Train v. Bus in Thailand

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Jun 22nd, 2002, 04:40 AM
  #1
Davis
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Train v. Bus in Thailand

Me and a friend are traveling from Bangkok to Chaing Mai and are wondering how the sleeper cars on the train are. Is it worth the savings of money to spend the night on the train or is sleep impossible? Would the bus be better/faster?

Also, getting from Bangkok to Angkor Wat(Cambodia)...is it a nightmare? Is flying our best bet or is taking the train to the border and then busing it to Angkor Wat an alright idea?

Any suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated.
 
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Jun 22nd, 2002, 06:39 AM
  #2
Tangata
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Go by train. The bus is a little faster but much more uncomfortable and more dangerous, although your chances of being in an accident are still pretty small.

The second-class air-conditioned train is fine and you should sleep really well. As there are two of you then, if you want to pay the extra for first class, it is well worth it.
 
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Jun 22nd, 2002, 07:42 AM
  #3
Kathie
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If your budget can accomodate, fly to Siem Reap to see Angkor Wat. Round trip airfare on Bangkok Airways is approx $250 per person. Ground transport from Bangkok to Siem Reap is very cheap and very uncomfortable. The train to the border is better than the buses, but you'll still have about 7 hours on the road once you reach the border, typically in pick-up trucks over bad roads.
 
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Jun 22nd, 2002, 06:03 PM
  #4
Davis
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Thank you for your replies. The pick-up truck ride to Angkor Wat sounds like a hellish trip...is it not worth the adventure? Are there places to see along the way or is it just a 7 hour ride from hell?
 
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Jun 22nd, 2002, 06:34 PM
  #5
Sarah Rey
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As everyone has said, train is great. Take te train that arrives early morning and check-out that sunrise from the window! 2nd class is fine but if 2 of you can manage the extra for 1st you will have your own cabin, 1 up, 1 down. Great.
To Ankor flying is best, it's not cheap for such a short journey.
You have not told us where you are flying into Asia 'from', because that could be a help on your routing, e.g if you flew with Singapore Airlines then you 'could' fly in to Chiang Mai from Singapore to start your travels and then fly 'out' from Angkor back to Singapore ( on Silk Air, their regional subsidury airline ).
Which airline is your 'long haul' with?
 
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Jun 22nd, 2002, 07:09 PM
  #6
Kathie
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I chose to fly into Siem Reap. I hear from many people that the road trip to Siem Reap is merely hellish as opposed to interesting.
 
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Jun 22nd, 2002, 07:42 PM
  #7
Davis
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I am flying from Tokyo to Bangkok and am trying to cram Chaing Mai AND Angkor Wat into that time. We arrive in Bangkok at around 5pm and think we'll have to catch a flight to Chain Mai that night to save on time. After a day or two in Chain Mai, we'll catch a night train (if they are avail.) back to Bangkok to see about getting to Angkor Wat. Another question I have is, can we see anything similar to Angkor Wat IN Thailand? We are students on a pretty tight budget, so don't know if the time to get to Angkor Wat will be worth it if we only have one day ot spend there. We leave Bangkok at 7:30 a.m. so the 8th day is shot. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Jun 23rd, 2002, 05:54 PM
  #8
Margo
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Ayuthaya and Sukhotai are ancient places with many temples and sites. Try http://www.sawadee.com. These places are not as amazing as Angkor but you can reach them easily if on a budget. You can bus between all of them.
 
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Jun 23rd, 2002, 07:56 PM
  #9
Kathie
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If you only have a day for a trip to Angkor, I'd say to save it for another trip. I spent a week in Siem Reap and would have loved to have more time there. As Margo said, there is nothing like Angkor in Thailand, but visiting Ayuthaya and Sukothai would give you a chance to see some lovely old temples. Chaing Mai, Sukothai, and Ayuthaya would be a nice trip.

If you are really interested in old temples, the other option would be to skip Chaing Mai this trip, and spend the whole week at Siem Reap.

My most important advice is not to try to do too much in your week, or you'll spend your whole time on planes and trains and busses and won't get to experience the magic.
 
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