Bangkok Railway Station
Bangkok Railway station is also known as Hua Lamphong and is where all the major lines in the country originate. From here, you can travel to destinations in north, north eastern, southern and eastern Thailand.
The station is housed inside a huge hangar-like building, right in the centre of the city. Its Italian neo-renaissance style, stained glass windows and long domed roof have been drawing admiring glances ever since it opened in 1916.
Inside, passengers will find 26 tickets booths, more than 20 platforms and two huge electric display boards.
Below is a useful guide to the station, its services and how to purchase tickets for travel.
How to Get to the Station
Bangkok Railway Station is a large landmark building on Rama 4 road, close to Chinatown, and is known by most, if not all taxi drivers. If you are coming by public transport, there are a couple of options available to you. Several bus routes stop at the station and there is an MRT subway station here, also called Hua Lamphong. This station is on the Blue Line.
Train and Fare Types
In general, travel on Thailand’s train network is comfortable, safe and cheap. The type of ticket you choose may depend on your budget and there are several travel classes to choose from.
First class – this is available on many long-distance routes. Air-conditioned day and night compartments accommodate two people and come with their own wash basin.
Second class – there are seat and sleeper versions – air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned.
Third class – these are normally clean and comfortable, and most do not have air conditioning. However, there is air conditioning on some long-distance routes.
There is also a variety of train types: rapid, express and local.
Where Can I Buy My Train Tickets?
If you are travelling on the same day as your ticket purchase or the day after, go to the counters located under the green/red/orange screens. For future bookings, head to the Advance Booking Office. Upon entering, take a ticket from the machine and wait for your number to be called. When purchasing your ticket you can see a plan of your train allowing you to select your seat preference. Pay by cash or credit card.
Bookings can also be made by phone by calling the central number – 1690. Alternatively, phone the Advanced Booking Office on 0-2223-3762 or 0-2224-7788.
Another option is travel agencies, and you can also book online. Just go to http://www.thairailways.com/booking-ticket.html.
Services at Bangkok Railway Station
- Coffee shops, restaurants, cafés and fast food outlets.
- Internet shop.
- Shower facilities close to the toilets.
- Rail Travels Aids Counters (timetables, maps, information).
- Left-luggage office (handy if you have a few hours to spare and want to go somewhere without having to carry your bags or cases with you).
- There are also platform vendors that sell an extensive range of items, including drinks and snacks.
Important and Useful Information
If you need help while you are in the station, only use the information or ticket counters. Avoid the touts and scammers, some of whom may be wearing official looking badges. They may try to convince you that your train has been cancelled and offer you a bus ride instead. Do not believe them. Always check information with real members of staff at the counters.
The telephone number for Bangkok Railway Station is 02 222 0175.
To check railway timetables, visit the official website of the State Railways of Thailand – www.railway.co.th. Click on the UK flag on the front page for the English language version of the website.
You may be asked for your passport or other photo ID when purchasing a ticket in person, so bring them with you just in case.
Bangkok Railway Station is operated by the State Railway of Thailand, and serves approximately 60,000 passengers each day.
General Train and Travel Advice
Rail tickets can be booked up to 60 days in advance if booking the ticket in person, and up to 30 days in advance if booking online.
Thai Railways recommends booking in advance, if:
- You want to travel during high seasons/public holidays.
- You want to visit popular destinations.
- You want to use the sleeper service.
Once you have received your train ticket, double check the date and the seat number. Your ticket will also have the train time printed on it.
To find your train, read the carriage number and destination, which are found on the side of each train carriage.
Sometimes, platforms will change at the last minute. If you are in any doubt about where to go and time is pressing, just ask one of the guards or show them your ticket. They will easily be able to point you in the right direction.
Fascinating Sights at Bangkok Railway Station
There’s no need to be bored while you are waiting for your train. Pop into the Thai Railway Museum. It is located in the station (on the left hand side of the grand entrance to the station) and admission is free. The exhibits cover more than 100 years of railway history in the country and feature ticket machines, antique mechanical devices and elegant crockery that would’ve been used by prestige train passengers. Among the star exhibits is a collection of old railway tickets.
The museum is open every day except Sundays, Mondays and public holidays, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.
You can also take advantage of other fascinating sites at the station. The complex used to house a hotel, but it closed down during World War II. Today, you can walk down its grand marble staircase that used to lead to the lobby and look up and admire the ornate wooden ceiling.
Other noteworthy sites include the old steam locomotive by platform 25 and the three-headed elephant statue in front of the station. On top of the elephant is a sculpture featuring King Rama V, who ruled Thailand from 1868 until 1910. The area under the statue was used as a bomb shelter during World War II.