Slow train to Chiang Mai

Monday, May 14th, 2012

  • Last night I took the overnight sleeper train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. Doing this makes me almost never want to get back on another flight again!

    I had no choice but to get a first class cabin, which sounds a lot more opulent than it was in reality. The small private cabin was equipped with the spoils of first class travel in the form of broken table, a small hand basin that was broken, a broken service intercom, and a TV/Video player that was also broken.

    However, I didn’t take this overnight sleeper to luxuriate in the privacy of my first class cabin, I took it for the adventure and romance of the rails. To that end it didn’t disappoint me.

    Thanks to a handy website that gave me some great tips about traveling by rail in Thailand, I learned that there was a restaurant car in the middle of the train and that eating there was an experienced not to be missed.

    That was a great tip. With its windows open the restaurant car was hot and noisy. That might sound unpleasant, but I assure you it was actually a lot of fun, and after three nights sleeping on various sleeper trains I am a convert to overnight rail travel. Yes I do appreciate the convenience and speed of aeroplanes, but as I travel through 2012 I’ll be looking for more opportunities to travel by train.