Reaching Thailand's Beaches by Rail
How to get to the beaches on Thai Railwayshailand Railways provides access to some of the best and internationally well-known beaches and islands in the world. There are no direct trains to most of these destinations, however. Most rail passengers take the Train to the nearest Rail 'Hub' then transfer to Busses, Minivans, or Boats as needed. These 'connections' are easily made if you buy 'Joint' Train / Bus / Boat Tickets. Many Travel Agencies and Tour Companies offer these 'Packages' to make travel more convenient. 'Ko' means 'Island' in Thai. (Read more...)
Hua Hin / Cha Am - To get to Hua Hin / Cha am by Thai Railways
Take a one of several regularly scheduled daily Thai Railways Southern LineTrains to Hua Hin Station. You can get there from points North (Bangkok) or points South (Surat Thani, Hat Yai or even Malaysia). Hua Hin Station is centrally located in town, but it takes much longer by train than by bus from Bangkok. From Hua Hin Station and many Hua Hin Hotels, there is regular, frequent Shuttle Service to Cha am and other nearby beaches.There is also a Southern Line Rail Station in Cha Am. From the station, you take a short motorbike ride to the beach. (see Stations List)
Ko Chang / Ko Samet -To get to Ko Chang / Ko Samet By Thai Railways
There is no Thai Train Line going near to Laem Ngop (Ferry service to Ko Chang) or to Ban Phe (Ferries to/from Ko Samet). The nearest Train Stations are Chonburi or Pattaya, on Thai Railways East Coast Line (see Pattaya Section for more details). From Pattaya, you take a Direct Minivan to either Laem Ngop or Ban Phe. This site recommends taking the Bus form Bangkok because it's the easiest, most direct, and cheapest way to get to Laem Ngop or Ban Phe. There is frequent, regularly scheduled First Class Bus Service from Bangkok's Eastern (Ekamai) Bus Terminal direct to the Centrepoint pier in Laem Ngop (About 5 hours) or to the Ban Phe Bus Terminal (3 hours). Laem Ngop has three piers, Laem Ngop, The Centrepoint, and Thammachat Bay, all for both vehicle and passenger ferries. Ko Chang has two piers. The main ferry pier in Ban Phe is Saphan Nuan Tip Pier. There are 3 piers on Ko Samet, Na Dan (North part of Ko Samet), Ao Wong Deuan, or Ao Wai. There is also chartered speedboat service available. (For More Information on Bus or train travel, see Bangkok Section).
Ko Samui / Ko Pha ngnan / Ko Tao - To get to Ko Samui by Thai Railways
Take Thai Railways Southern Line to Surat Thani (Phunphin) Station, then transfer to busses/ferries for Ko Samui, Ko Phangan, and Ko Tao. (for more details on Specific Train / Bus / Boat connections, see Surat Thani Section)
Krabi / Ko Phi Phi / Ko Lanta / Ko Jam (Jum) - To get to the
Krabi Area by Thai Railways
Take one of several daily scheduled Thai Rail Southern Line Trains to Surat Thani (Phunphin) Train Station. From Surat Thani, there is regular bus service to Krabi Town. You can also take a Thai Railways Southern Line Train to Trang, then transfer to a Bus going to Krabi Town (Less-Frequent Service). (For more details on Thai Rail Travel see Surat Thani Section or Trang Section). From Krabi Town, Ferries run to/from Ko Phi Phi daily, and Ko Jum and Ko Lanta daily in High Season. You can get to Ko Lanta in Low Season by minivan from Krabi Town, then transfer to a car ferry. Ko Phi Phi ferries depart from a new passenger port about 3 km outside Krabi. Buy tickets at the 'Old Pier' (Kong Ka Pier) or from travel agencies in Krabi Town. Free taxi transfer to the pier should be included in your ticket price. To get to Ko Jam (Jum) in Low Season, take a Local Bus to Nua Khlom. In Nua Khlom, change to another Bus going to Ban Laem Kruat, where you get the boat to Ko Jam (Jum). There are regular bus connections to Phuket, Ranong, Hat Yai, and Trang from Krabi Bus Station or Private Tour Companies, and minivan service to Hat Yai and the Thai / Malaysia Border. (See 'Visa-Run' - Hat Yai Section for Details)
Langawi (Malaysia) -To get to Langawi By Thai Railways
Take an Overnight Train on Thai Railways Southern Train Line from Bangkok's Hualamphong Train Station to Hat Yai Train Station. You can also arrive at Hat Yai Station from Malaysia (for more details, see Hat Yai Station Section). From Hat Yai Rail Station, there is frequent, direct Minivan and Bus service to/from Satun (about 2 hours). In Satun, you must get to Tha Tammalang Pier (10 km out of Satun Town) by taxi, motorbike, or Songthaew. There is regularly scheduled Daily Ferry Service at Tha Tammalang Pier to/from Langkawi Island (Malaysia) (1 1/4 Hours, 4 per day). From Langkawi, there is Regularly Scheduled connecting Ferry Service to/from Penang Island (Malaysia). No reservations are possible, just show up. It's important to know that if coming back the same day, Malaysian time is one hour later than Thai time. (For More Details on Satun, See Satun Section, 'Visa-Run' Section) (For more Details on Thai Rail Travel see Hat Yai Section).
Pattaya - To get to Pattaya Beach From Bangkok by Thai Railways
Take a 'once-a-day' East Coast Line 3rd-Class (fan only) Train , Monday to Friday from Bangkok's Hualamphong Train Station bound for Sattahip, and get off at the Main Pattaya Station (the main stop), or Pattaya Tai Train Station, a small unmanned stop about 3 km further south, but closer to Jomtien Beach. This train can't be pre-booked, so arrive early at Hualamphong Station to buy a ticket. From either station, you must transfer to songthaews (Covered pick-up trucks), taxis, or motorbike taxis to go to the Pattaya Beach Area. Tickets back to Bangkok must be bought at the Main Pattaya Train Station before boarding, and are only sold in the final 30 minutes before departure. The Main Pattaya Train Station is far from Pattaya itself. The bus ride into Pattaya will probably cost you more than the train fare from Bangkok. This site recommends taking the one of the frequently scheduled First-Class Bus Services from Bangkok's Ekamai (East) Bus Station, rather than the train. Bus travel to Pattaya is faster and more convenient, especially if you want to return to Bangkok the same day. Less frequent service is also available from the Southern and Northern Bus Terminals in Bangkok. (See Bangkok / 'Hub' Section for more Travel Information)
Perhenthian Islands (Malaysia) -To get to the Perhenthian Islands By Thai Railways
Take a Thai Railways Southern Line Train to Sungai Kolok Train Station (Final Station on Southern Line). You may have to change trains at Hat Yai Station. From Hat Yai Train Station, there is service South only to Sungai Kolok (on the Thai / Malay Border), the nearest Thai Railway Station to Kota Bharu (Malaysia). A Rail Link exists between Sungai Kolok (Thailand) and Rantau Panjang (Malaysia), on the Eastern Thai / Malay Border, but there are no cross-border passenger train services. (See 'Visa-Run' - Kota Bharu Section for Details) Most Rail Passengers travel to the Perhentian Islands via Wakaf Bahru Rail Station (the Nearest Malaysian Railways Station to Kota Bharu). Wakaf Bahru Rail Station has more convenient rail service than Tanah Merah Rail Station (the Nearest Malaysian Railways Station to Kuala Besut). .The Main Ferry Terminal for the Perhentian Islands is in Kuala Besut. There is frequent Public Bus Service between Kota Bharu and Kuala Besut (1 hour). There are both Speedboat and Slow Boat services available from the Pier in Kuala Besut..You must transfer to a small boat from the ferry to get to the beach. The Perhentian Islands are a small group of beautiful islands off the coast of Northeastern Malaysia near the Thai border.
Phuket -To Get to Phuket By Thai Rail
Take Thai Railways Southern Line to Surat Thani (Phunphin) Station or Chumphon Rail Station. From Surat Thani Station, you transfer to a frequently scheduled Bus to Phuket. You should be able to buy Train/Bus combination tickets from travel agencies in Major Thai Rail Station when you start your trip to save time and energy. From Phuket, ferry services connect Rassada Port in Phuket Town to Ko Phi Phi. There is also ferry service to Ko Lanta Yai's Saladan Pier via Ko Phi Phi. There is also boat service to the Similan Islands a popular diving spot (Near Khao Lak). (for more details on Train / Bus Connections see Surat Thani Section)
Similan Islands / Khao Lak / Phang-Nga - To Get to Similan Islands /
Khao Lak By Thai Railways.
There is Frequent, Regular Bus Service From Phuket along Highway 4. Ask the Driver to Let you off at Khao Lak, Bang Niang, or Thap Lamu (Boat Service for Similan islands). Boats Run from November to May (3 Hours). Many Travel agencies in Phuket offer 'special bus/boat packages'. You can also get to the Thap Lamu (Similan Islands) from Ranong by bus. There is also frequent, regular Bus Service to Phang-Nga from Krabi Town, Trang, and Phuket. (See Cities - Surat Thani Section and Trang Section and Beaches - Phuket Section and Krabi Section for Details).
Tarutao Islands / Ko Lipe -To get to Tarutao Islands / Ko Lipe By Thai
Take an Overnight Train on Thai Railways Southern Train Line from Bangkok's Hualamphong Train Station to Hat Yai Train Station. You can also arrive at Hat Yai Station from Malaysia (for more details, see Hat Yai Section). From Hat Yai, there is frequent, direct Minivan and Bus service to/from Satun (about 2 hours) and Minibus service to/from Pak Bara (Ferry Service for Ko Tarutao or Ko Lipe Islands, 2 1/2 hours). It may be much more convenient to get to the islands via Satun though. There's regular Ferry Service to Ko Tarutao or Ko Lipe Islands (1 1/4 hours) from Satun's Tha Tammalang Pier (10 km outside of Satun Town) or from Pak Bara (1 1/2 hours). To get to Pak Bara by Bus from Satun, take a bus to La-Ngu, then transfer to a songthaew to Pak Bara (about 1 hour). (See 'Visa-Run' - Satun Section for Details on travel to/from Satun)