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Train - Hualamphong to Ayutthaya (our experience)

Gosport, United...
Level Contributor
6,320 posts
36 reviews
Train - Hualamphong to Ayutthaya (our experience)

We did this trip on 4 March. I was a bit dubious beforehand, having read that for various reasons the train wasn't such a good idea. But being a determined sort of chap that was going to be how we get there.

So here's how it went...

- 0850. Vacated our accommodation (Take a Nap G/H) on Rama IV, and walked to Sam Yan MRT.

- 0910. Arrived at Hualamphong train station.

- Queued for tickets (only 1 person in front of me)..

- I asked for 2 x 3rd Class tickets to Ayutthaya. No problems all. Cost 15 (fifteen) bahts per ticket.

- 0918 tickets issued. Train due to depart at 0925.

- Time for pee, and walked to platform.

- Train hadn't arrived, and there were quite a few waiting.

- 0935, the train arrived. Quite a few carriages, and no problem getting seats opposite each other. The train was clean.

- 0950, train departed.

- 1005. Station stop. The village idiot gets on, and I'm lumbered with him for the duration.

- By the time the train gets to Dom Muang airport there's no seating space, and plenty of people standing. Don Muang isn't a good place to board these trains if you are expecting to get a seat!

- 1150. Train arrives at Ayutthaya.

So simple!!

Edited: 08 April 2013, 10:50
Harbin, China
Destination Expert
for Kanchanaburi
Level Contributor
23,385 posts
42 reviews
1. Re: Train - Hualamphong to Ayutthaya (our experience)

Hi LL,

Your determination paid off. I wish it were so easy to get hold of all rail tickets in Thailand.

Paphos, Cyprus
Destination Expert
for Paphos
Level Contributor
5,337 posts
100 reviews
2. Re: Train - Hualamphong to Ayutthaya (our experience)

What about taking that journey with a suitcase?

Trisha

Gosport, United...
Level Contributor
6,320 posts
36 reviews
3. Re: Train - Hualamphong to Ayutthaya (our experience)

Hi Trisha

We never left our luggage behind!!

We had a wheelie suitcase each, about 10kg each, a couple of T-shirts, shorts and toileteries.

If you get on the train at Hualamphong then that's where the train kicks-off from, so there's no hassle with boarding or getting a seat.

You just chuck your suitcase on the overhead rack. If your suitcase is too heavy for you then that's your problem!

It really is very, very easy.

I only say it as I've experienced it, same as on every other TA forum I spout on!

Berlin/Bangkok
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Berlin, Thailand
Level Contributor
20,227 posts
33 reviews
4. Re: Train - Hualamphong to Ayutthaya (our experience)

So it took you around 2.5 hours for a journey that would have been just over 60 minutes in a van. I suppose if the trip by 3rd class train is a novelty to you and "getting there is half the fun," then the time was not wasted. But if the object had been to get to Ayutthaya and tour the historic sites early in the morning before it gets too hot, then you would have diddled away the precious morning hours on a pokey train. It's all a matter of where your priorities lie. Personally, I would take the van. There are other more interesting train trips (such as to Mahachai).

Gosport, United...
Level Contributor
6,320 posts
36 reviews
5. Re: Train - Hualamphong to Ayutthaya (our experience)

bill2p - Are you shouting?

Our journey took exactly 3 hours from stepping outside our accommodation to arriving at Ayutthaya.

It was a strress free trip. We saw loads from the train, and we enjoyed the experience of travelling with local Thai folk.

Had we left our accommodation at 0850 to get to Victory Monument to get a van do you really think we'd have got to Ayutthaya any earlier, or enjoyed the same experience of mixing it with the local people? Of course we wouldn't! Alright, perhaps a few minutes, unless the van conked out or it had an accident!

To some people sights, sounds and smells all contribute to precious memories. A boring seat in a cramped van just doesn't do it!

Try it mate, you might enjoy it!

There might be more interesting train trips, but we were going to Ayutthaya!

And btw the only reason I'm not a DE is because I prefer it that way!

Sorry!

Gold Coast
Destination Expert
for Ko Pha Ngan, Ko Samui, Thailand
Level Contributor
26,246 posts
69 reviews
6. Re: Train - Hualamphong to Ayutthaya (our experience)

If you enjoyed it then the time wasn't wasted, I think Bill is simply showing that there are quicker ways to get there if you wish should someone else read this thread in the future.

"And btw the only reason I'm not a DE is because I prefer it that way!" - Am I missing something, I don't see the relevance?

Ayutthaya, Thailand
Destination Expert
for Ayutthaya, Ayutthaya Province
Level Contributor
1,043 posts
45 reviews
7. Re: Train - Hualamphong to Ayutthaya (our experience)

The minivans may be fast (in fact, way too fast to be safe in many cases), and they crash rather too often. (Happened to me twice in two years.) They're also pretty cramped and don't have much space for luggage.

Travelling by 3rd class train, however, can be fascinating. As you leave Bangkok you spend the first hour or so passing through slums. This is a side of the city that most people won't see otherwise.

And you get to meet "real" Thai people, interesting characters, as opposed to the hordes of plastic cut-out people working in the tourism and hospitality industry.

On several occasions I've been offered fruit to try by vendors who were taking it to market in Bangkok - types of fruit I might not otherwise have got to try.

And I still smile when I think of a man who hid his cigarette every time a guard passed. (It's again the rules to smoke on trains in Thailand.) As if the guard couldn't smell the smoke - the rest of us sure could.

However I must disagree with the OP when he wrote "the train was clean". My hands (and sometimes my clothes) are filthy by the time I get to the other end - particularly a problem if you're a straphanger.

Gosport, United...
Level Contributor
6,320 posts
36 reviews
8. Re: Train - Hualamphong to Ayutthaya (our experience)

Cassnu - Yep, the bit about DE was out of order. I apologise to you and Bill, and anyone else who may taken offence.

Ayutthaya_guy - Good posting. Regarding "the train was clean", what I meant was the train had been cleaned and scrubbed before it started the journey. A small army of cleaners disembarked as soon as the train came in to the platform. As the windows are open for the duration on a 3rd Class train then yep all you want is a good shower by the end of a journey. You should have seen the muck that came off me after nearly 6 hours on the Aranyapraphet to Hualamphong 3rd Class train ride. All part of the experience!

I'm glad that this thread is attracting a bit of attention.

Gold Coast
Destination Expert
for Ko Pha Ngan, Ko Samui, Thailand
Level Contributor
26,246 posts
69 reviews
9. Re: Train - Hualamphong to Ayutthaya (our experience)

We always try and include an overnight train journey when we go to Thailand, the sleeper trains are the same ones I was catching back in 1994 and I suspect probably the same ones long before that, thank goodness the sheets are clean cos everything else looks pretty grubby after goodness knows how many years, still love it though despite the fact they often arrive 2-3 hours late at their destination, all part of the appeal to me.

Italy
Level Contributor
39,684 posts
235 reviews
10. Re: Train - Hualamphong to Ayutthaya (our experience)

Thanks for posting your experience, i'm curious to know more about the "Village idiot"