Leaving Bangkok, heading northbound, the two hour bouncy train ride starts by taking you through small neighborhoods. With make-shift houses, made of pieces of grooved metal and occasional slabs of wood, built almost on top of the tracks, my eyes had plenty to focus on. I particularly liked a colorfully-painted library train, permanently stationed on its own track, on the left just before arriving at Banc Sue Junction.
After the Don Mueang station, the scenery becomes increasingly greener and opens up to beautiful fields of long grasses, rice, wheat and trees, interspersed with small houses on stilts. After the extremely high levels of precipitation during the wet season of 2011, and the devastating flooding that resulted from all that rain, it’s clear why these houses are propped up off the ground. I’m sure flooding in this area is quite common.
On the right, mountains lined the horizon in the background, and as the train passed the swamp-like landscape, I was able to see a variety of water foul. Perhaps because of the common flooding, a large number of water birds live here, and to a birder’s delight, they can be observed and photographed from both sides of the train.
A Special Express ticket costs 344 Baht ($11.50) and you catch the northbound train from platform 10. This price lands you in an air-conditioned car with an assigned seat and free coffee, tea, water, Coke or Fanta as well as a small piece of cake and a muffin. Here are the stops you will make before exiting at Lopburi, the seventh stop. The train continues all the way to Chiang Mai.
2) Banc Sue Junction
3) Bangkhen (also spelled “Banckhen)
4) Lak Si
5) Don Mueang
In case you forget to count the stops, don’t worry. Just get off the train when you see a huge golden monkey statue on the left, where your monkey adventure begins. See our post A Day Trip to Lopburi – Monkey Business for tips on how to get to the monkeys, what to expect and other things to do in Lopburi.