I receive a lot of traffic on this site from people looking for information on how to buy train tickets in Thailand online. As such, I feel the need to inform you that passengers can no longer purchase Thai train tickets on the internet. Instead, you must go to the train station in person to book a train ticket or work with a travel agency.

This is really bad news for independent travelers without mountains of time and flexibility who want to ride Thailand’s train system. As I have written in the past, buying train tickets at the station is riddled with inconveniences. In addition, travel agencies in Thailand may mark up prices significantly or goad you into purchasing tours or stays at guesthouses that you might not want. Andy and I avoided these agencies because we did not want to get ripped off, or worse, get into an argument about getting ripped off when we were really getting a good deal. A cool heart/jai yen/ใจเย็น is always an asset in Thailand.

Train travel is something I have written about extensively on this site, as it is a foreign joy for a Texan steeped in car culture. However, I have to hope that the reason for eliminating the online train ticket service is an attempt to cut the number of badly behaved tourists on the rail lines that clog the infrastructure while treating the train attendants like bartenders.

I mean, would you want these guys sleeping on the bunk next to you?

eurbro Didn’t think so.

However, it’s more likely that the e-ticketing service couldn’t keep up with the orders. Or, perhaps the travel agencies struck a deal with the rail services. My guess is that it was a combination of both.

I’ll be watching to see when and if the e-ticket service for Thai trains gets back up and running. In the meantime, you can still buy train tickets for Malaysia online. This means you can still plan independent travel from Thailand to Singapore via train if you can arrange alternative transportation to Hat Yai.

Third-Party Travel Agencies Selling Thai Train Tickets Online:

  • Thailand Train Ticket. I have used these guys before. They do mark up prices a bit, but it’s not exorbitant. However, you cannot buy these tickets same day or on Sundays! However, with a little bit of advance planning, you should be able to get your tickets here without much hassle.
  • Asia Discovery. I have not used this vendor, but the online prices do not seem inflated. Perhaps there is a service fee later in the buying process? If someone purchases ticket through this site, please tell me about your experience!

9 Responses to Online Train Tickets in Thailand No Longer Available

  1. I STILL haven’t ridden a train here…need to get on that…

  2. Jason Moleon says:

    Ugh…that sucks. Getting tickets at the station is confusing. Trying to call and get info is hard for native Thais let alone someone like me!

    Anyway, thanks for the update.

  3. Jason Moleon says:

    I actually had a Thai girl call to get info on tickets to Chiang Mai, Thailand…the Thai lady on the other end recommended that we take a bus! lol

  4. Claire says:

    Thanks so much for all of this info! I’m trying to buy two first class tickets from Bangkok – Chiang Mai for mid-May and was struggling to figure out how to do it from the US. When you’ve gone through Thailand Train Ticket in the past, have you used the online form, or just email them to reserve tickets? I tried emailing but never heard back.

    • Susan says:

      I used the online form. I also had them mail my tickets to me in Thailand. It should work as long as you give yourself plenty of time. This is unsolicited but, I’d also recommend that you spend sometime outside your first class cabin on your train journey. The dining car can be a lot of fun!

  5. Edna says:

    Are those guys your friends? Or are they randoms you took a photo of in the 7-11?

    • Susan says:

      I do not know them, and I was completely horrified by their drunken behavior. BUT, they posed for the picture willingly.

      I think that the workers in the 7-11 across from the UN Irish Pub in Chiang Mai are used to drunken white boys playing catch with their products all over the store, but I don’t think it excuses such egregious behavior

  6. Madeleine Giorgio says:

    Have yet to ride a train in Thailand. Was it nice?

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