Following on from our recent train to Chiang Mai post you might want to consider the daily special express train to liven up the journey. It’s an all-sleeper train with only 1st or 2nd class air-con options.
So what’s so special about the ‘special express’? For a start, it has a disco carriage and a gourmet restaurant.
State Railways of Thailand have linked up with a bunch called NP Rithy Co. to offer what they somewhat unfortunately call the Bogie Gourmet Express. This comprises a karaoke/disco car, a Bogie Restaurant (tempting?) or a special VIP Exclusive Bogie dining experience: who could resist that?
Below is their sample menu, but we advise against trying the web site printed underneath since a) it’s only in Thai and b) had viruses when we tried checking it.
We’re not really sure how gourmet fried pork in oyster sauce or chicken and cashew nuts can be, but anything would be an improvement over the Thai railways’ standard fare, and the prices don’t seem to be more than usual anyway. So ask the waiter for a VIP Bogie, (no sniggering at the back there), then boogie on down to the Bogie karaoke, which by all accounts (well, a bloke we met in the pub) can be a really good laugh.
Meals and karaoke carriage are officially open from 17:30 to 22:30, though we’ve heard with staff joining in it can go on a lot later. That may be because they’ve hit the rather odd drinks list shown below too hard?
The train in question is the #14 express, Chiang Mai to Bangkok departing at 17:30 daily, and the #13 express Bangkok to Chiang Mai daily at 19:35 (we think). You can if you so desire call NP Rithy on (02) 214 2711 or e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need further info or just to suggest to them that they sack their proofreader.
Ticket prices are 2nd class upper, 771 baht, lower 841 baht; 1st class 1,253 baht for upper, 1,453 for lower.
By Mark Ord
Last updated on 29th April, 2011.