Page 1 of 6 123456 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 141
  1. #1
    Thailand Expat
    Mendip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Last Online
    Today @ 02:49 AM
    Location
    Korat
    Posts
    3,126

    A train trip to Bangkok

    My daughter is on her summer hols just now, I should be off to work (fingers crossed) at the end of the month, and I wanted to give her some kind of holiday before I go.

    I like the coast but our usual destination of Rayong was extremely busy and almost fully booked, and also, when considering the wet weather just now, I decided to look for an alternative.

    I've never been on a train in Thailand and the daughter has never been on a train full stop. This was something I decided to remedy.

    The train trip from Korat to Bangkok is supposed to be one of the most picturesque in the country... passing down through the mountains of Khao Yai and Pak Chong and then across the hinterland to Bangkok. The railway line hugs the north west margins of Lamtakong, the huge reservoir at the edge of Khao Yai, so photo opportunities abound. Mittrapparp Road (Highway 2) passes along the south east side of Lamtakong, and the vast majority of people have never seen it other than from the road. I was particularly hoping to get some good photos of the new elevated motorway section that runs above Mittraparp Road in this area, from across the reservoir. That would really add to any photo thread.

    I was so excited about our train trip I took the daughter to the station a day early to make sure we had tickets. I must admit she wasn't quite as excited as me... and asked if I could drive to Bangkok instead. She just wasn't getting it... the point of this trip WAS the train journey... not just going to Bangkok. When I said no way was I driving, she asked if we could get the bus 'cos it's quicker'... A smelly old crowded bus! No way. She just didn't understand.

    So off we go to get our tickets. I forgot to take a picture of Korat Railway Station, so here is one I've had to borrow from Coco's thread



    And two Second Class tickets which I was assured would guarantee aircon. There was no First Class option! The lady selling the tickets kept asking me if I wanted 'sit back'... she was most insistent and just wouldn't give up. I had no idea what she was on about, so in the end just said yes to keep her quiet. So, we left the station armed with two Second Class 'sit back' tickets for the next day to Bangkok. The cost... 268 Baht for the littlun and 325 Baht for my good self. Not too bad at all and about a fifteenth the cost of my last train trip a few years ago from London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads.


  2. #2
    Member
    Shutree's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 11:27 AM
    Location
    One heartbeat away from eternity
    Posts
    648
    "I like the coast but our usual destination of Rayong was extremely busy and almost fully booked."

    Rayong is probably best avoided right now, with the return of Covid.

    Interesting that it was almost fully booked. That runs counter to the narrative that the hotel industry is in crisis.

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat
    Mendip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Last Online
    Today @ 02:49 AM
    Location
    Korat
    Posts
    3,126
    ^ When we arrived in Bangkok I mentioned this to the girls at reception and they said it's because all the Thais are holidaying domestically so coastal spots are very busy. Bangkok Hotels are suffering and we got a very good deal!

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    38,406
    Something very cool about train trips. I had the idea for a long time to do one of the famous ones such as the Oriental Express or Trans-Siberian with my sons... And then I saw the prices and quickly forgot all about it.

    Enjoy the trip!

  5. #5
    The Fool on the Hill bowie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    นนทบุรี
    Posts
    5,789
    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    A train trip to Bangkok
    Uhm... Mendip, listen to your daughter - she has wisdom beyond her years.

    Decades ago I did the train ride from Bangkok to Chiang Mai - air traffic had many cancelled flights way back then. So we did a train run... telling myself you get to see the real country. And, yes, I did.

    If you've seen one kilometer of jungle you've seen it all. If you've seen one kilometer of rice fields you've seen it all. If you've seen one kilometer of...

    You get my drift. Trains are boring, trains are slow, trains make lots of stops, trains are noisy and can be pretty uncomfortable...

    Good luck - POV is the way to go.

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat
    Mendip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Last Online
    Today @ 02:49 AM
    Location
    Korat
    Posts
    3,126
    ^^ I like the idea of train trips, but have probably been on a train less than ten times in my life. I'm not very good with public transport and tend to either drive or use taxis. Air travel is no problem.

    My last train journey several years ago (from London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads) was a disaster. I sat right at the end of the carriage close to the door because I'm always nervous about not getting off in time at the destination. About half way through the trip there was this knocking sound... which everyone (including me) just ignored. Then it was accompanied by this muffled shouting. I tried to ignore it, but everyone on the carriage was staring at me... I mean FFS just because I was closest to the door it seemed that it was my responsibility to sort it out. I'm not an experienced train traveller and just wanted to stay anonymous.

    So I followed the noise and found that an old lady had locked herself in the toilet and couldn't get out. She was hammering on the door and shouting... and starting to panic a bit. I mean, FFS... I knocked on the door back to her and she started yelling at me how to open the door? FFS... I hadn't been on a train in years so I had no idea... so went back into the carriage and asked everyone in general how to open the toilet door. Most people just ignored me, but thankfully one lady came to my help and sorted it out. It turned there was a bladdy great button with a picture of a key on that you have to press. Why she couldn't have figured that out I don't know.

    That put me off train travel until this trip... which was mainly about the reluctant daughter a new experience to be honest.

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat
    kmart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 03:01 PM
    Location
    Rayong.
    Posts
    11,495
    When I first arrived here in '93, I took the overnight train from Rayong to Khon Kaen with a sleeper carriage. I didn't sleep all that well, tbh. Seemed to be large gaps between points that shook the train about too much. The food (and beer) and service on board made the journey well worth it, though.

    Good thread, Mendip. Still intrigued about the "sit back" tickets, btw. Any updates.?

  8. #8
    Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    958
    That's cool, Mendip! I hope you and your daughter enjoy! Taking the train in Thailand is a sloooow moving experience from what I recall.
    I took the train in Thailand from Bangkok to Ayutthaya once. It was hard seats, hot and I could barely get my luggage onto the train it was so big. It was enjoyable otherwise to see the views.

    Once you travel on high speed trains it is hard to go back to these slower moving trains.

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat
    kmart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 03:01 PM
    Location
    Rayong.
    Posts
    11,495
    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    ^^ I like the idea of train trips, but have probably been on a train less than ten times in my life. I'm not very good with public transport and tend to either drive or use taxis. Air travel is no problem.
    Booking a train ticket online in the UK is a royal pain in the arse. A couple of years ago, we traveled from York to Edinburgh and had somehow 'activated' the train tickets one day previously to the actual journey, which meant they were invalid and we had to pay again... Complete balls-up of a system.

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat

    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 12:57 PM
    Location
    nakhon ratchasima
    Posts
    1,631
    my experiance of korat-bkk.was not incident free,1993 i weighed around 130kilo,so sat on a wooden seat was not very comfortable,that was till i went through it and ended up on the carriage floor.the wife moved us quick to another carriage otherwise i would have had to pay for the seat.then sat.next to an open window i was hit smack in the face by an over hanging banana type leaf as the train made its way through thick growth.first and last.cant wait for the bullet train to run korat to bkk.just hope the track is well maintained and all bolts tight.

  11. #11
    Thailand Expat
    Mendip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Last Online
    Today @ 02:49 AM
    Location
    Korat
    Posts
    3,126
    So anyway, yesterday we were dropped off at Nakhon Ratchasima Railway Station at 09:45 to give plenty of time for the excitement to sink in for the 10:18 departure to Bangkok.

    We walked into the foyer and a girl behind a desk called me over... "Meester... meester... hello"...

    I proudly showed her my pre-bought tickers and told we were off to Bangkok.

    "deelay... three hour... accident... train deelay..."

    Well bollocks to that... I wanted to go on a train but not that badly!

    I told her no problem, I'll get a bladdy bus. Amazingly, and I didn't ask or expect it, she took my tickets and returned with the full refund of 593 Baht. That was pretty cool... imagine getting a full refund every time a train's delayed in the UK!

    What to do? There were no taxis or tuk-tuks around, so I called the gardener who had just dropped us off...

    Before leaving the station though, I managed to get a few pics of trains...

    This was where I was hoping to stand, waiting for our train...



    And while I was standing there... a train came along...



    ... and headed off in the direction of Bangkok. I don't know why they couldn't have got this one to stop and pick us up?



    The gardener must have done a quick U-turn and arrived to pick us up 10 minutes later. We were off to the bus station! In fairness to the daughter she did at least try and hide her smile.

    Korat bus station is only 15 minutes away and in my disappointment I forgot to take a pic, so another I've borrowed from Coco's thread (and this one hasn't been used yet).



    There's a load of bus companies that go to Bangkok... but I usually just try and get the next available departure. As luck would have it Nakhonchai21 had seats on the 10:30 departure which was only 12 minutes after our train was supposed to leave.



    Only 209 Baht each as well! Nakhonchai21 also have good aircon, reclining seats (sit back???) phone charging points and wifi! Can't be bad.



    To be honest it wasn't quite the view I was hoping for, and the thread isn't turning out to be the photographic feast of Thai scenery I was hoping for, but we were actually going to arrive at the Morchit bus terminal half an hour before the train would have arrived at Hua Lamphong. That can't be bad... it lessened my disappointment and the daughter was overjoyed!

    One thing I did notice however... despite the price hike from 196 Baht up to 209 Baht, they have stopped giving you a free bottle of water and packet of crisps... the 'New normal' maybe?



    The bus trip passed without incident, we arrived at Morchit at 14:30 and on to our Sukhumvit hotel 30 minutes later.

    First up... what should any responsible father do with a nine year old daughter in Bangkok... yep... find a pint of cider!

  12. #12
    Member
    Shutree's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 11:27 AM
    Location
    One heartbeat away from eternity
    Posts
    648
    Coco is at Korat Bus Station.

    I knew I'd get one eventually.


  13. #13
    Thailand Expat
    Klondyke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 11:07 PM
    Posts
    7,599
    Had the bus a video? Usually, if there is a problem with video, the bus cannot drive unless the video problem is fixed. Then, at last everybody's happy, the bus can drive, the curtains are closed and everybody will sleep...

  14. #14
    Thailand Expat
    katie23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    PI
    Posts
    4,696
    @mendip - thanks for the pics & stories. It's nice that you're exposing your daughter to different kinds of public transport and experiences. Now that my dad is gone, I fondly remember the times when we travelled. They were few & far between due to limited $$, but they were nice. Maybe it's like viewing them through rose-colored glasses of childhood, but they're good memories.

    Re: trains, I like trying them out. I took the sleeper train (BKK - CNX) - just to have the experience of a sleeper train. Return trip was by plane. I've also taken the Hanoi to Hue (sleeper train) and 3-hour Hue to Danang train in Vietnam. When the pandemic is over, I'd like to return to Vietnam and take the Hanoi to Sapa sleeper train.

    I've also been on an overnight ship/ ferry, as well as a roll-on, roll-off (RORO) cargo ferry during Christmas holidays, so it was peak season & the ports were full. Not an experience that I'm in a hurry to repeat, but it was interesting. As they say, it's the journey & not the destination. Cheers!

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat
    Mendip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Last Online
    Today @ 02:49 AM
    Location
    Korat
    Posts
    3,126
    Quote Originally Posted by Shutree View Post
    Coco is at Korat Bus Station.

    I knew I'd get one eventually.

    Well done! Green sent.

  16. #16
    Thailand Expat
    Mendip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Last Online
    Today @ 02:49 AM
    Location
    Korat
    Posts
    3,126
    Quote Originally Posted by Klondyke View Post
    Had the bus a video? Usually, if there is a problem with video, the bus cannot drive unless the video problem is fixed. Then, at last everybody's happy, the bus can drive, the curtains are closed and everybody will sleep...
    Yes... you can see the video screen above Seat 1C in the pic above. These 'comedy' shows can only be played at top volume it seems, but I always go armed with some noise cancelling headphones. Mind it would take some fancy technology to adequately cancel out that Thai screeching.

    Unfortunately the bus wifi wasn't working... but on the good side neither was the onboard 'entertainment'. Maybe the two are related?

    But curtains were closed nonetheless. so no pics from the journey.

  17. #17
    Thailand Expat
    Klondyke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 11:07 PM
    Posts
    7,599
    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    These 'comedy' shows can only be played at top volume it seems,
    In Thailand the volume buttons are locked in the max position, it cannot be changed...

  18. #18
    Thailand Expat
    Mendip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Last Online
    Today @ 02:49 AM
    Location
    Korat
    Posts
    3,126
    ^^^^ I must admit Katie that I've pretty much lost my enjoyment of the journey these days... I just want to get there. I must be getting old.

    The daughter is happier watching Netflix downloads on her tablet than looking out of the window... a sign of the times I guess.

    Anyway... instead of my usual choice when in Bangkok solo, I booked a half decent hotel for the sake of my daughter. I want her to remember this as something different so I decided on a high floor room with a good view and a place with a decent swimming pool. And of course the availability of draught cider within a reasonable walk.

    The view didn't disappoint...



    This is what caught the daughter's eye...



    And closer...



    Not a job I'd like to do on the 28th floor... even if there is a glass barrier along the balcony.

    Of course it was Soi Cowboy that caught my eye... although I don't think a visit there would be appropriate... ?

  19. #19
    Thailand Expat
    Mendip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Last Online
    Today @ 02:49 AM
    Location
    Korat
    Posts
    3,126
    The first thing to cross off my daughter's list was a visit to an English style pub that serves draught cider... oh, and some food. The Robin Hood, about a 20 minute walk away, ticks both boxes.

    I've recently got meself a new pair of glasses and find that sometimes I struggle with distances... The first thing I did after we sat down was reach out for my pint of Thatchers Gold, misjudge it's position, and knock the bloody thing over. The pint went across the table, luckily just missed my left leg and what didn't land on the seat between us completely soaked me daughter. She wasn't impressed at all at her first solo trip to a pub with her father. The girls made a half-hearted attempt to mop up but the seat was soaked, so we moved to an adjacent table where I purchased my second pint of the day about 5 minutes after the first.

    I sometimes can't believe that I'm living in a city that doesn't sell draught cider... what I'd give for this in Korat.



    We then spent a most enjoyable hour watching groups of customers sit at our previous table... for about 10 seconds flat until one of the group sat in my cider puddle. The daughter was most embarrassed by all this but followed my lead and just watched and smiled. Oh, and if anyone reading this is the Eastern European chap wearing very pale jeans... I'm sorry about that but there was really no reason to get so angry... I'm sure they're dry by now!

    On the way back to the hotel we passed Villa Market... so what else could I do?

    Let the holiday begin!


  20. #20
    splendid and tremendous
    somtamslap's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 02:21 PM
    Location
    Down on the farm
    Posts
    13,746
    Well, it's bloody good start - hopefully you'll get the train back. Feel free to stop of in Pak Chong, my old stomping ground, to take a pic or two. My name's mud in most of the bars there so keep the fact that you're an acquaintance of the Great White Sozzled Slap under your hat.

    Very much looking forward to the rest of the thread whatever happens.

    Ant - I too have looked into the Trans-Siberian, second class tickets look quite reasonable, same cost as a flight from UK to Thai.

  21. #21
    Thailand Expat armstrong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    3,126
    Gammon and chips is always a good choice in the British pubs. I normally burn the roof of my mouth with the first bite so don't taste anything after that

  22. #22
    splendid and tremendous
    somtamslap's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 02:21 PM
    Location
    Down on the farm
    Posts
    13,746
    And Nakhon Chai Tours - christ, that's a blast from the past. If there's any good reason to favour the train over the bus it's that the likelihood of completing the journey having retained your status of being alive is vastly increased. Bus drivers over there are fucking MENTAL, and I'm minded of a crash in Muak Lek circa 2007 - on a bus I potentially would've been on - when after stopping to address a brake issue in Pak Chong, the driver, with a full capacity bus, drove off on his merry way before the brakes eventually failed, the bus burst into flames and careered into a ditch and everyone on board, save for a handful, perished in the flames. I was on a bus that passed the wreckage the next day. It was chilling.

    Get the train back. Or a taxi. Or walk. Anything but a bus.

  23. #23
    Member
    Shutree's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 11:27 AM
    Location
    One heartbeat away from eternity
    Posts
    648
    I like trains. Last year I was in the UK and waiting for a train to London when this rocked up unexpectedly on the opposite platform. I came over all Harry Potterish.

    A train trip to Bangkok-img-20190804-jpg

    For Mendip: Where's Shutree?

  24. #24
    Thailand Expat
    Mendip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Last Online
    Today @ 02:49 AM
    Location
    Korat
    Posts
    3,126
    ^ Well, my tired eyes can just make out 'Duchess of Sutherland' as the train's name, which I must admit I've never heard of before. As for the station... some bleak Scottish station maybe?

    I don't know why, but was reminded of this clip of The Flying Scotsman...


  25. #25
    Thailand Expat
    Mendip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Last Online
    Today @ 02:49 AM
    Location
    Korat
    Posts
    3,126
    Quote Originally Posted by armstrong View Post
    Gammon and chips is always a good choice in the British pubs. I normally burn the roof of my mouth with the first bite so don't taste anything after that
    The gammon was great and having some peas was a bonus. Would have been perfect with a soft egg yoke!

Page 1 of 6 123456 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •