How To Get From Ayutthaya To Chiang Mai Easily

Night trains (with sleeper) are awesome. You not only get a relaxing ride across the countryside. You also get a bed to sleep in for the night. No accommodation to pay for! There are quicker and sometimes cheaper ways to get from Ayutthaya (or Bangkok for that matter) to Chiang Mai. You can catch an airplane very easily however you will miss out being lulled to sleep by the clickety clack then waking up to watch the scenery stream past your window.

Booking at least one day in advance is advisable for the night train from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai. The same goes if you are planning to head directly from Bangkok. The night trains get very full very quickly. Especially on the weekend or during national holidays. Both Thais and travellers use the train between the central and northern parts of Thailand. At the time of writing, booking means physically going to a train station and buying a paper ticket. No net booking here.

Ayutthaya Train Station

There are at least six night trains that run between Bangkok to Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai nightly. The best ones to catch leave Bangkok between 6pm and 8pm, the trains then stop between 7pm and 9pm in Ayutthaya to finally arrive in Chiang Mai between 7am and 10am the next day. If you catch an earlier leaving train then you will arrive in Chiang Mai at an ungodly hour of 5:30am. Nothing is open then! It should be noted here that the trains often run late. So, it is wise to not make any morning day tour bookings the day you arrive in Chiang Mai. Also, not all of these trains may have sleeper cars.

To check out the train timetables running from Bangkok to Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai, please click here to be taken to the Thai Railway Northern Timetable.

Our train that was coming from Bangkok was meant to arrive at 9pm in Ayutthaya. In true Thai fashion the train was a good hour late. Normally we would have no problem with our transport being late as we don't really have any appointments to keep. But when it comes to a night train, and you know that your sleeper bed is going to be set up for you and it is night time already and it is nearly bed time, then we may get a little grumbly.

Finally the train came. Everyone was just as happy as we were. We climbed on the train to find a four sleeper bed booth. We had one side, a top and bottom sleeper booth each. Only the bottom sleeper bed was taken on the other side. Our booth mate was a lovely Thai tour guide who had just finished taking a group of French people from Bangkok all the way up to Chiang Mai and back again. He was very tired also but we had a nice chat. You really do meet some lovely people on trains.

There are two different sleeper bed ticket prices. The bottom sleeper bunk is more expensive than the top sleeper as it is generally bigger and easier to get into. It also has a little shelf that you can put your glasses on, like Andrew did. To get to the top bunk you have to clamber up a metal ladder hoping that the train doesn't stop suddenly. The top sleeper bunk is still really comfortable though. Tanya prefers it to the bottom bunk. It feels like a little cocoon. Both sleeper beds have a curtain that completely surrounds the bunks and a personal night light to read a book by.

Our tickets from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai cost: 856 Baht for the lower bunk and 766 Baht for the top bunk. To get a further idea about how much the train costs between Bangkok - Ayutthaya - Chiang Mai please click here to be taken to the Thai Railways Price Chart.

The train from Ayutthaya takes approximately twelve hours to get to Chiang Mai. It is probably best to add on an extra hour or two for little stops here and there. During this time, you can either spend the entirety sleeping peacefully in your comfy bed that comes with a clean bottom sheet, a clean pillow case, a clean pillow and a clean blanket. Or, you could join the others in the restaurant carriage.

Basic Thai food was offered at a reasonable price along with beer of course. You could pre-purchase breakfast sets for when the morning came if you wanted to. Unfortunately, we do not remember any of the prices of the food or the drinks. Apologies for this.

We recommend you bring a good book, an ipod for music, some playing cards, and perhaps a game of scrabble. We had so much fun playing scrabble on the train. Tanya won by the way. If you aren't into scrabble or any other game, then just looking out your window whiling away the time is just as good. The views are spectacular.

Our train was meant to arrive in Chiang Mai at 9:45am. Many stops and starts later, we finally arrived in Chiang Mai it was well past 11:30am. We didn't mind too much. We had brought some snacks with us so we weren't starving by this time.

The night train from Bangkok - Ayutthaya - Chiang Mai really is a great ride. This was the third or fourth time we had done this trip. We recommend it to everyone!

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21 comments

  1. kathanda 4 October, 2014 at 03:55 Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing this blog, it is fabulous. My wife,daughter (17) and I are headed for a 5 week trip to Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand and this is one of the best blogs I have found! Thank you so much πŸ™‚ Now I know we can make it to Chiand Mai from Ayutthaya πŸ™‚

  2. christine 16 January, 2015 at 10:51 Reply

    Hi there! Just wondering where you kept ur stuff while u were sleeping and If it’s safe to have both ppl sleeping! Ty! πŸ™‚

    • Tanya 26 January, 2015 at 21:43 Reply

      Perfectly safe, although we do recommend you keep all your valuables like passports, money and iPhones on yourself while you sleep. We recommend this type of action when we travel anywhere πŸ™‚

  3. Shireen 15 March, 2015 at 17:50 Reply

    I’ll be coming from Vientiane, do you know if I can change from Vientiane to Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai easily? Or do I have to go all the way down to Bangkok then back up? πŸ™‚

  4. Alice Cha 30 July, 2015 at 12:56 Reply

    Hi Tanya,

    First of all, thank you for the great post. It’s so detailed and easy to follow. I am glad to have found your blog.

    However, I do have a few questions for you. I am planning a trip with my family to travel from Bangkok by a minivan to Ayutthaya, in the early morning and spend the day there. At night that same day, we would like to go to Chiang Mai by train. Where can we book our tickets a day in advance? Also, I will be traveling with 5 other family members, are there sleeper numbers (like seating charts) so we can sleep closer to each other? or is it first come first serve?

    …oh btw, I do have one more question. I notice you mention that not all night train have sleeper cars. If we want to make sure we get sleepers, do we ask for it while booking/paying for the tickets?

    Thank you so much in advance. I am sorry that there are so much questions. It’s my first time traveling with my family, and I want to make sure my parents are as comfortable as can be. Thank you. πŸ™‚

    Alice

    • Andrew 15 August, 2015 at 13:19 Reply

      You should be able to get your train tickets in Bangkok from Hua Lamphong Railway Station. I don’t think we have ever booked tickets departing from a station other than the one we were at but I would be surprised if you cannot. If you have trouble do let us know as I am curious.

      As you are traveling with a decent sized group I would suggest getting your tickets as soon as you are able. You will want to minimize the chances of not being able to get enough tickets for the whole group.

      You will be asked what kind of ticket you want when you book and pay. We usually go second class sleeper although their is always first class if you have trouble getting everyone into second class. The sleepers have assigned seating. Third class is a free for all that I wouldn’t particularly recommend for an overnight trip.

  5. Carina 6 December, 2015 at 21:37 Reply

    Hi there! Just wondering what class you recommend to book the sleeper train? I just read that you would recommend 3rd class for the transfer from Bagkok to Ayutthaya ..just wondering if that’s the same for the sleeper train journey from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai? Thank you so much in advance! Carina

  6. Shane 28 September, 2016 at 04:18 Reply

    Thanks so much for the Info! I am definitely going to check out some of your other journeys. I am solo Traveling to Thailand in January. I am trying to find the delicate balance of hosteling, couch surfing, and hotelling to make the most of it.
    Any advice?
    Shane

    • Tanya 5 October, 2016 at 20:54 Reply

      Hi Shane, we haven’t done any couch surfing so cannot comment on that. Research, research, research! πŸ™‚

  7. Ashish Saroha 17 October, 2016 at 08:59 Reply

    Hello,
    Is it feasible to take the night train (the cheapest, we are a family of 5) to Chiang Mai on say 2nd Jan and back to Bangkok to take a late evening intl. flight on 4th Jan and make a stop in Ayutthya? When would it be best to stop in Ayutthaya, outward or return trip? Can you give a rough estimate of the cost of the train trip for 2 adults and 3 kids all less than 12 years old? What about the train ticket booking, any website you can suggest?
    Many thanks!
    Ashish

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