The Oriental Express to Chiang Rai

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This is part of the Trip Report So Long Mongolia, Hello SE Asia (December-January 2015) which covers:

Catch up by reading the preview, The Banana Pancake Trail to Myanmar Starts This Monday, then the overview, Thailand, Myanmar, Hong Kong, Disney, Home, where the game time decision was made to leave Mongolia for good.


Getting There: Consult The Man in Seat 61 for all your train travel needs in Thailand.


Planes, trains, and automobiles. What is more fitting than taking the train to Northern Thailand after the nightmare of getting the visa for Myanmar?

We arrived to the station in the nick of time and settled in on what proved to be the highlight of this trip. The cabin was spacious, the service was impeccable, and the ride was smooth. We did encounter a couple of unexpected surprises once aboard the train. First, I wasn’t allowed to enter the dining car because our car was separated by an all women’s car of which men are not allowed. Second, alcohol is no longer served on the train. The rules were understandably implemented as a result of a prior sexual assault.

Despite the inaccessibility to the dining car, we still managed to have a feast of feasts because we were offered the in-car dining option. As crazy as it sounds, our dinner ended up being the best that we had in all of Thailand. The Tom Yum soup was incomparable and the curries were on point. Hours later we were offered breakfast which was also delightful.

After eating and eating, we slept in our comfy bed with nice linens hoping that the ride would last a little bit longer. Sure you can fly from Bangkok to Chiang Rai but taking the train to Chiang Mai then enduring the bus to Chiang Rai is well worth the experience and extra time. The total cost from Bangkok to Chiang Rai was $28/pax.

All Aboard!
All Aboard!
train bangkok to chiang mai
Nick of time
train bangkok to chiang mai
Like SPG with 2 waters. Sink + Electrical outlet also included.
Our quarters
Our quarters
In-room dining
In-room dining
Tom Yum
Tom Yum
Dinner
Dinner
So much seafood
So much seafood
Tom Yum by night
Tom Yum by night
Extra helpings
Extra helpings
Delicious
Delicious
Morning arrival
Morning arrival
Breakfast
Breakfast
Like SPG Platinum
Like SPG Platinum
View from the Wing/Caboose
View from the Wing/Caboose
train bangkok to chiang mai
I don’t recommend the toilet
Our coach
Our coach
train bangkok to chiang mai
Chiang Mai!
train bangkok to chiang mai
Now for the bus

<==Back to Getting a Myanmar Visa – Onto Guns & Butter: Chiang Rai Travel Guide==>

 

 

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