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Train dilemma - 2nd class sleeper or DRC?

London, United...
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Train dilemma - 2nd class sleeper or DRC?

Hello,

Quick advice needed!

I'm travelling from Bangkok to Koh Tao on the 1st of July. I was going to take the 19:30 1st class sleeper and then catch a ferry at 7:00 am. I just found out the 1st class is all booked up and now I'm trying to decide if I should take that 19:30 train anyway (2nd class) or maybe the 22:50 DRC.

The sleeper seems more comfortable as I will be able to lie down, but will it really allow me to sleep? I'm thinking of my luggage (is it safe to fall asleep on those trains?), the fact that it leaves quite early (I'm sure I will not feel sleepy till at least midnight) and arrives in Chumphon at crazy 4:23... Which means I'll have to wait around there in the middle of the night for over 2 hours.

Taking DRC is cheaper, gives me more time in Bangkok during the day and makes me wait for the ferry for only 1 hour. Are the seats comfortable enough to fall asleep on them? And again, what with the security issues? Also, are these trains likely to be delayed? I wouldn't like to miss the 7:00 ferry, but I also don't want to get to Koh Tao in a completely exhausted state.

Any advice/word of wisdom is welcome.

Thank you!

Dot

PS: It will be my first time in Thailand (-:

Essex
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76 posts
56 reviews
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1. Re: Train dilemma - 2nd class sleeper or DRC?

Ive used sleeper trains although not on that route. The 2nd class lower bunks are comfy. saw no issues with anyone having probs with luggage.Train staff and i believe railway police patrol; the train all night

There will be restaurant car and people walk round selling drinks offering food etc

I have NEVER known a train in Thailand arrive on time so quite likely your 4.23 arrival is neaer 6am

Hope this helps

Sunderland
Destination Expert
for Koh Tao
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1,813 posts
55 reviews
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2. Re: Train dilemma - 2nd class sleeper or DRC?

Hi

Welcome to tripadvisor and the Koh Tao forum.

The trains are notoriously late in Thailand. 2nd class is perfectly safe and you will be able to sleep, it's actually a better experience than 1st class. There's a lot of information on the forum regarding train travel, more so on the Koh Samui forum (more people travel there) so if you have a look there you'll find it a very popular choice.

The waiting around is not as bad as you think. We've never arrived in Chumphon much before 05.30, wait for the bus to the pier (15 mins), 30-45 mins to the pier, get all bags and stickers checked and you'll be ready to board the ferry at 7am. I have also known Lomprayah delay the ferry departure for the late arrival of the train. That wouldn't happen for the DRC.

The DRC is not going to be realistic in order to allow sufficient time for the journey to the pier etc and any delays on the train itself.

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Thailand
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10,224 posts
163 reviews
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3. Re: Train dilemma - 2nd class sleeper or DRC?

I agree with the posts above on all points, 2nd class is absolutely fine,take reasonable care of your own property (don't leave lots of cash laying around).

Trains will DEFINATELY be late!

Berlin/Bangkok
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Berlin, Thailand
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18,861 posts
34 reviews
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4. Re: Train dilemma - 2nd class sleeper or DRC?

Instead of taking the train, why not just take Lomphraya's complete service -- their own bus to Chumphon, ferry to Koh Tao. Seems to be to be the least stressful alternative.

Gosport, United...
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415 posts
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5. Re: Train dilemma - 2nd class sleeper or DRC?

Buses can be late too, or even not make the destination at all!

I only did one bus trip in Thailand in March. Prachuap Khiri Khan to Southern Bus Station in BKK.

Supposed to be 4 hours. Broke down twice, and it took 6 hours. Last 25 kms were practically a bumper-to-bumper crawl.

And from the Southern bus station it was still a 40 minute taxi ride.

No stress on a train, just so long as you make a time allowance of about 3 hours.

Berlin/Bangkok
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Berlin, Thailand
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18,861 posts
34 reviews
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6. Re: Train dilemma - 2nd class sleeper or DRC?

True, but if it's Lomphraya's own bus, they'll make sure it's easy for you to get the Koh Tao ferry. And as for Thailand's public, government-licensed intra-city bus service, it's still much more reliable than the trains.

Harbin, China
Destination Expert
for Kanchanaburi
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22,883 posts
42 reviews
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7. Re: Train dilemma - 2nd class sleeper or DRC?

Hi,

The Lomprayah buses are in pretty good condition. Dagwoodsmate, was the bus you took from PKK to BKK a government one or was it privately operated?

London, United...
2 posts
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8. Re: Train dilemma - 2nd class sleeper or DRC?

Thank you all for your tips and advice - very helpful and much appreciated! I decided to take the second class overnight sleeper after all. Now all I need to do is to pack my suitcase and wait (im)patiently for the 29th of June.

Thailand, here I come!!!

Sunderland
Destination Expert
for Koh Tao
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1,813 posts
55 reviews
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9. Re: Train dilemma - 2nd class sleeper or DRC?

I'm sure you'll love it.

Safe and happy travels

Singapore, Singapore
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8 posts
6 reviews
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10. Re: Train dilemma - 2nd class sleeper or DRC?

@Dot_Point_Dot it'd be great if you could share you experience if you get a chance as i'm planning on taking second class sleeper train on my trip in july. hope you enjoy yourself! :)