I am thinking about a trip to Thailand in April and think I might do it on the cheap and by myself. I heard the trains are quite good there. What are the easy to catch trains, where do you buy tickets and what are the costs?
I travelled round on little tourist buses. They weren't that expensive and were very easy to book at hotels. In Bangkok a good place to stay is Kao San Road, lots of choices for accomodation and travel. I'm sure you can organise trains there too, but definitely lots of vans will take you where ever you want to go. Often door to door. almost 10 years ago
You can travel on both bus and train to nearly everywhere in Thailand.
For short journeys I would recommend taking a bus, but for 12+ hour journeys it's more comfortable on an overnight train. I would recommend the 2nd class sleeper carriages. You get a top or bottom bunk in an open carriage - with curtains you can close for some privacy. You can also order dinner and breakfast on the train, as well as get some beer if you meet a few fellow travellers and get talking :)
You can buy train tickets direct from the train station, or from a travel agent in tourist areas such as Kao Sahn road. In most cases you need to book at least a day ahead as 2nd class will usually be booked out on the day. I've taken two overnight trains and the price was between 800 and 900 baht - not bad for both transport and a place to sleep for the night! almost 10 years ago