On Monday night, Eric and I left Bangkok for Krabi, a town on the southwest coast of Thailand. After a few weeks in the city, I was ready to see some beaches. We decided to take an overnight train. I love train travel and am always disappointed that it costs so much more to take Amtrak than Megabus in the US. The buses from Bangkok were also cheaper in this case, but we agreed that we'd rather spend fourteen hours on a train than cooped up on a bus.
|The Bangkok train station, complete with gardens and water features.|
We purchased our tickets through a travel agent in Bangkok. The train would take us to Surat Thani, where we would catch a bus to Krabi. After a surprisingly fresh dinner at the Bangkok train station's food court, we boarded our train and handed our tickets to a conductor. He began walking us through the cars, which were all crowded with people and luggage. Surely we were headed to our own cabin, I thought. The travel agent had explained that we were buying lower bunks, and I was excited to see what sleeping in trains was like. I pictured the romance and vintage glamor I had seen in so many British films. Then the conductor stopped, gestured to two seats, and left.
Eric and I looked at the seats, plain brown and wide. These did not seem to be in a cabin, nor were they the fold-down beds we had expected. An Italian couple next to us was equally confused and grumbled about getting ripped off by the travel agents. The only apparent "upper" or "lower" things were the luggage racks, and who would pay more money just to get a lower luggage rack? Happily, as the train left the station a woman came around serving beer. As Eric and I settled into our wide seats for the duration of the trip, we sipped Singha and I slowly dozed off.
|Not quite what I expected - photo by Eric Reed|
|Cozy bunks that appeared out of nowhere!|
Have you ever ridden on an overnight train or bus?
How was your experience?