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Overnight to Chiang Mai

Cincinnati
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Overnight to Chiang Mai

Our family of four (two 9 year olds)will be taking the overnight train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. We want to take the 19:35 train that arrives at CM at 9:45. Can someone explain the main differences between 1st and 2nd class on this train. Both are air con so I think we would be comfortable either way but I want to know what I'm getting into. Also, has anyone tried to book this in advance through the Thai Railway? It appears that you can book this via email 30 days prior to departure with only a small surchurge. The other services seem much more expensive (thaifocus, traveller 2000, etc). We will be arriving during high season (Nov) and will need to book prior to arriving in Bangkok. Thanks in advance for the help.

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1. Re: Overnight to Chiang Mai

There are pictures and descriptions of the trains on seat61.com.

Auckland
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2. Re: Overnight to Chiang Mai

Excellent way to get to CM. I have done it 3 times with my wife & son, who was aged 2 & 4 at the time. 1st class is rather sterile, but totally private. You get a small room with basin & folding bench beds. If absolute privacy is important, it's worth it.

Having done it, I personally prefer 2nd class aircon (2nd class also has no air option, with open windows) as it is more sociable. The beds are great, very clean. A valet comes along in the eve with wrapped pillows & fresh sheets/ pillowcases, and makes your bed up for you, then reverses it in the morning. One bunk above you, one below. ENSURE you book your seats side by side, that way all 4 of you are together. If you have loads of bags, perhaps 1st class is better - I had my bag in bed with me for security. Curtains are provided for privacy, top bunk has no window, bottom has panorama window.

You will probably sleep better in 1st class, certainly longer. The 2nd class cabin starts waking around 5.30-6.30am. In 2nd class the passengers are mostly upper-middle class Thais, who will try to practise Engrish with you. Enjoy the trip!

Auckland
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3. Re: Overnight to Chiang Mai

I booked in advance with ThaiRail, it was the best way. ThaiRail enjoys royal patronage, & is very efficient usually. It is almost impossible to get a 1st or 2nd class seat on the day, but a reservation will guarantee you a place. I also usually collect my tickets during the day, to make things easier when my family & I arrive that eve.

Cincinnati
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4. Re: Overnight to Chiang Mai

Thank you Dadzun and Fish2 for your help. Sounds like 2nd class will work fine and booking directly through Thai Railway will be OK.

Dadzun -- looks like New Zealand and Auckland are your stomping ground. After SE Asia and China, we'll be heading to Sydney, Tasmania, Christchurch, Auckland, and Rotorua. Any great suggestions for family sights and/or activities not to miss???

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Auckland
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5. Re: Overnight to Chiang Mai

I would suggest you post your intinarary in the NZ/Oz forums, and PM me a link to them. In Sydney, don't miss the magnificent harbour. Tassie, no idea sorry. Auckland consider Waiheke Island or an Akld vineyard day/ halfday tour. Rotorua, don't miss the Maori Cultural village trip, and see the thermal river 'kerosine creek' if you have transport. Also, take your daughter to the 'Luge' (yeeHAA!) & Rainbow & Fairy Springs. Chch, do a punting trip on the Avon, or cheaper & more fun, rent a canoe & paddle through the gardens/park.

Auckland
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6. Re: Overnight to Chiang Mai

Oops, I just replied to a person taking their 14yo to Thailand. The same tho with 2 9yos, they will love the luge - see this link http://www.skylineskyrides.co.nz/rotorua/

7. Re: Overnight to Chiang Mai

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