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Train and Transportation in Thailand

Train and Transportation in Thailand

Thailand, known for its vibrant culture, stunning beaches, and rich history, is a popular tourist destination for travellers from all over the world. One of the most efficient and cost-effective ways to get around the country is by train. The Thai railway system is extensive, covering nearly 4,000 kilometers of track, and it connects major cities such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Surat Thani, among others. In this article, we will take a closer look at train transportation in Thailand, including its history, types of trains, routes, and travel tips.

Read more: Things to Keep in Mind If You Choose Flights to Thailand

History of Train Transportation in Thailand

The railway system in Thailand dates back to the late 1800s, during the reign of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V). He was interested in modernizing the country and believed that railroads were essential for economic growth. Therefore, he ordered the construction of the first railway line from Bangkok to Ayutthaya in 1890. The railway system expanded rapidly during the following decades, and by the 1930s, it covered most of the country.

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Types of Trains

There are four types of trains in Thailand: rapid, express, special express, and diesel railcar. Rapid trains are the slowest and stop at every station along the route. Express trains are faster, make fewer stops, and provide more comfortable seating. Special express trains are the most luxurious and fastest trains in the country, with reclining seats, air conditioning, and food services. Diesel railcars are smaller, self-propelled trains that are often used for short journeys.

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Routes

The railway network in Thailand covers most of the country, and trains run regularly between major cities. The most popular route is the one that connects Bangkok and Chiang Mai, which takes around 12 hours and offers stunning views of the countryside. Other popular routes include the one that goes from Bangkok to Surat Thani, the gateway to Koh Samui and other islands in the Gulf of Thailand, and the one that goes from Bangkok to the Cambodian border, allowing travellers to cross the border by train.

Travel Tips

When travelling by train in Thailand, it’s essential to book your ticket in advance, especially if you plan to travel during peak seasons such as Christmas, New Year, or Songkran (Thai New Year). Tickets can be purchased online or at any train station in the country. It’s also essential to arrive at the station at least 30 minutes before departure, as the trains are often punctual and you don’t want to miss your ride.

Another important tip is to bring warm clothing, as the air conditioning on the trains can be very strong, especially during long journeys. It’s also recommended to bring your food and drinks, as the food served on the trains can be limited and expensive.

Conclusion

Train transportation in Thailand is an excellent way to explore the country and experience its diverse culture and stunning landscapes. Whether you’re travelling for leisure or business, the railway system offers a comfortable and cost-effective way to get around. By understanding the history, types of trains, routes, and travel tips, you can make the most of your train journey in Thailand and create unforgettable memories.

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