Thinking Of Exploring Thailand On A Train? Here Are 6 Best Routes To Try
It has been more than 100 years since Thailand’s first train line was completed. Tracks have since been extended to most of the country.
And while train travel could be slower than flying, scenic railway routes remain one of the best ways to explore Thailand. Even the government can see the potential in railways again.
For now, Thailand’s rolling stock isn’t that advanced, but trains run by the State Railways of Thailand are comfortable and generally on time.
So if you are not in a rush and seek great Thai food, gorgeous views, antique train stations and quirky experiences, here are the six best train journeys in Thailand.
Exploring Thailand On A Train
1. Mahachai Line
End: Samut Songkhram
Distance: 80 km
It begins near Bangkok and famously terminates smack dab in the middle of a wet market. The train ride will bring you directly into a hubbub of hectic market stalls, which are set up directly on the tracks and must be hurriedly cleared away when the train arrives.
2. Death Railway
End: Nam Tok
Distance: 415 km
It was built during the WWII Japanese occupation of Thailand. The trains that run the route are third class, meaning they have no air-con and mostly wooden benches. It’s a tourist line today, so there are stops for short visits to historical sites and a cave.
3. Beach Train
End: Hua Hin
Distance: 212 km
This route skirts around the Gulf of Thailand. Although sea views are rare, there is some beautiful scenery, including salt flats and never-ending coconut plantations. Hua Hin, the destination, is Thailand’s original beach escape, with a history dating back centuries.
4. Sleeper Train To Chiang Mai
End: Chiang Mai
Distance: 751 km
Trains depart Bangkok starting in the afternoon, with the majority of the journey covered at night. In the morning, you will wake up to beautiful glimpses of the northern Thai countryside. Purchase your tickets as far in advance as you can as the route is popular with tourists.
5. Night Train To Laos
Distance: 648 km
Trains depart Bangkok in the afternoon and cross the Mekong River into Laos. In the morning, you will pass by the tiny villages and endless rice fields that make up Thailand’s rural northeast. After a stop in Nong Khai, you will cross the so-called Friendship Bridge to Laos.
6. Eastern & Oriental Express
Distance: 1800 km
The ultra-luxury Eastern & Oriental Express is a privately operated train that connects Bangkok and Singapore. The three-night, four day journey is all-inclusive and non-train activities include tours and excursions in Thailand and Malaysia. The E&O runs twice a month.