How to survive a Thai train trip
Chiang Mai, 4.05.2017 seemed like any other day.
Departure at 15,30, direction Lampang, the third biggest city in northern Thailand and our second stop after Chiang Mai. We documented our selfs on various blogs and site’s and we decided that a train would be a good way to continue our trip so we packed our backpacks and went to Chiang Mai train station, to buy a ticket to one of our craziest adventures.
23 THB (0.60 euros) for a “two hours” trip to Lampang.
Maybe we should have notice that with such a cheap price the train would not be so great, but thinking: “oh we’re in Thailand every thing is cheap”, so we didn’t panic, but maybe it was better to.
Train carriage number 11, seats 52-53, wide open windows and a few old fans, that’s all we had to try and keep us cool, and trust me we never cooled down.
It’s good to know that in may, Thailand is very hot, during the first hours of the afternoon temperatures can reach almost 40° celsius.
We left the station on time, there were screaming babies, loud group of Thai’s from the countryside and unbearable heat, the train slowly going towards our first stop, Lamphun. I remember really well the name of this station because it wasn’t a classic train stop, we stopped there for 1hour and 45 minutes. On the train there where food vendors with a rough, pink, old and dirty uniform, holding in their hands big trays full of any kind of food meats, rice, fried chicken, eggs and various snacks, very appreciated by our travel companions.
We finally leave Lamphun to reach our destination, sweaty and exhausted we were thinking only one thing: can’t wait to get a shower!
We were expecting some good views on our journey, but all we saw was dry fields, a bit of forest and some skinny cows. A lot of our blogger friends talked about great rice fields but since it’s dry season we didn’t see any, so probably after the rainy season you can get great views while traveling on the train.
After 4 and half hours of travelling ,it seemed unreal when we arrived at Lampang station!
It would be great if that was the end of our trouble, if we got off our train and reached our hotel with no issues, had a good shower and laugh about our very uncomfortable journey. But no, things didn’t go as planned. We went outside the Lampang train station and got the first taxi that we found, he charged 120 THB to take us to our hotel, we showed him the name in thai language and we jump in the back of his pick up truck. Few minutes after we arrive at what should have been our hotel, but it wasn’t. The venue had only thai signs and the girl at the reception spoke very little english, but thanks to the translator and the taxi drivers number that we had kept, we managed to get him to take us at the right destination.
We arrived at our real destination around 9 p.m., we walked inside the room and it seemed like no one has cleaned it for months, obviously staff didn’t speak english, but we didn’t panic, took a shower, opened our sleeping bag, collapsed on the bed hoping to fall asleep soon and forget what happened.
I’m writing from a different hotel that we have found in Lampang, very clean and a lot more comfortable, so a happy ending after all.
So to anyone who feels like taking a train from Chiang Mai to Lampang i suggest you get info about which trains have air conditioning (there are some), buy plenty of water for you’re trip and have a lot of patience, you’ll need it!