Many of the people who plan a trip to Thailand, at some point, wonder whether or not they should take the night train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. In this article I am going to give more information about that journey to make you easier to decide whether it’s for you or not.

Bangkok Train Station: The past (Hua Lamphong) and the future (Bang Sue)

Bangkok’s train station, Hua Lamphong, is an iconic building in the city. It was inaugurated in 1916 after 6 years of construction and today, after a century, it is still in operation and has practically not changed since then. So going through there never hurts. You will get to know a train station from the beginning of the 20th century. More than 60 thousand people pass through it daily.

In the station you will find practically everything. Some of the services available are:

β–Ί Lockers to leave the suitcases. Prices here.
β–Ί Cyber ​​with internet.
β–Ί Cafeterias (without wifi).
β–Ί Mini-supermarket (it is recommended to bring some food).
β–Ί Hotels and hostels in the surroundings.

Hua Lamphong Station

However, from November 2021 this changes. The historic Bangkok Railway Station, or Hua Lamphong, will cease its operation and trains will move to the new Bang Sue Grand Station. The largest train station in South East Asia.

Timetable: Night Train From Bangkok to Chiang Mai

Every day there are 5 trains from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. Four trains with beds and one with only seats. The journey is usually 12-13h although sometimes it is delayed.

The schedules are as follows:

Train Number
Departing Time (Bangkok)
Arrival Time (Chiang Mai)
ΒΏDoes have bed option?
Prices
7 08.30 19.30 No Between 501 and 641 THB
109 13.45 04.05 Yes
Second class without A/C
Cheapest bed: 351 THB
Most expensive bed: 541 THB
1 18.10 07.15 Yes
First and second class with A/C
Cheapest bed: 651 THB
Most expensive bed: 1453 THB
13 19.35 08.40 Yes
First and second class with A/C
Cheapest bed: 651 THB
Most expensive bed: 1453 THB
51 22.00 12.10 Yes
Second class with A/C
Cheapest bed: 391 THB
Most expensive bed: 821 THB

*Check BAOLAU.COM for updated prices.

What’s the best train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai?

In my opinion, the best option is to take the 18:10 or 19:35 train. If it arrives on time it is perfect, since around 8:30 p.m. everyone is going to lie down on their beds. You fall asleep around 9:30 p.m. and when you wake up, you are almost arriving at Chiang Mai, so the 12-13 hour trip doesn’t get too boring.

What are the trains like? Which option to choose?

The trains that depart at 6:15 p.m. and 7:35 p.m. have:

β€’ 1st class: Private cabins with a / c. It is usually full because there are few.
β€’ 2nd class with A / C: The option most travelers take.

The second class of the train at 6:15 p.m., consists of a carriage with a corridor in the middle and on both sides there are beds. Each sector has 4 beds, 2 upstairs and 2 downstairs. I recommend reserving the lower bed as it is much wider. When you get on the train, the beds are not yet ready and what you find are 8 seats that later, around 8:00 p.m., a train worker will convert into 4 beds.

Making the bed in the train

The train also has a restaurant car but the food is expensive and bad, so it is recommended to bring food. Alcohol is completely forbidden. If the train police see you having a beer, they will ask you to throw it away or they might even fine you.

Photo Gallery of the Night Train that leaves at 18:10

Do you sleep well in a night train?

The beds are comfortable and the sheets are clean but the train moves a lot, so if you are one of those who have trouble sleeping it may not suit you.

Personally, moving a little doesn’t bother me, it even helps me sleep. In general, I think that most people sleep quite well on the train, although at some point during the night you will wake up a little more from the movements and go back to sleep.

Whenever I have slept in a bed on a Thai train, I have arrived at the destination totally rested.

Should you take the Night Train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai?

You should take it for …

1) Budget: If you are on a budget, the train is a very good option since in addition to being cheaper than flights (half price), it saves you a hotel night and the trip to the station is cheaper than the ride to the airport.

2) Adventurer: If you have never taken a night train, it is a good opportunity to live the experience. Trains are usually between 20 and 30 years old. They are old but this also gives them a nostalgic and adventurous touch.

Don’t take it if …

1) Bathrooms: The train toilets are not bad but don’t expect them to be shiny. They are clean enough for the couple of times you will use them. However, the movement of the train complicates things a little, not much. Before going to bed you can brush your teeth and wash your face but you will not have 100% privacy while you do it.

2) Time: Although with the train you save a hotel night, the truth is that if you go to Thailand for a few days, you will make better use of your time if you fly to Chiang Mai.

3) Does not arrive in Chiang Rai: The train goes to Chiang Mai but does not arrive in Chiang Rai. If your intention is to also visit Chiang Rai, it is best to fly directly from Bangkok to Chiang Rai and forget the train or take it back from Chiang Mai to Bangkok.

Police in the train

How to buy train tickets?

Ticket of the Night Train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai can be purchased from 60 days prior to departure, not before. You can buy them directly at the station. Recently there is also a special office for foreigners where they speak English.

The overnight commute from Bangkok to Chiang Mai is one of the most popular so it can get quite crowded. The best way to find a bed is to buy the ticket a few days in advance.

How to buy train tickets online:

  • The ticket can also be booked by phone by calling 1690. Once booked by phone you have 24 hours to go to the station to pay for it. It is the most recommended way since in case there is no availability you avoid going to the station at all.
  • Recently, the official website of Railway of Thailand already allows you to buy tickets online. Sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t.
  • They can also be booked online via this website where it always works and commissions are super low: BAOLAU

Check train prices from Bangkok to Chiang Mai right now:

Night Train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai

How to get to the Bangkok train station?

If you are reading this on 2021 you should go to HUA LAMPHONG. If, on the contrary, you are reading this on 2022 or later, then you should go to BANG SUE STATION.

Train ticket

πŸ§˜β€β™€οΈ Taking the night train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai is in our list of the 20 best things to do in Thailand

1️⃣ HUA LAMPHONG

It is very easy as the train station is connected to the Bangkok subway (MRT). You only have to get to the Hua Lamphong Metro Station (MRT). If you are staying in a hotel far from the metro or skytrain, I recommend you simply take a taxi. With a meter it will start at 35 THB and rarely exceed 100 THB.

2️⃣ BANG SUE

Bang Sue has its own station subway station so you can just ride the MRT to Bang Sue Station.

What about from Chiang Mai station to my hotel?

Upon arrival you will find many tuk tuk and taxi drivers waiting to take you to the hotel. They are an option. If you are on a very tight budget you can walk to Charoen Muang Rd, which is 5 minutes away, and from there take a songthaew (pick up car) to the old area. Songthaews cost only about 20 THB each way. You can also walk, there are about 3 kms to the old area, past the river.

Chiang mai station

What if I want to go by plane, what options do I have?

Every day from 6:35 a.m. to 10:05 p.m., there are lots of flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai.

β–Ί From Don Mueang Airport (low cost): Airasia, Nokair, Thai Smile and Lion Air.
β–Ί From Suvarnabhumi Airport: Bangkok Airways, Thai Airways and Thai Smile (low cost).

You can have a look at our article of Transportation in Thailand or Airlines in Thailand.

Pol Comaposada

Pol Comaposada

Pol has been traveling and creating content about Thailand and others parts of Asia since 2010. Founder and manager of Mundo NΓ³mada Travel, a DMC (tour operator) with office in Bangkok that offers high quality tours and tailor-made packages in Thailand.

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