After arriving in the Suvarnabhumi Airport, we went to the Transport Centre to look for the bus going to Bangkok as this is the cheapest way to travel to Bangkok from the Suvarnabhumi Airport. There are different modes of transportation in Bangkok but since my friends and I are cheapskates, we all agreed to go to the Hua Lamphong Station, Bangkok’s Train Station, the cheapest way possible since we were not in a hurry. And being cheap meant riding Bangkok’s public bus from the airport.
Den beaming on this bus ride while I check my phone’s signal
Booking for an 8-day trip to explore Thailand prompted us not to waste our time and simply hop on to the next country for passport stamping purposes since it was doable too without emptying our pockets. Since Siem Reap, Cambodia was the nearest country I could think of, I convinced Ed we should cross the border and check out the temples of Angkor. Even at the last minute, especially after arriving 5 minutes late on our connecting flight to Bangkok, Ed was still hesitant to go to Siem Reap but I insisted. I knew he had no idea what he’d be missing if he’d let that chance pass by had he really decided to be left behind in Bangkok. Good thing Den and I was able to convince him as I wouldn’t have to worry finding a sack and rope just to drag him with us to Siem Reap.
So after almost 2 hours of travelling via Bangkok’s public bus, we arrived at the Hua Lamphong Station. It was still too early and we saw people sleeping on the floor outside the train station as they await for the place to open. I even saw someone who looked like he just came back from skiing in Switzerland with the type of jacket he was wearing.
Since the whole place was still closed, we decided to check out the place and took photos here and there…
Den wanting to take home this soldier
We ate breakfast at a stall beside the Bangkok train station entrance. Afterwhich, we looked for an open grocery store to buy food for the 6-hour train ride ahead. We found an open 7Eleven across the train station and bought our “supplies” which basically consisted of water and bread. I was also tempted to buy this magazine which featured some ski holiday deals as my aunt was asking me to check out more info about it online.
At around 5am-ish, the doors to the train station opened. The schedule of the Bangkok to Aranyaprathet trip was still at 5:55 am and we still had to wait for the ticket booths to open.
Hualamphong station, Bangkok’s train station
during rush hour, that wide space gets filled with people
The people who were sleeping outside the train station woke up and slowly went inside and resumed their sleeping positions on the benches. There was still time to kill so Den and I roamed around the place while Ed comfortably found a good spot among those benches and started to doze off. I couldn’t blame him since we’ve been travelling non-stop for the last…wait, let me count…24 hours!
What’s nice about the Bangkok Train Station is that they have a lot of ticketing counters as the train station gets packed during rush hour.
our train ride going to Aranyaprathet
trains being cleaned before the trip
What I found interesting was how each train was being cleaned before it travels to the different provinces of Thailand. On this instance, our train just arrived from I don’t know where and when we thought we could already get inside to secure our seats, they told us we have to wait for a couple more minutes before they clean the train inside out. Nice noh? So while waiting, Den got busy with the photo below…
Den with a travelling monk
One thing I learned from my previous trip was that females are not allowed to sit beside a monk or touch them. I completely forgot about this discussions we had in our class back in high school. My friend reminded me about this from a previous trip so when I saw that the monk was in danger of Den’s presence I had to signal Den and tell her not to get too near or touch the monk. Notice how the monk turned his back on Den and looked as if he was trying to elude Den?
train ride to Aranyaprathet is at platform 6
You can travel to almost all of the provinces of Thailand by train. Simply head to the Hua Lamphong Railway Station, otherwise known as the Bangkok Train Station and check the schedules on their board or you can ask at their information counter. You can also visit this site for useful information on time tables and price charts as I found that very useful too.
When the ticket counters opened, we purchased our tickets and paid 48 baht each (1 Peso = 1.5 baht). The first time I learned from online searches that a 3rd class train fare from Bangkok to Siem Reap via Aranyaprathet will only cost me 48 baht per way, I didn’t hesitate to take the train since I never rode one before. That’s approximately 72 pesos for a train fare that travels for almost 6 hours! Taking the bus will cost you around 300-400 baht and travel time is somewhere around 5 hours. I guess I need not explain and tell you what mode of transportation I’ll use every time I travel from Bangkok to Cambodia
This is a series of blog posts documenting my trip from Bangkok to Siem Reap and back in January of 2011. If you haven’t read the first posts, please check on the links below:
** Off to Bangkok and Siem Reap
#1 – The Accidental Trip to Bangkok and Siem Reap in 2011
#2 – Trip to Bangkok and Siem Reap: The Planning Stage
#3 – How to Create Your Bangkok to Siem Reap Itinerary
#4 – Arriving 5 Minutes Late on our Connecting Flight to Bangkok
#5 – En Route: Clark to Bangkok
#6 – Touchdown Bangkok!
#7 – Suvarnabhumi Airport a.k.a. Bangkok International Airport
#8 – You are now reading this
#9 – My First Taste of Authentic Thai Food