Take the Night Train from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai
In this post, I want to share our experience of travelling from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai by train. We’ve taken a lot of overnight trains in different countries and it can be a great way of travelling. Not only do they get you comfortably to your destination but you also save the cost of a hotel room for the night.
Thai train are actually pretty good generally and the ones running on this line are new and very clean. In fact, this is the Bangkok to Chiang Mai train which you just pick up at Ayutthaya Railway Station. It’s always easier to get on the train at its original station as you have longer to find your carriage but don’t let that put you off.
Be in the right spot for boarding
Since you only have a short time to get on the train at intermediate stations it’s important to be in the correct place. So, one useful tip is to ask one of the porters or station officials where your carriage will stop. Sometimes there are markers on the platform to indicate where each carriage will stop but unfortunately, this isn’t the case at Ayutthaya train station. Nevertheless, we found a helpful station official who not only told us where to wait but walked us down to make sure we were in the correct spot. The platform at Ayutthaya Train Station is really long and our carriage stopped right at the far end. So we really needed to be down there in advance.
Ayutthaya Railway Station is just over the river which surrounds the central Historical District so to get there we hired a songthaew taxi from our hotel. It only takes 10 minutes and there’s really no other option.
Why Travel First Class?
There are several trains daily from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai. We chose the 19:45 train because it has 1st class as well as 2nd class carriages. Although you pay more for the First Class compartments I think it’s worth it. Firstly, the 1st class compartments are 2 berths so we get the space to ourselves which is nice. Secondly, there are less of them per carriages so that means fewer people queueing for the toilets. Thirdly, fewer people generally means it’s quieter. All in all, I think that makes it worthwhile to pay the higher price. We paid £40 per person which is pretty good value I think. If you’re on a budget then 2nd-class is half that fare.
Buying Thai Train Tickets
A quick tip about buying Thai train tickets. You can purchase tickets for many trains in Thailand online by using this link https://www.baolau.com. It’s quick and easy and best of all, you get an e-ticket which you print at home. Unfortunately, they don’t sell tickets for all Thai trains but we bought most of ours through the website. It’s an official website and perfectly safe to use.
Definitely buy your Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai train tickets through the website mentioned above. However, if they’ve sold their quota or you’re looking for a train they don’t sell tickets for then there is an agency which can help. So try https://12go.asia/en and they’ll have tickets. I’ve used them a lot when travelling in Thailand and they’re very reliable. You don’t get e-tickets with them though but you can collect at various stations around Thailand or at their office in Bangok. We called into their office to pick up some tickets on our last trip and they are very friendly. They even give you a free bottle of water.
Shop for Supplies
We arrived at the station quite early because we wanted to pick up some supplies at the supermarket before boarding the train. If you also want to shop there are two supermarkets nearby. To find the stores, stand in front of the station facing the road. Cross the road and turn left. Walk a short way and you will find a 7/11 (you find these everywhere in Thailand) and also a Tesco Express. You’ll also pass a number of food stalls and restaurants if you want a meal before you leave.
There’s also a coffee shop and restaurant at Ayutthaya Railway Station. In fact, it’s a pretty nice station with free clean toilets and plenty of benches to sit while you’re waiting. We were also impressed with the amount of information available on the various screens which tell you which trains are due and if they are on time.