you'll want the main Hualamphong Train Station for trains to Surat Thani and the south. this is the station for trains to the north and the northeast too, including aranyaprathet. the only time you might need a different station is for the train to Kanchanaburi, which leaves from the Bangkok Noi station in Thonburi.
the easiest way to get to Hualamphong is via the subway. leave extra time to get to the station if you go by taxi, since the traffic in that area can get pretty thick. have a good trip.
That's really helpful, thanks very much for that Exacto. We will be going to the train station from Bangkok airport (after flying in from Hanoi) so am sure it shouldbe easy enough to find Hualamphong station.
Actually, Gillfred, if you are arriving at the airport between 06.00 and 17.00 and know what time your train to Surat Thani is, you can take a train either down to Hua Lampong station (it takes about 40 minutes and they are fairly regular) or go to Bang Sue, which is the main junction out of Bangkok. From here the train lines split, to the north, east and south. So if you are able to book your ticket in advance, my suggestion is to go just to Bang Sue station (train or taxi) and get on the train there. Saves the hassle of getting into the city centre, you'll only end up going back through Bang Sue anyway.
#4 russellb has been a member since 8/8/2006. Posts: 12
some pretty good advice from russellb, depending on what time of day your are arriving and assuming that your flight arrives at don muang airport. if you are arriving at the new airport, however, i have no idea how you'd get to hualamphong directly.
if you do wind up getting to hualamphong early, there is baggage storage there, which makes it easier to take advantage of the extra time and go explore bangkok a bit before your train heads down to surat thani.
just to clarify- we can get train/bus/ferry combos from the hualamphong train station right? *not* the travel agent ones...?
#6 shakester has been a member since 5/9/2006. Posts: 37
Yes and no. If you book in advance at the 'advanced ticket office' at Hualamphong then yes, you can buy a ferry ticket to Ko Tao or Ko Pha Ngan. But you don't need to. When you get off the train in Surat Thani there are scores of agents waiting to sell you tickets. They're not a rip-off as long as you look for the ones from Songsaerm (or something like that, I can't remember the exact name). They run transfers to the ferry and back and the tickets can be single or return. Open returns are no more expensive.
If you're going to Ko Pha Ngan then it's easier to go via Surat Thani. For Ko Tao you should think about getting off the train at Chumphon as there's a boat from there that goes direct to Ko Tao (the boat from Surat Thani stops in Samui and Pha Ngan, takes longer and is usually packed).
#7 russellb has been a member since 8/8/2006. Posts: 12