Riding on a Long Haul Train to Hua Hin from KL
Do you like to travel by train?
Some people prefer to fly while other prefer to drive. On the other hand, there are some who prefer to travel by train. I love flying but at the same time, train travel is also something that entice me. Although the journey might be longer, but the experience is surreal. Especially so if the train travel taken is a long-haul one. While I have been on solo trips via train before, 2020 is the year where I brought along my wife and my toddler on their first train journey experience to Hua Hin, Thailand.
The start of our journey
Our journey started early in the morning. For the first time, we were going to try the ETS Business Class coach. The ticket for the Business Class is so hard to get that when I managed to buy for us, I literally jumped out of excitement. Our train departed KL Sentral at 8.30 am on the dot. It took five hours to reach Padang Besar from KL Sentral.
How did I entertain our toddler during the train journey?
Five hours is such a long time and many people kept wondering, what did I do throughout the five hours journey especially with my kid around. First of all, ETS Business Class provides snacks and food for its passengers. It is included in the ticket. So, my kid was well-fed during the journey and so, she did not putting out tantrum at all.
Secondly, with the in-train entertainment system, I kept her occupied watching cartoons and other TV shows available. Finally, when she got really bored, I just brought her and walk from coaches to coaches. That is the most interesting part of travelling by train. Whilst we walked from one coach to another, people greeted us and talked to us. In fact, we made new friends throughout the journey.
The train from Padang Besar to Hat Yai
After reaching Padang Besar and clearing immigration, we had to change train. This time, it is the Padang Besar-Hatyai shuttle train operated by the State Railway of Thailand. It was a very unforgettable experience riding on such train. It was basically time-travel in real time. The train that we took was a very classic one, without air conditioning and windows which can be opened as wide as we want.
The feeling was very nostalgic and while I have never been on a train in the 1980s, it did feel like I was time travelling back to the era when trains were so simple and basic.
The train to Hua Hin
After an hour, we finally reached Hatyai. Here, we had to change to another train which is the Thai’s train from Hatyai to Hua Hin. Since I was travelling with a toddler, I decided to take a first-class coach since the journey for this leg is 12 hours. Yes, a 12-hour train journey. It was the best decision that I have ever made. First class coach is totally a luxury when compared to the shuttle train that we rode from Padang Besar.
Apart from a private compartment where we could call the train officer to change into double decker bunk beds at night, the first class coach has two toilets and a dedicated shower room with hot water! It was such a relief when I knew that. Although the train trip was for 12 hours, I felt fresh since I had a shower before bed and another shower when I woke up the next day.
Finally, after 14 hours journey (since the train was delayed during the journey), we safely reached Hua Hin!