A Guide to Chiang Mai Railway Station
Train travel from Bangkok to Chiang Mai can be an amazing experience, especially with the new high-quality sleeper cabins available on trains 9 & 10. These sleeper cabins are truly remarkable and will leave an impressionful memory behind!
Visit Ayuthaya as part of a day trip from its station or take an ordinary daytime train ride directly to Sukhothai for breathtaking scenic views! UNESCO-listed Ayuthaya’s ruins can be explored via day trips; or take advantage of local daytime trains with open windows to Sukhothai for even greater views of nature!
Chiang Mai Railway Station, situated east of Ping River in Chiang Mai city, serves as the primary railway hub of its province with 10 daily trains not including Eastern and Oriental Express services.
Long distance trains currently depart from Krung Thep Aphiwat Central Station 11km outside of Chiang Mai; local and regional trains continue to depart from Chiang Mai itself. Tickets may be purchased at either station; we recommend purchasing them online prior to arriving.
The ticket offices on the concourse are well organized with TV screens above each window showing which tickets they sell. A food court and left luggage counter can also be found just past the main entrance. In addition, Bangkok railway station also features a Cargo office where parcels can be sent back home or forwarded onward within Thailand.
Traveling between Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai by train is an enjoyable and entertaining way to discover this historical city. Experience Thai culture while seeing stunning countryside views!
Experience another culture is one of the great joys of travel, and many travellers make this trip one of their highlights in Thailand. From its ancient UNESCO ruins and serene temples to natural attractions and natural sites – this journey should not be missed out upon!
There are various methods available to you for reaching Chiang Mai: bus and train services depart from both Chiang Mai Airport and its main bus station in town respectively, with each having its own set of advantages and disadvantages; train journeys provide particularly breathtaking sights.
Chiang Mai offers an easy method for reaching trains with its regular non air-con buses leaving every hour or two from 06:00 to 17:00 at Chiang Mai Arcade bus station – journey time 3 hours 30 minutes with fare of approximately 60 baht per rider. Air conditioning coaches may also be an option at an increased cost.
One of the best ways to explore Chiang Mai is on two wheels, providing an economical and convenient method. Chiang Mai offers stunning jungle scenes, waterfalls and elephant sanctuaries as well as serene temples like Wat Phra That Doi Suthep – making a motorbike tour worthwhile in this tranquil northern city.
The railway station can be found on the eastern bank of Ping River, about 15 minutes’ walk from the city center. Train tracks run south towards Bangkok with only five trains daily operating the full journey; faster intercity trains provide more on board amenities for travellers with limited time available to them.
State Railway of Thailand (SRT) makes purchasing tickets for all long distance trains leaving Chiang Mai easy via their website, with departure times and dates clearly displayed on-screen before you buy tickets online or booking them in person at gate 4 on the 1st floor – although keep in mind that platforms don’t open until at least 20 minutes prior to departure time!
You will find restaurants in the forecourt on the left-hand side of the building and food stands inside the main station building after ticket counters. Platform 3’s restaurant offers excellent value with friendly staff; toilets can also be found beyond its information desk on this side of the concourse.
At the train station there are various shops, souvenir stands, a money changer, snacks and drinks stalls as well as taxi stands offering transportation between hotels in the city center – they cost approximately 50 baht from here! Alternatively you could take a taxi ride directly from outside of the train station, with many available at its taxi stand outside – to any hotel within that vicinity.
There is also a baggage office at the station, open 24h. Travellers travelling north can collect their ticket at Bossotel across from the station for a 70 baht fee or in Chiang Rai from the baggage room for 150 baht if going direct. Travel agencies sell train tickets as well; unfortunately some practice scalping by reselling bulk tickets purchased from SRT; SRT should take steps to stop such practices at their stations.
Getting a Ticket
Train travel in Thailand can be an unforgettable experience that immerses you in local culture. This form of transportation is popular with visitors looking to see everything that the country has to offer and is ideal for people short on time or uneasy with driving.
Chiang Mai Railway Station can be reached easily and tickets can be reserved online or by calling their booking office ahead of time. Your passport should also be ready along with 20 percent deposit payment; any outstanding balance will be settled when arriving on departure day. Alternatively, tickets can also be bought directly at the station itself from helpful staff who speak some English.
Train 9/10 is considered to be the premier sleeper train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, featuring high-quality Chinese-built sleeping cars and a restaurant car, along with breathtaking northbound scenery during daylight. Train 13/14 offers regular three-tier service featuring padded seats and open windows with no air conditioning and generally less comfort than 2nd class travel.
Upgrade from 3rd class to 2nd class on certain long distance routes is possible for an additional fee and wait time, though not all trains offer 2nd class carriages; therefore it is wise to double check before making your reservations.
State Railways of Thailand provides both online and telephone ticket purchases. Foreigners have their own dedicated number where operators speak English fluently. You will need to provide them with your name, passport number and contact info in order to purchase tickets at one of its stations. After purchasing tickets you will be given a 10-digit reference number which must be collected upon collection at that station.
Getting a Cabin
For an economical commute from Chiang Mai to Bangkok, book a two-bed sleeper cabin. These cost 1463 THB for top bunk and 1653 for bottom bunk fares; tickets may be purchased either at the station or online through travel agent; it’s highly recommended that tickets be bought this way as it saves time.
Sleeping car seats offer less privacy than cabins but are cheaper. Food service on board the train is quite limited; typically providing pre-packed rice-based lunch, coffee and soft drinks as part of your ticket price; for added variety bring along food and drinks of your own if possible.
Chinese-built sleeping-cars were introduced on trains 9 & 10, offering far more comfort than their Thai-built predecessors with nine 2-berth compartments opening off of a corridor.
Trains 13 & 14 offer more traditional sleeper cars. However, trains 9 & 10 provide the optimal nighttime journey experience as they pass the most breathtaking landscape near Chiang Mai during daylight and have restaurant cars with opening windows.
If travelling with multiple friends or family, booking an entire cabin will provide more space and ensure all can remain together. Solo travellers have the option of sharing with another passenger provided they notify staff during booking; however, this person must share your sex.
The train station lies 3.3 km to the east of Tha Pae Gate (one of four ancient entrances into Old Bangkok) and 2.3 km west of Chan Klang Road & Night Bazaar area, making it too far for many with luggage to walk comfortably; therefore it would be wiser to book accommodation close by or flag down a tuk-tuk from outside.