The State Railway of Thailand, ☎ +66 2 222-0175, serves Bangkok with railway lines from all four directions of Thailand. Hualamphong Train Station is the most important station, located close to Yaowarat and served by its own MRT station. It is a big and surprisingly convenient station built during the reign of King Rama VI. It spared bombing in World War II at the request of the Thai resistance movement.
Tickets for trains leaving the same or the next day can be bought on the counters under the big screens. The Advance Booking Office is located to the right of the platforms as you walk towards them and is quite well-organised. You can select your seat/berth from a plan of the train, and payments by credit card are accepted. Also, finally you can book an e-ticket ; the price is the same, however, the quota reserved for e-booking is limited, and there are only first and second class air-conditioned sleeper tickets available.
A word of advice is to only listen to the people at the information desk — anyone else walking around offering to help you "find" a hotel or taxi is just a tout, even if they are wearing official-looking badges. Likewise, the second floor shops offering "Tourist Information" are just agents in disguise. The taxi pick up and drop off point is to the left of the platforms as you walk towards them, and is generally chaotic at busy periods with scant regard for any queue. The left luggage facility is at the opposite end of the concourse, on the far right as you walk away from the platforms.
If coming by train from the north or north-east, connecting to the metro at Bang Sue Train Station can shave the last half-hour off your train trip. This is not a very good place to board trains though, as there is practically no information or signage in English. However, this situation will doubtlessly improve as more and more long-distance departures are switched to here from Hualamphong Train Station to ease congestion in the inner city.
The Thonburi Train Station, formerly known as the Bangkok Noi Station, is on the west side of the river in Thonburi. It is the terminus for twice-daily trains to Kanchanaburi (via Nakhon Pathom). Just to keep things confusing, the previous Thonburi Train Station right next to the river (accessible by the Chao Phraya Express Boat pier Railway Station) is now mothballed and turned into a museum, but it's only 800 m away from the new station. Note that the weekend-only second class air-conditioned "tourist" trains to Kanchanaburi and Nam Tok depart from Hualamphong Train Station.
Wongwien Yai Train Station only serves the rustic Mae Klong commuter line to the fishing village of Maha Chai. Trains run roughly hourly and the trip takes about one hour. The ride is of little interest if you want to get there fast, but is an experience for rail fans and an attraction in itself, with a nice view on the countryside's orchards, vegetable plantations and coconut groves. Maha Chai is a nice seafood destination, and if you feel like it, you can cross the Tha Chin river by ferry and continue by rail to Samut Songkhram. Wongwien Yai Train Station is about 800 m from the Skytrain station of the same name; to get there, take a metered taxi for 35-50 baht, or walk (using a map).
The Most Frequently Asked Travel Questions about Bangkok
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