Amazing adventure on the Sleeper Train from Chaing Mai to Bangkok
We wanted this Thailand trip to be as adventurous as it can be so as lucrative as those cheap domestic plane tickets are, we still opt to try out the sleeper train. How it went and if it disappoint or not? Read until the end. 😁
It has been years since I read about traveling by train throughout Southeast Asia. Due to time constraints (limited leaves from work to spend those precious time on a train) and the kiddos still being small, we didn’t push it.
This time around though is quite different. Jeff has most of his leaves unused due to the pandemic and us knowing the girls could withstand long train rides based on our experience from our Europe trip (which reminds me, I need to speed up my writing before all those stories in my head disappear😅), we know this is our chance. Luckily, Thailand’s train system is a good one. Trains might be old but reliable. Safe? I must say, yes too! I’m writing this a month after our trip! Hello?!
Anyways, booking this train ticket is quite easy as it can be done online through the State Railway of Thailand website. There’s an option to change the original language of the site from Thai to English, so don’t fret!
Here are the things you need to consider when booking your ticket:
- Know your destination (obviously!) But seriously, do your research. I just realized when we were on the trip already that we should have disembarked at Ayutthaya Station (to save fare and time) instead of going to Dun Mueang Station (then riding the train back to Ayutthaya😏)
- Decide which class you want to ride. We wanted to book the first-class cabins but weren’t able to secure the beds on time. (They update their system and open slots around 9AM SGT—this is based on my observation) Our Airbnb was booked already at Bangkok so we have no choice but to book the 2nd-class beds.😊
- Prepare your details. If you want to book more tickets than just for yourself (your family), I suggest you have the list of all your passport numbers. I assume you know all their birthday 😁
Now, on how to book. As mentioned, if you wanted to try the 1st class cabin like us, having your beds secure can come with a bit of luck. In our case, the train before the day of our trip has lots of 1st class beds still available (that’s why I wasn’t that worried), the lo-and-behold, when I logged in to book ours around 11 AM, there were only 2 cabins left! One in the front and one at the end of the train car.😔
Not to ruin the great vibes our trip had to offer, we simply got 2nd class tickets. 1st class cabins may be awesome, but 2nd class is where you really get the adventure experience since you’re with other passengers.
Here are the details of the train we got:
COACH NO. 10
Departs Chaing Mai – 18:00 Arrives at Don Mueang – 6:33
2 Upper Adult – Baht 933 each 2 Lower Child – Baht 897 each
Even if we’ve been reading that Thailand trains are usually late, we didn’t want to test our chances. We still arrived around 4 pm at Chiang Mai Train station. We’ve actually just been going around Central Festival (one of the malls in Chiang Mai) since we checked out from our Airbnb at 12 noon. After eating lunch, and walking around with our luggage, you can say that we’re quite excited to get on this train to finally have a “kinda” permanent place to stay (well, at least, for the next 12 hrs).
As usual, our last Chiang Mai Grab driver was as gracious, kind, and helpful. Just like all the other public transport drivers we’ve come across during our 4-day stay. The train station was small but functional, it is a provincial train station anyways.
What surprised us though was seeing our train already there, waiting for us! As said before, we were expecting the worst already. Anyways, after double (triple actually) checking if the one in front of us is really our train, we walked along the train cars looking for ours.
And at last, found it! Ours was car 4 which was located towards the front of the train. It was quite a walk, thank goodness our luggage got wheels. We’re among the first ones in our car so we went ahead, get settled, and cozy.
The aircon had just the right coldness and the space each of us had was huge! We’re so happy to see the girls wide smiles seeing and experiencing something new. Train rides might not be a new thing for them but sleeping there for the night is something they definetely look forward to experiencing.
This train experience continued to impress us as the train starts moving when the clock strike at 6 pm. And though the view can’t be compared to fields we saw on our cross-country train rides in Europe, it’s still a great feeling sitting by the window and watch the world pass by.
We bought our dinner from Tops, a supermarket located at the basement of Central Festival. And after helping ourselves till we can’t no more, it’s time for bed. haha…What else are you to do?!
We called the attendant on our car and she had our seats converted to beds in no time. Thanks to our phones with good internet connection and Nintendo Switch, all of us were able to entertain ourselves and keep busy before bedtime.
Even though we booked 4 beds, our initial plan was to let the girls sleep in one bed of the bottom bunk(yes, they can fit comfortably..it’s that wide!), for me to sleep on the other bottom bunk, and Jeff to sleep on the upper bunk over the girls.
An hour into this sleeping arrangement, Jeff woke me up saying Audrey can’t sleep and maybe we should change our sleeping plans. He then slept beside Ysabelle (who’s been asleep for a while already) and Audrey shifted to my side.
How’s our sleep, you might ask? Bumpy but comfortable, if you ask me. The girls and I slept pretty well to be honest. Not sure if it’s because we’re deep sleepers and the rocking of the train actually made us feel like we were on a swing of some sort. Jeff on the other hand would have chosen another mode of transport the next time if given a chance. haha…
Are you a deep sleeper or not?
Good thing I set an alarm or else we could have missed the sunrise and the breakfast we bought on the train. We pre-ordered some breakfast which can be great for convenience but honestly break your pocket. For Thailand’s pricing, it’s so steep! A cup of coffee (tall size) would cost you the same you’d pay for a venti coffee from Starbuck Thailand! Hmf!
We then arrived at Dun Mueang Station where we planned to leave our luggages at a storage facility at Dun Mueang Airport.
Keep up with our Thailand adventure as we explore Ayutthaya on the next blog!