Traveling in Thailand by Train

The train links in Thailand are fantastic; spanning the length and breadth of the country from Chiang Mai in the North, all the way into Malaysia in the South or into Laos in the East. One of the great things about traveling in Thailand by sleeper train is that it offers an economical way to get around the country, as well as saving you the price of a hotel! I traveled in Thailand by sleeper train a number of times when I lived in and absolutely loved it! The first time we traveled this way, we were in second class and it was a great way of meeting the locals as well as other travelers. The seats face each other in groups of 4 during the day and in the evenings they convert into (rather cozy) bunk beds. Each bed has a curtain for privacy when you’re asleep and need it if you need to get changed. Most trains also provide a blanket and small pillow to keep you warm and comfy.

The second time I traveled in Thailand by sleeper train, I was in first class and this included a private cabin for 2 people with a washbasin. Some of the cabins next to each other have an adjoining door which is great if you’re traveling on a Thailand trip with friends or as a family (though you’ll need to request this when you’re booking your tickets). The beds in the cabins follow the same principle as the ones in a second class where the seats get changed into bunks in the evening by the guard.

There’s also a buffet car on board, so if you start to get peckish you can tuck into a meal or a few drinks at the bar and maybe get chatting to some new friends. You might also notice that during the train’s stops, local food vendors hop on board with more traditional snacks on offer.

Though a lot of people worry about this, sleeping wasn’t a problem for me at all whilst I was on board. In fact, I found it very easy to be swayed to sleep and actually found it quite comfy, and although the train does stop every so often during the night, you probably won’t even notice.

For shorter day time journeys you have the choice of 1st, 2nd, or 3rd class travel, depending on the route and type of train used. The third class is the most basic form of transport but can be quite fun, and as a foreigner, you will definitely be the center of attention during your Thailand travels!

Thailand Traveling Tips – Bringing Your Meds & Supplements

I wanted to take a moment to give you a pretty simple, yet overlooked tip when it comes to traveling abroad, and that deals with bringing your medicines and supplements with you. One thing I experienced on my recent trip is that this isn’t as necessary as you would think. The reason for this is that a lot of other countries, as opposed to the US, you don’t need a prescription to buy almost any medicines, including pain killers, antibiotics and even steroids.

You can also get almost any other kind of supplement from either a convenient store, pharmacy or shopping center. You will find generic versions of many everyday brands. However, there are a handful of items I was unable to find during my trip, and I wanted to highlight them here.

Fiber Pills – Of course you can just eat some fruits, such as prunes, bananas or berries to get some fiber, but occasionally you need a little extra boost to your system. I tend to get a little irregular when I’m away from home, and Fiber Pills help. I wasn’t able to find them while I was in Thailand, so I settled for a bag of prunes. If this is an issue for you, you may want to think about one of those small packs of chewable fiber pills for your trip.

Airborne/Emergen C – You guys may have heard of this product(s). It’s basically a vitamin supplement that you can take just before you get sick to boost your immune system and help you fight off the potential cold. Both Airborne and Emergen C come in either powder or pill that dissolves in a glass of water. It’s similar to electrolytes, although it additionally has a high amount of vitamins such as B and C in it, as well as some other herbal supplements in it. Once again, you may want to pack a little bottle of these prior to your trip if you subscribe to this.

Advil – You can get both Tylenol and Ibuprofen in Thailand but you can’t find Advil. I tend to like Advil a little better because there is a little known fact that Advil contains a small amount of caffeine in it, which works in addition to the NSAID to relieve pain. What the caffeine does is actually lower your blood pressure a bit. So while the pain reliever is doing its thing, the lower blood pressure will result in reduced swelling, which will also cause less pain. Once again, I couldn’t find it, so if you dig Advil, then pack it.

I believe there may have been a couple more items on the trip that I had a hard time finding, but I can’t think of them at the moment. You may want to also consider bringing your own protein shake mix, fat burners, and other work out supplements with you, as you will not be able to find as many specific brands as you can in the States.