Train travel expert.

Rockitt

Well-known member
Quarky;399621 said:
I wonder... maybe you could live on that train... a whole carriage to yourself... back and forth between Bangkok and Pattaya... get off now and then to get food... and drink... could you use the same ticket I wonder... 55
That train goes up and back everyday. I am sure the return train into Bangkok gets very busy as you approach the suburbs. You may have to share your ‘room’ with 200 others 555
 

Rockitt

Well-known member
I had a train ride to Bang Sue junction a couple of weeks ago. The new terminal station is really starting to take shape.
 

Quarky

Administrator
I'm pretty sure they are going to make a film about you one day Rockitt. Tom Hanks will be playing you... 55
 

Rockitt

Well-known member
A better image of the new Bang Sue station.



? ? It’s disappeared, but I can see it on here when I view it on a desktop. 555
 

Chob

Moderator
Ive caught the Bkk to HH train twice , and found it a 'different' and pleasant enough experience.
The space was super large and tickets cheap.
I didnt realise we would pass thru a marshland , and that was interesting as well.

Way back in 1980 , my gf and I caught the train from Bkk to Singapore.
I thought it would be a tremendous way to see Thailand , and it was , and it sort of reminded me of the 2 month Eurail trip I had done the year before.

All these characters bustling on board , little wide eyed kids staring at you for minutes till their shy and laughing big sisters in colourful sarongs grab them and herd them by guiding their heads back to Mumma , itinerants with bulging bundles searching for spots to stowe their products , food hawkers with their special cries trying to make some business ... and the click of the rails and the train gently rocking - and making all of 20 kilometers an hour !

I remember getting off and wandering around at Chumphon and Surat.
There were hardly any cars , and a lot more men rode horses than I ever expected to see , as I'd never ever seen an image of a coolie fellow riding a horse !
A buffalo or an elephant , yes , but not horses !
In fact more than one looked like a dimunitive Sonoran roustabout from a Pancho Villa movie !
Moustache and leather hat !

Anyway , after Had Yai , it became evident that the racial makeup was changing and many more woman went with head coverings and it was obvious they were Moslems , but I saw not one in full burkha like you see today.
Everyone was friendly and happy enough - they all looked as if they had enough to eat , but their lack of personal effects or possessions was hard to fathom.
We rattled along and we got some wonderful sights into villiage life from the backdoor , so to speak.

Then at sidings not far from the border at Sungai Kolok , all these woman started emerging from the jungle , with sacks full of stuff.
They stuffed some under the train and dragged the rest aboard , and made life thoroughly miserable for everyone in the hot crowded conditions.
One lady even slashed a seat , and opened a flap to the springs , stuffed some small bags in the space , flipped the flap back down , and sat on it !
I was outraged .

They were all clearly smugglers taking cheap goods from the Thai to the Malay side , and their most obvious products were oranges , plastic dishware , batik sarongs and silk scarves. They had a great old time cackling like crows and spitting red beetle anywhere they chose.
Up on the racks , 2 of em lifted up my backpack and planted 2 big bags of onions under it , giving me a thumbs up as I looked over a tad concerned.

Anyway , finally we are at the border , and all these tidy little men in tidy black suits and Fez caps approach , and one enters each carriage.
The cronies go quiet.
Our one sighs and takes out a little book that turns out to be a tax receipt book , licks a pencil , and points to the first bundle and says , 1st in Thai , then in Malay , and then in English , with a smile to us , the only whiteys on the train , "Who owns this ?"
Nobody answers .
He then reaches over , grabs it roughly and says , "Ok , I throw it off !"
An old crow squauks and leaps to her feet to claim it , and after a brief haggle , he writes up a receipt and she hands him some notes that were carefully folded in to the top of her sarong.
So it goes , on and on ...

The occasional lady could have won an Oscar for the drama she kicked up about having to pay , but the customs man held all the cards and simply warned he would confiscate , and they grudgingly paid. Slowly but surely he got through most of the stuff - and what he missed he knew he missed , what , with the old birds constantly reshuffling their gear in a game of constant subterfuge , and he just let it go.

But to continue the drama , the same woman nearly had kittens when the outdoor guards started dragging all the bags of oranges from under the train.
Just when we thought it was all over , and with the sweat trickling down our backs in the still heat , they all revved up and started swarming the customs men down there , indignantly slapping money into Customs hands , and frumping off vocally with their contraband to lodge it firmly once again under the carriages.

That was quite a train trip and theres still some of it i recall quite vividly...
 

Rockitt

Well-known member
You do see some characters on the trains and also at the stations. I haven’t journeyed south of Hua Hin yet by train but I hope to at some stage.
 

bacwaan

Well-known member
Have you done much train travel in India Khun Rockitt?....now that's the joint for colourful train travel....

I really enjoyed our trip on the Mandalay Express in Burma many years ago....Rangoon to Mandalay by train and then back down by steamer boat on the Irrawaddy river with a 2 day stop in Pagan....

Africa also wonderful for train travel
 

Rockitt

Well-known member
bacwaan;406208 said:
Have you done much train travel in India Khun Rockitt?....now that's the joint for colourful train travel....

I really enjoyed our trip on the Mandalay Express in Burma many years ago....Rangoon to Mandalay by train and then back down by steamer boat on the Irrawaddy river with a 2 day stop in Pagan....

Africa also wonderful for train travel
No I haven’t . In fact I have never been to India.
I have been watching a TV series all about the Indian railways and it looked amazing. Apparently the worlds biggest employer.
A couple of my friends that worked on the railways with me have done many different countries and most of the say the Indian railways were the most fascinating.
 

Chob

Moderator
Indian Railways still had a large number of steam locos when I travelled there for many months.
Rail was far safer and reliable than flights or buses back then ( early 80s )

I rode the Bombay - Tamil Nadu Express ( 1st Class Reserved ) while there , and on the roof of a train near Cochin , and again near Jaipur.
There were virtually no rules back then.
 

Rockitt

Well-known member
On a journey south from Chiangmai I initially had the coach to myself, but after a couple of stops I was joined by 30 or so kids and their teachers. For a minute I thought this wasnt what I wanted .
Anyway, to my amazement, I just couldnt believe how well behaved these children were. The ones sat around me were keen to try speaking English with me and Im sure they all had a good laugh at my expense.
A couple of stops later a very old person clambered on and the kids gave up their seat for him. Then one of the kids said something in Thai and went to her school bag and gave the old guy her pack lunch. Such a humbling experience and later I complemented the teachers for the way they all behaved.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Chob

Moderator
Great story !

By and large I find Thai kids very well behaved ... they have the ability to entertain themselves by themselves ,or in small groups without much racouse behaviour.

I often have to ask if the Grand Daughter is home , because she wont be heard for an hour or two..
 

Ian Forbes

New member
Chob;406226 said:
Great story !

By and large I find Thai kids very well behaved ... they have the ability to entertain themselves by themselves ,or in small groups without much racouse behaviour.

I often have to ask if the Grand Daughter is home , because she wont be heard for an hour or two..
I really enjoyed both yours and Rockets stories. My only Thai train travel was from Hua Hin down to Surat Thani on the evening-night train. I was traveling with my Thai lady, Kung, who was from Sakhon Nakhon. We were on a two week trip to Koh Samui. I have lots of great and funny stories of those times back in 1998.

I have taken the day train from Erawan Falls area to the death bridge in Kanchanaburi, but that's not the same things as a long, over night trip. It was a bit interesting, but once you've done it then anything further would be boring.
 

Rockitt

Well-known member
Back on the rails in the morning, Bangkok Asoke to Pattaya. A pleasant run out for about 40 baht.
 

Ian Forbes

New member
I just reread all those old stories and thoroughly enjoyed them the second time. Thanks for posting it again, Rockitt. That is part of why I bought my own motorbikes in Thailand. I could explore the "real" Thailand at my own leisure. You meet an entirely different type of people and experience things that you never would otherwise. Every trip becomes an adventure.
 
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