The Night Train To Bangkok
For those of you just joining us, I am recapping, in excruciating detail, my family and friends’ trip to visit me in Thailand over the holidays. It all started when I met my family in Bangkok, after which we hopped down to Koh Tao, met up with friends, and celebrated Christmas. The whole group island-hopped to Koh Samui where I said goodbye to my parents, followed by a quick jaunt to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Koh Pha Ngan with even more friends, after which we finally made it back to Koh Tao to unwind. These recaps will be winding down soon as it all comes full circle and the last remaining visitors and I head back to Bangkok to say goodbye!
The days in Koh Tao were coming to an end. After all the diving and the day tripping, there was precious little time left to soak up the sun…
Enjoy the company of friends…
Eat deliciously wonderful steak in the mountains…
Share a laugh over Korean Barbeque…
And to soak up the atmosphere of a Muay Thai boxing match.
Before I knew it, my little sister Olivia and my friend Zoe and I (the last ones standing!) were packing our bags to go to Bangkok, where both my girls would be flying away from me. The roughly 12 hour journey from Koh Tao to Bangkok can be miserable, or it can be great fun, depending on who’s along for the ride with you. It all starts with a pickup truck driving you to the pier.
Then a two-hour ferry ride brings you to Chumphon, where you walk down a rickety dock (which made Photo of the Week here!) and get on a minibus which brings you into town and to the train station.
Then a train brings you all the way to Bangkok! This was my first time ever taking the train. Every other time I have been rushed off the ferry and crowded immediately onto a bus for an eight-hour ride where a horrible Hollywood film is played at full blast volume, there is no food, I never get any sleep, and we arrive in Bangkok at the horribly awkward hour of midnight.
Those days are over. I am so in love with the doing this journey by train now! After the ferry ride we had a few hours to kill in Chumphon, meaning we had a nice civilized dinner before checking into our comfortable (albeit small) bunks and getting actual sleep all the way ’till Bangkok, where we arrived at the semi-civilized hour of 6am. The train is favored over the bus by traveling Thais as well, so you get a more authentic trip than you would surrounded by other backpackers. But the best part of all is it’s only a few dollars more than
being tortured traveling by bus!
And one more bonus? Watching this sunrise over the freeway taking us into Bangkok…
****umm I believe you forgot to give a shoutout to Tom Atwood for picking us up with Kuhn Nuen at 6 am!! And this boy is NOT a morning person. but its not like he didn’t remind us of how grateful we should be during the whole drive back.
Also, I like how the three of us had all these plans of turning the ride into a massive sleepover — where we’d all jump in one of the beds and cuddle up for a movie and eat snacks. Yeah, that was not the case. First of all, there was no room at all and secondly, I was asleep before I got halfway through my trashy tabloid magazine…
You’re right! That was a terrible oversight. Hopefully Tom and Kuhn Nuen can forgive me… And yes, our ridiculous sleepover plans were, uh, ridiculous.
I love taking night trains…nothing like knocking out transportation and lodging with one expense.
So true! That’s why the bus annoyed me so much… you arrive at such an awkward time that you end up having to pay for a hotel room for that night!
I have to admit, I’ve never taken a night train, but I have done the night bus a few times… and with this in mind, I would probably opt for the train over the bus, particularly due to the comfort factor lol.
I don’t know what the problem is (oh wait, yes I do, it’s the full volume movies!!) but I CAN’T sleep on the damn night busses. Don’t know what’s wrong with me.
Nice post! Miss ya
Miss you Chris…
Lovely post with attractive scenes, love to travel in AC train compartment.
It really is the best way to go!
Hey Alex, first of all, congratulations for your blog, i am preparing my trip to thailand and it has been an amazing help.
I would like to know which company you used to travel from Koh Tao to Bangkok.
Hey Diana! I always use Lomprayah. They are great! I hope that helps…. congratulations on your trip to Thailand!
What about taking a boat to Kho Samui and then a plane to Bangkok?I know it’s probably a bit more expensive but seems a lot more comfortable. Although some trains do look comfy and I bet the scenery is really nice !!
I’ve done that once before, Inanna. It’s very expensive comparatively and unless you are connecting through the airport, it’s not very convenient to land there. But it’s definitely a possibility!