Night Train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai | Complete Guide

You want to travel from Bangkok to Chaing Mai and prefer to make the journey with the night train Bangkok to Chaing Mai.

The good thing about this overnight train is that you can sleep throughout most of the 13-hour train ride and arrive early morning ready to enjoy your first day in Chaing Mai.

Let’s now cover your questions about the sleeper train from Bangkok to Chaing Mai that will effortlessly take you to where you need to go and at the same time be an unforgettable adventure in itself.

Bangkok to Chiang Mai sleeper train. The train at Hua Lamphong station Bangkok

Night Train-Bangkok Chiang Mai

There are 3 daily night trains from Bangkok to Chaing Mai.

Train no.BangkokChaing MaiDurationCarriage
918:4007:1512hrs 35mins1st & 2nd class
sleepers – A/C –
Restaurant
1320:0508:4012hrs 35mins1st & 2nd class
sleepers – A/C –
Restaurant
5122:3012:1011 hrs 40minsSeats w. fans –
2nd class sleepers
w. A/C

Bangkok to Chiang Mai Trains

Trains traveling from Bangkok to Chiang Mai depart from the new Krung Thep Aphiwat Central Terminal Station (Bang Sue Grand Station). Other popular stops along the route are Don Mueang train station and Ayutthaya.

Bangkok to Chiang Mai railway travel is a popular route because it’s convenient and affordable with tickets for the sleeper costing around ฿900 ($24). And the night trains from Bangkok to Chiang Mai are even more sought out. Not only because they’re a cheap way to travel but also because of the comfortable sleeping arrangement. So if you’re planning to go to Chiang Mai via sleeper train it is important to book your at least a week or 2 in advance.

The months between October and January are particularly busy as many locals travel to Northern Thailand to visit relatives during the cooler months and holiday season. If you’re traveling around these months, consider purchasing your train tickets a month ahead. You can book tickets online or at the train station.

About Bangkok-Chiang Mai Sleeper Train

We did the trip from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and vice versa and both times chose a night train or sleeper train. If you are traveling on a budget, opting for the night train will save the price of a night’s accommodation and you will have a whole day to explore Chiang Mai since the train arrives early in morning.

While the trains are rather old, inside they’re clean have comfortable seating/sleeping arrangements and class 2 carriages have air condition. There is also a restaurant on board, though the food isn’t that great.

In this detailed guide you’ll find everything you need to know about Bangkok to Chiang Mai trains and night trains.

>>Check our guide to Bangkok which is perfect for those visiting Bangkok for the first time.

Train & Night Train From Bangkok to Chiang Mai

Every day a number of trains travel between Bangkok and Chiang Mai and vice versa. The options are to travel either during the day and admire the scenery, or by night and sleep for most of the journey.

Trains in Thailand are a safe way of traveling and are environmentally friendly compared to air travel and buses. Thailand’s railway system also happens to be one of the best in South East Asia. In fact, all trains are clean and for the sleeper train you will get a sealed pack with fresh sheets and a pillow.

For travelers on a budget Bangkok to Chiang Mai night is a sensible option. You won’t lose any day time an you’ll also be saving the price of 1 night accommodation.

Bangkok to Chiang Mai Train Schedule

Train Bangkok - Chiang Mai $ 7.74–31.70 10h 10m – 13h 50m
  •   2nd Class Sleeper AC 14:32, 18:40, 18:57, 20:22, 22:30, 22:47
  •   2nd Class AC seats only 09:05, 09:20
  •   2nd Class Fan seats only 14:15, 14:32, 20:05, 20:22, 22:30, 22:47
  •   Class 3 Fan 14:15, 14:32, 20:05, 20:22, 22:30, 22:47

Cost of Train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai

For your train travels from Bangkok to Chiang Mai there are various options and each option has a different price. There is the option to travel 1st, 2nd or 3rd class, A/C or non A/C and sleeper or seated. The cost varies depending on class, comfort and even time of year.

Note: There is only 1 first class sleeping carriage and only a few trains have them. If you plan traveling on a first class train from Bangkok to Chiang, you should book your tickets at least 1 month in advance.

Here is a quick summary of what you should expect to pay depending on class and comfort:

3rd class non A/C seat: 350 baht ($12)

2nd class A/C seat:       650 baht ($22)

2nd class A/C sleeper:   750 baht ($25)

1st  class A/C sleeper:   1500Baht ($50)

Prices are approximate figures and should be used as guidelines.

The most popular Bangkok to Chiang Mai sleeper train is train #9 which departs Bangkok at 18:00 and completes the journey in just over 13 hours. The number 9 sleeper train costs around 750baht ($25) for a one 1 way trip and arrives in Chiang Mai at 7:15 completing the journey in just over 13 hours. 

the night train before converting into a sleeper and no passengers on board

Buying Train Tickets in Thailand

Tickets can easily be bought from any railway station in Thailand. So if you already have all your trip planned, you can easily walk in a railway station and pre book your tickets. Keep in mind that to buy tickets from the train station you will need your passport. It is possible to pay by card, however, often times we were told the card reader wasn’t working.

On your ticket you will have all the information you need. Train number, cabin class, seat number, date and time are all printed on the ticket

Should I Prebook Train Tickets from Bangkok to Chiang Mai

Yes, if you want to have peace of mind and have planned your entire trip I suggest you prebook your train tickets at least a week or two in advance. Both locals and foreigners use trains in Thailand and some popular long distance routes such as Bangkok to Chiang Mai sell out fast. 

Especially if you plan on using the night train to travel between the two cities and are in Thailand between mid October and January, you should book your tickets 2 or 3 weeks prior to your trip. Chiang Mai is a popular destination during those months and both foreigners and Thai’s from all over the country will be using trains to get to Chiang Mai.

If you are all right with not finding a train on a specific date, don’t mind travelling/sleeping in a carriage with no A/C and can afford to move your trip date, then you won’t need to pre book. There is always a place if you can afford to compromise on those factors. That is unless you’re in a large group.

Overnight Sleeper Train to Chaing Mai

Where to Pre Book Train Tickets in Thailand

Train tickets can be purchased directly from any train station in Thailand up to 90 days prior to your trip. Don’t forget to take your passport with you. So if you’re in Thailand on an extended holiday, you can easily buy your tickets once you get there.

Another option is to reserve your tickets online. This is the best option for those on a short trip that have their whole holiday planned and can’t afford to compromise on moving dates and times.

You can order your Thai train tickets easily and cheaply through 12GoAsia, a reliable online booking platform offering loads of routes and trips in Thailand. There is a small service charge over the usual ticket price but is well worth the small extra fee for your own peace of mind.

a train conductor at Chiang Mai railway station

Bangkok To Chiang Mai | Train comfort – onboard facilities and what to expect

You can expect a real Thai experience aboard the Bangkok to Chiang Mai train. Both foreigners and locals use this mode of transport to travel between the two cities. 

November to February are the most popular months. Locals travel to North Thailand during these festive days to visit their families and for the cooler climate.

A/C on trains is usually too low, you will see locals getting on trains with thick winter jackets. Keep some warm clothing handy just in case you feel cold.

Your luggage can be stored right next to you in the train aisle. Keep a small bag with your valuables in it especially if you are on the sleeper train and in the upper deck bed with you.

Compared to travelling by bus, trains are spacious and much more comfortable.

Trains 109, 9, 13 and 51 have an onboard restaurant that serves cooked meals and packed snacks. The food isn’t the best since it is prepacked meals similar to that on flights. But should do to make it through the journey.

If you travel during the day, at some stops locals come aboard (or hang outside the train windows) selling local food. This is a better alternative to train restaurant and you can find anything from boiled eggs, to Pad Thai. We bought a whole chicken breast served on a skewer stick from local vendors selling on Thai trains.

Bangkok to Chiang Mai Buses (and vice-versa)

Buses are another option of getting from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. 

However, I would consider this option as a last resort. Although bus travel time is almost the same as travelling by train and price is comparable or less than train tickets, comfort on night buses won’t be that great. 

We didn’t do this trip by bus however have travelled in Thailand by bus and can easily say comfort isn’t close to a train.

Bangkok To Chiang Mai Flights (and vice-versa)

Flights can be an alternative to train travel. In fact, often flights cost almost the same price as a train ticket. Travelling by air between Bangkok and Chiang Mai will save at least half the time.

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