandScott has been a member since 7/12/2008. Posts: 34
This thread is initially from 2006, but as far as I know the information is still accurate. If you take the train from Kanchanaburi , the switchover point is still Nakon Pathom. But the connection times are a bit tight, so you'd be taking a risk of missing your connection.
If you do take the train all the way back to Bangkok, just remember that you'll arrive at the Bangkok Noi station in Thonburi, not the main Hualamphong train station.
You could always just take the bus to Chumphon too. Odds are you'd need to take the bus from Kanchanaburi to Ratchaburi and then transfer from there. You could even work in a stopover in Cha-am or Hua Hin to break up the travel to Chumphon. Have a good trip.