The Express 75/75 operated by the State Railway of Thailand is a long-distance train running from Bangkok to Nong Khai offering easy access to Ayutthaya, the ancient capital of Siam declared UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Express Train is a convenient way to get to Ayutthaya, as it is located just 85 km north of Bangkok and it can be reached within 1 hour 30 minutes. There are many trains connecting Bangkok to Ayutthaya but in terms of schedule we recommend the Express 75/76, departing in the morning and returning in the afternoon, making it convenient for travellers to visit Ayutthaya Historical Park and return to the capital in the same day.
Tickets for the Bangkok – Ayutthaya route do not sell out, as ticket sale opens 1-2 days in advance, but if you decide to purchase your tickets at the station right before departure, seats are not guaranteed and you may have to travel standing in Third class throughout the whole journey.
Now you can easily book your train tickets in Thailand with Baolau.
State Railway of Thailand (SRT) train service
The State Railway of Thailand or SRT is the national railway operator of Thailand, with many lines running throughout the country converging in Bangkok.
The Northeastern Line operates a wide range of trains and travel classes. The Express 75/76 is a daily service between Bangkok and Nong Khai: the Express 75 departs at 08:20 from Bangkok and arrives at 09:41 to Ayutthaya, and the Express 76 departs at 07:00 from Nong Khai, passes through Ayutthaya at 15:35 and arrives to Bangkok at 17:10. Both Express services offer Second class Seat (A/C) and Third class Seat.
Departure from Bangkok
Hua Lamphong Railway Station is the main railway station in Bangkok. Getting to the central train station is easy with the MRT offering direct access to Hua Lamphong at the end of the MRT Blue Line. Alternatively, you can get a taxi or a tuktuk and any driver in the city will know how to get to Hua Lamphong train station.
The station has 14 platforms, 26 ticket booths and 2 electronic boards. Hua Lamphong serves over 130 trains and approximately 60,000 passengers every day.
The station main hall has plenty of seats for passengers to wait for departures and visitors to wait for arrivals. There are also many snack shops and cafes in the ground floor and the first floor accessible by the stairs.
The ticket booths are located in the front, separating the station hall from the train platforms.
Travellers can book tickets for the Northern Line, the Northeastern Line, the Southern Line and the Eastern Line directly at the ticket booths or else via internet. State Railway of Thailand launched online ticket booking in 2017 in effort to reduce the queues at the train station. Depending on the dates, queues to access the ticket booths can be empty on weekdays or crowded in weekends and periods of public holidays.
Ticket booking is available 60 days in advance, however, fares will open first for the long journeys of the railway line. For short journeys on Special Express, Express or Rapid trains, such as Bangkok to Ayutthaya, ticket booking usually opens 1-2 days before departure. For Ordinary trains, ticket sale opens on the same travel date.
The electronic board will display the next train departures and the corresponding platforms. Our train, the Express 75 bound to Nong Khai, will be departing from Platform 11 at 08:20. Any train delay will be indicated in the board, so it is recommended that you take a look as soon as you enter the station.
To access the platforms, proceed through the gate situated between the ticket booths. Passengers are advised to head to the platform at least 15 minutes before departure to board the assigned car number along the train.
A sign will be placed at the head of every platform, so passengers confirm that they are boarding the right train. Any delay will be announced in the platform sign as well.
Our train Express 75 is waiting, ready for departure.
The car number and the seat class are printed on the train ticket. The Express 75 carries Second class and Third class coaches.
Each coach has a number indicated on the side, easily recognizable. Lowest car numbers are closer to the front whereas higher car numbers are closer to the tail. If you are on a rush and the train is about to depart, you can board the tail car and make your way to your assigned coach moving inside the train.
The Second class coaches are equipped with Soft seats distributed on 2+2 configuration. As the car is Air-Conditioned, the windows remain closed, the light is dim and the interior is quiet.
The Third class coaches have padded benches on 2+2 configuration, both parallel and perpendicular to the direction of the train. While non-air-conditioned, the car is equipped with circulating fans and offers fresh natural air when the train is on motion with the windows open.
As our train leaves the platform, we spot other trains arriving or departing from Hua Lamphong station.
Immediately following the departure, passengers will be requested to prepare the boarding tickets and show to the train conductor.
Since State Railways of Thailand introduced the use of electronic tickets in 2017, passengers can either present the physical ticket purchased at the booths in the station or a printed copy of the electronic ticket purchased via internet. If you book your train tickets online with Baolau, you will receive the official electronic tickets issued by SRT. Passengers are requested to print the e-tickets and not to carry in the mobile phone or tablet since digital copies are not accepted.
The conductor will ask for your train ticket as he approaches your seat.
He will verify the information printed on the ticket, including travel date, train number, seat and passenger name. If there is any suspicion that the ticket holder does not match the passenger name, the conductor may ask for a personal identification. This security checking prevents ticket resale.
If everything is correct, the conductor will make a mark in the paper ticket. Sometimes they get very creative at clipping tickets and compliment foreign travellers with the traditional Thai hospitality.
Additionally to ticket checking, the conductor keeps a list to control the occupied seats, as passengers embark and disembark at different stations along the railway line.
Soon after leaving Hua Lamphong the train will make a stop in Bang Sue Railway Station. Currently an intermediate stop, the station is located next to a big terminal in construction. Bang Sue Central Station will be Bangkok’s new railway hub replacing Hua Lamphong as the terminus for all long-distance rail services in 2020.
More passengers board our train in Bang Sue and the train conductor is ready to welcome them and kindly ask for the train tickets.
After Bang Sue we arrive to Don Mueang Railway Station.
Don Mueang Railway Station is connected to Don Mueang Airport (DMK), serving both domestic and international flights for low-cost carriers. In the present, Don Mueang is the main hub for Nok Air, Thai AirAsia and Thai Lion Air.
If you are connecting flights to Thailand with trains to destinations on the Northern Line and Northeastern Line, you can use Don Mueang Railway Station.
The station at Don Mueang is quite small, only equipped with the basic facilities. Waiting for the train may not be as comfortable as Hua Lamphong.
Our train receives new passengers, including some international tourists.
As the we leave Bangkok metropolitan area, the Third class coaches are already full of passengers and some of them have to stand.
The train reaches the countryside and soon we are crossing ride paddies.
It’s been almost 45 minutes since the train departed from Hua Lamphong. If you are already thirsty, you can get a drink from the passing vendors.
Or if you forgot to have breakfast and feel hungry, you can get a meal box. Note that this is your only chance to grab any food until we get to Ayutthata, since there is no restaurant car in the Express train.
Still 45 minutes more to reach our destination. If you are travelling in Third class, simply enjoy the scenery and breath the fresh air coming through the windows.
If you are travelling in Second class, windows will remain closed and you won’t be able to enjoy the views, but at least you can travel free of noise and read a book or play with your phone.
Some more rice fields as we enter Ayutthaya province.
Arrival to Ayutthaya
After one hour and a half the train will arrive to Ayutthaya Railway Station.
Many passengers will get off the train as they come to visit the Historical Park or commute between Bangkok and Ayutthata city.
After few minutes, when all the passengers have disembarked, the train is ready to resume the journey.
The Express 75 will continue its way to Northeastern Thailand, passing through Khon Kaen, Udon Thani, and arriving to Nong Khai at 17:45. Khon Kaen is located at the border of Thailand and Laos, offering easy access to Vientiane. Passengers travelling by train from Bangkok to the neighbor country may however consider taking the sleeper train Special Express 25 Isan Mankha, much more comfortable for the 10-hour journey.
The arrival hall of Ayutthaya Railway Station is the perfect place to prepare your visit to the Historical Park and program your day to make sure that you are back at the station on time to return to Bangkok. The station has toilets as well as information counters if you wish to confirm the departure time of the returning train.
Moreoever, the station has a Tourist Desk where you can get a free map of Ayutthaya Historial Park and draw the itinerary to see the temples and ruins.
Visit to Ayutthaya Historical Park
As soon as you step outside the station, you will be approached by agents selling tuk-tuk tours. The cost is usually 200-300 THB per hour but you can negotiate a discount for half day or around 1,000 THB for 4 hours. You can also opt for a bicycle or a motorbike (if you have your international driving license and your insurance).
Bicycling is the most enjoyable way to visit Ayutthaya Historical Park, even if you are not very fit. The paths inside the park are paved and the distances between temples are relatively small. In case you choose the bicycle, don’t rent it at this point as you still need to cross the Chao Phraya River that surrounds the island where the Historical Center is settled.
You will find Ayutthaya Train Station Pier right in front of the station, at walking distance. Ferry boats run every few minutes and cost 5 THB. The are several bike rental shops located right after the ferry crossing. Here you can rent a bicycle for 50 THB per day. You will be required to leave a passport or identity card as a deposit. The bicycles are not always in condition, check that your bike works well before you go. You will be provided with a lock to secure your bike at the parking of every temple.
Your visit to Ayutthaya can start with Wat Mahathat, containing impressive prangs and rows of Buddha statues. In this temple you can spot the famous tree that has grown around a Buddha head, probably the most photographed site in Ayutthaya.
You may continue your itinerary visiting Wat Ratchaburana, Wat Phra Si Sanphet, the Viharn Phra Mongkol Bopit hall housing a large bronze cast Buddha image, and the reclining Buddha at Wat Lokkayasutharam.
Besides cycling around the ruins, one of the activities in Ayutthaya is enjoying the view of the historical sites while riding an elephant. Look for the Elephant Village in the center of the Historical City.
If you have time you can also consider a boat ride along the Chao Phraya River and canals to experience the time when Ayutthaya Kingdom was visited by barges of trading foreign countries. The beauty of some temples like Wat Chai Watthanaram is only revealed when you pass by the riverside.
Once you conclude your visit to the Historial Park, head back to Ayutthaya Train Station Pier and cross the river.
Departure from Ayutthaya
Get back to the station to catch your returning train to Bangkok.
The temples offer little shadow, so after walking and cycling under the scorching hot sun, the station hall is the perfect place to take rest.
If you decided to be flexible on your visit to Ayutthaya and not book your return ticket in advance, you can purchase it when you finish the tour and you are ready to travel back to Bangkok. Booking close to departure, however, will not guarantee you a seat and you may need to travel standing in Third class.
From Ayutthaya to Bangkok there are 5 trains passing in the afternoon and another 5 in the evening, both corresponding to the Northern Line and the Northeastern Line.
If you book online, be sure to carry a printed copy of your ticket as you will not be allowed to board the train with your digital e-ticket on your mobile phone or tablet.
Ayutthaya Railway Station serves more than 70 trains and 10,000 passengers per day. Every passenger train passing through this station makes a stop.
The station has 3 platforms. You do not need to access platforms 2 or 3 until you listen the PR announcement informing that the train is coming.
You can check the platform assigned to your train on the electronic board located in the station hall.
If you decided not to return to Bangkok but continue your journey to Northern Thailand, Ayutthaya is connected to Chiang Mai and Phitsanulok on the Northern Line, and Nakhon Ratchasima, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani and Nong Khai on the Northeastern Line.
As you wait for your train, heading one direction or the other, you can enjoy the facilities of the station. The waiting area has some wooden benches and there is free Wi-Fi provided by courtesy of SRT.
On one side of the station there is a cafe with refreshments, ideal to cool off after the sightseeing tour or grabbing a bite in case you skipped lunch. If you are looking for fresh-cut fruit, check the local market outside the station.
There is a chance that before your train comes you see another passing by. Whenever a train is approaching the station, the officer will ring the bell and there will be a PR announcement for all passengers.
Passengers boarding at Ayutthaya will only have few minutes before the train resumes its course.
The Express 76 arrives on time even it departed early this morning from Nong Khai. Trains in Thailand are surprisingly punctual despite the aged look of the infrastructure and rolling stock. Our train enters the platform number 3 and passengers board from both sides. There is not much space in the platform so be sure to stay outside the yellow line until the train has completely stopped.
For the return trip to Bangkok, the Second class coach with air-conditioning and soft seats provides a good comfort. Many travellers exhausted from the tour will inevitably fall asleep.
If you are travelling in Third class, you can still look through the window and enjoy the peaceful view of rice paddies while the sun sets.
Arrival to Bangkok
After one hour and a half, the Express 76 will arrive to Hua Lamphong Railway Station, the terminus station of the Northeastern Line.
Tourists coming from Ayutthaya as well as Khon Kaen and further from Vientiane, Laos will get off the train at Bangkok. Once in Hua Lamphong, passengers can connect with SRT Southern Line and other railway lines.
Exit the platform and you will reach the station hall. Many passengers will be waiting for the evening trains, mostly long-distance sleeper services such as the Special Express 9 Uttravidhi to Chiang Mai.
If Bangkok is your final destination, you will find taxis and tuk-tuks outside the station building ready to take you around the city.
You can also walk to the subway station of Hua Lamphong, serving the MRT Blue Line and connecting with Si Lom (interchange with Sala Daeng BTS station), Sukhumvit (interchange with Asok BTS Station) and Phetchaburi (interchange with Airport Rail Link to Suvarnabhumi).
How to book your train tickets from Bangkok to Ayutthaya to Bangkok
Train travel in Thailand is very popular among locals and tourists. Tickets on the Bangkok – Ayutthaya route hardly sell out because there are many services running through the day. However, if you wish to secure a seat in Second class (A/C) at certain departure time, we recommend that you book in advance. Ticket sale for short journeys opens 1-2 days in advance.
Baolau lists the SRT services available, so you can compare and select the most convenient schedule and price.
Fill in the passenger form and complete your payment before submitting the booking request. Once your reservation is confirmed, you will receive an email with the electronic tickets attached. The electronic tickets are valid boarding passes. However, passengers are requested to print the e-ticket in advance and carry the printout while boarding. Please do not carry the e-ticket in your mobile phone or tablet as digital copies are not accepted by the train conductor.