Travel to Chiang Mai, via Bangkok

Bangkok Travel Blog

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Our ride to the airport
This morning was brutal, but we had to pack up our bags and head back to Krabi. We didn't have a boat ticket, but assumed to could walk over hear the boats and get one. Being in Thailand, of course this was the case, and for 150 baht each we were hopping on the long boat for a 45 minute ride to Krabi.

When we arrived at the pier, a man walked over asking where we were heading (it doesn't even seem weird anymore that everyone wants to know where you're going). He offered us a taxi ride for 400 baht, (I countered with 300 baht, we agree on 350 baht).
When I asked him what vehicle was taking us, he pointed in the direction of some brand new looking sedans. After we paid, he walked us over to this beaten up looking truck, and we were to sit in the back on make shift benches.
Try peeing in here while the train's moving!! :)
So maybe not the luxury sedan, but it did make for a much more interesting drive to the airport!

Arriving in Bangkok after a 1.5 hour flight, I decided to go the cheaper route and take the "Airport Express Bus" to the train station. It was 150 baht, half the price of what I could expect to pay for a taxi.

I bought my ticket just after 2pm and the bus leaving in "20 minutes" left about 45 minutes later. I didn't have a ticket to Chiang Mai yet and wanted to get there as soon as I could in case they sold out. Just after 4pm I arrived at the train station. When I went to buy my ticket, I received the last one. If I'd been the next person, I would have had to take the train without sleepers and spent the 14 hour ride sitting upright in a chair. Needless to say, I was very relieved when he printed off my ticket!!

The train station is big with lots of chairs, a giant tv playing thai tv programs, a food court and other food vendors. I only noticed after sitting in the uncomfortable platsic seats that there was a bakery and coffee shop on the second floor which overlooks the main, bottom floor.

I decided to kill some time by finding an internet cafe. I couldn't figure out how to cross the street with the non stop massive amounts of traffic. A guy on a moped asked me where I was trying to go (like what seems as everyone local person) and told him "across the street". He said "follow me" and proceeded to drive out into traffic creating a path for me to cross. I figured out on my way back to the station that there was a cross walk about 15 metres up the street :)

What I will remember most about the train station is the overwhelming smell of exhaust fumes while walking along the platform. I felt so bad for the man whose shop is on the platform and has to enhale that all day.

I had decided on the overnight train as compared to a direct flight to save money (it was about 1/3 the cost) and I thought it would be a more interesting experience than another plane ride. The train I was on (19:35pm) is only 1st and 2nd class sleepers. In second class you don't have a seperate room, the beds are along the corridor. Along the inside are two double wide seats facing each other. After a couple hours into the journey, one of the employees came by and made the seats collaspe into the bottom "bed" and then pull down the top bunk. He then "made the bed" and did everything besides give the pillows a good fluffing. The bed was pretty comfortable but I was glad I had my eye mask because the florescent lights shine through the gap in the ceiling and the curtains.

For the first bit of the ride I spoke with the lady who had the bottom bunk. She's living in Bangkok and was visiting her home town, Lampang (about 2 hours south of Chiang Mai). It was nice to chat with a local person who doesn't drive a taxi!
tizzimeria says:
Hi, Dunno if you will get this but, I'm planning on flying to bangkok on the first of september, staying there a few nights and then catching the overnight sleepers train to chiang mai like you have. In your pervious blog you was traveling with someone, at this piont where you travelling alone? I'm asking because so far I'm going my big trip all alone and a bit scared of traveling, trying to get around on my own. If you have any advise that would be great :)
Posted on: Jan 12, 2011
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Our ride to the airport
Our ride to the airport
Try peeing in here while the train…
Try peeing in here while the trai…
photo by: Deats