By train from Trang to Chumphon - Frankie goes to.....explore Southern Thailand (Part 1: Chumphon to Trang) - CycleBlaze

December 9, 2019

By train from Trang to Chumphon

I am starting this ride in Chumphon as my first appointment will be visiting my Thai friends Peed an Go Ma who run a homestay in the village of Ban Tong Tom. Peed used to be a professional chef on Phuket and Samui and her cooking skills itself would always take me to their remote fishing hamlet. The second meeting with friends is scheduled on Koh Lanta towards the end of this trip. Susi and Thomas from my hometown Königswinter in Germany will be staying there for 10 days while travelling in South East Asia. 

Chumphon is coveniently located along the Trang - Bangkok railway line which makes taking the bike up there very easy. I recently posted some information on the Express overnight train and mentioned this 2nd option to travel between the two cities, the much slower Rapid train. On my way to Bangkok I would always go for the Express one but as I will be getting off in Chumphon today the earlier departure time comes to my advantage. It still is a 7 hour journey but the 8.30 pm arrival time does not really require a sleeper berth so I went for an ordinary 2nd class fan seat at 258 Baht from Trang to Chumphon. Taking the bike cost the regular 90 Baht and - as in any Thai station - you will have to purchase that ticket separately in the cargo office just before departure. For more substantial details on this route or trains in Thailand and South East Asia in general I can only recommend the  Seat61 or  Train36  sites.

So all information submitted, let this cycling-eating-meeting journey begin!

Training for the eating part of this trip. Last night I attended the annual festival celebrating the birthday of the late King Bhumibol (Rama IX). Absolutely amazing! A small town like Trang sets up at tent of at least 200 meters in length and it is all about food.
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The cultural performances are only supporting acts to the dining part. Very Thai!
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Up early again this morning so I could offer my shoulder-restricted removal services to my good friend and neighbour Look Niang. He used to live in Berlin and speaks excellent German. Nice to communicate in your native tongue every now and then... He will be able to repay very soon when I will be moving to a new house myself. These sidecar-motorbikes are extremyly useful for this particular purpose by the way. Stunning how much stuff you can relocate at one time
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My train arriving an hour late. This will by the way not happen if you book yourself on the Express train (on the right of the photo) as suggested above. As it starts and terminates in Trang it is parked here all day and is therefore not prone to any delays.
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As I said above, I decided to travel in the 2nd class (non-sleeper, fan) at 258 Baht for the 7 hour journey to Chumphon. I was a bit concerned whether I would be comfortable for such a long trip but I got very positively surprised. I would describe the generous conditions as "Premium Economy" in air travel terms. Your choice whether you want the windows and/or shutters up or down. I obviously went for the all-down position and loved the warm air in my face combined with the tropcal views until the sun was down. Loved the ride!
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As ususal my gear requires more storage space than the other passengers claim together. I will never learn to travel lean...
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My first choice in Chumphon. Decent inexpensive rooms, good bicycle parking and...
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...this non-descript but outstanding restaurant adjacent. I first got attracted by the unusual combination of typical Thai restaurant design and The Eagles as background music. But what really makes me come back any time I am around....
Heart 2 Comment 0 the superb food. Tonight I ordered mhhg tord kra tiam (deep fried squid with garlic) and pak kanaa nahm anhoy (chinese kale in oyster sauce). Extremely delicious!
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But this trip is not all about food. I´ve got some work to do as well. My anticipated route looks like this. The 4206 is the name of the road terminating at the Koh Lanta ferry
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Today's ride: 5 km (3 miles)
Total: 5 km (3 miles)

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