As a frequent traveler between Bangkok and Surat Thani, I want to provide the most helpful guide for anyone planning a train trip between these cities in 2023.
Whether you’re headed to Surat Thani itself or the nearby islands like Koh Samui and Koh Phangan, this guide will walk you through everything you need to know about the best railway options from Bangkok to Surat Thani.
• Choosing Your Train: Schedules & Classes
• Securing Your Seat: Booking Tips
• Why Travel By Train?
• Journey Highlights & Route Details
• Surat Thani Station Overview
• Transport Connections in Surat Thani
• Safety Tips for Train Travelers
• Exploring Different Travel Options to Surat Thani
Choosing the Right Train: Schedules and Classes
There are nine direct trains from Bangkok to Surat Thani every day. Options start at the basic 3rd class seating and go up to 1st class sleeper cabins. The quickest train is the day train number #43 at 10 hours and 40 minutes.
For overnight trips, sleeper cabins provide beds, sheets, and pillows. I always choose at least 2nd class air-conditioned for the added comfort on these longer journeys.
First Class Sleepers: In first class, passengers can get a compartment to themselves that includes air conditioning and a wash basin, as well as bed linens. Single occupancy can be purchased if traveling alone. However, if not, passengers might share the compartment with another traveler of the same gender.
Second Class Sleepers: These are popular due to their affordability compared to first class. Bed linen is included in the ticket price, and the berths are enclosed by a curtain, providing some privacy. There are options for air-conditioned cars and cars with fans. The upper berth is slightly cheaper but has a shorter bed, which might not be suitable for taller individuals.
Read more in our guide about trains in Thailand.
Here’s a quick breakdown of ticket prices for different classes:
Securing Your Seat: Booking Tips
I always book tickets for Thai trains online in advance since they sell out quickly in high season. You can book on reputable sites like 12go. If you buy an e-ticket you will get an actual ticket and can board the train and verify the QR code on your phone. Book early for securing the best possible fares.
Why Travel By Train?
- Comfort (4/5): Air-conditioned cabins provide comfort for these long trips. 1st Class is ideal for maximum amenities.
- Price (5/5): Train fares offer great value compared to flying or taking buses between Bangkok and Surat Thani.
- Time (3.5/5): The train takes between 11 and 13 hours depending on the different train, but allows you to rest.
- Experience (5/5): Train rides through Thailand’s scenic countryside provide an unforgettable adventure.
Journey Highlights & Route Details
The train departs from Bangkok’s brand new Krung Thep Aphiwat Central Terminal, the central hub of Thai transportation, in the heart of the Chatuchak district. Trains to Southern Thailand, including those bound for Surat Thani, depart from Platforms 7 and 8.
If you’re curious about what to expect and how to get to the station, read more in our Krung Thep Aphiwat Central Terminal guide.
Remember, all trains heading south from Bangkok start from this terminal now.
The train route covers a distance of about 650 km over 11-13 hours depending on the train type.
Especially the daytime trains give you the chance to see some great scenery as you travel through Thailand’s countryside. On board, vendors sell regional snacks and drinks. I recommend bringing your food our snacks as well.
Surat Thani Station Overview
Surat Thani Train Station is located in the small town of Phun Phin, about 10 kilometers by road from the center of Surat Thani.
Travelers can hop on a taxi for a swift 20-minute ride to Surat Thani city center or catch the public buses that frequent every 15 minutes. As the stop for those en route to destinations like Phuket or Koh Samui, Surat Thani Train Station is the most popular destination on the Southern Line.
Surat Thani Train Station has English signs, a café, and a 7-Eleven. Dive deeper into the station’s offerings in our guide to Surat Thani Station.
Transport Connections in Surat Thani
One of the best aspects of arriving in Surat Thani by train is the easy transport to Thailand’s famed tropical islands.
The Lomprayah bus service is a top choice, with direct connections to Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao just an hour after the comfortable train #85 arrives.
Their buses pick up right at the train station parking area – so convenient!
For those considering a ferry to Koh Samui, Surat Thani serves as the primary gateway. With multiple ferry companies like Songserm, Lomprayah, Seatran, and Raja Ferry, you have as many options as you need.
High-speed ferries or speedboats offer quick and comfortable journeys of around 90 minutes. If you’re taking the day train and wish to travel by ferry overnight, consider the night ferry departing from Ban Don Pier in Surat Thani. It’s basic but gets you to Koh Samui by 4 a.m. Read more about the ferry options: from Surat Thani to Koh Samui.
Safety Tips for Train Travelers
Safety should always be a priority. If you’re a solo traveler or on an overnight journey, ensure your valuables are secure. In sleeper cabins, double-check the locks. While it’s wonderful to bond with fellow passengers, always maintain a level of discretion about personal details.
Exploring More Travel Options to Surat Thani
While train travel offers a unique and scenic experience, there are other ways to reach Surat Thani from Bangkok. Starting with quick flights to good-value buses and minivans. There are advantages to each mode of transportation. Are you interested in a more detailed comparison of costs, timings, and comfort levels across these different travel options? Then, we have a guide: Bangkok to Surat Thani, where everything is covered.
Surat Thani is the busiest transport hub for southern Thailand. If you decide to stop by, it offers a blend of Thai culture, temples, and famous street food.
Koh Samui is the nearest island to Surat Thani. From Surat Thani railway station, travelers can take the Lomprayah van and ferry service at 09:30, arriving at Na Thon Koh Samui by 11:45 for THB 750 per adult. Alternatively, Phantip 1970 offers a 4-hour service departing at 09:30 for THB 420 per adult.
Yes, after your train journey from Bangkok to Surat Thani, you can continue to Koh Tao. The Lomprayah service offers two departures from the Surat Thani railway station. The first departs at 09:30 and the second leaves at 11:00 both taking around 5h.
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