If you’re planning to do some train travel throughout Thailand and you’re feeling nervous about what to expect with Thailand train travel, then this guide is for you!
Trust me, I was super apprehensive when trying to plan out my Thailand travels, especially when I knew that Asia’s standards aren’t quite the same compared to Western countries. But let me tell ya, I was pretty impressed at the ease, safety and convenience of travelling through Thailand by train.
In this guide, I will share with you tips to consider when visiting the Chiang Mai train station, along with my personal experience so that you know what to expect when you pass through this train station.
Arriving at the Chiang Mai train station to take the overnight train to Bangkok
I was feeling ever so sad to leave Chiang Mai, but we needed to continue our journey to Bangkok before heading to Cambodia. Because we had a decent experience taking the overnight train from Surat Thani to Bangkok, we decided to take the overnight train again. This time, we were leaving from Chiang Mai to Bangkok.
Since Chiang Mai is a very compact city, a ride to the train station is fifteen minutes max. Our goal was to arrive at the train station one hour before departure.
Like everything else in Chiang Mai, this train station is pretty old and has been operating since 1922 by The State Railway of Thailand. Over one million passengers pass through the Chiang Mai train station on an annual basis. That’s nuts considering how the size of the train station.
Kim from our apartment arranged a songthaew ride to the station for 120 baht. It’s weird that a Tuk Tuk ride would cost about 150 baht, considering how the vehicles are much smaller and a cab ride would have been cheaper.
We arrived at the Chiang Mai station and start to scan the area
First thing’s first! Find some snacks to take on the train! The last time we were at the train station was late at night. It was dark, rainy, and all we remember were the dozens of cab drivers, all vying for our business. The train station looks much bigger and safer in the daytime.
While there are little stores just outside the train station, we don’t see anything appealing and decide to wander the area. Our wandering came to a complete stop when we found a 7-eleven! Time to stock up on some snacks!
After spending a good thirty minutes on snack shopping, we go back to the train station to see if our train has arrived yet. Surprisingly, our train is thirty minutes early, so off the train we go!
There indeed wasn’t much to explore on the train station anyways since the train station was so small.
Buying tickets at the Chiang Mai train station
While you can buy tickets at the station, we bought our tickets in advance. You can either buy the tickets on 12go.Asia, or the Thailand railway website. You can buy your ticket on the same day of departure, although it is advisable to book your tickets in advance.
Can you store your belongings at the Chiang Mai train station?
There is a section where you can leave your luggage. I couldn’t find it though, nor did I feel the need to leave our luggage.
Can you find food at the Chiang Mai train station?
There are some food vendors just outside of the main train station, but there’s also a 7-eleven across the street, which is a great place to stash up on snacks.
Be prepared for a long wait in line though since everyone taking the train probably has the same idea as you.
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