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How do I book tickets for Thailand Trains online?

Reader’s E-mail:

Thai Railways doesn’t appear to have an internet ticket booking facility. How can I book Thai railway tickets before I come to Thailand. I want to travel on an overnight train from Bangkok to Suratthani on the same day that I arrive on the plane from the UK. Can I turn up at the train station and just buy a ticket at Bangkok Train station?

Reply from Thailand Info

It is possible to turn up at Hualamphong, Bangkok’s main train station and book a train ticket for travel on the same day.

Problems with Booking a Train In Thailand On The Day Of Travel

I have done this several times for the overnight journey down to Surat Thani, however, I have always ended up on a ‘Sprinter’ train or in 3rd class on an ‘Express’ train, which means that I got a seat rather than a bed. 2nd and 1st class sleeper seats have always been fully booked when ever I have tried to get one the same day as I plan to travel.

A Sleeper Berth is The Best Option After Arriving in Thailand on a Long Flight From Europe

If it were me, I would not much fancy a night trying to sleep on a train seat after taking an overnight flight from Europe.

Online Booking For Thailand Train Tickets

A better option would be to book a train ticket for a sleeper seat on an express train service online. You are right Thai Railways does not take online bookings any more – their online booking service was discontinued in 2012. You can though get tickets through an online travel agent service for a small additional charge. I always use 12go to book advance train and bus tickets if I am coming to Thailand and want to guarantee onward travel from Bangkok. I also use them if I can’t be bothered to go a ticket office when I am in Thailand. Booking through 12go costs around 150B (£3 or $5) more than booking direct with Thai Railways, but I feel that this is a small price to pay for the hassle and uncertainty it saves you.

Collecting Your Train Tickets in Bangkok

Once you have booked your tickets through 12go you can pick up them up on the day of travel between 10.00 and 20.00 Monday to Friday and 11.00 to 19.00 on Saturdays and Sundays from the DOB Building which is located on the other side of the road opposite the grand front entrance of Hualamphong Railway Station. For more information see Thailand Train’s Guide to Collecting Train Tickets in Bangkok.

Staying Overnight in Surat Thani

Have a good train trip. If you end up having a night in Surat Thani try the Wang Tai Hotel, it has great views over the Tapee river and comfortable beds at a reasonable price.

Taxi Boat Koh Phangan

Taxi Boat in Koh Phangan

Location of the Collection Point For Train Tickets Booked Online Through 12Go

Next read a Guide to Train Travel from Bangkok to Surat Thani