This is our experience on Thailand’s first class train coach. But first, how to buy Thailand train ticket on the web?
Thailand has one of the best railway connections among the countries in ASEAN. From Chiang Mai to Nong Khai, Bangkok to Sungai Golok, train travel is one of the best ways to experience Thailand. That is why during our trip to Hua Hin, we decided to take the train from Hat Yai. Since Zinnirah was one year and four month old, we decided to take the first class train coach. At least, it will be more comfortable for a long haul journey. In this post, we will share our experience on Thailand’s first class train coach. But before that, how to buy Thailand train ticket online? Let’s continue reading to see how and also our review of the train!
How to buy Thailand train ticket online?
Train tickets in Thailand can be purchased from State Railway of Thailand’s website. Once you enter into the website, you can choose English and sign up if you do not have an account yet. Then, choose your leg i.e. either Northern, North Eastern or Southern. If you are going to Hua Hin from Hat Yai like us, you have to choose Southern. After that, choose your departure date and the number of pax. Children below 2 years old travel for free. You can then click search and the website will show which coaches are still available for purchase.
Thailand train tickets can be booked online 90 days before the travel date. So, it is advisable to buy the tickets early if you want to book online. This is especially so if you want to take the First Class train since the seats are limited.
After you have made your payment, the tickets will be sent to your email address. You must then print the tickets and bring with you before you board the train. That is the steps on how to buy Thailand train ticket online! Now, let’s see our experience on Thailand’s first class train coach.
Our experience on Thailand’s First Class train coach
After our ride on the ETS and subsequent ride on the shuttle train, we finally reached Hat Yai. We had an early dinner at the Mhaii Mhorn restaurant, packed some to eat on the train and finally, we proceeded to board the train which had already waited for us at the platform.
Just like the ETS, the first class coach in Thailand’s train occupies the first coach. However, the trains in Thailand are not electrified and therefore, it takes longer to reach the intended destinations. Still, the train’s speed can be so fast at times.
Currently, the State Railway of Thailand is in the midst of getting new coaches for its train. As such, if you want to try the new coaches, you should get the one with Coach Type: ANFCN when booking. We searched for this coach type diligently until we found one and finally made a booking.
Things that we loved on Thailand’s first class train coach
So, did we like the 1st class coach? Yes, we loved it! Although it is a bit pricey as compared to the second class coaches, it is worth the extra penny that we paid for.
A dedicated cabin!
First, the 1st class coach has a dedicated cabin. One cabin for two passengers. The cabin can be locked from the inside for security purposes. Inside the cabin, there is a sink, mineral water, dedicated in-train entertainment system and seats which will be converted into double decker beds upon request. It is total privacy for those who seek one.
Toilets and showers!
Secondly, inside the 1st class coach, there are two toilets, one urinal and the best part: a shower room with water heater! I was shocked when I realized there was one. Although our journey from Hat Yai to Hua Hin took 14 hours (2 hours delay), we felt so fresh and refreshed. We had a bath before we went to sleep after we left Hat Yai and the next morning, we had a bath again before we reached Hua Hin.
Comfortable and clean!
Next, we loved it because it is so comfortable and clean. Just imagine, although there were three of us in one cabin, we could still lay down and sleep comfortably. Apart from that, the coach is so clean and the toilets and shower rooms are cleaned regularly.
GPS and in-train entertainment system!
The train also has a GPS map in the cabin. So, you can know where you are and can estimate when you will reach your destination. During our journey, our train was delayed and the estimated time of arrival was a bit off. However, by looking at the map, we could assume how far it was before reaching our destination.
The GPS is part of the in-train entertainment system which has several channels. Nevertheless, there is only one English channel whereas other channels are in Thai.
Should you try?
Our experience on Thailand’s first class train coach is amazing. In fact, we told ourselves that next time, we should try to take the first class from Bangkok up north.
As I have already tried taking a long haul train from Hat Yai to Bangkok on a third class coach, trying the first class coach is really a class above. You will be treated kindly by the officer in charge and there is even a plain clothed security officer making his round on the 1st class coach.
If you are thinking of taking the train in Thailand, try and ride on the 1st class coach. The experience will be priceless and unforgettable!
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