After visiting Bangkok and had enough of all that it has to offer, I decided it was time I leave the noisy capital and head the Rose of the North and its appealing mountainous surroundings. I chose to take the train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, after having done extensive reading online. The train Thailand, a new country and a totally new experience – what can I ask more from my holiday? So in the afternoon I go by MRT to Hua Lamphong, which was an easy ride since the MRT is really well organized.
Hua Lamphong is a somewhat big train station for Thailand, though it is no match to any western European train stations. The waiting hallway, on the other hand, is truly huge – how I wish every train station would have enough seats for the waiting, tired travellers! Fortunately my wish came true here and the police or the army patrolling around made me feel safe too.
To buy my Thailand train ticket for the overnight train Bangkok to Chiang Mai was a rather easy experience – I had already bought them the moment I arrived in Thailand. I was scared I would not find any seats available, but I was relieved when they told me a few places were still available. So now I didn’t have anything to worry about. Avoiding all unnecessary stress is my motto for the holidays, since it’s the first step towards making sure I actually get to relax.
Waiting for the Bangkok Chiang Mai train, departure at 18:15. I’m happy to look around and see some fragments from the day to day life in a Thailand train station. People move around in frenzy, though sometimes it seems that the station has time to breathe when the waves of tourists and people are not that huge. Here, people and animals co-exist peacefully and I can see a lovely black cat making its way among people, the benches with comfortable sitting chairs and kids who want to catch it. Nobody seems to care about it, nor do they chase away dogs who found shelter in the different corners of the big station. I find that this peaceful atmosphere suits me well and I sink myself into it.
It’s already 18:00 and I go to the train platform. I see from afar the train approaching slowly. When it stops, I ask the station personnel, a kind lady, where my car is and she shows me immediately. I was rather on the other end of the train so I hurry to my sleeper car. Once inside the train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, I could easily find my place. Since it’s a sleeper train, the seats are large, comfy and leather covered, which is a good plus for my back pain.
About 2 hours later, the attending hostess starts making the “beds” with clean sheets and blankets. It goes fast and I can’t wait to lie down. It’s soft, unexpectedly soft and large enough to get a good night sleep without any worry. I enter the kingdom of dreams in a matter of minutes and I woke up next morning with the sunrise. I love it – the train, the sunrise on the move, the bed is awesome (it does feel like a bed to me!). I am more than satisfied with my train experience overall.