Trains can be an incredibly rewarding way to travel, especially if you’re not in too much of a hurry to reach your destination. I love travel, and for me, time spent on trains is truly special. I enjoy the scenery along the way, the unique atmosphere of the railways – the whole experience, really. And I always carry my film camera with me, to capture impressions and moments from this experience.
When I got into photography around five years ago, I started out with film cameras to give myself a solid and accurate basis for photography. My first film camera was a Nikon FE2 (black body), pictured above. It’s a semi-electronic SLR film camera made in the 1980s, whose basic functions are similar to the Nikon FM or FM2. The next camera I used was a Nikon F100 produced in 1999 – another SLR film camera but with more advanced functionality. I enjoy both these cameras, and I use them regularly to record the stories of my travels.
In this post, I want to share some pictures from my travels on the Thailand Northern Railway. The Northern Railway of Thailand is unique, and quite unlike other regional routes in the country. The North has a different topography – a higher-altitude area with lots of forests. The railway runs through mountains, tunnels and forests, fields and farms, rivers and villages. In winter, from November to February, the forest is full of changing colours. And in the rainy season, the railway is lined on both sides with lush, green forest. White mist drifts along the mountain ranges.
Communities and villages change, according to the culture of each area. We meet, see, learn, experience and get to know – and in this way, I feel that our experience of travel becomes more meaningful and complete.
There are many types of trains on the Northern Railway, including fast trains and even a special express train. But if you want to experience the atmosphere I described above, my recommendation would be to try Train 51 from Bangkok to Chiang Mai.
Train 51 (Bangkok–Chiang Mai) on a winter morning. The train has halted at a station on the Northern Railway. The countryside is shrouded in thick fog, but you can still see the sun – just about.
The train is passing through a water bend in the Kaeng Luang region. In my photo I tried to capture the soft golden sunshine blending beautifully with the thin morning mist.
One reason I love train travel is because it brings us closer to nature. To get the picture above, I leaned out of a window as the train approached a curve.
And in this photo, my friend is doing the same – leaning out of the train window one early winter morning, as the train skirts the edge of the forest.
This last photo is from the rainy season, the route between Denchai and Kaeng Luang. The train runs alongside the Yom River on the right-hand side. Up ahead are the mountain peaks shrouded in thin mist – a truly beautiful view, which I tried my best to capture on camera.
Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you enjoyed my photos. If you’d like to see more, you’re welcome to check out and follow my Facebook page.