THE THAILAND BY SLOW TRAIN CHALLENGE

by Richard Barrow

As part of my new year’s resolution for 2020, I decided I would set myself a challenge to ride all of the four main lines in Thailand within one year. I’m still working out the details of the challenge, but I’m planning on taking the slow train to visit all of the provincial cities and major destinations in Thailand during my quest to ride the 4,044 kilometres of the railway system. The train passes through 47 out of 77 provinces. For my challenge, I would have to stop at each of those provincial stations for long enough to do a bit of exploring. The major destinations I will do an overnight stay.

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My plan is to take a 3rd Class train wherever possible for the outbound route until I get to the end of the line. Then it is up to me how I return. Most likely I will do the return journey by sleeper train if there are any births available. Another rule is that all of the outbound train rides from Bangkok must be done during daylight hours. I have done the train between Bangkok and Chiang Mai several times, but I’ve never seen the northern stretch during the daylight. This is supposed to be the most beautiful stretch. I will also be taking my electric scooter on the train trips. This will let me explore the area around the provincial stations more quickly if I only have a few hours.

On this page I will be updating the progress. You will also find links to my notes for each trip as well as photos taken during each of the trips.

SOUTHERN LINE

SOUTHERN LINE

The Southern Line passes through 16 provinces which includes the branch lines. These are: Bangkok, Nakhon Pathom, Suphanburi, Kanchanaburi, Ratchaburi, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumphon, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Trang, Phatthalung, Songkhla, Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat.

INFORMATION AND TRIP REPORTS

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EASTERN LINE

EASTERN LINE 76%

The Eastern Line passes through seven provinces which includes the branch lines. These are Chachoengsao, Nakhon Nayok, Saraburi, Prachinburi, Sa Kaeo, Chonburi and Rayong. However, it only runs through or near four provincial cities.

INFORMATION AND TRIP REPORTS

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