How to Survive an Overnight Train in Asia

Overnight train travel through Asia is the only way to get from point A to point B. We're here to help you do it comfortably.

Overnight Train in Asia,,, crowd ink, crowdink
Overnight Train in Asia

For intrepid travellers across Asia, overnight train travel is one of the most popular modes of transport. Tickets are usually cheap; it saves paying for a night’s accommodation; and it transports you from A to B with (relatively) little hassle.

However, to really enjoy your time on board there are a few key things to keep in mind.

Snack Attack

Being hangry is not fun – for you or your travel buddies.  To be your best and brightest self, bring plenty of snacks and water to last the journey. This will be a godsend, especially if your train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai breaks down in the middle of the night and takes 6 hours longer to reach its destination (learning from experience!).

That said, don’t be afraid to try the food on offer from vendors who pass down the aisles or sell at train stations en route.  On a regional train ride in India, I ate like a king (naan, kalmi vada, peanuts, chai) and spent roughly $1AUD in the process.

Book a Second Class Sleeper

Self-acclaimed hard-core travellers will wax lyrical about only ever booking the 3rd class seats.  But for long haul journeys, your butt is probably not going to appreciate it. Unless you’re planning to spend the whole trip in the dining cart (which may have a curfew), it’s better to spend a few extra dollars for a sleeper and arrive at your destination rested and ready to explore.

2nd class sleepers are typically 4 or 6 berth bunk rooms, which means you’ll get to bond with your fellow travellers.  You’ll have to choose between upper/lower berths when booking your tickets.

Layer Up
Overnight trains and buses with A/C are notoriously freezing.  Layers are your best defence. Carry a thick scarf which can be used as a shawl or extra blanket. Pack some socks too, they’ll be way cosier than your sandals once you go to sleep.

Protect Your Valuables

Unless you’re a super flexible sleeping ninja, you’re not going to want to share your bunk with your backpack.  It’s most likely going to end up under your bunk or on a rack with many others further away.  A cable lock and bag protector will give you some peace of mind. Meanwhile, keep your valuables, money and passport in a satchel that never leaves your side.

Talk to Strangers

Train travel is one of the easiest ways to make friends on the road, with fellow travellers and locals alike. Turns out, being stuck together for 10+ hours with minimal entertainment is a great bonding session!

Introduce yourself to those around you.  Particularly if travelling alone, it helps to know that new friends can look out for you and your safety.

The Entertainment Factor

While lengthy train rides are useful to catch up on much needed zzz’s, ensure you have some basic entertainment to help pass the time.  A good book and a music source are a must. Having a deck of cards on hand is always a good ice breaker to connect with your fellow travellers.

Keeping It Clean

Bring along a sleep sheet and your own clean pillowcase for the best night’s sleep.  Light sleepers should have ear plugs handy to combat noisy passengers and middle-of-the-night train announcements.

No matter the country, train toilets can sometimes become pretty gross.  If travelling where the squat toilet reigns, your own stash of tissues and hand sanitizer make the experience a lot less stressful.

Don’t forget to pack your sense of adventure, and enjoy the ride!


  1. Im impressed. I dont think Ive met anyone who knows as much about this subject as you do. Youre truly well informed and very intelligent. You wrote something that people could understand and made the subject intriguing for everyone. Really, great blog youve got here.

  2. Can I just say what a relief to seek out someone who actually knows what theyre speaking about on the internet. You positively know find out how to bring a problem to mild and make it important. Extra individuals have to read this and perceive this side of the story. I cant believe youre not more in style because you positively have the gift.

  3. Unquestionably believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the web the easiest thing to be aware
    of. I say to you, I certainly get annoyed while people think about worries that they plainly don’t know
    about. You managed to hit the nail upon the
    top as well as defined out the whole thing without having side effect ,
    people could take a signal. Will likely be back to get more.

  4. case studies

    […]we prefer to honor several other online websites on the net, even when they aren?t linked to us, by linking to them. Beneath are some webpages really worth checking out[…]

  5. Hey great blog! Does running a blog like this require a lot of work?
    I have virtually no expertise in coding however I was hoping to start my own blog soon.
    Anyway, if you have any suggestions or techniques for new blog owners please share.
    I understand this is off subject but I simply wanted to ask.
    Appreciate it!

  6. experience

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine several unrelated information, nevertheless truly really worth taking a look, whoa did 1 understand about Mid East has got additional problerms as well […]

  7. CUCI99

    […]we prefer to honor a lot of other internet internet sites around the web, even though they aren?t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages really worth checking out[…]

  8. I don’t even know how I stopped up here, but I believed this
    post was once good. I do not understand
    who you’re however certainly you’re going to a famous blogger should you aren’t already.

  9. Howdy would you mind letting me know which hosting company you’re utilizing?

    I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different internet browsers and I must say
    this blog loads a lot quicker then most. Can you recommend a good internet hosting provider at a honest price?
    Kudos, I appreciate it!

  10. Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board and
    I find It truly helpful & it helped me out much. I hope to present
    one thing again and aid others like you helped me.

  11. Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board and I find It truly useful &
    it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back and help
    others like you aided me.

  12. We’re a bunch of volunteers and opening a brand new scheme in our community.
    Your web site provided us with helpful information to work on. You’ve done an impressive process
    and our whole neighborhood will likely be thankful
    to you.

  13. Woah! I’m really digging the template/theme of this website.
    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s very hard to get that
    “perfect balance” between usability and appearance.
    I must say you have done a very good job with this. Also, the blog
    loads super fast for me on Firefox. Outstanding Blog!

  14. I’ve been browsing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.

    It is pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the
    internet will be much more useful than ever before.

  15. I’m no longer sure the place you are getting your info, however good topic.
    I must spend some time studying more or understanding more.
    Thanks for excellent information I used to be searching for this info for my mission.

  16. Awesome blog! Do you have any helpful hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so
    many choices out there that I’m completely overwhelmed ..
    Any ideas? Kudos!

  17. Howdy are using WordPress for your blog platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying
    to get started and set up my own. Do you require any coding expertise to make your own blog?
    Any help would be really appreciated!

  18. Hello terrific website! Does running a blog like this take a massive amount work?
    I have virtually no knowledge of coding however I had been hoping to start my own blog in the near future.

    Anyhow, should you have any recommendations or
    techniques for new blog owners please share.
    I know this is off topic but I just had to ask. Many thanks!

  19. This design is incredible! You certainly know how to keep a reader entertained.
    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my
    own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Wonderful job. I really loved what you had
    to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

  20. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I have really enjoyed surfing around your blog
    posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

  21. May I simply say what a relief to discover someone that truly understands
    what they are discussing online. You definitely know
    how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More people really need to
    read this and understand this side of your story. I was
    surprised you aren’t more popular because you definitely possess the gift.

  22. kepsar

    […]that may be the finish of this write-up. Right here you will obtain some web sites that we consider you will value, just click the links over[…]

  23. love-your-finances

    […]we prefer to honor numerous other world-wide-web websites around the net, even when they aren?t linked to us, by linking to them. Beneath are some webpages worth checking out[…]

  24. casino online indonesia

    Casino Online | Agen Sbobet | Bandar Bola | Judi Online Soccerfox99, menyediakan permainan Taruhan Bola Sbobet, Live Casino Online, Slot Game, Tembak Ikan, Poker Online, Tersedia Promo hingga jutaan rupiah untuk kamu menangkan, Gabung sekarang dan nikm…

  25. casino online sbobet

    Soccerfox99 menjamin 100% kerahasiaan & keamanan data dari member-member kami. Dengan server berteknologi tinggi & sistem yang lebih baik, percayakanlah hoki Anda kepada kami Agen Bola Online, Situs Agen Taruhan Bola SBOBET, Bandar Bola online, Agen Ca…

  26. click

    […]very couple of sites that take place to become detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly properly really worth checking out[…]

  27. trash haulers

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine several unrelated information, nonetheless seriously worth taking a appear, whoa did a single learn about Mid East has got extra problerms too […]

  28. pay stubs

    […]although internet sites we backlink to below are considerably not connected to ours, we really feel they may be actually really worth a go by way of, so possess a look[…]

  29. Stock Options

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a number of unrelated data, nonetheless actually worth taking a search, whoa did one learn about Mid East has got more problerms as well […]

  30. veslep screws

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a few unrelated information, nevertheless truly really worth taking a look, whoa did one particular understand about Mid East has got a lot more problerms at the same time […]