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Thai Railways

Train Travel versus  Bus or Air Transport

Train travel is the most comfortable, relaxing, and environmentally friendly way to get around in Thailand. Rail travel is just as well-organized as bus travel in Thailand, but not as well promoted. Many people make the mistake of just getting on busses or planes, and overlook the advantages of Thai train travel.

  • Train travel is much cheaper and more convenient than flying.
  • Most train stations are centrally located in city centers, unlike airports.
  • You can avoid hours of hassle traveling to / from airports, as well as lengthy security, check-in and baggage-claim procedures.
  • Train travel is surprisingly affordable. A Second-Class sleeping berth costs almost the same as a VIP tour bus, and you get to lie down on a bed.
  • Trains are rarely more than a few minutes late, but busses depend on traffic conditions, and often arrive more than 30 minutes late. Also, long-distance trains usually arrive at a more desirable hour, than their bus alternatives.
  • The scenery is always much better by rails than on roads.
  • Safety. Train travel in Thailand is also safer and more reliable than bus travel. Road accidents are far more common than rail accidents.
  • Security. Every traveler has heard horrible stories of things disappearing from bags on overnight private bus trips. The police regularly patrol the trains, so your baggage is more secure.
  • Safety. Anyone who has been on enough busses knows that many drivers seem to be trying to break the speed record for reaching their destination, regardless of safety or traffic laws.

Narrow tracks, combined with few bridges make most trains much slower than buses, but sometimes it's refreshing to sit back, relax and watch the world go by. For example, the trip from Bangkok to Chiang Mai takes 14 hours by train, versus 9 hours by bus. 
Travel Tale of a typical Train Trip --- COMING SOON

Finally, on trains you can get up, walk around, and stretch out your legs. This should be especially nice for passengers traveling with young children with unlimited energy. Walking around is very difficult to do on most busses.

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