While perusing transportation options from Hua Hin to Bangkok, we stumbled across the Hua Hin Train Station. Located on the T-intersection of Hua Hin Route 76 and Poon Suk Road, this train station offers rides to many different destinations along the eastern coast between Bangkok, Thailand and Butterworth, Malaysia.
After discovering the railway station during our beach city exploring, we decided to forgo the popular air-conditioned bus rides from Hua Hin to Bangkok. Given the cheap train ticket prices and that we’ve never ridden on a train before, we decided to travel by rail.
Alternative Transportation: The Hua Hin Bus Station sells air-conditioned VIP bus tickets from Hua Hin directly to Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok for 305 baht (11 USD). Travel time is about three hours.
Directly to the left of the Hua Hin Train Station is th Hua Hin Coffee Station, which is the perfect place get relief from the heat while waiting for the train to arrive.
The cold caffeinated drinks average 60 baht (2 USD), but you get what you pay for, including comfortable indoor seating and chilly air conditioning. The coffee shop also has a small food and beer selection. There are postcards, stamps, and other small souvenirs for sale, too.
Hua Hin to Bangkok by Train
Although there are multiple trains that run from Hua Hin to Bangkok everyday, many leave during the very early morning hours. However, there are two popular Hua Hin to Bangkok trains that depart from the railway station during normal daylight hours. Tickets can be purchased as early as one hour in advance and only cash is accepted. We chose to take the earlier departing third class train, which costs 44 baht a ticket (1.50 USD!)
Train Schedule: Hua Hin to Bangkok
|Class||Special Express Second||Ordinary Third|
|Price||400 THB (12.75 USD)||44 THB (1.50 USD)|
|Depart from Hua Hin||4:00pm||2:10pm|
|Arrive in Bangkok||7:35pm||6:45pm|
We later learned that it’s possible to book a 2nd class ticket online. It’s the #175 train (fan seats only) departing at 2:50am (yowzahs!) for 396 baht.
What’s a third class train in Thailand like?
We didn’t know what to expect of a third class train from Hua Hin to Bangkok. The interior of the train cars reminded us of old, worn metro or subway cars. There are benches that run parallel with the side of the car. There are also forward and rear facing chairs, all of which are thinly cushioned. There are floor-to-ceiling poles and handles dangling from the ceiling for standing passengers.
After looking at other photos of third class trains, we wondered why ours looked so much different. Those pictures show trains with benches facing the in a forward direction with an aisle running down the middle.
The reviews online said the third class train was horrible and we thought it was tolerable. There is great scenery across Thailand that we otherwise would not have seen. Although there wasn’t air conditioning, there was a breeze from the ceiling fans and open windows that kept us from being too uncomfortable.
We were able to put our luggage in the overhead storage area. We liked that vendors came by every half an hour or so to sell snacks (sliced fruit, fried pork rinds) and drinks (water, juice, soda, beer). We even noticed that vendors came on board at stops to specifically sell hot food such as noodles or fried rice with egg.
Granted, if we hadn’t gotten a seat for the five-hour ride and had to sit on the dirty linoleum floor, we would have been pretty miserable. That’s because it’s first come, first serve. We were happy that this train originated in Hua Hin.
Also, even though there was a toilet on the train car, we couldn’t imagine what condition it was in and didn’t use it. Lucky for us we got a bench and there were no emergency trips to the restroom.
Given the few potentially negative issues that could arise, the affordable price and the beautiful open air views of rural Thailand are worth the trip and should be experienced while you are here. Third class itineraries similar in duration to the Hua Hin to Bangkok train route are the longest trips we would personally recommend. Anything more than five hours and it is likely that your booty might start screaming at you.
At the end of the journey, the sun had set and it was cooling down. We got to Bangkok a little later than planned because the train picked us up in Hua Hin half an hour late. Luckily, we didn’t have a strict schedule to follow that night. We were covered in a thin film of dust and were ready to stretch our legs. Otherwise we had a decent trip on Thailand’s state railway system.
Would we take a third class ordinary train again?
Yes, we think in the right circumstance we would, such as:
- Being in no rush to get to our final destination
- Being able to secure a seat
- Having a frozen bottle of water for a cold, in-transit drink
- Having a favorable weather forecast. During heavy rains there may be a lack of air circulation if the windows were closed
Bottom line, it is the absolute cheapest form of transportation we’ve come across which is great for the budget traveler.