Hualamphong Station - Trains, Bangkok
Hua Lampong Railway Station
Bangkok main railway station is Hua Lampong. Train leave to most part of the country from here.
Name: Hua Lampong Railway Station
Attraction Type: Architecture, Train Station, Small shops (Book shop and more)
Close to: Wat Traimit (The golden Buddha)
Pictures in the web: Hua Lampong Railway Station
Photos: You can take great photos of the Trains and inside the hall
Last Visit: September 2008
First Photo: Line 10 in Hua Lampong Railway Station
Second photo: Outside the Railway Station
Third photo: Hua Lampong Building
Forth photo: The Hall
Fifth photo: Train in Hua Lampong Railway Station
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.
If you are heading North from Bangkok towards Chiang Mai, chances are you will take the overnight sleeper from Hualamphong Station in BKK. I was actually only going as far as Lampang, which is a couple of hours South of Chiang Rai, but I have done the complete journey before. There are buses which are quicker plying the same route but I prefer the train as it is a lot more comfortable, sociable and for the sheer enjoyment that train travel brings me.
Getting a ticket at Hualamphong is made very simple and my upper level, second class air-con bunk cost 734 baht. The train was due to leave at 1735 (it was late and even later on arrival).
On the train, I knew the drill. Got my bunk sorted and headed straight for the buffet car which, oddly, is the only place on the train you are supposed to smoke, although people do so between the carriages as well. The buffet car on the Backpacker Express, as I call it, is something to behold. Most, as I say, are going to Chiang Mai, a journey of about 14 hours and there is nothing else to do but drink beer and have a party, so that is what we did. I ended up seated with two young physiotherapy students from Zurich and another Swiss guy about my age. We had a great old time as they crank up the sound system with (pretty rubbish) Western pop. I remember the last time there were people dancing and the place resembles a nightclub more than a train carriage. It was slightly more muted this time and they have also taken to closing the bar at 11 which didn't used to be the case.
As for the accomodation itself, I find it most comfortable and always manage a good night's sleep. The bunk accomodates my 6'5" frame with no difficulty and there are clean bedclothes provided for each journey by the helpful attendants. The photo shows the carriage made up for the night.
If you are only going to Lampang, and I recommend you do, do not worry about oversleeping and missing your stop. You will be billeted in the last carriage which is detached at Lampang and they will soon rouse you.
I have heard other travellers complain about the sleepers but an overnight riding the rails is always a highlight of my trips to Thailand.
Hualamphong is the main railway station in Bangkok. Most of the services to the north and to the south of Thailand originate here.
Thai trains are farily modern and comfortable, though sometimes a bit slow and they are often late. There are 3 classes; I recommend travelling 2nd class on long journeys as it is still very cheap and far more comfortable than 3rd class, that is OK for short travels.
Take care for your luggage on the trains, especially at night.
The State Railway of Thailand operates train services from HuaLamPhong train station to allregions of the country and Don Muan International Airport (opposite the Airport Terminal 1) at reasonaly prices.
There's special English speaking counter at HuaLamPong selling joint tickets (train / bus / boat). Usually, it is not a porblem getting a sleeper on the same day. But if you are travelling on peak season and you want to secure an Air-Conditioned sleeper, then you should bought your tickets 1-2 days earlier.
I have mentioned it in other tips and make no apology for mentioning it again but I love travelling on trains. If you are travelling to or from Bangkok, you will almost certainly go through Hualamphong Station. There are a couple of other stations but these deal mainly in suburban trains. You may have read about unlicensed guides offering assistance when they are really trying to sell you accomodation or whatever. This certainly used to be the case but on my most recent trip (December 2009) they seemed much less prevalent than before. Do not let their possible presence put you off receiving advice form the extremely helpful, English-speaking official "customer assistants".
If you enter the Station from the main entrance i.e. where the photo was taken from, the ticket booths and timetables are at the far end on the left. Timetables are all in Thai and English. If you arive by tuk-tuk or taxi, you will be dropped at the side entrance. Just walk in and the ticket booths are immediately on the left.
The station is well supplied with shops to stock up on snacks for the trip, food stalls and bars / restaurants. Be aware, though, that the eateries on the upper floor charge exorbitant prices. The Anna Kitchen is particularly pricy. If you fancy a snack or a drink, just walk outside the station and you will pay about half the price.
There is an internet place up stairs on the left as you come in the main entrance and the left luggage place is directly on the left here on the gorund floor. It is open from 0400 until 2300 at night and I paid 70B to leave one piece of luggage for a few hours.
There seem to be a lot of railway police about and I feel perfectly safe here, not always the case in railway stations, and Hualamphong remains, like most train stations, an absolutely brilliant place to people watch for an hour or two whilst you wait for your train.
Train travel is pretty inexpensive for what you get.....we took a 12 hr overnight train to BKK from the south and again, took a 12 hr overnight train to Chaing Mai. the schedules are quite frequent but never ontime....expect to arrive anywhere from 1/2 hr to 3hrs after the expected arrival time. Both occassion we took the overnight they were different trains and sizes...with more room on one, less on the other......food was also variable between the two.....in any case, train travel was great! The cabins you see us using had upper and lower beds....when you board the train the beds are not made up but rather a seating area for the two people (in the upper and the lower)....when the two decide to go to bed a worker will break down the sitting srea into two beds.....if your traveling with someone be sure to get the upper and lower in the same section vs. two lower beds across the aisle from one another......Also, at the train station there are various travel agents ready to help you out with bookings and plans....they are friendly and helpful, but of course you know why........with this said, last time we had the agent book our train to Chaing Mai, transfer to the hotel, the hotel for four days, and a flight back to Bangkok at the end....commission was approx $250 Baht for the whole thing.....not bad for them to sort you out with everything.
I haven't been in a train to anywhere from Bangkok but there were several people asking about me this one so, I thought of putting a tip then...no worries, you don't need to rate..But of course, I know where this train station is!
Here's the link: http://www.traveller2000.com/train/
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).
The Thai Rail System is extermely well devoloped. Trains are a very cheap and comfortable way to travel around Thailand. Trains run commonlu between Bangkok - Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Ayutthaya, Sokhothai, Lampan, Nong Khai (Vientiane, Laos), Nakhon Si Thamarat (by Koh Samui), Hat Yai, Penang (Malaysia), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Singapore (Singapore), and Poipet (Cambodian border).
If you are on a night train I personally reccomend getting SECOND CLASS tickets. Why? First of all you get a bed to sleep in (3rd class you only get a seat), and second of all it is a lot cheaper than 1st class. In first class you get a double chamber (bunk bed in a small room with a fold down table and sink). In second class you het a fold down bunk bed (the porters set up the beds when it gets dark, they are comfortable seats until then. You a table, light, and curtains (and a window in the bottom bed* *highly reccomended. And it's just a lot of fun. You are seperated from the other people by curtains, it's a fun trip!!
Costs vary depending on class and where you want to go. A ticket to Chiamg Mai from Bangkok in second class a/c bottom bed is around 700 Baht (3rd class 350 Baht, first 950 Baht or so).
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 :)
A safe and fun way to travel in thailand is via the train. Bangkok is the hub for train travel and it has tentacles that go south, west, north, northeast, and east.
The main train station is Hualampong (HLP) in the heart of the city. Tickets can be booked and purchased there, and you can board trains here. But you can also buy tickets and board most trains at many other train stations. The train stops so often in Bkk on the way, that it takes 45 minutes even for the Sprinter (fastest) train to leave the city. For example, a train leaving HLP traveling north or northeast will pass thru Samsen-Bangsue-Bangkaen-Laksi and Don Muang (across from the airport) and stop at most of these. So you don't have to go to HLP to get on a train if other stations are closer.
This line goes on to end in Chiangmai in the north, Nongkhai in upper northeast and Ubon Ratchathani in the lower northeast.
Bkk to Chiangmai typically takes about 14 hours.
Southern trains go thru Samsen and Bangsue, but then branch off to the west and finally turning south ending in Trang province or at the Malay border.
Bkk to the Malay border is around 18 hours by train.
For those going to Cambodia, you can take the train to Aranya Prathet (about 6 hours i think) and make your way to the border.
There are sleeper trains in 1st class but for the price, you could almost fly. Second class sleeper trains come with or without A/C and esp on the northern route are very comfortable. You can choose upper or lower bunks when booking. You can also sit up all night in non-sleeper trains – cheaper, but not too pleasant.
Food can be bought on trains from vendors on the train or thru the window, or purchased in the dining car of overnight trains, OR eaten at your own pop-up table at your seat..
Trains are not in the habit of being on time in Thailand, esp those running to or from the south, so have patience.
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.
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..
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.