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?
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!
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