Going by night train from Thailand to Malaysia is really easy and comfortable. It is environmetally the best chooiche and it is definately safe.
Train leaves the Hualampong station in Bangkok but passes a few stations in eastern Bangkok before it turns south. Buy your ticket at the train station. Most value for money is the 2nd class sleeper. You will be seated in the beginning of the journey and it is pretty comfortable seats too. There is a table to unfold and pick out if you want one, from under your seat.
When you want to (and the other person sharing your bunk wants to) the conductor will come and make your bed for you. You will get clean sheets, a pillowcase (and pillow of course), a blanket and a curtain so you can sleep in private. The upper bert is slightly cheaper and this is because it is less wide than the lower bert. In every bunk there should be a light working but sometimes it doesn’t so if you want to read maybe you should bring small flashlight.
It’s easy to order dinner from the food vendor onbord and you can also preorder a breakfast for the morning.
If you don’t want to buy from the vendor different sales women come onboard the train at stations selling fresh fruits and food.
You can, of course, bring your own choice of food and snacks to the train.
The trains have aircondition and there is only one setting and that is ON. On some trains it is absolutely freezing onboard the train. Easiest is to ask the conductor for a blanket but maybe bring something warmer to wear just in case?
There is not extremely alot of place to put your luggage but if you have locked suitcases there is places in the begining and the end of the cart. Smaller luggage and valuables can you keep in your bed during night.
It is a pleasant journey and a great chance to meet and talk with other people on the train.
This train matches the trains to Kuala Lumpur witch matches the train to Singapore so if you want you can go all the way (and missing out on Malaysia) by train. You need to make 2 changes tho, one in Kuala Lumpur and one in Butterworth.
You will be passing the border into Malaysia during the morning and everybody is just pushed out of the train and in to border controll. First you leave Thailand and you get a stamp and then you will enter Malaysia. Normally you should be given a 90 day visa for free.
In the border controll they also sell pretty cheap (and cold) beers (30 TB / RM 3 / 6 SEK / US$ 1 / £ 0,5).
There is only one train per day but getting a ticket should not be too hard if you are a bit flexible. If you have the possibility then you should buy it a few days in advance just to make sure. During new years (December / January) and Songkran festivites (middle April) it is harder to get a ticket.
If you are going to Langkawi you will get off at Arau and take a taxi to Kuala Perlis. Ferry costs RM 18 / 180 TB / 36 SEK / US$ 5,50 / £3,30 and the taxi is RM 24 / 240 TB / 48 SEK / US$ 7,50 / £4,50.
Smartips: there is normally no electric outlet on the train so make sure you bring your electronic gears fully loaded and if possible bring a power bank as well to keep your cell phone working throughout the entire journey.
Train ends in Butterworth and you easilly take the ferry to Georgetown from there it’s frequent and kosts RM 1,20 /12 TB / 2,5 SEK / US$ 0,4 / £ 0,25.
Time depart: 14:45 (Thailand time)
Duration: 20 hours but calculate with about 23 hrs to make it realistic.
Price: 1.210 TB / RM 121 / 256 SEK / US$ 39 / £ 23 in the 2nd class sleeper.
Lenght: 1,161 km
Klick here for information on Bangkok to Penang (Butterworth) trains.