Good morning from Chiang Mai Railway Station. The State Railway of Thailand has joined hands with Lampang Rajabhat University to organize train tours under the label ‘Lanna Modernization Railroad Travel’. The aim is to promote rail tourism and the route between the old towns of Lampang, Lamphun, and Chiang Mai. This is now their fourth package tour. The demgraphics of my fellow passengers are retirees with disposable income. The tour price was 7,590 Baht and the ones that I asked said it was a reasonable price. In fact there were some people who had been on all four trips so far.
This is a live report of my three-night, two-day tour with them in Northern Thailand.
 We came to Chiang Mai on Special Express No.9 which is a sleeper train. I got a full seven hours of sleep last night, though some of the others said they had a restless night. My tip is to have a good eye mask that blocks out 100% of the light and ear plugs. Pictures below show my dinner and breakfast in the dining car.
📷 Photos and information about the CNR sleeper train: thaitrainguide.com/trains/cnr-sle…
 There are 38 passengers on this trip. Everyone is Thai apart from myself. Today we are in Chiang Mai and Lamphun. Tomorrow we will go to Lampang where we will catch the sleeper train in the evening back to Bangkok. We have two full days on this trip.
 Our first stop was at Doi Inthanon, which at 2,565 metres is the highest spot in Thailand. In winter months it goes below freezing. Not so chilly this morning but at 7°C it’s the coldest temperature I’ve felt in Thailand for a long time.
 On Doi Inthanon we also visited Phra Mahathat Naphamethanidon and Naphaphone Phumi Siri. These Twin Pagodas are dedicated to King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit.
 Our third stop in Doi Inthanon National Park was Wachirathan Waterfall. This is an impressive 70 metre high waterfall that seems to have water year round. You can also often see a rainbow here when the sun comes out.
 Lunch today was at Touch Star Resort in Chom Thong district of Chiang Mai.
 Wat Phra That Si Chom Thong, in Chom Thong district, is one of the most important sites in Chiang Mai because it houses a holy Buddha relic. It’s unusual that the relic is not buried as it can be taken out for blessings.
 This is Ganesha Himal Museum in Doi Lo district of Chiang Mai. Despite the name it’s not all about Ganesha. There are various other Hindu gods too. The gardens are beautiful too.
 We reached our final stop, Wat Phra That Doi Kham, just as the sun was setting. On a clear day, this is a good place to come for the views of Chiang Mai.
 Chiang Mai is really teeming with life. I haven’t seen so many foreigners in one place for a long time. A big difference to when I came here last year. Good for local businesses of course, but a slefish part of me misses the quietness during the Covid years. In Thailand we didn’t really have strict lockdown and we could still travel.
 Good morning from a chilly Lamphun. It’s only 15°C this morning. Jacket weather for me. We came down here from Chiang Mai last night. Only 40 minutes away. We will do a few things here and then move onto Lampang where we will catch the sleeper train tonight back to Bangkok.
 Our first stop on Day 2 was Wat Phra That Haripunchai. This is the most important and biggest temple in Lamphun. It is popular with people born in the Year of the Rooster.
 Our first stop in Lampang was the Thai Elephant Conservation Center. It started off well by watching mahouts bathe their elephants. But then quickly deteriorated by taking us to an elephant show and then a place to ride elephants. No thanks.
 Our lunch today was at Jor Nguan in Lampang. Naturally we had Khao Soi, a popular dish in Northern Thailand. I usually have with chicken but I went for beef this time. It was really tender and so a good choice.
 Our stop after lunch was at Chae Son National Park in Mueang Pan district of Lampang. This is popular for the Hot Springs. The hottest pool is 80°C and takes 17 minutes to boil an egg. There are also pools where the water temperature is about 35°C.
 They also have private rooms for 50 Baht. It’s a nice place to stay overnight in bungalows as the morning mist is really beautiful during the winter months. These are my photos from my previous visit in 2018.
 Dinner tonight was at Runway Kitchen Restaurant in Lampang. As the name suggests, it’s opposite the runway.
 It’s time to board Special Express No.10 and head back to Bangkok.
Timetable and photos: thaitrainguide.com/timetables/no-…
 Our train arrived at Krung Thep Aphiwat exactly on time. This concludes my 2-day, 3-night train trip to Chiang Mai, Lamphun and Lampang. This is now the fourth trip organised by the State Railway of Thailand and the tourism faculty at Lampang Rajabhat University. The next trip will probably be a dinner on the train between Chiang Mai and Phitsanulok. Then a trip to the south. Next year they said they might do a trip to Isaan. Follow @ThaiTrainGuide for updates.