A Guide to travelling throughout Thailand
by various means of Railroad Transport

Train Track build by Prisoners of World War II

Hua Lamphong Station

This Thailand Train Travel Guide will hopefully provide you with all the information you’ll need for many a memorable train journey across all corners of Thailand. And while you’re at it, you just might get to see some of the most scenic countryside there is in such a splendid country.

Imagine the fun it can be to travel the entire length and breadth of the country by rail. I have personally taken a few Thailand train travel trips myself. With that, have a safe and pleasant journey. May your time here be everything you ever wished for.

If you are planning a trip to Thailand and you don’t quite know how to get around from one place to another whether it’s by train, by air, a ferry or by bus, simply fill in your details on the platform below. You can also arrange various transfers from one destination to another. In fact, you can use the platform to travel from one Asian country to the next. It’s that simple. Why not give it a try.

Do you need to buy an Air, Train, Bus or Ferry Ticket?

Thailand has an extremely efficient railroad system with the main station being at Hua Lamphong in Bangkok. This station serves four major lines connecting you to the north, northeast, east and the south of the country. The first line runs to Chiang Mai in the north via the central plains. A second line which later divides into two runs to Nong Khai and Ubon Ratchathani in the northeast.

Thon Buri Station in Bangkok

Thon Buri Station

A third connects Bangkok to the eastern seaboard and the border to Cambodia. The fourth line runs down the peninsula as far as Malaysia. Thon Buri Station is the principal departure point of the of Bangkok Transit System (BTS). All trains are safe and comfortable as well as being a great way to see the country.  

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Scenic View on the Thai-Burma Railway

Thai-Burma Railway

Apart from several train trips on the Bangkok Underground Metro System and the Bangkok Sky Train, one of the most memorable train trips I had ever experienced was on on the Thai-Burma railway which takes you across the river Kwai and through some of Thailand’s most scenic countryside around Kanchanaburi.

Even if trains are not quite your scene, this particular train journey is an absolute must and you should definitely give it a try if you’re in the area. Apart from the horrific events that paved the way for the Japanese to construct the railway during World War II, you’ll no doubt be transported through this historic period.

It’s only a short journey and can easily be incorporated as part of any tour. The only downside about the ride is that there is no air-conditioning on the train, but the encounter will more than make up for it. Go on, take a ride on the wild side.

Nam Tok Station on the Thai-Burma Railway

Bangkok Transit System

The Bangkok Transit System is also commonly known as the (BTS). It’s an elevated rapid transit system and is definitely the perfect way to beat the heat and the city’s traffic congested streets. The trains are frequent, fast, clean and safe.

The only problem I did notice is that there were not nearly enough lifts or escalators for the disabled and elderly, only lots of stairs going up from street level. This seems to be the only real access to the ticket booths provided at the station. The best time to use the service is anytime except during peak hours.

The Sky Train network consists of twenty-three stations and travels along only two lines. One is the Sukhumvit Line, which runs northwards and eastwards and terminates at Mo Chit Station and On Nut Station respectively.

The other is the Silom Line linked to Silom and Sathon Roads in the central business district of Bangkok and terminates at the National Stadium and Wongwian Yai Station. The lines interchange at Siam Central and have a combined distance of 55 kilometres.

All the stations are elevated and constructed on three levels. The first level is where you will find the ticket booths, some small kiosk-like shops and the access control gates. The second and third levels contain all the platforms and rail links.

The Sky Train is the best way to travel to the Chatuchak Weekend Market as the train stops practically right on the doorstep of the market at Mo Chit Station.

Now, because this market is held on weekends, the trains are not that full at all. Please just remember that not all the stations are near hotels so you may have to take a taxi or walk to the nearest entry point.

Thailand Train Travel on the Sky Train

Bangkok Mass Rapid Transit System

Bangkok Mass Rapid Transit System (MRT) is an underground metro system often referred to as the Bangkok Metro. It’s also known in Thai as rotfai taidin which simply means – underground train or rotfaifah mahanakhon which means metropolitan electric train. The line has a fleet of nineteen trains.

The Bangkok Metro is a 21-kilometre track with 18 stations. This Blue Line presently runs from Hua Lamphong Station to Bang Sue Station and has the capacity to carry up to 40,000 people in each direction per hour. You can conveniently connect to the Skytrain at Si Lom, Sukhumvit and Mo Chit stations.

Entrances to the Metro stations are raised approximately one metre above ground level due to low-lying plains prone to flooding during Thailand’s rainy season They are well equipped with built-in-flood-gates to avoid water inundating the system.

There are ample lifts and ramps at stations providing you with easy access should you be a disabled person and have to rely on a wheelchair. Maps describing the local area and exit points are posted on all walls showing you the way out as are uniformed security personnel to assist you should you need help.

Map of the Metro and Sky Train Routes

National Rail System

Thailand’s National Rail System is operated by the State Railway of Thailand Trains are extremely clean, relatively inexpensive and surprisingly reliable albeit a little on the slow side. There are only two entry points into Thailand and both are from Malaysia on the southern Thai border. I do believe the trip north to Bangkok serves as a great scenic introduction to Thailand. I have yet to experience this.

A train leaves the port of Butterworth opposite Malaysia’s Penang Island at 1:40 pm. crossing the border into Thailand and arrives in Bangkok at 11:30 am the following day. There is also a more adventurous train journey, albeit on a less convenient route that travels from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia up the east coast to the northeastern town of Kota Bharu.

But you’ll need to take a taxi from there before crossing the border into Thailand to catch the SRT Train from the southern Thai town of Sungai Kolok. Trains leave from Sungai Kolok at 11:00 am and 2:05 pm before arriving in Bangkok at 9:05 am and 11:10 am respectfully, the next day.

All trains depart from Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong Station at 2:00 pm daily for the return journey to Malaysia. There are second-class carriages with seats that fold into upper and lower sleeping berths at night. For a little extra comfort, first-class sleeper carriages are air-conditioned and dining cars serve Thai food.

Hua Lamphong Station in Bangkok

The Eastern and Oriental Express

If you like to travel in style, you may want to try one of Asia’s most exclusive travel experience. The Eastern and Oriental Express is the Asian equivalent to Europe’s finest. This luxurious twenty-two carriage train with its distinctive blue and cream livery passes through spectacular scenery several times each month between Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Chiang Mai.

The journey between Singapore and Bangkok takes three days and two nights including stops at Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and Butterworth in Penang. Should irresistible elegance be your comfort, then world-renowned Eastern Oriental Express may just be the ultimate self-indulgent gift you could ever wish for.

All the carriages are bedecked with rich fabrics and fittings evocative of 1930’s rail travel. The double and single cabins come in private and presidential classes. There are two restaurants, a salon car, a bar and a magnificent observation deck. This has never been a better time to experience superb Asian luxury and style.

The Eastern and Orient Express