I got the train during the day from Hua Lamphong station in Bangkok to Chiang Mai. It is a daunting 11 hours (just over) but I thought going during the day would give me a chance to see the scenery and not be cranky when I arrived after a bumpy sleep!
I booked my train ticket through 12Go Asia. They provided a good rate (around 650 baht) and their office is the DOB building across from Hua Lamphong station. Really great service! I also grabbed a meal in the station costing 40 baht and it was fantastic... even got a little kitty friend as I ate! Rice and chicken from the bone, with an awesome peppery broth. Amazing!
The train left at 8:30am and there was a platform change but a man who could speak English came along and told us! No sweat!
On the train I met Hoo. She works on a chicken farm in Bangkok and was from further north. Returning after working away to her husband and two boys. She showed me pictures, had a tear in her eye when asking me if I knew her King had passed and gave me a doughnut when I was unlucky enough to get two tubs of mackerel for lunch. I am ashamed to say most seafood gives me the boak! Bring snacks for the train! A couple more stops to myself - got a little too comfy! When Kathrin, a German from outside Munich boarded. She had also booked the window seat...
She gave me lots of hints and tips and we planned to meet up in Chiang Mai, which we did!
There were a few Buddhas to be seen on the way, as well as lots of rural communities. People walking on the tracks, tiny towns, farms, solar farm and quarries. The scenery was perfect. Even if the windows weren't that clean!
Arriving in Chiang Mai before 8 - it was a 20 minute walk to my hotel. I was tired but decided to walk... read about my time in Chiang Mai next!