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BKK to Chiang Mai train run on schedule??

melb
5 posts
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BKK to Chiang Mai train run on schedule??

Hi there

we are looking to book train tickets from Bangkok to Chiang Mai but was wondering how reliable the service is to arrive at their schedule and advertised times? We have the Patara Elephant experience booked on the same day we are due to arrive in Chiang Mai. was hoping that the train doesn't usually get delayed otherwise we might miss out on the elephant experience.

Thanks for any help

Bangkok
Destination Expert
for Thailand
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18,140 posts
3 reviews
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1. Re: BKK to Chiang Mai train run on schedule??

No one can say, trains like anywhere can get delayed, you want to make sure you have enough time to at least leave your baggage at your hotel, do appreciate you could be quite tired. Some people can sleep anywhre, others may find the movement of the train does not let them have a good night's sleep.

Could you not do the trip the following day ?

Bangkok, Thailand
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15,864 posts
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2. Re: BKK to Chiang Mai train run on schedule??

Trains are often, but not always, late arriving, and there's no way to tell if a particular train might be delayed. If its important, l'd suggest flying.

Berlin/Bangkok
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Berlin, Thailand
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17,593 posts
34 reviews
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3. Re: BKK to Chiang Mai train run on schedule??

Cross country trains very often arrive hours late. I was once on one that had a breakdown en route. After about an hour of standing still while men tried to fix the problem, we shuttled BACKWARDS about 40 kilometres to the last station, and then stood there until the next train came along and hooked us on to pull us into Chiang Mai. Needless to say we arrived many hours late.

Of course that's not going to happen every time, but it's common for trains to be one or two hours late getting in just due to the total of minutes spent on sidings to allow oncoming trains to get by.

Wyong, Australia
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4,309 posts
73 reviews
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4. Re: BKK to Chiang Mai train run on schedule??

There was a very recent post that mentioned the train being 2 hours late because of ongoing track maintenance.

If I were a gambling man, I would bet on the train being late rather than on time.

Harbin, China
Destination Expert
for Kanchanaburi
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21,311 posts
41 reviews
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5. Re: BKK to Chiang Mai train run on schedule??

I have never travelled on a train in Thailand which has arrived on time. Check out Nok Air and Air Asia, both budget airlines have cheap flights.

Winnipeg, Canada
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4,973 posts
280 reviews
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6. Re: BKK to Chiang Mai train run on schedule??

when we took the same overnight train last summer, our train was just around 2 hours late. i would budget for it running late. then if it is on time, you will be pleasantly surprised!

Jo :)

Adelaide, Australia
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12 posts
51 reviews
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7. Re: BKK to Chiang Mai train run on schedule??

Ditto, our train was a couple of hours late with the overnight service for no apparent reason but still enjoyed the trip & broke up the monotony of air travel & having a sleeper gave a pretty good sleep after having a few.

Cheers

Gold Coast
Destination Expert
for Ko Pha Ngan, Ko Samui, Thailand
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25,708 posts
64 reviews
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8. Re: BKK to Chiang Mai train run on schedule??

Yet to travel on a train that is on time - I always factor in an extra 2 hours which seems to work remarkably well.

melb
5 posts
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9. Re: BKK to Chiang Mai train run on schedule??

thanks everyone. Just as i thought. we couldnt change our Patara Elephant experience - so looked into flights. Have booked these to be safer. thanks for everyones advice. will prob still take a train on our return journey from Koh Samui to Phuket (via Surat Thani) so will keep it all in mind for this trip.

61 sleeps - cant wait!!!

Winnipeg, Canada
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4,973 posts
280 reviews
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10. Re: BKK to Chiang Mai train run on schedule??

or you could always fly to Chiang Mai and take the train back. we did it the opposite way (train there, fly back) for the experience of the train. still glad we did the train for the experience!

Jo