One of the best ways to travel between Bangkok and Chiang Mai is by overnight train in a sleeper car. To ensure that you get the berth you want you may want to book your tickets in advance for a private room.
Otherwise, you can take your chances and buy a ticket at the train station. During high season, the sleeper train is booked out weeks in advance.
You will depart from Hualamphong station in Bangkok. It has many shops for you to eat or buy gifts, so arriving early to ensure you make your train is a good idea.
We arrived early and had lunch at a sit-down restaurant in the station and then purchased fresh donuts to take on the train. It is advised that you buy snacks for the trip, even though food is available on the train.
You can also purchase a complete dinner meal. We did both. The food we purchased on the train was plain but tasted decent and was served in appropriate portions.
As you leave Bangkok you will see shacks right up against the tracks, it’s amazing how they can build so close! But they have it figured out and the train skims by without touching them.
Many of the shacks are made out of what ever they could find; tarps and metal pieces. Many had TV’s playing inside of them. It was kind of surprising to see that they had power in the shacks.
We booked our tickets ahead of time before arriving in Thailand. The process worked well as they were delivered to the front desk at our hostel the day before our train trip. Our sleeper was nice, we had a private first-class sleeper. (Honeymoon splurge!)
Our room was sufficient and comfortable with a sink where you could wash your face or brush your teeth, two beds that converted to a couch and dropped down into bunk beds.
They also provided pillows and blankets. It’s not a 4 star hotel, and I would hope no one was expecting that, but it was comfortable and we enjoyed our little berth.
Need to use the bath? Try the squatter! Each car had both his & her bathrooms at the end of the hall. It’s a little hard to hover over the hole on a moving train but it does the job.
Just place your feet on the foot marks, hold onto the railing and squat! This was my first time seeing a toilet like this… my wife makes fun of me because I ran back to the room saying did you see that squatter!
The ride was smooth and we arrived in Chiang Mai on time, which I guess is a rare occurrence!
More on Thailand:
- 3 Days in Bangkok: Things You Should Not Miss
- Where to Stay in Bangkok: A Guide to the Districts
- Getting A Bamboo Tattoo in Thailand
- 27 Thailand Photos That Will Amaze
- RTW Travel Recap: 3 Weeks in Thailand
- Visiting Doi Suthep outside Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Complete Guide to the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand
- Free Things to do in Phuket, Thailand
- Self Guided Kayak Adventure Tour of the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand
14 thoughts on “Overnight Train Bangkok to Chiang Mai”
Can you book the train before you go to Thailand? If so, what is the website? My daughter and I are going in April
Yes you can. We booked them online and had them delivered to our hotel in Bangkok on the day we arrived. I highly recommend checking out the Man in Seat Sixty One for updated information on booking trains. seat61.com. Cheers and enjoy Thailand!
Thanks for sharing this. I think I am going to do this with my kids!
How much does it cost
It should be around 800-900 baht for a ticket from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. Please note, ticket prices will vary depending on class booked and dates.
Great article. I’ve been on that train before and enjoyed it. Looking forward to going to India next and I hope the train rides are as enjoyable as the ones I had in Thailand!
We’re living in Chiang Mai now and took the overnight train from Bangkok. Despite it being small for the 3 of us (we have a 2 year old boy) it was clean and did the job. The food on board was average, but we ordered breakfast the night before so it was nice to wake up and have breakfast ready. If you want to party though, stay in the 2nd class carriages. You get a bed plus plenty of opportunity to drink and socialise!
Glad you had a good experience! We loved our trip on the overnight train and found it easy to relax and sleep too.
I have only ever done one o/night train. But would so do more, what a great use of time and I always love an excuse to lay down 🙂
yea they are really great for saving on lodging too because it saves you a night in a hotel/hostel!
We did this same trip, same train, same cabin type! It was so much fun! We met a young couple on their honeymoon on the bar car and ended up taking a thai cooking class together in Chiangmai!
That’s awesome! We slept…. boring. LOL!
I love overnight trains! (But only if I have a sleeper bunk. Go on, call me a snob!)
HAHA! We are kinda ‘snobs’ too! We like having a bed and our own area!