Thailand

The best night train from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai

After checking out the Ancient capital of Thailand, Ayutthaya, it’s time to travel North to Chiang Mai. Find out everything you need to know about taking the night train from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai. Learn more on what train to take, what to bring, how long it takes, ticket costs, what to expect, and more!

First I will tell you about my own night train experience from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai and then answer some useful questions.

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My journey on the night train from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai

We arrived around 19:00 at the Ayutthaya train station and waited for about 45 minutes before our train arrived.

Through the intercom we heard that the train was coming. Since we only had a short time to get on the train, it was important to be in the correct place. We asked one of the station officials where our train carriage was likely to stop and he kindly took us there. The platform at the Ayutthaya train station is really long and our carriage stopped right at the far end, so we were happy that we were in the correct place.

Since Ayutthaya goes dark around 19:00, we couldn’t enjoy the outside views. Until our beds were made, we chatted happily with the other travelers around us.

Around 21:00 everyone retreated behind their curtains and it became very quiet in the coupe.

I booked a lower bunk as it shielded me from the dull cabin light. The mattress was softer than the mattresses I had slept on in Thai hotels up to that point, so this was really nice.

During the night it was very quiet in the compartment. I was sometimes awakened by the noise the train made or by the sudden movements of the train, but I still ended up sleeping just fine because the bed was cozy and comfortable enough. My earplugs prevented me from hearing the snoring of my fellow passengers.

I visited the toilets once and was amazingly surprised at the cleanliness on board. The toilet was sparkling clean and there was also toilet paper available. Something which is often a rarity.

The next morning the porter came through and woke anyone up who was still sleeping. This was about 1 hour before we got to Chiang Mai. The staff members slowly started putting the beds into seats again. This allowed me to chat for another hour with my fellow passengers while enjoying the green scenery outside. The train ventured into Thailand’s wilderness, where I saw an abundance of rice paddy fields.

After a total of 11.5 hours, we arrived on time in Chiang Mai. It was an excellent trip that I can recommend to everyone.

Important questions answered

In this section I will answer some questions regarding the train journey from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai.

Where is the train station in Ayutthaya?

There is only one train station in Ayutthaya. The address is: Ho Rattanachai, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000.

On the train station you can find toilets, drink stands, an ATM, a bagage room, and an area where you can charge your phone for free. There is also free wifi available and when you go out of the train station, you can find some food stalls and a 7/11 store about 80 meters down the road.

How long does the train from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai take?

The distance from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai by train is around 650 kilometers and takes about 10-13 hours, depending on what train you take. The night trains usually take around 11,5 hours.

How many trains run from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai?

There are 5 direct trains each day from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai. All trains to Chiang Mai depart from Bangkok railway station (Hua Lamphong Station).

What are the different classes on the trains from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai?

Most trains from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai have three classes. When I traveled on the night train from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai, I decided to book a 2nd class A/C night train ticket. This option is a lot cheaper than a 1st class ticket and it offered me enough privacy. Most travelers prefer the 2nd class cabin in the A/C sleeper train rather than the 1st class cabin.

The 1st class cabin

The 1st class cabin only exists on the A/C overnight trains and is perfect if you prefer privacy. The cabin fits two persons and has free wifi, a plug point, a sink, a bench seat that will be converted by the staff into beds (lower and upper berth), a mirror, and a personal LCD screen. This screen displaces the route in English and you can use it for entertainment and ordering food.

You will be sharing two toilets and one shower with the other travelers in the 1st class A/C cabin. There are 12 cabins on a train and they do sell out fast, so make sure to reserve in time.

The 2nd class cabin

You can find the 2nd class cabin in both A/C and non A/C trains and in the seat and sleeper versions. During the day, you can enjoy the outside scenery from the normal seats. Around 8-9 PM the staff converts the seats into an upper and lower bed. The upper bed is slightly smaller than the lower bed and has no window. Both beds have a power plug, light, sheet, blanket, pillow, pull across curtains, and free Wifi.

You will be sharing two toilets with the other 2nd class travelers, one is a traditional Thai hole in the floor toilet and one is a western sitdown toilet. If you don’t fancy the hole in the floor, just wait for the other one.

The newest passenger train operated by the State Railway of Thailand is recognizable by its red color and is more modern than other trains.

The 3rd class cabin

The 3rd class is surprisingly clean and acceptable by European standards, but there is no A/C available. You can either book a seat or bed. At both beds is a light, sheet, blanket, pillow, and pull across curtains available. You will be sharing the toilets with the other 3rd class travelers. I don’t recommend booking this class.

What is the best train to take from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai?

The best train to take depends upon whether you want to travel during the daytime or night. 

The A/C ones are usually cleaner and more modern, but the non A/C ones have windows which are open and better for taking photographs of the scenery.

Best train to travel during the daytime

If you would like to enjoy the great scenery on the route from Ayutthaya to Chaing Mai then I recommend that you take train #7 departing from Ayutthaya at 09:48. Train #7 is a sprinter train which is the fastest train and the only one which completes most of the journey in the daylight.

Best train to travel during the night

The best overnight train is train #9 which uses the newest passenger train operated by the State Railway of Thailand. This train is recognizable by its red color and the inside is very modern and comfortable to spend the night.

How much does a train ticket cost to get from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai?

The prices for train tickets from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai cost between $20 and $60 per person. The price depends on a range of factors including how far in advance you book, the date you travel, the class you book and if you book an upper bed or bottom bed. My train ticket was 1016 tbt for one bottom bed.

For the lowest prices, it is usually best to book as far in advance as possible and look out for low-cost options, such as non-refundable tickets or traveling outside of peak hours. Next to this, the fare for an upper bed is a fraction cheaper than the lower bed.

Where can I buy a ticket for the night train from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai?

There are several ways to book a ticket for the night train from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai.

Buying tickets at the train station

It’s easy to buy tickets yourself at the ticket counter of the Ayutthaya train station. Remember to bring your passport, as it may be required to buy a ticket. If you buy a ticket for the evening train and still want to explore Ayutthaya, you can pay a small amount to store your bag while you explore the temples and ruins. Then you just pick it up before you get on your train.

Buying tickets online

Another option is to book your train ticket online and collect your ticket at the train station in Ayutthaya. I recommend this option, because the overnight train is often sold out and this makes it hard to buy a ticket last minute if you’re on a tight schedule. It will be best to buy a train ticket one or two weeks in advance, especially if you’re wanting to book the 1st Class A/C Sleeper.

Use the search box to buy your train tickets from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai.

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What are the train departing times from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai?

The first train of the day departs at 09:48 and the last train leaves at 23:36. Please note that these times may vary. Always consider the official website or the information from the train station for the most up-to-date times.

TrainAyutthayaChiang MaiServiceJourneySleeper
#709:4819:30Special Express9 hr 42 mNo
#10915:1904:05Rapid12 hr 46 mYes
#919:4507:15Special Express11 hr 30 mYes
#1321:0708:40Special Express11 hr 33 mYes
#5123:3612:10Special Express12 hr 34 mYes

Where can I leave my luggage during the ride?

If you have a 1st class ticket, you can store your luggage in your private cabin.

Once the beds are made in the 2nd class you can store your luggage underneath the lower beds and in the 3rd class you can store your luggage in the luggage racks.

I recommend packing all your valuables (camera, passport, and so on) in your daypack and taking this along with you in your bed. It will be quite safe to store your backpack under the lower bed or in the luggage rack, but if you’re in doubt, you can bring a lock and padlock it to the rack at night.

What to bring with you?

If you are going to be staying in 2nd class I highly recommend bringing along an eye mask and ear plugs. It is quite light (even when you pull the curtain across) and there’s always some noise in the night, for example people walking towards the toilet or people who snore. Having an eye mask and ear plugs with you will allow you to get a peaceful night’s sleep.

It’s also a good idea to bring some warm clothes and snacks with you. In none of the classes you have control of the A/C, so it can be a bit cold during the night. Just have some warm clothes in your daypack, so you can reach them easily if you feel cold.

Even though there is a diner carriage on board where you can buy simple food and drinks, I highly recommend bringing your own snacks and drinks. You probably want something for the evening and for breakfast. I brought some chips with me for the evening and a sandwich and apple for the morning.

You might also want to bring some entertainment with you like a good travel book, your favorite television show or a fun board game. If you’re planning on streaming something or listening to music, make sure to bring your headphones. It is also wise to buy a local internet SIM card or Esim in advance, so you don’t have to rely on the wifi.

Conclusion

The night train is in my opinion the best way to travel from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai. It will not only get you comfortable to Chiang Mai, but will also save you the costs of a hotel room for the night. If you still have any unanswered questions, feel free to let me know in the comment section below. Have a great trip!

Author: Daphne

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