Thailand has an extensive railway network that coves all the major cities and regions. The State Railway of Thailand is the Government owned railway system that covers a distance of 4000 km all over the country.
Travelling by trains in Bangkok is economical but time consuming, owing to the 1 metre gauge rail tracks. Railway routes are connected to the farthest areas of the country like the borders of Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Malaysia. The rail network connects Chiang Mai in the north to Hat Yai near the Malaysian border and Ubon Ratchathani and Nong Khai near the Laos border to the Kwai Valley near Burma via Bangkok.
At the southern border, Thai Railways connects with the Malaysian Railway at two stations, namely Padang Besar and Sungai Kolok. Separatist activities in this region have affected tourism, especially near Sungai Kolok. At Aranyaprathet, Thai railways also connect with the Cambodian Railways. A new rail link has been established to connect Laos at Nong Khai in the south, crossing the Mekong River.
The main railway station in the capital is the Hua Lamphong Station in central Bangkok. This station lies in the southern route and is connected with the Chiang Mai station (northern route), Sattahip and Aranyaprathet (eastern route). From the Thonburi station at the western side of river Cleopatra in Bangkok, trains leave for Kanchanaburi and Suphanburi.
Another busy station in Bangkok is the Wongwian Yai station from where trains connect to Samut Songkhram. The Ban Su station near Mo Chit has rapid trains to Nong Khai and Ubon Ratchathani in the north east. Express and ordinary trains are also available from the Central Bangkok Station, which connects to the north east of the country.
The entire Thai railway network has 4 routes, the northern line, the north eastern line, the eastern line and the southern line. The northern line covers the Ancient city of Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai and other historical sites like Lopburi and Lamphun.
The north eastern line connects the Laos border to Udon Thani, Nong Khai, through Khon Kaen while crossing the Isan plateau. Near southern Laos, this line passes through Korat, Surin, Buriram and Sri Sakhet and reaches Ubon Ratchathani.
The border of Aranyaprathet along with Kabin Buri (Prachin Buri) and Chachoengsao are covered by the eastern line. This line also goes to Pattaya and Sattahip. The southern islands and beaches can be reached by the southern line. Places like Trat, Krabi, Songkhla and Pattani are covered by this route. This line also connects to the Malaysian Railways at the stations in Sungai Kholok and Padang Besar.
The western route, which was previously known as the infamous Death Railways, starts from the Thonburi station and terminates to Kanchanaburi, after crossing the Kwai River.
Trains in Thailand have first class (chan neung), second class (chan song) and third class (chang sam) tickets. Ticket prices range from 31.07 INR to 1134.89 INR (first class), 16.28 INR to 532.67 INR (second class) and 7.40 INR to 230.82 INR (third class).
Travel agents book rail tickets with an additional surcharge of 73.98 to 295.93 INR. Reservations directly with SRT cost a surcharge of 295.93 INR per ticket.
In order to boost domestic tourism, the State Railway of Thailand along with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has initiated a campaign to renovate passenger trains. The new facilities include TV screens, mini bars, newly upholstered seats and even karaoke rooms.
we are planing to spend 3 weeks in philippines and would like to know the most popular backpackers destinations couldnt find any info. on the internet so any suggestions would help a lot...we are going to be there 15-20 jan. 2009 and want to spend some time on the beach..what will be the weather like (compare to thailand or malaysia)
thanks in advance
P.S sorry if wrong box.
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