7 things I wish I knew before embarking on a 13-hour train trip through Thailand


The 467-mile journey between Chiang Mai and Bangkok is one of the longest railway lines in Thailand. It takes more than 13 hours to travel through the dense jungle of the northern province to the country’s capital.

Aerial view of Chiang Mai and Bangkok.

Aerial view of Chiang Mai and Bangkok.

Marielle Descalsota / Insider


I traveled on a sleeper train for the first time during a reporting trip to Thailand in late July.Around 5pm, I boarded Express 14 Take the train in Chiang Mai, the largest province in northern Thailand. After more than 13 hours, crossing 9 provinces and 18 railway stations, we arrived in Bangkok on a bustling morning.

Since Thailand has just completely Opened to tourists on July 1, sleeper trains and all facilities at the train station have not returned to normal. There was no food for sale on board, there were hardly any stops on the 10-hour trip, and there was no cell phone service or Wi-Fi on more than half of the trip.

But it was a trip worth trying – it allowed me to experience Thailand, a country I’ve been to many times, in a whole new way. Here are seven things I wish I knew before riding the express train.



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