More food than I can eat- riding a Thai Train

a train at a train station

The in-transit catering on Thailand trains is amazing. Streams of salespeople hop on and off at every station on the “all stops” trains. They are usually selling hot and cold coffees, ice cold sweetened Thai teas, and fresh fruit, meals, snacks, and take-home goodies. Basically if you want anything from a sliced apple to a Phad Thai, they will find it for you!

The first time I rode a train in Thailand, I went to the supermarket to buy snacks beforehand, little knowing that every part of the 4,044 km (2,513 mile) rail system has food embedded in some way. I have now ridden 90 percent of the entire network and eaten eggs, rice cooked in bamboo, Thai meals, soups, stews, and sandwiches. I am missing the small section at the very bottom of the rail map from Hat Yai to Sungai Kolok. This section runs through the more unstable and troubled part of the kingdom. I am keen to explore this wilder space.

a map of a train system

Despite me saying a polite “ไม่เอาครับ” (may ow krub- no thank you), this man put his goods down on the empty seat opposite me (despite the multitude of empty seats down the train) and waited for me to change my mind. His eggs would have been hard-boiled not long before, and the fruit would come from someone’s farm near the railway station. Even so, I was not swayed.

a man wearing a mask standing in a bus

Sadly, I remained resolute in my polite refusal and he sadly went away without a sale to a farang (foreigner). I was the only foreigner on the train, and I think he believed it was his lucky day!

What food have you enjoyed while travelling?


  1. Excellent review.

    I really have been looking for information about Thailand rail travel.

    My goal is to take the train from Bangkok to the border and somehow continue on to Cambodia and Laos.

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