Bangkok/Chiang Mai by train/air

May 14th, 2004, 10:54 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 24
Bangkok/Chiang Mai by train/air

Will be in Thailand in Oct/Nov. Should we travel by over night train to Chiang Mai or take a plane? Money not the issue. Want to experience as much of Thailand as possible. What are pros/cons? What would you recommend?
clampar is offline  
May 14th, 2004, 02:03 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 86
All I can say is that if you like the "off the beaten path" experience you should take the train, at least once while you are there. We did this last year in July and had a memorable time. It was certainly not the Oriental Express, but by the same token, we were not in second or coach class either. Our accommodations reminded me of a clean, but well worn, sleeper car, with a small sink in our cabin, but a common bath/restroom at the rear of the car. There was a hostess to take our dinner and breakfast orders and to make up the bunks with linens, but the food was not memorable and at times it was difficult to sleep with all the noise and motion. Our kids had fun though, and it was a somewhat pleasant way to spend the nite rather than simply flying up to Chiang Mai.
On the other hand, you will not see that much of Thailand as it will be dark on the way and since there are only the three classes of cars, no observation or dining cars to get a better view. In addition, if there are an odd number of persons in your party, if you book less than the full cabin, you may find youself with an unexpected companion- as the friends we were traveling with did. Finally, whether you want to spend the time on the train versus doing other things is a real question in BKK. In order to get to the station in time, through all the traffic, with your luggage means spending extra time so that the taxi will make it . On the other hand, flying takes about an hour. For us, having taken the train once, we really didn't need or want to do it again. (Our friends from BKK just shook their heads and said they always fly)
dywong is offline  
May 14th, 2004, 06:54 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 658
The train is fine but you don?t really get to see much of the country on an overnight train and you can fly for about the same cost as first class on the train ? there are now some very cheap flights Bangkok ? Chiangmai available.

Have you considered taking a day train, which would let you see the country? One leaves Bangkok at 08:30 and arrives in Chiangmai at 20:05; the cost is 511 Baht and the train is air-conditioned. It is quite a good way to see the country and to meet some Thais.
Tangata is offline  
May 14th, 2004, 08:56 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 28,926
plane is the only reasonable way...don't waste time and energy on train...have read that thefts can also be a problem on the trains...
rhkkmk is offline  
May 15th, 2004, 04:30 AM
Posts: n/a
Same comment as the others - not much to see in the dark. And if money is not an issue, take the plane. It's a 1-hr flight, costs about $55. With an early flight you have a full day in Chiang Mai and you slept in a real bed the night before.
May 15th, 2004, 08:29 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,604
take a day train one way and fly back..

trains are totaly fine in thailaned..
orgy7 is offline  
May 31st, 2004, 06:52 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 13
I'd vote for the overnight train. We bought our overnight tickets 2 days in advance. So instead of sitting in traffic going to the airport for 45+ minutes so we could arrive 60 minutes before the flight, we took a 5 minute taxi to the train station and just hopped on.
Obviously it will be dark the night before but it was nice seeing some of the country in the morning. The sleeper cabin was pretty comfortable; we both slept straight through the night and woke up rested.
mayorbarry is offline  

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