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Old Oct 12, 17, 1:15 pm #1
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Midnight arrival in BKK

Heading to Thailand next month and I realized I won't get through customs and immigration much less baggage claim before the Airport Rail Link shuts down for the night. I'm grabbing a train to Chiang Mai the following evening so was looking for suggestions on the 16 or so hours I have in between.

Is it better to grab a hotel room near the airport and then the rail into town or a taxi to a hotel near the train station? I presume if I did the latter, I could get the hotel to hold my bags during the day while I wandered. If I did the former, is there a baggage hold near the train station? In either option, I'd probably want to get some coffee and breakfast after sleeping/resting.

WRT wandering ... what's the area near the train station like? In a lot of locales, that's precisely the WRONG area to pick for wandering around.

Other suggestions?
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Old Oct 12, 17, 1:58 pm #2

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Just take a cab to your hotel in the city. It will be less than 300 Baht ( less than USD 10).
There is no " train station", the airport rail stops are like normal commuter subway stops.
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Old Oct 12, 17, 2:43 pm #3
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I'd book a hotel in the city, not near the airport. You'd have more choices, and the train doesn't leave from near BKK international airport anyways.

The Chiang Mai train leaves from Hualamphong and there are plenty of hotels in that area. It's also a business district, so no worried about wandering around the area during the day.

Finally, you're better off leaving luggage with the hotel and picking it up shortly before heading to the train station.
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Old Oct 12, 17, 6:45 pm #4
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Have you considered flying to Chiang Mai? It can save 12 - 18 hours in travel time. Note that it looks like we're in for a potentially bad bout of flooding, with heavy rains in the north, and dams having to release large volumes of water flooding many areas that the Chiang Mai train has to traverse. Obviously, this sort of thing could impact train travel in November.


Have you already purchased the train ticket? Some trains and classes of service can be sold out.

The train from Bangkok does depart from Hua Lumphong, but it does travel north through the city, and you can catch the train at some stations on that route.

I guess the options are to stay near the airport, then head into the city (via the rail link, changing to the subway at Petchaburi - the subway currently terminates at Hua Lumphong), or to head into the city and then get to the train station.

There are some hotels near the train station, and the neighborhood is pretty interesting and as safe as anywhere; and you're a short walk to Wat Traimit, Chinatown and a few other sites.


Do you have a lot of baggage? There is a left baggage at Hua Lumphong, not sure how "secure" it is? There are lock-box facilities showing up as well.

https://lockbox-th.com/location
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Old Oct 12, 17, 11:55 pm #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by transpac View Post
Have you considered flying to Chiang Mai? It can save 12 - 18 hours in travel time. Note that it looks like we're in for a potentially bad bout of flooding, with heavy rains in the north, and dams having to release large volumes of water flooding many areas that the Chiang Mai train has to traverse. Obviously, this sort of thing could impact train travel in November.


Have you already purchased the train ticket? Some trains and classes of service can be sold out.
I considered flying to Chiang Mai then ruled it out pretty quickly. My tour starts in Chiang Mai and ends in Bangkok and it was considerably cheaper to do roundtrip to Bangkok than flying into Chiang Mai then out of Bangkok. In addition, as I was researching the trip, I found a lot of recommendations for the overnight train from Bangkok to Chiangmai so I booked a first class ticket on the #9 train as soon as it opened up (60 days in advance). 2 of the other 3 seats available on the FC carriage via the web were booked 3 hours later ... LOL

From the responses I got on Trip Advisor, I think I'm going to book a hotel around Asoke and grab a cab there after I get through customs. I'll leave my bags at the hotel when I go exploring and then head over to Hualumphong in the afternoon to grab the train.

thanks!
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Old Oct 13, 17, 12:08 am #6
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One way fares BKK-CNX on PG are as low as 1,490 THB all in. Not sure what the train fare is? 1,453? 1,653?

But you save a night on a hotel, and only lose 12-ish hours assuming no issues with the train.
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Old Oct 13, 17, 1:12 am #7

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I did the 'first class' train from BKK to CM some years ago. It was fun to do once, but fairly basic.

This is the style of train I remember:

This is the supposed 'new style' of train. Much nicer !:

However note that the first YT video was posted Dec 2016 and the second July 2016. This makes me think that the old style trains are still running along with the new ones. If so, make sure you get on a new one !
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Old Oct 13, 17, 1:35 pm #8
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From Asoke to Hua Lumpong, you can easily take the subway (MRT).

But, why stay in Asoke, so far from where you want to be the next day?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ExplorerWannabe View Post
I considered flying to Chiang Mai then ruled it out pretty quickly. My tour starts in Chiang Mai and ends in Bangkok and it was considerably cheaper to do roundtrip to Bangkok than flying into Chiang Mai then out of Bangkok. In addition, as I was researching the trip, I found a lot of recommendations for the overnight train from Bangkok to Chiangmai so I booked a first class ticket on the #9 train as soon as it opened up (60 days in advance). 2 of the other 3 seats available on the FC carriage via the web were booked 3 hours later ... LOL

From the responses I got on Trip Advisor, I think I'm going to book a hotel around Asoke and grab a cab there after I get through customs. I'll leave my bags at the hotel when I go exploring and then head over to Hualumphong in the afternoon to grab the train.

thanks!
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Old Oct 13, 17, 1:46 pm #9

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Asoke is a nice area. But it's mainly shopping malls. Not sure what sort of "wandering" you had in mind for your free time. Agree that the subway is easy enough from there though.

Agree about the flying. There are something like 50 flights a day from Bangkok to CNX. Some go from Don Muang (DMK) instead of BKK. But there's so much competition fares are pretty reasonable...as low as US$27 one way according to Google flights.

Might be worth looking at just in case you need a plan B.

I might consider staying some place closer to the train station or even around Silom which is a few stations closer on the MRT.
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Old Oct 13, 17, 4:47 pm #10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExplorerWannabe View Post
I considered flying to Chiang Mai then ruled it out pretty quickly. My tour starts in Chiang Mai and ends in Bangkok and it was considerably cheaper to do roundtrip to Bangkok than flying into Chiang Mai then out of Bangkok.
People aren't suggesting that you fly from your home country to Chiang Mai roundtrip. They are suggesting you book a separate round trip flight from BKK to CNX. Those flights are very inexpensive (I doubt you'd pay $100 r/t) and take just an hour.

If you stay with the train option, I suspect that after the first leg you'll reconsider the flight option back to Bangkok.
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Old Oct 13, 17, 5:38 pm #11

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diplomatico View Post
People aren't suggesting that you fly from your home country to Chiang Mai roundtrip. They are suggesting you book a separate round trip flight from BKK to CNX. Those flights are very inexpensive (I doubt you'd pay $100 r/t) and take just an hour.

If you stay with the train option, I suspect that after the first leg you'll reconsider the flight option back to Bangkok.
ExplorerWannabe - This is good advice. However please let us know your experience after your train trip.
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Old Oct 13, 17, 7:40 pm #12
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Most tourists absolutely rave about the train.

http://thatbackpacker.com/2013/08/04...iled-august-3/


They are suggesting you book a separate round trip flight from BKK to CNX.

I inferred that the OP's "tour" includes transpo, perhaps ground?, between Chiang Mai and Bangkok, so they really just need a one-way air ticket for BKK-CNX?


Some go from Don Muang (DMK) instead of BKK.


I specifically recommend BKK, even though the "authorities" have been reassuring the public this week that the flooding this year will not be as bad as 2011. I was able to get to, out of and into BKK at the peak of the floods back then. In 2011 DMK was just a sleepy repair, charter, freight, Royal and RTAF outpost. Flooding like that might cause much more significant issues now?

Loy Krathong (and Yee Peng) are celebrated in Chiang Mai (more festival-ish here in the north than in other parts of Thailand) Nov. 2 - 4 this year. This might impact travel, lodging, etc.
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Old Oct 13, 17, 9:55 pm #13

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OP If you do decide to take the train experience , I would suggest try to get a hotel near to Hua Lamphong staion. As already mentioned, you can get a taxi from BKK to the hotel which wont cost the earth.

The bonus of a hotel near the station is that Chinatown and old Bangkok will be only a few minutes walk away which are great places to explore on foot. Both areas are safe provide you take normal sensible precaution. Also, youll be just a few minutes away from the station when it comes time to get your train.

Get to the station early(ish) and have a haircut before getting on the train.
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Old Oct 15, 17, 8:21 am #14

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Quote:
Originally Posted by transpac View Post
Most tourists absolutely rave about the train.

http://thatbackpacker.com/2013/08/04...iled-august-3/
Eeerrr ... this link is to a tourist's report of their train derailing in a tunnel on the way from Bangkok to Chiang Mai !
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Old Oct 15, 17, 8:34 am #15
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If the OP has (or can get) hotel status, my instinct would be to pick a hotel that guarantees a late check out. It would be nice to take a shower after wandering around Bangkok before going to the train station.
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