We have had a seriously expensive month with Singapore and being on holiday in Bangkok since the end of June. So our few days in Hua Hin last week was done on a micro-budget…thankfully being in Thailand that isn’t too much of an issue. We haven’t been to Hua Hin before even though it’s just a few hours away from Bangkok on the mainland or used the train so we decided to save some pennies and train it down rather than the usual Bangkok expat’s chosen method of transport, private taxi.
A few days before we set off to find the station and hopefully book our tickets. It couldn’t have been easier for us, we jumped on the BTS to Asok and then the MRT to Hua Lamphong, door to door it was only 30 minutes. We entered the main station and quickly found the ticket booths where we spoke to a lady who sorted us straight out. We went for a 2nd class train journey (it has aircon, whilst 3rd has windows and a fan or two but is much cheaper) which would take just over three hours and cost just over 1600 baht (£29) for two return tickets, bargain.
So a few days later we retraced our steps to catch the 8.05am train from Bangkok to Surat Thani (where you can hop across to Koh Samui and the other islands) dropping us at Hua Hin en route.
The train was quite old but pretty comfy. We had reclining seats with footrests, tray tables and adequate leg room. There was plenty of space for luggage too which was a good job as most of the other travellers had lots of it! Unexpectedly, we got a meal around 10.30am, fish curry was too much for me at that time but Dave gave it a go. We were also served a complimentary hot drink and a bun. The hot drink was needed as the aircon was very efficient (top tip ~ take a cardi or a jumper!).
Hua Hin is only a short distance from Bangkok but the scenery changed drastically; we passed through lush tropical palm trees, farmland and paddy fields. We also passed through some seriously tiny stations, some we stopped at, others we didn’t.
We arrived into Hua Hin slightly later than expected as the train had lost time due to waiting at traffic lights to get out of Bangkok but we were in no hurry so it really didn’t matter. A friend had mentioned that Hua Hin station is supposed to be the prettiest in Thailand but I really hadn’t expected the sight that greeted us. It honestly is the cutest station I have ever seen, all red and cream, wooden and traditional! We spent ages taking photographs! It was named one of the ‘Top 10 Best Tourist Attractions‘ in Thailand for 2015.
A few days later we caught the 4.01pm train back to Bangkok, it was on time which I was impressed by! The train was slightly older but this journey was pretty much the same with the addition of hawkers every time we pulled into a station; vendors would hop onto the train when it stopped selling food and drinks to the travellers, it was really cool.
So that was our first Thai train experience and I have to say it was great, we will definitely be using them again. Maybe we’ll try the sleeper up to Chiang Mai or over to Laos, there are just so many possibilities!