Hua Lamphong train station
Hua Lamphong train station

On 22.3.2017, I decided to go to Chiang Mai. There are plenty of options, but I choose the one that was closest to real Thai experience – basic 3rd class train. I was waiting with huge crowd of people at Hua Lamphong train station and at about 22:00 the train arrived and I found my place there. The train exceeded my expectations. It was clean, there were plenty of ventilators on the ceiling and the seats quite new. The only thing that I was worried about was sleeping on those seats. Those seats were about 130 cm wide and it was designed for 3 people sitting next to each other. The train started to fill up and when it was leaving the train station, I realized I am the only white guy sitting there.

It took quite a long time to get out of Bangkok. I was looking out of the window and then I was reading some books. After 4 hours of ride, I was getting quite sleepy. Nobody was sitting next to me and other people in the train were already sleeping. I tried as well. My feet were sticking out of the seat and when someone was walking in the alley, I had to wake up and move. The longest sleep was 20 minutes and it was interrupted in some train station by some people jumping in the train and offering everyone some food and drinks. They woke up everybody. And when they saw me, they always tried to sell me me much harder than the other people. After the train left the station, I realized that some people left and that there are 2 empty seats. I moved there and I was finally able to sleep.

It is common to sleep inside
It is common to sleep inside

In the morning, the sun woke me up and there was a jungle all around us. I was looking out of the window but it was not enough. I was leaning out of the train door and I was enjoying what I saw.

It is about 700 km from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. The 3rd class train costs 270 THB, it takes longer time than a flight, but you will see plenty of small villages, jungle and thai countryside.
It is about 700 km from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. The 3rd class train costs 270 THB, it takes longer time than a flight, but you will see plenty of small villages, jungle and thai countryside.
Crossing a bridge
Crossing a bridge

We arrived to Chiang Mai and I felt really happy that I took the train. Flying to Chiang Mai would be so boring in comparison to this.

Countryside
Countryside
Reserved seats for monks, disabled and senior citizen
Reserved seats for monks, disabled and senior citizen