Thailand – Bangkok, 17 July 2005

After a rather cramped flight from Singapore to Bangkok in the morning, we arrived in Dong Muang International Airport at 12-ish. Deciding that the airport bus was a rip-off at 100 Baht, we decided to head towards Don Muang Railway Station for the fast and cheap (10 Baht) but irregular train service to Bangkok town centre.

When we arrived at the railway station, true to rumours, it was indeed irregular, as the next train was coming only at 14 45, leaving us with two hours of waiting time. Noticing a ticketing office at the train station, I decided to see if we could manage to get train tickets to Chiang Mai at night. Although we originally intended to take non-air-conditioned sleepers, these sleepers were sold out. Consequently, I had to buy us air-con sleepers, an affair which we were later to be very thankful for on our 14 hour long train ride to Chiang Mai.

In addition to purchasing our tickets, at Wanting’s inquiry, the guy at the office also gave us valuable information on how to get to Chatuchak weekend market via their local public transport. With his directions in mind, we boarded their air-conditioned bus service 510 costing a mere 18 Baht, bringing us to Chatuchak in 20 minutes.

Chatuchak is indeed a shopper’s paradise, selling almost everything and anything at cheap prices. Looking for fake Birkenstock sandals at 199 Baht before bargaining? Yup, it’s available in Chatuchak. My main grumble against Chatuchak is the heat and the crowd.

At around 17 00, we decided to head towards Bangkok city with Sharon, in order to meet up with Jasmine for an early dinner before Wanting and I figured out the way to claim our luggage which was left in Don Muang train station. After a dinner of Thai-style Yong Tau Foo, we slowly made our way towards Hualumphong railway station to check out our options.

At Hualumphong, excellent advice from the information counter saw us taking an earlier train towards Don Muang to claim our bags and also to wash up before boarding our sleeper towards Chiang Mai. As a result of this, we ended up in a cheapass 3rd class carrier costing 10 Baht.

The hour long journey was a most fruitful experience, which saw us benefitting from the help of friendly and concerned Thais (we didn’t know where to get off). Also, there were hawkers selling stuff from full meals to snacks along with local beer to wash it down with. Way too cool!

Chatuchak.jpg

Chatuchak Market

Ice Sticks at Chatuchak.jpg

Ice sticks for sale at Chatuchak

Local Delights sold on Train.jpg

 

Local delights on the train

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Categories: Rail, Thailand | Tags: | Leave a comment

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