Thai Railways - SRT Policy
1. Special Excursions (from SRT)-- Ask at a Hualamphong (Bangkok) Station travel Agency or Booking Office for information on the current Excursion. The State Railway of Thailand also organizes Special Tourist Rail Trips to popular destinations such as Pattaya, Ko Samui, and Kanchanaburi. Not all Destinations are offered all the time, so it's best to ask about Current Excursions either at the Hua Lamphong Railway Station or at any travel agency. Usually, these SRT arranged are much cheaper than trips offered by private tour operators.
2. Joint Rail / Bus / Boat Tickets - (See 'Thai Railway Station Section' - Surat Thani) - Joint rail / bus / boat tickets are available for a number of destinations, so you don't have to worry about missing a bus/ boat connection. Joint tickets are available from Bangkok's Hualamphong Rail Station to: Phuket (train/ bus), Krabi (train/bus), Ko Samui (train/ bus/boat) Chiang Rai via Chiang Mai (train/ bus), Phi Phi Island (train/ bus/express boat). Seasonal variations may apply, so check with selected travel agencies.
3. SRT Rail Passes - Thai Railways offers a 'Thai Rail Pass' similar
to the passes in Europe. These passes provide good savings over buying individual
tickets if your main mode of travel will be by train within the 20 days allowed
travel time. You must average 110 km per day though to get any 'real' savings.
-a. Thai Rail Policy
--1. Allows unlimited travel within 20 days on all Ordinary, Rapid, and Express Trains.
--2. Allows passenger to travel in Third-class (Air-Conditioned or Fan), Second-Class (Air-Conditioned or Fan), and Second-Class Sleeper Services (Air-Conditioned or Fan).
--3. Thai Rail Passes are For Non-Residents of Thailand Only
--4. Thai Rail Passes are only available in Thailand. You can buy Thai Rail Passes at Bangkok's Hualamphong Rail Station or affiliated travel agencies.
--5. Using the Pass
----a. First Day - Passes must be validated at a local Thai Railways Station before boarding the first train.
----b. Seat Reservations - Just show your rail pass at the SRT ticket window.
----c. Last Day - The Rail Pass is valid until midnight of the last day on the pass. If the journey began before midnight, however, the pass is valid until your destination is reached.
--6. Pass Service Upgrades - There will be a surcharge at the time of reservation, if you would like to upgrade your Thai Rail Pass for Special Express Service or First-Class travel .
-b. Types of Passes - Both types of Thai Rail Passes include the 'Reservations Surcharge'. Surcharges for various Thai Railways Servces include Reservations, Non-Ordinary Rail Services Types (Rapid, Express, and Special Express), Sleeper Services (Upper / Lower bunks), and Air-Conditioning.
--1. Pass A -Surcharges not Included. (see 'Surcharge List above)
--2. Pass B -All Surcharges Included.
--3. Children aged 4-12 pay half the price of an Adult Pass if they are less than 150 cm (59in). (No fare is charged for children under 3 years, if they do not require separate seats and are less than 100 cm in height" (39in)).
--a. Refunds are granted only if requested no later than three hours after the departure of the purchased ticket.
--Traveling by Motorcycle in Thailand has become a very popular way of getting around, especially in the Hilly Northern Region. You can either rent or buy a motorbike easily and pretty cheaply. Getting around by Motorbike allows you to go may places that are not accessible by public transport or bicycle. 'Short-Term' visitors traveling by Motorbike or Car in Thailand, have to get an 'International Driver's License' from their home country. 'Long-Term' visitors need to apply for a 'Thai Driver's License' at the Police Registration Division. The Police Registration Division has Offices in all Provincial Capital Cities.
--Traveling by Bicycle may be the ideal way to get around in Thailand for those fairly 'fit' travelers on a budget. Traveling by bicycle is cheap, adventurous, and 'non-polluting'. Roads in Thailand are wide, well-maintained, and have roomy 'shoulders'. You can rent, buy, or 'bring your own' bicycle in Thailand. No 'special permits' are required for bicycle travel in Thailand. If you bring your own bike, you may have to register it with 'Thai Customs' when you enter Thailand.