Travel to and from Chiang-Mai by Train, Northern Route
The trains in Thailand are quiet punctual ! It is a safe and comfortable way to travel. Night trains between Bangkok and the North, the South, and North-East Thailand is a good way to travel since it will save you a hotel night ! Northern Route : from Bangkok to Chiang-Mai (and return).
The bad thing about it is that they are so popular that they are always full the same day. Trains for Chiangmai are always very busy. Try to purchase your ticket 2 to 3 days in advance ! Particularly during Thai holiday's ! All the Bangkokians are going out of the City of Angels !
When you arrive in Bangkok, plan your next trip and purchase your train ticket right away. From this, make your travel plans in Bangkok area.
Trains are run by the State Railway of Thailand. Main Station phone numbers: (They usually speak English, but the phone lines are often busy...)
- Bangkok HuaLampong main Railways Station, TEL (02) 223-3762, 224-7788 or 225-0300, extension 5100-01
- Chiangmai Railway Station, TEL (053) 245-363 / 4 or 247-462
At this point, we only list the Northern Route, ending up in Chiang Mai. There is also a Southern Route, down to Surat-Thani (for Koh Samui) and then to Had-Yai, and connecting to Malaysia, Butterworht (for Penang), and all the way down to Singapore. The Southern Route does not go to Phuket ! You must go to Surat-Thani, and then go by local bus. Then we have the Northeastern Route for Nongkhai. The trains stop is in Nongkhai. They are planning to build a railway through the Friendship bridge and to Vientiane, Laos... All routes have convenient night trains with sleeping compartments.
(Railway system does not pass to Sukhothai ! Closest stop is Pitsanuloke, 60km from Sukhothai, where you can take a bus to reach the Ancient City…)
The sleeper trains, 2nd class is very nice, with a clean berth. You have choice between : Upper berth (smaller and cheaper), Lower berth (slightly larger, and with the window, also slightly more expensive). A second choice is also offered :
-Fan compartment, noisy since window is open, but with a thief-shutter protection.
-Air-condition, very cold, but silent. Advisable in the warm or raining season.
Trains runs everyday, prices vary on each train and category that you take. We advise to take the Sleeper trains. Sprinter train is a Diesel car with no sleeping berth. One runs during the day and one during the night. They both only have seat 2nd class air-condition
From Bangkok to Chiang Mai, the most convenient is :
Special express train 5 / depart Bangkok 19:40 / arrival Chiangmai 07:55
There is also 2 daily days train with seats only : - Rapid Train 35 departing Bangkok at 06:40 arrive Chiangmai at 19:35 (..too slow to be true...)
- Sprinter Diesel Rail Car 907, depart Bkk at 08:10, arrive Chiangmai 18:50. Fare for a 2nd class air-condition seat is 471.- Baht ! Lunch box included !
Look up the schedule next page where we list the principal trains.