If you are a steam train enthusiast then you will be happy to hear that the State Railway of Thailand are organizing their annual steam train trip this weekend to mark the birthday of H.M. The King. However, unlike previous years, there are three separate programmes on offer going three different directions over the long holiday weekend. On Sunday 5th December 2010 there will be the normal train trip that will go from Bangkok to Ayutthaya. These are some pictures that I took of the steam train over the last few years. It is a very popular trip so if you are planning on going then you are advised to try and book as soon as you can. For myself, I bought my ticket in advance at Hua Lamphong Station. Their ticket hotline is 1690. In addition to the Ayutthaya trip, there are also two more. One on Saturday and the other on holiday Monday.
Saturday 4th December 2010: On this day there will be a steam train trip from Bangkok to Chachoengsao, a province East of Bangkok. The journey there will take about two hours where you will transfer to a coach for a tour of the city. Highlights will be Wat Sothon Wararam Worawihan (largest temple building in Thailand), Chinese golden Buddha images made from paper, the largest reclining image of Lord Ganesh which is 16 meters high and 22 meters long, and a sand sculpture exhibition. After shopping, the steam train will depart at 4.30 p.m. and arrive back in Bangkok at 6.30 p.m. The cost of this trip is 499 baht. Children under 4 years of age are free. Fee includes coach, tour guide, entrance fees, lunch and travel insurance.
Monday 6th December 2010: On this day the steam train will head West to Nakhon Pathom Province. It will leave Bangkok at 8 a.m. and will reach its first destination at the Samphran Elephant Ground two hours later. Lunch will be here and then they will take you to Don Wai Riverside Market. From here you will go to the Thai Human Imagery Museum. Then Sanam Chan Palace and finally the giant chedi in Nakhon Pathom. The train will depart for Bangkok at 5 p.m. and arrive about two hours later. Again, the cost is 499 baht and includes all admission fees and lunch. However, it should be noted that three of these attractions have a two price system and it is not clear whether you will have to pay extra or not. I hope not.
You can find full information and a schedule on the website of the State Railway of Thailand. However, it is only in Thai.