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Day or night train to Bangkok

Melbourne, Australia
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64 posts
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Day or night train to Bangkok

I need to travel from Nong Khai to Bangkok and would like to take the train. I'm leaning towards taking the day train, as I love train trips, but it's a long trip - can anyone tell me if its worth it for the scenery, or is it better to take a sleeper on the night train?

I'm travelling alone - would security for my luggage be an issue on the night train?

Bangkok, Thailand
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1. Re: Day or night train to Bangkok

Traveling by train it's always good experience ,I suggest to take a sleeper trains.

but if you're traveling on new year , they probably fully booked,

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2. Re: Day or night train to Bangkok

Opinions on scenery differ. Isaan isn't Switzerland (closer to some outback areas, perhaps - so scenic in its own special way). I've taken both the night and day trains several times on that run - usually taking the sleeper for convenience - but sometimes taking the day train if I'm in the mood to sightsee (and take photos/video).

The night (express) train has comfortable 1st class and 2nd class sleepers (I prefer the latter for the more sociable vibe), and a dining car for food and drink. The night rapid train drops the 1st class. The day train is a railcar setup, with 2nd class aircon and 3rd class open-window seating. I prefer the latter for the open windows - as the windows on the aircon car tend to be a bit dirty. 3rd class seating isn't luxurious, but on that railcar set should be acceptable.

If you take the day train, bring a book, a camera, some snacks, a copy of the timetable, and perhaps a map showing where the rail line will pass. (I put ThinkNet Map Magic bilingual digital maps on my notebook computer - but don't carry this on all my upcountry trips so sometimes make customized printouts of the route I'm taking.) Food will be available on the train - but you may still want some of your own food and drink (stock up in a convenience store or the market in advance..). If you take the night train - consider eating/drinking in the dining car, rather than ordering at your seat. The dining car fare will be fresh-cooked to order, with minimal wait for the food to move from cooker to your plate.

I assume you aren't carrying bearer bonds, a Leica and lots of lanses, gobs of cash or the like onto the train. I put my wallet, passport, and mobile phone under the mattress near my head as I sleep. I'm usually with family (and in the upper bunk with wife and son in lowers), with shoes, etc under the lower berths and luggage bungeed next to the berth (to keep it from falling over, no worries yet about theft or pilferage). I have not experienced (or heard of) any theft on night trains in Thailand.

Hope this helps.

Melbourne, Australia
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64 posts
6 reviews
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3. Re: Day or night train to Bangkok

Thanks for such a helpful and detailed reply. Both options sound good, I guess I'll just wait and see- time may be the deciding factor in the end if I want to extend my time in Nong Khai.

Gosport, United...
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4. Re: Day or night train to Bangkok

Sorry to butt in.

Earthling - Got any accommodation preference for Nong Khai please? We've stayed at the Mutmee, and happy to stay there again, but just fancy a change.


Nong Khai, Thailand
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5. Re: Day or night train to Bangkok

Both train options are fun....but just as posted above they do get quite busy between the 22nd of december through the 2 or 3 of January.

This year school break is earlier 17-24 so it may be a little less busy the week of christmas. This is the Thai break for the bigger schools in Nong Khai. Believe it or not local people travel during the :holidays" and most of them use the train.

For accommodations it depends on your style. Mutmee is certainly the main hang out but there are other options;

Nong Khai Resort (near rail station) - small pool but generally nice rooms and a pleasant feel.

White Inn - gets good reviews and I have always found them very pleasant to deal with. Near the Ozzy bar area of town which can be a positive or negative depending again on what you are looking for

Baan Sabai Dee (near mutmee) - is a newer property on the river with nice rooms (about 15) river view, river front and two rooms with garden views. Nice rooms, a bit sterile (all white) but a/c, tv, fridges in the room.

Sofa Gallery - on the river near the old riverboat terminal for Laos (5km west of mutmee). Tiger and his team have created a neat little getaway spot near the river. 5 rooms in an old converted home. good food but a little far away from the action of Nong Khai. Sometime difficult to get a tuk-tuk at night.

There is also a brand new hotel that looks quite nice near the overpass (friendship bridge) going to Laos. Tucked away off the main road it is the newest player in Nong Khai and I will check it out this weekend, hopefully with photos.

Royal Nahkara - opened early this year and after a slow start is getting a few more people, mostly Thai tour groups, but friendly staff and a solid 3 star hotel. Again a bit away from the central Nong Khai attractions.

Esan Guesthouse, Chiang Khan Guest House, Siri Guest House, Sawasdee Guest House and Pan Guest House are all located in and around the Ta Sadet Market area and have been mainstays in Nong Khai for many years. Each has their own unique style (especially the Esan GH) which people either like or not.

Just some of my local spots...there are many more!

6. Re: Day or night train to Bangkok

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