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Tips for Taking the Train From Bangkok to Chiang Mai

If traveling to Thailand, you may need to take a train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. There are some Thai experiences you know won’t be much fun—the sleeper train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai is one of them. However, you can’t have an authentic Thai vacation without booking a night train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai! Here are some tips for taking the train from Chian Mai to Bangkok or vice versa.

Quick Tip: Book accommodation, tours, and transport ahead of time online to save money and stress. 
Best Chiang Mai ToursClick here to check out the top Chiang Mai tours
Best Chiang Mai Accommodation: Click here to check out the best accommodation in Chiang Mai
Best Chiang Mai Transport: Click here to book a bus, ferry, or train in Chiang Mai

Train From Bangkok to Chiang Mai: Pros and Cons

Why Travel On a Night Train Bangkok to Chiang Mai

  • You will save money on accommodations
  • You can make the most of your time in Thailand traveling during the night
  • It is very cheap
  • Taking a train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai is fun!

Why Not to Travel On a Sleeper Train Bangkok to Chiang Mai

  • Sleeping on a Thai night train is virtually impossible

Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?

The Insurance companies I recommend are Hey Mondo and Safety Wing

Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single-trip cover, annual multi-trip cover, and long-term travel cover. Safety Wing is great value, with monthly coverage starting at $45.08. It’s super easy to use, and it just renews each month. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy.

Read my full travel insurance post here, where I go into detail about all companies. 

How to Take the Train From Bangkok to Chiang Mai

Many people take the train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and skip Ayuttaya. I recommend spending half a day exploring Ayuttaya’s temples if possible. In Bangkok, you take a tuk-tuk to the train station.

Chiang Mai Thailand - 3 week Thailand Itinerary | night train from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai

Night Train Bangkok to Chiang Mai Cost

When I last took the train from Chiang Mai to Bangkok and back, train tickets cost 766 THB for the top bunk and 856 THB for the bottom. This was a few years ago, so it’s likely more expensive now.

There is a ticket price difference since the bottom bed was bigger. If you have a preference, let them know when booking your train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. Purchase your ticket early in the day, as they sell out—better yet, book online here.

Quick Tip: View my full Thailand packing guide here including a downloadable checklist. And check out my Thailand Essentials shopping list here.

My Night Train Bangkok to Chiang Mai Experience

Tips for Taking the Train From Bangkok to Chiang Mai

My travel buddy, Laura, was ill, so she asked the staff to convert the bed so she could sleep as soon as we boarded. Watching this was enough to make my journey—watch how the seats convert on the night train here.

I wasn’t ready to sleep, so I headed to the restaurant carriage for dinner. The food was great, and they offered a set menu until 11:00 p.m. The price was pretty reasonable, about 120 THB for soup, two meals, rice, fruit, and a drink.

Getting into bed freaked me out as it reminded me of being on board a ship, but it was comfy. I struggled to sleep on the train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, though I was unsure if it was the noise or the movement. The following day, about one hour before we got to Chiang Mai, the porter woke everyone still sleeping. In each carriage, you will find a sink and two toilets where you can freshen up.

Top Tip: There are two toilets in each carriage—one is a traditional Thai hole-in-the-floor toilet, and one is a Western sit-down toilet.

Looking for somewhere to stay? Check out these options!

Green Sleep Hostel
Wiriya House
Fav Inn Town

Thailand Travel Guide Planning

🧳 Any recommendations on what I should pack for Thailand?

Yes! I have created a whole packing guide to Thailand which you can read here and you can also check out my packing list for Thailand on Amazon here.

👩‍⚕️ What is the best insurance to have while traveling?

I recommend using Heymondo for a great value policy. The app also offers you 24/7 Dr Chat. For Digital Nomads check out SafetyWing digital nomad insurance. I have also written a blog post covering all my recommended travel insurance here

✈️ Any flight recommendations?

WayAWay offers you cheap flights with cashback. You can use this code CLAIRE22 to get 10% off. Otherwise Skyscanner or Expedia are my go to flight searching platforms.

🚗 Where can I book rental cars or private transportation?

I strongly recommend using 12Go or Bookaway. There are many transport options available such as train, bus, and ferry.

I would strongly advice against driving a car in Thailand but you can easily rent a scooter locally.

🎫 Where can I buy tickets for museums, attractions, and tours in Thailand?

First and foremost check out all of the amazing Thailand tours Where Sidewalks End has. They are a small local company and they have some really special experiences.

For everything else I recommend either Viator or GetYour Guide

📱What do you use for internet connection while traveling?

I’m a big fan of personal WiFi devices and they have saved my ass so many times when traveling. I wrote a full review of the top travel WiFi devices you can read here. I personally use GlocalMe as I can either pop in a physical sim card or use their local carrier.

With regards to my phone connection, I use e-sims while traveling, so rather than having to swap out my regular sim card I can download the app and buy a virtual sim card. I recommend using either Airhub or Alosim. Both have great coverage of multiple countries and are very easy to use.

🛏️ What is the best platform to use for booking accommodation?

The 3 best platforms that I normally use are, and Expedia. They offer great deals and multiple options. I always check all three to be sure of the best deals. However, Agoda is highly recommended in Thailand and it has the most selection.

🛅 Do you have any luggage recommendations for traveling?

I do have a complete list of the best packing and luggage products that I recommend, you can check the list here. I’m currently traveling with this suitcase and this backpack. 

Taking the Train From Bangkok to Chiang Mai: Final Thoughts

Overall, taking the train from Chiang Mai to Bangkok or vice versa is easy, convenient, and comfortable. Arriving in Chian Mai can be overwhelming, as with many places in Thailand! You will be greeted by many people shouting “taxi” and trying to take you to various accommodations. I recommend going straight to the information desk for a map. If you haven’t booked anywhere to stay, grab a coffee at the little cafe and review the map to get your bearings.

This post was proofread by Grammarly.

Tips for taking the night train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai.


Monday 15th of July 2019

Where can you pre book your ticket for the night train? Or can you only book at the station?