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Bangkok Railway Station
The Bangkok Railway Station was built in 1910 and opened for operations on the 25th June 1916 during the reign of King Rama VI. Originally it was a combined station, that is, it included the services to transport goods as well as passengers. The station was built in an Italian Neo-Renaissance style, with decorated wooden roofs and stained glass windows. The architecture is attributed to Turin-born Mario Tamagno, who, with countryman Annibale Rigotti (1870–1968), made a mark on early 20th century public building in Bangkok.
The station is the country's main station and is the terminus for the four main lines within the country - the Northern Line to Chiang Mai, the North-eastern Line to Nong Khai on the border with Laos, the Eastern Line to Aranyaprathet on the border with Cambodia, and Southern Line to Sungai Kolok.
Transport from BKK to Vang Vieng Laos
Sometimes budget flights offered by Thai Air Asia or Nok Air to Udon Thani are nearly as cheap as the train or bus to Nong Khai. (Notice the correct spellings for these 2 places.) But they have to be booked via their internet website weeks in advance for the best fares.
"Regarding train travel, is there an express that we could get, and if so, how much should it cost and how long are we talking. Would tickets need to be booked in advance, if so is it possible to do so online?"
While there are express and rapido day trains, many travelers prefer to take the overnight sleeper compartments to save on the cost of a night's lodging. The train departs around 8 or 9pm from Bangkok's main Hualamphong Train Station and arrives between 9-10AM (supposed to arrive at 9 but is frequently late).
The train sleeping compartments do get booked out for holidays and weekends so it's best to book in advance or ASAP upon arrival. There are even some travel agencies which can book for you but you'll pay a hefty service fee. Upper and lower bunk AC compartments run about 700 Thai bahts=~U$20 with lover costing slightly more.
But even if your train is late, you'll still be able to get to Vang Vieng on the same day if you catch the bus from Vientiane's Talat Sao/Morning Market Bus Station. There are also private bus companies (one departs at 10AM) and shared minivans from VTE to Vang Vieng and you can check with VTE travel agencies or hotels/guesthouses upon arrival.
Regarding the bus option from Bangkok, there are several bus companies that take you ALL the way from Bangkok to Vientiane (including the border/immigration procedures/crossing) and one even goes all the way to Vang Vieng on the same ticket/bus. Best to buy them in the Khao San Road area of BKK and they also run about ~700bahts=U$20.
There are also overnight VIP buses leaving from Bangkok's Mochit Bus Station to Nong Khai that costs about 500bahts but it'll cost you 100bahts just to get to Mochit and comparable for the cost of crossing from Nong Khai, and getting into VTE.
Hope this helps!
Bangkok to Singapore by Train/Bus
While going to Singapore from Bangkok by road/rail, you only need to change once at Butterworth. Take the Thailand Malaysia International express train from Bangkok to Butterworth. This will take around 26 hrs. You will reach Butterworth next day in the afternoon. Proceed to Penang via the long bridge. From Penang, take a direct bus to Singapore. You can also take a direct train from Butterworth to Singapore. It is a day train and starts from Butterworth early morning around 7 am. This train reaches Singapore at around 9 pm.
If you want to take a Singapore bound bus from Butterworth/Penang, it will be an overnight journey and you will be in Singapore early morning next day.
For details on Thailand Malaysia International express from Bangkok to Butterworth, check this website http://www.seat61.com/Thailand.htm
Alternatively, from Butterworth/Penang, take a bus/train to KL and from KL, take a bus to Singapore. It is very simple.
- Family Travel
The main terminal for mainline (as opposed to the Skytrain or subway) trains in Bangkok is Hualamphong Station, located on the edge of Chinatown. Thanks to the new Metro system, it's a lot easier to get there from Silom or Sukhumvit these days, but if you have luggage a taxi might be easier - there is quite a walk between the metro platforms and the station. The main hall of the station (before you get to the trains) is cooled, so if you have to wait a while, it's not a bad place to stop - there is a fair amount of seating as well. See my travelogue for some more pictures of the station.
It's important to note that not every train out of Bangkok departs from here (although most do) - trains to Kanchaburi leave from a station over the river in Thonburi. Check your train details carefully! Some of the destinations available from Hualamphong are:
- Hua Hin
- Chiang Mai
- Nong Khai (useful for Vientiane, Laos)
- Surat Thani (useful for Ko Samui)
- Butterworth in Malaysia (handy for Penang, with connections to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore).
The trains and station are run by the State Railway of Thailand (SRT).
- Budget Travel
Nighttrain Chiang Mai/ Chiang Rai
A good way to travel in Thailand is the nighttrain. Wihtin one night you will be all around Thailand. And this for a reasonable price. But be there soon, at certain days it will take up to three days to get a avaible seat in the 1st class (and I would advise to do that).
- Budget Travel
From Bangkok To Ayutthaya & Back DIY
First & foremost, my thanks to fellow VTer leffe3 for his posted advices.
I made my way to Ayutthaya via train from Hualamphong Train Station. I grabbed the Rapid Train, in an air-conned compartment, which cost me 245 Bts 1-way (circa Jul 2006). (There are cheaper multi-stops, no air-conned services for 20 Bts) The journey takes about 1.5 hrs and Ayutthaya was the next major stop after Bangkok (I said that because the train did make some quick stops along the way). The ticket conductor actually announced the pending arrival of the train into Ayutthaya.
The seat was comfortable but I hated that the windows were blurred out. It was so difficult trying to see the scenaries! (Note to the Thai railway authorities: travellers accept that cows are blurry; but you needn't do that for us)
The train back into Bangkok was delayed by 1 hr. Check the printed daily schedule. (WARNING: The ticket booth in Ayutthaya Train Station only sells tickets 20 mins BEFORE the arrival of train. No advanced booking here, said a very gruff station staff and sauntered off) I decided to go for Plan B since I have a standing appointment back in the city.
From Ayutthaya Train Station, I walked straight ahead for 10 mins and caught a (Pa Sak) river crossing for 3 Bts. Upon hitting the other side of the river, I more or less walked straight (you know you are on the right track when you walk past the purplish exterior of the Siam Commercial Bank) for the next 20 mins till I hit the Bangkok-bound Bus "Terminal" along Naresuan Road. Paid 50 Bts for the 1.5hrs+ journey in an air-conned coach. The bus (service 99) does pick up customers along the way, alternating between stops and express sectors.
The bus ends at the Northern and Northeastern (Mochit) Bus Terminal near Chatuchak Market. Grab a taxi here all the way back into the city.
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
The train from Bangkok to Surat Thani was crowded, hot and smelly. Compared to the sleepers in China, this is one option that will not give you a good nights sleep.
Sanitation is minimal.
My carriage was full of loud, annoying brits who felt that having been to Cambodia and Vietnam, they had become some sort of world champion traveller. IDIOTS.
On route back to Bangkok, the last 5 miles took 2 hours to cover as we crept through the shanty settlements alongside the tracks.
I made my flight to China with minutes to spare.
There are many mode of transportation if you wanna go to bangkok town.. the cheapest way is using the train next to the airport.. it will only cost you about 5 baht ONLY.. but it will take about one hour journey..
Getting out of Bangkok around Thailand
Getting out of Bangkok via
Check out the map to locate the various bus terminals. Buses to the north are located at Victory Monument, while the SOuthern routes are located left of Kao San area (you need a map to show you where). Quite good rates and faster than the Railway.
Which they claimed to be efficient - well, i leave you to comment about that. Many times getting the cheapest train class fare isn't the best. I have ended up getting standing tickets - 2 hours standing isn't fun!
Ayuttaya Railway Station
To Ayuttaya, Its easy....JUST BUY FROM THE RAILWAY STATION!! Dont listen to anyone who from "Tourism Authority" who said that the train to Ayuttaya is down or whatsoever. The railway train station would not be down just because of raining or any silly reason.
Unless you wanna pay TOURISM price, if not, follow the Locals and buy from the Railway station :)
- Historical Travel
- Budget Travel
Hua Lamphong Train Station
Hua Lamphong train station is very well oprganised and international friendly. The station links the whole country with a variety of train options, and also houses shops, restaurants and a bus station for access in to the city. You will also find plenty of taxi drivers around! The actual trains are very comfortable, and I found that the 2nd class train (for my trip to Surat Thani) was perfectly surfice.
- Adventure Travel
well i only used the first class cabin once when i was on the trains in thailand but it was worth it. Although children pay half fare, there is not a bed for them. Which is why, we hung up my hamock for my little bother to sleep in :D It was however, very comfy. They bring u breakfast in bed, serve u with orange juice all night and you have a wash sink in ur cabin. how cool?
Convenient train network
My rail experience is mainly confined to travelling up north towards the Central Plains: There is a regular train service heading up to Chiang Mai and it seems to be every few hours. The safest thing is to check at the station control when one is able; the actual schedule and the one we printed out a few days earlier was drastically different.
The cost ranged from 24baht - for our 3rd class seat from Don Muang to Lop Buri - to 360baht, for an overnight sleeper from Phitsanulok to Chiang Mai. Both were comfortable enough.
The only drawback is the timing; both times, the train was late, but both less than half an hour, so that was still bearable.
The train is a comfortable way of traveling
The Hualamphong train station is a central place where a lot of trains go in and out. The central hall looks like the arrivals and departure hall of an airport.
Just like in many other public places in Thailand there's a big portrait of the King.
There's a ticket office inside the station, but you can also buy a train ticket in one of the many TAT's in the city.
Train to Chiang Mai and BKK airport.
A nighttrain to CM is cool eperience. We took a train that departured 14.30, heading to Chiang Mai(arrived 06.00). We had a 2nd class sleeper, and boys, there were nice feeling! Lot of other backpackers around the world(US, Germany, Sweden,...), enough booze and all the night to have a chat. Just great!
In the 2nd class there arent a/c(but fans), but there is a shower in the back of the train.
Also, you can always open the door and sit on the stairways to watch the sceneries chancing rapidly(well, a lot of stops, though...).
In the train you can buy food, snacks and beverages(beer, sodas, rhum, whisky, ice,...)from the peoples, that are walking back and forth on the aisles. Prices are reasonable.
There is also a restaurant, but the food wasnt so good, well, it was eatable ofcourse.
The one way ticket is appr.450 bahts(and hey! You dont have to pay for accomodation!!).
To the airport the best way to get is a train. It tooks only 15 minutes or so(compared to taxi; around 45minutes to an hour) and is cheap.
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Bangkok Travel Guide
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