Pattaya to Nong Khai? Take the Train. Here’s Why…

554

Quick Synopsis Up Front

Pattaya to Bangkok Train:

  • Departs Pattaya at 2:21 P.M. Monday-Friday
  • Arrives in Bangkok at 6:15 P.M.
  • 31 baht per person

Bangkok to Nong Khai Train:

  • Departs Bangkok for Nong Khai at 8:00 P.M.
  • Arrives in Nong Khai at 6:45 A.M.
  • First Class – Private cabin for two persons – 2,434 baht – (Upper bunk = 1,117 baht & lower bunk = 1,317 baht) I recommend this option.
  • Second Class – Sleep with air-con – Upper bunk = 688 baht (708 baht) & lower bunk = 758 baht (798 baht)
  • Second Class – Seat with air-con – 588 baht
  • Third Class – Seat with fan only – 253 baht

The Little Train from Pattaya to Bangkok

A little train runs from Pattaya to Bangkok once a day. It departs Pattaya station at 2:21 P.M., Monday thru Friday. It does not run on Saturday or Sunday. The train costs 31 baht for foreigners and is free for Thai folks. How can you beat that? For less than one U.S. dollar you can go straight to the main train station in the middle of Bangkok. It arrives at around 6:15 P.M. That’s in plenty of time to catch the Nong Khai bound train at 8:00 P.M.

Train Pattaya to Bangkok Thailand Schedule

There are no assigned seats on the Pattaya to Bangkok train. It’s never crowded there at the Pattaya station so don’t worry about having to fight over a seat. I recommend you get a seat on the right side of the train that’s facing forward. There’s less sun on that side. If you’re sitting next to the window you’ll catch a nice breeze.

There are fans on the ceiling circulating the air. The train is not air-conditioned but you’ll be just fine. It stops around 26 times on the way to Bangkok, but for only two to five minutes. There’s not enough time to get off for anything. After a few stops a couple of ladies will show up selling cold drinks and snacks. The prices are reasonable.

Pattaya to Bangkok Train – Where is the Train Station in Pattaya?

The station in Pattaya is located on Train Road, just north of Soi Siam Country Club. If you turn onto Soi Siam Country Club from Sukhumvit Road, you need to take a left on Train Road (at the tracks). The train station is down on the right. If you’re taking a motorbike taxi, just show him the above photo and he or she will know where to take you.

Train Pattaya to Bangkok Thailand Pattaya Station

Purchase Tickets for the Train

Purchase your tickets to Bangkok at the Pattaya train depot. There’s plenty of room so I don’t think you need to make a special trip to purchase the tickets in advance. Just show up at around 1:00 P.M. the day you’re traveling and you’ll be fine.

You can also purchase your tickets from Bangkok to Nong Khai there at the Pattaya train station. It’s the same price as purchasing the tickets in Bangkok and you don’t have to wait in a long line.

Now, if it is high season, you may want to play it safe and purchase tickets in advance if you’re set on booking a first-class cabin to Nong Khai. I haven’t had a problem getting a cabin in the past but you never know. If you’re not worried about securing a first-class cabin then just buy your tickets to Nong Khai the day you travel.

When you arrive in Bangkok, you can proceed direct to the Nong Khai train if you’ve purchased your tickets beforehand in Pattaya.

Quick Travel Tip: Make sure you get tickets for a cabin to where you are facing forward on the Bangkok to Nong Khai train. That’s my personal opinion, but I hate riding on a train while facing backwards. The cabins start at seats 1+2 facing forward with 3+4 facing backwards and so forth. That’s the way it was on our train. Ask for a forward-facing cabin and the ride will be more enjoyable.

Train Pattaya to Bangkok Thailand Pattaya Station Information

Train Pattaya to Bangkok Thailand Information and Ticketing Office Hours

Arriving at Bangkok Station

Stay on the train until the very last stop. The train dead ends into the Bangkok station so you can’t get lost. If you get off before the train comes to a dead end, then you got off too soon.

Train Pattaya to Bangkok Thailand Arriving At Bangkok Station

Bangkok Train Station Thailand Ticketing

You will exit right. Look at the ticket and it will tell you the train number to Nong Khai. Our train number was 69. I wasn’t sure where to go so I just showed the tickets to some nice folks at the security desk. They directed us to platform #5. Too easy.

Train Bangkok to Nong Khai Thailand Platform Five

The train to Nong Khai was pulling in as we walked up. The cleanup crew went to work but we were allowed to board right away.

Train Bangkok to Nong Khai Thailand Car Number

There are several places in the Bangkok train station where you can get a bite to eat. There is a small convenience store near the Dunkin Donuts that sells cold drinks and snacks.

From Bangkok to Nong Khai – Why I Love the Train

If you have the funds, get a first-class sleeper compartment. For the upper deck, it’s 1,117 baht. The bottom bunk is 1,317 baht. If you’re traveling alone, just purchase both bunks (total of 2,434 baht) and have the cabin all to yourself. It’s worth it.

Here are some of the amenities of the cabin:

  • Two bunks that convert into a couch during the daytime hours
  • Electrical outlet
  • Sink with a bar of soap provided
  • Air-conditioner that blows ICE COLD
  • Small table (perfect for working on laptop)
  • Big viewing window
  • Door that locks
  • Blankets, sheets, and pillows
  • Two free bottles of water

Train Bangkok to Nong Khai Thailand First Class Cabin

More Advantages of Taking the Train:

  • There are restrooms on each train car. They’re pretty clean as far as public restrooms go.
  • The staff brings meals and drinks straight to your cabin. The food is good, but not great. It’s a step up from your typical airline food, though. Meals cost around 150-180 baht each.
  • Although the train is a bit bumpy at times, it is comfortable enough to get some sleep.
  • Your bags stay in the cabin with you, safely under your control.
  • Once you board the train in Bangkok, you don’t get off until you’re at the Nong Khai station.
  • Professional, courteous staff. They are friendly and speak enough English to take good care of you. They are also in uniforms for easy identification.

At the rear of the train car there are two restrooms. The one facing the back of the train has a western-style toilet. The other restroom facing the hallway only has a squat toilet. The restrooms usually have soap and tissue paper for your convenience.

The train is just too convenient. Travel doesn’t get much better.

Travel Tips

When you first board the train, don’t get settled in and lock the door until you are under way. The staff will open the door several times before the train departs. They need to:

  • Check your ticket
  • Deliver two free bottles of water
  • Deliver a bar of soap
  • Deliver blankets and pillows
  • Ask you if you want to order meals and coffee
  • Make the bunks

Therefore, just leave the door open until all of their tasks are accomplished. Once underway you can secure the door, kick off your shoes, and get comfortable.

Train Bangkok to Nong Khai Thailand First Class Cabin Sleeper Beds

In the first-class cabin, there is an electrical outlet above the door, almost at the ceiling. Unless you have an extension cord, you may have to resort to placing your electronics on the shelf next to the outlet. To make sure your adapter doesn’t fall out and crash to the floor during the journey, bring a rubber band. Take a look at the photos below and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Just rubber band your adapter to the electrical outlet to keep it secure during the ride.

Train Bangkok to Nong Khai Thailand First Class Cabin How to Charge Laptop

Train Bangkok to Nong Khai Thailand First Class Cabin How to Charge Laptop Travel Hack Rubber Band

Arriving at Nong Khai Train Station

Set your alarm clock for 5:00 A.M. The staff will start serving breakfast and coffee around 5:15 A.M., at about the time you’re approaching Udon Thani. The train will arrive in Nong Khai pretty close to 6:45 A.M. as scheduled. Exit to your right. You’re at the Nong Khai train station which is very close to the border.

Getting Across the Laos Border and to Vientiane – The Easy Way

If you are going to Vientiane, you’ll want to read this post as well:

Nong Khai to Vientiane, Laos – Train to Thanaleng – Travel Tips

The short of it is you can stamp out of immigration at Nong Khai train station and take the train across the border to Thanaleng, Laos. You will get your Laos visa there at the Thanaleng train station.

It’s a lot easier than crossing at the main land border. There are a few ripoffs and scams to look out for that I elaborate on in the above article.

Train Bangkok to Nong Khai Thailand Nong Khai Station

Best Way to Book a Room in Pattaya and Nong Khai?

The best way to book a room and get the lowest price is through Agoda. This is the only booking site I use here in Southeast Asia and highly recommend it. Try it out and see for yourself.

From Pattaya to Nong Khai – Other Travel Options

This is a little bit of rambling but maybe you’ll find it useful…

You can fly, but that requires the typical waiting in line at the airport, going through security, buying high-priced airport food, and being wedged in a tin can for an hour. It’s not very exciting, appealing, and there’s nothing worth writing home about. You will travel half the length of the country and get to see zero sights. What a waste of time.

You can take a bus, which is actually nice if you get a VIP seat on the bottom deck. Taking the bus would be my second choice if I couldn’t take the train. You get several breaks during the journey where you can exit the bus, stretch your legs, use the restroom, and buy snacks and drinks. The only real negative thing I can say about the bus is that the onboard restroom isn’t exactly the cleanest.

The last method I would ever take to Nong Khai again is the mini-bus. There are several reasons why I won’t ride in a Toyota Commuter Van in Thailand anymore, unless I’ve chartered it for a private trip.

The first thing is that the typical driver tries to break every speed record known to man during the journey. This includes running every red light while driving on the far left shoulder of the road. Unless you are passed out drunk, the ride will scare the shit out of you. I realize they are under pressure to make timelines, but I don’t care. These vans constantly crash and burn over here. Just Google it and see some flames for yourself. You are packed in there so tight, with every seat filled, that it would be very difficult to get out of the thing if it crashed.

Another reason is that since it’s tight quarters, some jackass will use it as an opportunity to become social.

“Well, since we’re going to be packed in here together all night, we might as well get to know one another. My name’s Bill. Where you from?”

Guess what Bill? I don’t want to chat with you for 14 hours. I don’t want to know your name. I don’t want to be social.

Yeah, I’m an introverted asshole. But, I paid for a ticket to get me to my destination and it didn’t include having to subscribe to someone else’s agenda. You don’t have this problem on a bus because it’s bigger and not as intimate of an environment. When you’re packed into a mini-van, people suddenly think you’re long-lost friends. This happens damn-near every time with a van full of foreigners. If it’s just local Thai people, it’s mostly quiet and folks mind their own business. The journey will be peaceful.

Let me expand on that. If I open the door to a mini-van and see foreigners, I close it and find another one. If I open it and see only Thai people, I’m happy and will jump right in. Why? Because there are too many drunk tourists and ex-pats who act like idiots. I can talk because I used to be one of them on a daily basis.

The last time I rode to Nong Khai in a mini-bus, there were two drunks who kept hooping and hollering. They were popping pills, spilling beer everywhere, and just being obnoxious. After six hours of that activity, me and an Australian guy had heard enough. We told the van driver that they had to go or we were getting off. The driver finally transferred one of the drunks to another van. The remaining shithead then shut his mouth for the rest of the trip. Either way, the night sucked for everyone on board.

I don’t take the mini-bus here anymore unless it’s the last option.

Nong Khai to Pattaya on the Train – The Return Trip

The #70 train departs Nong Khai at 7:10 P.M. and is scheduled to arrive in Bangkok at 6:00 A.M. As long as the train gets to Bangkok on time, you can take the 6:55 A.M. train to Pattaya for 31 baht.

Our train didn’t arrive into Bangkok until 7:05 A.M. The Pattaya train had already departed. We ended up taking the #281 train from Bangkok to Chachoengsao.

Train Station Bangkok Thailand Kabin Buri 281

The #281 train is scheduled to depart Bangkok at 8:00 A.M. and arrive in Chachoengsao at 9:30 A.M. The cost is a mere 13 baht per person.

Quick Cultural Lesson: Make a note that at 8:00 A.M. the Thai national anthem is played country wide. Therefore, it will play before the train departs the station. Show your respect and stand at attention with the locals. Take off your hat and sunglasses and face the Thai flag, or whichever direction the locals are facing. Put down your phone and be quiet for a couple of minutes. The national anthem is played at 6:00 P.M. every day as well.

We actually got to Chachoengsao at 10:00 A.M. We rode a tuk tuk to the bus station, which is about five minutes away. The tuk tuk driver charged us 60 baht. At the bus station, we boarded a mini-bus (only option other than waiting for a full-size bus) to Pattaya. The cost was 120 baht per passenger. The ride was as previously described.

Nong Khai Train Station Schedules and Prices

Express Train #76 Nong Khai to Bangkok

  • Departs Nong Khai at 7:00 A.M.
  • Arrives Bangkok at 5:00 P.M.
  • Second Class – Seat with air-con – 498 baht
  • Third Class – Seat with fan – 253 baht

Local Train #418 Nong Khai to Nakhon Ratchasima

  • Departs Nong Khai at 12:55 A.M.
  • Arrives Nakhon Ratchasima at 7:00 P.M.
  • Third Class – Seat with fan – 64 baht

Express Train #78 Nong Khai to Bangkok

  • Departs Nong Khai at 6:15 P.M.
  • Arrives Bangkok at 5:00 A.M.
  • Second Class – Seat with air-con – 498 baht
  • Third Class – Seat with fan – 253 baht

Rapid Train #134 Nong Khai to Bangkok

  • Departs Nong Khai at 6:30 P.M.
  • Arrives Bangkok at 5:45 A.M.
  • Third Class – Seat with fan – 213 baht

Express Train # 70 Nong Khai to Bangkok

  • Departs Nong Khai at 7:10 P.M.
  • Arrives Bangkok at 6:00 A.M.
  • First Class – Cabin sleeper with air-con – Upper bunk 1,117 baht – Lower bunk 1,317 baht
  • Second Class – Sleep with air-con – Upper bunk 688 baht (708 baht)- Lower bunk 758 baht (798 baht)
  • Second Class – Seat with air-con – 588 baht
  • Third Class – Seat with fan – 253 baht

15 COMMENTS

  1. Really good information and detailed descriptions, great post Mark. I am planning a visa run to Vientiane Laos in the next few weeks. I was thinking of going by bus, but I am certainly going by train now haha ;-). I was just Wondering about getting across the Laos border to Vientiane. You mentioned in your post about stamping out of immigration at Nong Khai train station and then getting a train across the border to Thanaleng, Laos. Could you elaborate more on this? and let me know of the potential scams and ripoffs?.

    Thanks

    Ryan

  2. Hi Mark, thanks for your reply. I have read through the article you linked to, it showed me everything I need to know. I really appreciate all the helpful information you have given. I was a little nervous about going to Vientiane, Laos because this is my first visa run, but you have put my mind at rest now, I can’t thank you enough for this man.

    Haha, I have heard lots of people talk about the mini-van to Nong Khai, it sounds like an absolute nightmare ?.

    I still think it’s total BS that we have to leave Thailand to get another visa. We should be able to just go the nearest immigration office and apply there, but oh well, that’s Thailand for ya ?

  3. Would be much easier if we could renew everything in country, but there’s no adventure in that. Ha!

    I actually enjoy hanging out in Nong Khai for a few days. Vientiane is pretty boring so one night there is enough.

    After your trip, please let me know if anything has changed so I can update the info.

    Chok Dee Krab!

  4. Haha, that is true, I love to travel so I will certainly enjoy the adventure. I look forward to seeing Nong Khai, I’ve heard other people say that Vientiane is very quiet with not much to see, so one night will be enough for me.

    Yeah sure, I will let you know any if there are any changes after my trip. Once again, thanks for all your help Mark, it’s much appreciated. ??

  5. Hi im going there next Wednesday im going to use this now i was going to take a minibus! Im in pattaya so will give this a try. So once i get off a train a minibus will take me to where i need to go? Never been to Laos before

  6. Hi Chloe,

    When you arrive at the Nong Khai train station, you will buy a ticket to Thanaleng train station (Laos). You will stamp out of Thailand Immigration there at the Nong Khai train station. The train will then take you across the river to Thanaleng. You will get your Laos visa there at the Thanaleng train station. A mini-bus will then take you into Vientiane. Check out this article for all the details: https://www.markblackard.com/nong-khai-thailand-vientiane-laos-train-thanaleng-travel-tips/

    Let me know if you have any more questions and I’ll try to help. Have a good time on your journey to Laos!

    Mark

  7. Ok thank you this is so helpful i am no way getting a minibus after all them horror stories. So the train from pattaya to Bangkok takes four hours? i will maybe print all this out so i can keep all the info on where to go so many things to remember!

  8. Sorry one more thing so i should arrive Thursday Morning to apply for my Visa then i can collect the next afternoon then get the train back right?

  9. I bought the tickets from Pattaya to Bangkok and Bangkok to Nong Khai at the little train station in Pattaya. I don’t think there’s any need to pre-book but that’s up to you. I just walked up and bought the tickets 30 minutes before the train got to the station.

    I purchased the ticket to Thanaleng at the Nong Khai train station.

  10. That’s the way it worked when I was there about 10 months ago. You drop off your paperwork in the morning and then go back the next afternoon to pick up your passport.

    I had enough time to pick up my passport, get back across the border, and catch the train to Bangkok. Note that I just crossed back into Thailand at the land border. It wasn’t crowded at that time of day.

    When you go, let me know if anything has changed so I can update the page. Thanks!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here