Dining / Eating on Thai Railways
The Food - Vendors and In Door ServicesYou'll never 'Go Hungry' when Travelling by Train in Thailand. Even before you board the train, there are a few restaurants in and around most Thai Railway Stations. Bangkok's Hualamphong Rail Station has a huge variety of food available from fruit on platform pushcarts to a cafeteria and some 'fast-food' outlets. But if you're a 'picky' or not a very adventurous eater, bring something you like to eat on the Long-Distance Train Trips. There is no shortage of opportunities to eat once on board Thai trains. And definitely bring lots of water, because it will be a bit more expensive on board. At Hualamphong Rail Station, none of the snack shops sell the cheaper water (in the white plactic bottles). If you prefer this kind of water, you'll have to run across the street to a shop. Thai food is served on all Long-Distance Trains either in the Passenger Carriages or in the Dining Cars. There is no 'budget food' available on Express Service Trains.
a. Onboard vendors-The Dining Car sends vendors up and down the train
selling various Thai snacks to passengers. Whether or not you're brave enough
to try any of it is up to you.
b. Station Platform Vendors - Local vendors swarm on board the Second and Third-Class (Fan) Carriages at most stations, offering cold drinks (including beer), dried pork, fried noodles, and other packaged 'Local Snacks'. In addition, every station seems to have 'Pushcart' vendors on the platforms selling anything from soup to fresh fruit. These vendors run up to the hungry passengers leaning out open train windows and try to make any sales they can in the brief time the train is in the station.
c. The Dining Car- On Second-Class and Third-Class (Fan) Trains , the dining car has cafeteria-style tables. In First and Second-Class (Air-Conditioned) Trains, the dining cars are a bit nicer, having tablecloths. Most Overnight Sleeper Service Trains have a Dining Car, which has a full menu of food and drinks, but at very inflated prices of course.
d. Service at Your Seat - Good and cheap Thai dishes are sold on Rapid Service Trains. They are offered in all Fan Service Carriages (Sleeper or Seated) and sold by the Dining Car's Staff walking up and down the isles. The attendants on Sleeping Berth Carriages hand out printed menus with a choice 'Meal Sets'. The Food is delicious, but rather expensive. You will pay more for the 'In-Your-Seat' Service than for the same dish in the Dining Car. A removable 'Table' is attached to the wall between the two facing seats (in Second-Class Sleepers) if people want to eat at their seats.
e. Free of Charge - Snacks and drinks are often included in the price for First and Second class Daytime Service, but is not always edible.