Best Travel Guide From Bangkok To Chiang Mai By Train

bangfkok to chiang mai train ride

According to Asia’s leading online transportation booking platform 12go.asia, many travelers believe the cheapest way to get from Bangkok to Chiang Mai is by embarking on a journey aboard a train or VIP Bus.

So why travel from Bangkok to Chiang Mai by Train? Traveling from Bangkok to Chiang Mai by train is an experience that seamlessly combines comfort and scenic beauty compare to a VIP bus.

Opting for the train journey from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, rather than a VIP bus, not only provides a scenic adventure but also spares you from some of the discomforts that might arise.

The unpleasant odor lingering from the bus toilet might be a constant distraction and confusion that may arise due to language barrier during the bus journey could dent your travel experience.

The Bangkok to Chiang Mai train service offers more spacious seating, allowing passengers to move around, socialize and even visit the dining cabin for a taste of local cuisine.

Additionally, the sleeper train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai option provides a chance to turn travel time into an adventure and arrive in Chiang Mai well-rested and ready to explore. The best part is that you will be departing from a brand new railway station.

Getting from Bangkok to Chiang Mai By Train

bangkok to chiang mai train ride

The largest railway station in Southeast Asia, Krung Thep Aphiwat Central Terminal, also known by its former name Bang Sue Grand Station, finally opened its doors on January 19, 2023.

Actually, the Special Express No. 9 and 13 trains still departs from Bangkok to Chiang Mai in the evening. Even though it will now depart from the new terminal, you will arrive at the same scheduled time in Chiang Mai.

The Bangkok to Chiang Mai train service departs on the same lines as the Red Line electric trains from Krung Thep Aphiwat Central Terminal which is super easy to board.

sleeper train bangkok to chiang mai

There are different types of trains you can choose and the Special Express is my best choice. It runs every day between Bangkok and Chiang Mai on Thailand’s northern railway route.

These revamped trains with new cabins are powered by electricity, they are quieter and more soothing than older conventional trains. It’s the newest and fastest overnight train.

The Special Express train has 12 individual rooms as well as common shower and toilet facilities with hot water. WiFi, power point, washbasin, bench seat that folds into beds (lower and upper bunk)

The bathroom is pretty tiny like an airplane bathroom, but it is very clean and smells good. There is soap and shampoo dispenser too. Clean and fluffy towels, bed sheets and blanket with pillows are provided.

A 14-inch personal LCD touch screen displaying route and satellite information (in English) are all available within the room.

The first class train cabin side-door connects you to the next cabin. But if you are on a couples vacations and need total privacy, keep it locked at all times.

There are panel just like in a plane for music channel, and even indicates if the toilets are busy or not including the shower. There is also a room service option. Last order for meals closes at 9pm. 

Breakfast set at 170baht and 190baht. Spaghetti set at 120baht. So, it is not too expensive, Same price or cheaper than you would find at restaurants. Alcohol of any kind are not allowed in the train.

bangkok to chiang mai train

New Train Schedule 2023

There are only Second Class and First Class sleeping coaches on this route, which is an all-air-conditioned Bangkok to Chiang Mai sleeper train.

You can select a “lower” or “upper” berth from the daytime couches that can be turned into beds for the 2nd Class.

book train bangkok to chiang mai

The overnight train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai can be booked in advance through other online booking platforms. Actually, 12GO.ASIA allows you to book up to 60 days in advance.

Book your tickets early to ensure that you get the best seat/berth and class pick. Tickets for the sleeper train sell out quickly and become more expensive as the departure date approaches.

The way it works is that you choose your night Bangkok to Chiang Mai train number, travel dates and times with your preferred seating options, and 12GO.ASIA will takes care of the rest.

train ticket bangkok to chiang mai

For two adults, first class sleeper train cost 8,306Baht (prices subject to change). This includes a booking fee with 12GO.ASIA.

Second-class sleeper is less expensive than first-class travel. It may be worthwhile to upgrade because pricing can be nearly identical depending on factors such as the time of year and demand.

As of 2023 prices, the lower bed is the most popular and comfortable. A small extra fee (upgrade) of 100 Baht will give you a sound sleep for the journey.

Booking the whole cabin for yourself will cost you an additional 1500 Bhat, adding up to the lower berth’s higher fare cost altogether.

Bangkok to Chiang Mai train experience

I was initially impressed by how cool the train looked when I boarded the train ride from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. After a few selfies, I proceed to sleeper train’s first class compartment which was at the rear of the train.

The onboard WiFi password was the first thing the conductor mentioned. That’s a sight to behold while traveling to Chiang Mai, especially when you’re on your laptop most of the time.

The conductors visit each cabin in first and second class to demonstrate how to adjust down the beds for the night. Before calling it a night, I watched the sunset and took in the spectacular sites of rural Thailand.

My only issue was the nights gets pretty cold. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to bring enough warm clothes or you’ll be in for a very long chill night.

Passengers can purchase snacks, food and drinks from the train’s cafeteria. Food sold here are chill, similar to that found in a 7-11 convenience store (even the price are almost the same as 7-11)

The canteen is also a nice area to unwind and mingle with other travelers on the train. However, even if your mobile phone connection (3G/4G) is strong, the Wifi speed is slow at this spot.

The train’s cafeteria shuts at 10pm and opens for breakfast at 5.00am.

Around an hour before your arrival, there will be someone at the door to wake you up. The train will pull up into Chiang Mai Station just outside of the old town

Note:

  • Most hotels in Chiang Mai typically allow guest’s check in around 2pm but you can leave your baggage at the reception area if you arrive early.
  • Book your taxi transfer from train station to hotel upon departure from Bangkok as early morning period in Chiang Mai is often busy for taxi booking.
  • Simply book Grab cab on its app for immediate booking. No upfront payment needed.

Tips On Traveling from Bangkok to Chiang Mai

What to bring on overnight sleeper train?

I suggest that you bring food and snacks before boarding the train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, even if you are traveling first class. The train’s food and beverage options are rather basic. 

Stand-by Warm Clothes

It doesn’t matter if you ride the first or second class train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, you should be prepared for the cold on board.

If you don’t have warm clothing, the air conditioning will blast all night and that might disrupt your sleep during this trip.

Luggage allowance on board

You can bring up to 60 kg of luggage, or one large suitcase and one smaller bag. Because boarding a train has fewer constraints than boarding an aircraft, it may be tempting to take more. When traveling, less is always better.

Have some fun in the cabin

The first-class sleeper train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai has a TV. From the comfort of your sleeping berth, you may want to catch up on the newest Netflix series or complete a good read as the day changes to night and the curtains closes.

If you’re traveling with a group, there are always card games and Uno to play.

Thai Railway authorities are always upgrading their trains, so this may change, but based on personal experience and additional research, this appears to be an accurate assessment.

It doesn’t matter if you’re taking a sleeper train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai or Chiang Mai To Bangkok, the popular belief is that train is much better than traveling via VIP Bus.

What To Do In Chiang Mai

If you’re looking for some outdoor fun upon arrival, Sticky Waterfalls Tour in Chiang Mai is a great experience for couples, group of friends and families with kids to relax or have a great time. The sensation of defying gravity as you ascend the rocks is exhilarating.

The falls isn’t just a typical waterfall expedition; it’s a gravity-defying experience that will leave you in awe. Imagine being able to climb up and down a waterfall with astonishing ease, thanks to the limestone deposits that create a natural grip on your feet.

Each level of the waterfall provides a unique vantage point, a perfect spot to sit and soak in the wonder that nature has to offer. Go ahead and try, and if you enjoy it, let us know your experience on the TripAdvisor’s review page.

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