We were sooooooooooooooo excited about travelling by train to Chiang Mai, especially because it was going to be an overnight train, which none of us had experienced before.
It was fabulous because we’d had a full day in Bangkok before heading to the train station. We arrived an hour early to have dinner before we boarded (we were such newbies and didn’t have a clue whether food would be served on the train – it is, but for a price)
With full tummies and a couple of bags of treats and snacks we boarded the train heading North. The minute we stepped on, we were greeted with warm welcomes and smiles, we were given huge glasses of orange juice (which, incidentally have their own story if you follow along).
The thing about the train – no matter which country – it always ALWAYS leaves on time so at 7:30 pm we were pulling out of the station and on our way.
It was pretty slow going getting through Bangkok but the first part of the journey was super fun just figuring everything out and settling in. Of course we were so excited we were non-stop chatter and laughter. But by 9 pm it was obvious that it was time to quiet down as the attendants started to make their rounds offering to make the beds.
We had booked second class which meant we would each have our own beds but it wasn’t a private car. Instead there were curtains that separated each bed from the outside world. Because there were five of us some of us had top bunks and others bottom. By the third time the lovely young lady asked us if she could make our beds we couldn’t say no – it just felt impolite.
Watching the beds be made was a whole spectator sport in itself. Everything flips down, flips up, turns around and the next thing you know it’s like tetrus game and there were cute little beds complete with blanket and pillow all made up.
Of course we didn’t go to sleep straight away. There were snacks to be munched on, card games to be had and the obligatory giggles! We were trying to be as quiet as possible, which brought on even more giggles and silliness.
Abigayle and I entertained ourselves by making up a romance novel about a couple sitting close to us. They had obviously been strangers on boarding, but within half hour were chatting away like crazy and every time the offer to turn the seats into beds was made they declined. We came up with lots of lovely plot lines for the two of them and were thrilled when they picked up in the morning where they had left off the night before.
I slept quite well on my little bottom bunk, not sure how I would have fared on a top bunk – Abigayle let me try hers – they are quite narrow so I’d be worried about falling out! It was a real treat to wake at sunrise and see the sun pinking the sky as the train rattled along.
By 7:30 am the lovely attendants from the night before were poking their heads around the curtain, with a cheery, “hello, good morning!” And you were up, whether or not you wanted to be. With the same efficiency that they had made the beds they un-made them and turned them back into seats.
We were treated to morning coffee and then received the bill for both it and the orange juice, from the night before, which we had no idea we had to pay for else perhaps we may have drunk them!
Before we knew it, it was 9:00 am and we were pulling into Chiang Mai train station. Not only had we enjoyed our experience thoroughly, but it was a wonderful way to travel up through the country. It was painless and relatively inexpensive, especially if you consider it also covered one night’s accommodation.
We arrived strangely refreshed and ready for a full day in Chiang Mai – which it was 🙂
through the dark
taking the over night train