After a wonderful stay in Chiang Mai, we reluctantly packed our bags again to head back to Bangkok for our flight to Phuket. Nothing much to say here, but wanted to document a little bit about the sleeper trains in Thailand. Thailand will be the second country in which we have experienced the train network, second to China. The trains in Thailand are not quite as nice and clean as those in China, the ones we experienced anyway, but they are by comparison far roomier. To be accurate, this description only applies to the cabin and seat area itself. We have found when it comes to the bathrooms or dinner cars, any sort of cleanliness or neatness is thrown out the train window.
Unlike trains in China, those in Thailand are not altogether very timely in keeping with their schedule. For example, on the sleeper train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, was stated as a 13 hour trip, but turned out to be 16 hours. Not a huge matter for us, but if you have any connecting transportation, this could turn into a real headache. Also, make sure you ask questions and have an awareness about which stop you coming to, as no one really tells you, and they like to push you out the minute the train stops, so there is not a lot of time when it comes to discerning whether your desired destination is the current or not.
Your journey begins with upright seats, and as the evening hour approaches the attendant will come by, and perform a pull down service for both the upper and lower birth, putting down sheets, blankets, pillow cases and curtains.
Our train tickets were purchased directly from the State Railway of Thailand website. The pair of our tickets each way was about 1,600 Baht. There is a slight price difference between upper and lower birth, but if you are buying tickets in pairs, they assign one of each automatically. If you are buying solo, DEFINITELY buy the lower birth if possible. Upper is very narrow and the lights, which aren’t turned off at night glare in your face as you try to sleep.