How To Get From Bangkok To Chiang Mai By Train

Are you planning to visit Chiang Mai while in Thailand? Great, because I share exactly how to get from Bangkok to Chiang Mai by train in this post.

My wife and I went to Chiang Mai, back in 2011 and since that was the 2nd time I went to Thailand, we had the choice to take the fast route, which was by airplane, or the tourist route, which was by bus or train.

I wanted to see more of Thailand, so we took the overnight sleeper train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, which took about 12 hours.

Back then, we started our trip from Hua Lamphong station, which was the main railway station. Nowadays you’ll start your journey from Bang Sue, or the official name for this station is Krung Thep Aphiwat Central Terminal.

If you’re curious, Krung Thep is the official Thai name for Bangkok.

Train going from Bangkok to Chiang Mai  through a green scenery. It has a white bridge in the background and mountains.

Key Takeaways:

  • The route from Bangkok to Chiang Mai offers a scenic and immersive way to explore Thailand.
  • Understanding the train schedule and ticket options can help you plan a smooth journey.
  • Choosing the right seat type is essential for comfort and budget considerations.
  • Booking your train tickets online can save you time and ensure availability.
  • Being familiar with train amenities and knowing what to expect before you’re leaving, will enhance your overall experience.

An Overview of Bangkok to Chiang Mai Train Journey

The train journey from Bangkok to Chiang Mai offers a captivating experience through the scenic landscapes of Thailand, providing you with an opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich culture and traditions of the country. As the train chugs along, you get stunning views of the Thai countryside, witnessing picturesque mountains, lush green fields, and charming villages passing by.

At 1 point, we drove right through the jungle and it looked like a scene from the Avatar movie.

Scenic Landscapes and Cultural Insights

The train journey offers cultural insights into local life and traditions. You can catch glimpses of rural communities, observe farmers tending to their fields, and witness the daily activities of villagers along the way. This unique perspective provides a deeper understanding of Thai culture and offers an enriching travel experience.

Old Thai train driving through a poor scenery, showing food stalls on both sides

Understanding Travel Duration and Train Types

The travel duration from Bangkok to Chiang Mai by train can vary depending on the type of train you choose. A couple of train options are available, each with its own travel time and level of comfort.

The overnight sleeper trains are a popular choice for those seeking a faster journey. These trains offer both first-class and second-class sleepers, providing comfortable beds for passengers to rest during the overnight trip. The first-class sleepers offer a more luxurious experience, while the second-class sleepers provide a balance of affordability and convenience.

If you prefer a slower pace and want to enjoy the scenic views during daylight hours, daytime trains are available. These trains offer seating options and allow you to witness the gorgeous landscapes throughout the journey.

It’s important to consider your travel preferences and time constraints when choosing a train type. Whether you go for the speed and privacy of a sleeper train or the leisurely journey of a daytime train, the train journey from Bangkok to Chiang Mai promises to be an unforgettable adventure through the heart of Thailand.

Bangkok to Chiang Mai Train Schedule

When planning your trip from Bangkok to Chiang Mai by train, it’s important to have the train schedule at hand. Several direct trains operate between these two cities throughout the day, making sure you have plenty of options to choose from.

Checking the train schedule will allow you to plan your journey accordingly and ensure that you don’t miss your preferred departure time. Whether you prefer an early-morning train or a late-night departure, knowing the train times from Bangkok to Chiang Mai will help you create a travel itinerary that suits your needs.

By referring to the train timetable from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, you can determine the duration of your journey and manage your time efficiently. Whether you’re planning a short stay in Chiang Mai or a longer exploration of the region, knowing the train schedule will enable you to make the most of your time.

Train standing still at the Bang sue railway station in Bangkok. The train is grey colored with pink and purple stripes.

How To Get From Bangkok To Chiang Mai By Train

To make your journey from Bangkok to Chiang Mai seamless and enjoyable, follow this step-by-step guide on how to get there by train. Whether you’re a budget-conscious traveler or simply seeking a unique way to explore Thailand, the train offers convenient travel options, scenic routes, and an authentic cultural experience.

Different Train Options

There are several train types available for the Bangkok to Chiang Mai route, each offering its level of comfort and amenities. The most popular options include:

  • Express Trains: These trains provide a faster travel time, typically taking around 10-12 hours to reach Chiang Mai from Bangkok. They offer both first and second-class seat options.
  • Sleeper Trains: If you prefer overnight travel, sleeper trains are a great option. They provide beds, allowing you to rest and wake up refreshed in Chiang Mai. Sleeper trains offer various classes, such as first-class AC sleepers and second-class sleepers.
  • Special Tourist Trains: These trains are designed to enhance the travel experience, offering additional amenities such as panoramic windows, dining cars, and entertainment. They provide a more luxurious journey for those seeking extra comfort.

Personally, when my wife and I travel through Thailand, I prefer to take the way of traveling locals use to get the most authentic experience possible.

Ticket Booking Procedures

To secure your train tickets, you have two options: online booking or station booking.

  1. Online Booking: For convenience and peace of mind, consider booking your tickets online in advance. There are several reputable websites and mobile applications where you can easily search for the best train options, compare prices, and make secure bookings. This allows you to choose your preferred train type, select seats, and receive electronic tickets to present when boarding.
  2. Station Booking: If you prefer a more spontaneous approach or have limited access to the internet, you can also purchase your tickets directly at the train station. However, keep in mind that popular routes like Bangkok to Chiang Mai can sell out quickly, especially during peak travel seasons. It’s advisable to arrive at the station early to secure your tickets and ensure availability.

Regardless of your booking method, it’s important to have your passport or identification card with you when purchasing train tickets.

If you want to get the most out of your holiday and don’t want to waste time waiting in long lines, I’d recommend booking your tickets in advance to guarantee your preferred train and seat type and ease of mind.

The most popular site to book your train tickets, which we used ourselves is 12go Asia. Just click here and you can pick your seats right away and check the prices.

Choosing Your Seat: Options and Comfort

When traveling by train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, you have the option to choose from different seat types based on your budget and comfort preferences. This section will explore the options available, including first-class AC sleepers for a more luxurious experience and second-class sleepers for a balance of affordability and convenience.

First-Class AC Sleeper: The Comfortable Night Experience

If you want to enjoy a comfortable and luxurious journey, the first-class AC sleepers are the perfect option. These spacious cabins offer private compartments with wide and comfortable beds, ensuring a peaceful night’s sleep. Each compartment is equipped with air conditioning, power outlets to charge your phone, and reading lights.

Providing all the amenities you need for a comfortable journey. Indulge in the privacy of your own cabin, allowing you to relax and recharge before arriving in Chiang Mai.

Second-Class Sleepers: Balancing Budget and Convenience

If you’re traveling on a budget but still want a comfortable journey, the second-class sleepers are a great choice. These sleeper cars feature bunk beds with curtains for added privacy.

When we went to Chiang Mai by train back in 2011, this is what my wife and I booked and although it wasn’t luxury at all, it really gave cozy vibes to it. We shared a cabin with another couple.

These second-class sleeper trains are more compact than the first-class cabins, but they still offer a comfortable sleeping arrangement and are a popular choice among budget travelers. The second-class sleepers also have air conditioning, power outlets, and reading lights, ensuring a convenient and enjoyable journey without breaking the bank.

showing a bunk bed inside of a Thailand sleeper train, with white sheets and yellow curtains

Preparing for the Trip: Ticket Booking Procedures

To ensure a smooth and hassle-free train journey from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, it’s crucial to be prepared and understand the ticket booking procedures. Here is a step-by-step guide on how and when to book your train tickets.

  1. Choose the Right Train Type: Determine the train type that suits your preferences and needs. Consider factors such as travel duration, comfort, and amenities.
  2. Check the Train Schedule: Visit the official website of the State Railway of Thailand to access the train schedule. Identify the departure and arrival times that align with your travel plans.
  3. Plan Ahead: Train tickets for popular routes like Bangkok to Chiang Mai tend to sell out quickly, especially during peak travel seasons. It’s advisable to book your tickets well in advance to secure your preferred seat and departure time.
  4. Online Booking: The most convenient way to book your train tickets is through reputable travel booking platforms like 12go Asia. Utilize the online booking system to select your preferred train, class, and seat type. Provide the necessary passenger information and complete the payment process.
  5. Station Booking: If you prefer to book your tickets in person, you can visit the train station in Bangkok or any other major station in Thailand. Look for the designated ticket counters and present your travel details to the staff. Be prepared for potential queues and longer waiting times, especially during busy periods.
  6. Consider Travel Insurance: While not mandatory, it’s recommended to consider purchasing travel insurance that covers any unforeseen circumstances or trip cancellations. Ensure that the policy includes coverage for train travel.

By following these ticket booking procedures, you can secure your train tickets for the Bangkok to Chiang Mai journey and go on a memorable adventure through the beautiful landscapes of Thailand.

Experiencing the Route: What to Expect Onboard

When getting on the train journey from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, travelers can look forward to a comfortable and enjoyable experience onboard. The onboard amenities provided by Thailand trains ensure a pleasant journey through the scenic landscapes of the country.

The train cabins are designed to cater to your needs, with various facilities to enhance your travel experience. These amenities include:

  1. Spacious seating: The seating arrangements in the train cabins offer enough space for you to relax and enjoy your journey.
  2. Dining options: You have access to onboard dining services, where you can enjoy delicious meals and snacks during the journey.
  3. Bed options: For overnight journeys, comfortable beds are available, allowing you to rest and rejuvenate during your travel.
  4. Bathroom facilities: Clean and well-maintained bathrooms are provided onboard, ensuring convenience throughout the journey.
  5. Luggage storage: Adequate space is allocated for luggage storage, allowing you to keep your belongings secure and easily accessible.

“Traveling by train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai offers not only stunning views of the Thai countryside but also onboard amenities that contribute to a memorable journey.”

Whether you choose a seating arrangement, a comfortable bed for overnight travel, or enjoy the dining options onboard, the train journey from Bangkok to Chiang Mai promises to be an experience worth remembering. The onboard amenities provided by Thailand trains ensure a comfortable and enjoyable trip, making the Bangkok Chiang Mai train journey truly remarkable.

Train Amenities: Dining, Beds, Bathrooms, and Luggage

This section will provide detailed information on train amenities, including dining options, availability of beds for overnight journeys, bathroom facilities, and luggage handling and storage. It will cover meal choices, snack options, and tips for storing and handling luggage on Thai trains.

Exploring Onboard Dining: Meals and Snacks

When traveling on a Thailand train, you can expect different dining options to satisfy your appetite. Many trains offer onboard dining services, where you can enjoy delicious meals and snacks while admiring the passing scenery. Whether you’re craving traditional Thai meals or international dishes, the train’s menus are diverse and cater to different food preferences. Make sure to try local specialties, such as Pad Thai or Green Curry, for an authentic culinary experience during your journey.

If you haven’t tried that many Thai dishes yet, make sure to read this article where I share 17+ of my favorite local Thai dishes.

For shorter trips, there are usually snack vendors onboard, offering a range of treats and beverages to keep you refreshed. From refreshing juices to crispy snacks, these quick bites are perfect for a quick and tasty energy boost during your train travel in Thailand.

Luggage Handling and Storage on Thai Trains

When traveling by train in Thailand, it’s essential to know how to handle and store your luggage properly. Most trains provide luggage storage areas, including overhead racks, under-seat compartments, and dedicated luggage spaces within each carriage. It’s advisable to pack lightly and efficiently, using compact luggage that can easily fit within the available storage areas.

To ensure the safety and security of your belongings, it’s recommended to bring a small lock for your bags. This added precaution will give you peace of mind while you explore the train or rest in your seat. Additionally, it’s a good idea to keep essential items, such as travel documents, money, and electronics, close to you in a small carry-on bag.

I always bring a pack of TSA-approved locks for our backpacks and bags. They are small and easy to carry with you and I bought them on Amazon. Check them out here.

When boarding, it’s important to handle your luggage carefully to avoid any accidents or injuries. Be mindful of fellow passengers and train staff while moving your bags, ensuring a smooth and safe journey for everyone on board.

Luggage TipsExplanation
Pack LightTravel with compact luggage that can easily fit in the available storage areas.
Bring a LockSecure your bags with a small lock to safeguard your belongings.
Keep Essentials HandyCarry essential documents, money, and electronics in a small carry-on bag.
Handle with CareEnsure the safety and well-being of yourself and others by handling luggage responsibly.

Transportation Options After Arrival: Tuk-Tuks, Taxis, and More

After arriving at the train stations in Chiang Mai, you’ll have various transportation options to choose from for reaching your hotel. Here are some popular choices:

  • Tuk-Tuks: These iconic three-wheeled vehicles are a fun and convenient way to navigate the streets of Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Tuk-tuks are known for their agility and ability to weave through traffic, providing a thrilling ride to your desired location.
  • Taxis: Taxis are readily available outside both train stations and offer a comfortable and hassle-free mode of transportation. They are metered, ensuring fair fares, and the drivers are typically knowledgeable about the local area.
  • Grab: Grab, Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing service, is also widely available in Chiang Mai. The Grab app allows you to book a car or motorcycle taxi with ease, providing a safe and convenient way to navigate the cities.
    If you’re new to Grab, I’ll explain everything on how it works in this article.

It’s important to consider factors such as distance, traffic conditions, and your personal preferences when choosing the most suitable transportation option. By exploring these options, you can seamlessly continue your journey from the train stations to your desired destinations in Bangkok and Chiang Mai.

Transportation OptionProsCons
Tuk-TuksFun and exciting ridePotentially high fares
TaxisComfort and convenienceMay encounter traffic
GrabEasy and reliable bookingSurge pricing during peak hours

Additional Travel Tips: Thai Rail Etiquette and Safety

In addition to planning your train journey from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, it’s important to be aware of Thai rail etiquette and prioritize safety during your trip. Here are some travel tips to enhance your overall experience:

  1. Respect local customs: Thai culture places emphasis on respect and politeness. Be mindful of your behavior and dress modestly when on the train.
  2. Offer seats to monks: If you see a Buddhist monk boarding the train, it is customary to offer them your seat as a sign of respect.
  3. Maintain cleanliness: Keep the train clean by disposing of garbage properly and avoiding any actions that may cause unpleasant odors.
  4. Secure your belongings: Ensure the safety of your belongings by keeping an eye on your bags and valuables at all times. Use locks or secure compartments if available.
  5. Follow safety instructions: Pay attention to safety announcements and instructions from train staff. Familiarize yourself with emergency exits and evacuation procedures.
  6. Be mindful of noise: Keep noise levels to a minimum to respect the comfort of fellow passengers. Use headphones when listening to music or watching videos.
  7. Be considerate of others: Avoid engaging in loud conversations or disturbing the peace of other passengers. Be mindful of personal space and avoid leaning on or encroaching upon others.
  8. Keep important documents accessible: Carry necessary identification documents, tickets, and passports in a secure but easily accessible place.
  9. Watch your step: Exercise caution when moving around the train, especially when boarding or alighting. Watch out for uneven surfaces or steps.
  10. Stay hydrated and bring snacks: It’s important to stay hydrated during your journey. Bring a water bottle and some snacks to keep yourself nourished throughout the trip.

By following these Thai rail etiquette and safety tips, you can ensure a pleasant and secure train travel experience from Bangkok to Chiang Mai.

Adventurous Detours: Stopovers Worth Considering

Maximizing Daytime Views: The Scenic Stops

As you travel from Bangkok to Chiang Mai by train, there are several scenic stopovers along the way that offer breathtaking views and unique cultural experiences. These stopovers allow you to break your journey and explore the surrounding areas. Here are some of the must-visit destinations:

  • Ayutthaya: Known for its ancient temples and UNESCO World Heritage Site status, Ayutthaya is a popular stopover. Take a bike tour to explore the ruins and witness the merging of history and nature.
  • Sukhothai: Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sukhothai is home to the ruins of an ancient kingdom. Rent a bike and explore the historical park, marveling at the impressive architecture and serene surroundings.
  • Phitsanulok: Visit the Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat temple, known for its famous Buddha statue. The city also offers a glimpse into local Thai life and is a great place to try authentic street food.

Bicycle Transport: Bringing Your Bike Along

If you’re an avid cyclist and want to explore the local areas on two wheels, you’ll be pleased to know that bringing your bike on the Thailand train is possible. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Notify the train staff in advance about your bike and check if there are any additional charges or specific requirements for transporting it.
  • Ensure your bike is securely packed and labeled with your contact details.
  • Arrive early at the train station to ensure a smooth loading and unloading process.

With your bike in tow, you can easily explore the picturesque landscapes and charming towns that the Bangkok to Chiang Mai train route has to offer.


In conclusion, the train journey from Bangkok to Chiang Mai offers a fantastic way to experience the beauty of Thailand. Throughout this article, I have provided a comprehensive guide on how to plan your trip, including train schedules, ticket prices, and seat options.

Choosing the train as your mode of transportation has numerous advantages. Not only will you enjoy scenic landscapes and cultural insights along the way, but you will also have the opportunity to relax and unwind while exploring the stunning Thai countryside.

From the comfort of first-class AC sleepers to the budget-friendly options of second-class sleepers, there are seats to suit every traveler’s preference. Additionally, the availability of onboard amenities, such as dining options, beds, bathrooms, and luggage storage, ensures a comfortable and convenient journey.

Book your train tickets quick and easy here on 12go-Asia here.

By following the ticket booking procedures and understanding Thai rail etiquette and safety guidelines, you can make the most of your train travel experience from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. With the option to make stopovers at scenic locations and bring your bike along for adventure, this journey promises to be an unforgettable experience.


What is the fastest train from Chiang Mai to Bangkok?

The travel time from Chiang Mai to Bangkok by train is between 10 and 14 hours depending on which train you choose to book. The fastest journey is 10 hours and 5 minutes on the number 8 train

What are the seat options available on the Bangkok to Chiang Mai train?

The Bangkok to Chiang Mai train offers different seat types to suit your budget and comfort preferences. You can choose from first-class AC sleepers for a more luxurious experience or second-class sleepers which provide a balance of affordability and convenience.

Is there a 9 sleeper train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai?

The sleeper special express no. 9 from Bangkok to Chiang Mai departs daily from Krung Thep Aphiwat Central Terminal at 18:40 (6:40 PM).

What is the difference between train 9 and 13 in Bangkok?

13 sleeper train goes from Bangkok to Chiang Mai overnight. It uses the older sleeper carriages and so is slightly cheaper than the Special Express No. 9 train that leaves Krung Thep Aphiwat Central Terminal an hour earlier.

What is the new name of the train station in Bangkok?

Krung Thep Aphiwat Central TerminalIt’s officially called Krung Thep Aphiwat Central Terminal, a name named by the king. But to most people it’s more likely to be known simply as Bang Sue Grand Station, after the part of Bangkok where it’s located

How do I navigate the train stations in Bangkok and Chiang Mai?

Navigating the train stations in Bangkok and Chiang Mai is relatively straightforward. Upon arrival, you can easily find transportation options such as tuk-tuks, taxis, and more to reach your accommodation or desired destination.

What is Chiang Mai train station called?

Chiang Mai station (SRT Code: CGM) (Thai: สถานีเชียงใหม่ (ชม.)) is a 1st class station and the main railway station of Chiang Mai Province. This station is on the east side of the Ping River in the city of Chiang Mai.

Are there any scenic stops or detours worth considering along the Bangkok to Chiang Mai train route?

Along the Bangkok to Chiang Mai train route, there are scenic stops and detours worth exploring. If you’re interested in maximizing daytime views and local experiences, consider making stopovers at certain towns or bringing a bike along for additional exploration opportunities.

Share this with your fellow Thailand lovers...

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.