Taking the overnight sleeper train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, or the train from Chiang Mai to Bangkok, has always been a popular way of travelling between these two cities in Thailand.
Since November 2016, The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) had introduced new train carriages running on the express line between Bangkok and Chiang Mai. It is the Train No.9 and Train No.10 overnight sleeper train. These trains are powered by electricity so it is more quiet and calm compared to the old ones.
Note that the SRT hadn’t really completely replace all of their old carriages. The current Express Line and Rapid Line are still using the older trains, so travellers should choose carefully when buying the train tickets. This article will explain some of the features and facilities of the new trains.
The Train Times and Timetables
If you are taking the train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, Train No.9 leaves Bangkok Train Station (Hua Lamphung Station) at 6.10pm and arrives in Chiang Mai at 7.15am. And for the train from Chiang Mai to Bangkok, Train No.10 leaves Chiang Mai Train Station at 6.00pm and arrives in Bangkok at 6.50am. Both trains are available daily.
Please arrive at the train station 30 minutes before departure time to find the train platform. Aside from trains no.9 and no.10, there are other trains going between Bangkok and Chiang Mai but those were the older and slower (therefore cheaper) trains. So remember to quote the correct train number when buying your train tickets.
See below the Bangkok to Chiang Mai train schedule. When going from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, other than train no.9, there are also trains no.7, no.109, no13 and no.51 plying the same route:
And for the Chiang Mai to Bangkok train schedule, other than no.10, there are also trains no.102, no.8, no.52, and no.14:
The FIRST CLASS Train Cabin
If you prefer a little more privacy and don’t mind paying extra, consider travel First Class, which is a private room good for 2 passengers. Each train has 12 private rooms, with shared shower rooms (equipped with hot water!) and toilet. If you are travelling in a group of 4 people wanting to stay together for the night (or maybe a family with 2 kids), there is an inter-connecting door which can be unlocked.
Each Train Has 12 First Class Private Rooms.
Facilities inside the room include wifi, socket plug point, a washbasin, bench seat that converts into beds (lower & upper berth), mirror and a 14 inches personal LCD touch screen displaying the route and satellite information (in English). The LCD display is also a multimedia system for entertainment, an alarm clock, and where you can order food to be served in your room.
Control Panel & USB Plug for LCD Display.
A View Inside The Private Room.
Hot Shower Inside Shared Bathroom.
The first class train ticket costs 1,453 baht for an upper bed and 1,653 baht for a lower bed. If you travel alone but wish to occupy the entire room, the entire compartment is yours at 2,453 baht.
The SECOND CLASS Train Cabin
Travelling Second Class is cheaper but offers less privacy. The seats in the second class sleeper are lower and upper berths facing each other on both sides of the train’s windows. The lower berth, which is the window seat, is the primary seating for passengers and converts into sleeper berth at night (the staffs will start the conversion at 8.00pm).
The Second Class Train Cabin.
The Passenger Seat is Converted into a Berth.
A curtain is installed at every berth which can offer privacy and more importantly, block the light that can interfere with sleep because the central lights are kept on through the night. Plug socket and reading light are available for every berth so passengers can charge their phone and laptop, or read throughout their train ride.
The Lower Berth.
The Upper Berth.
The train is equipped with CCTV cameras and LCD screen showing the route information eg. GPS location and the estimated time of arrival (in Thai & English). Each carriage has their own LCD display.
In the shared washroom is a vacuum toilet and basin with mirror. There is two luggage compartment, at the top and bottom.
LCD Display and CCTV Camera.
The second class train ticket costs 941 baht for an upper bed and 1,041 baht for a lower bed.
Getting Around Chiang Mai is Cheap & Easy
Facilities In The Train
The train has a diner where passengers can buy snacks, food, and drinks. The food sold here are frozen, like those served in a 7-11 convenient store (even the price are almost the same as 7-11). The diner is also a nice place to chill out and meet other travellers. Here is where passengers travelling on a second class ticket can get free on board Wifi. However, the wifi speed is rather weak even when mobile phone signal (3G/4G) is strong.
Passengers travelling on first-class ticket can place their order through the LCD touch screen in their room for in-train delivery service. The diner closes at 10.00pm and re-open at 5.00am for breakfast service.
Chillax at The Diner and Grab a Cup of Coffee.
Snacks, Food, and Drinks at The Diner.
Food Menu at The Diner.
A bottle of water, a wide mattress, a blanket and a pillowcase are provided during the train ride. In the night it might get a bit chilly from the A/C (not adjustable), so consider long sleeve, trousers and maybe socks.
Due to the curvature of the carriage, the lower sleeping berth is a bit wider than the upper. One drawback about the train ride is that the bed is rather short (even for First Class cabin). People taller than 180cm might need to bend their knee slightly (or sleep diagonally) to get a comfortable position.
Where To Buy Train Ticket
The easiest way to buy the train ticket is through SRT official website here. Ticket can be purchased in advanced up to 60 days before the date of departure (or until 2 hours before departure time). Payment is by credit card and you will be issued an e-ticket (in pdf format) upon payment accepted. You can read their online booking manual here.
If by cash is your preferred mode of payment, you may proceed to buy at the train station. In Bangkok, head to Hua Lamphong Railway Station which is just 10 minutes walking distance from Hua Lamphong MRT Station. If you are in Chiang Mai, go to Chiang Mai Railway Station which is just 2km away from downtown by riding a songthaew (read here).
Remember to ask for train no.9 or train no.10 when purchasing your train tickets.
Chiang Mai Railway Station.
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