The following is my live trip report of the day excursion to the Pasak Chonlasit Dam (Pa Sak Jolasid) that I posted on social media. The journey was taken on 27th November 2021. All photos were shot on my iPhone.
Good morning from Bangkok Railway Station. Today I’m going on a special day excursion to Pasak Chonlasit Dam. The State Railway of Thailand organises these trips every year during the cool season from November to January. The train leaves at 6:00am and returns tonight at 6:50pm.
I’m traveling today by 3rd Class which is my preferred way to ride the trains. It’s not really about the cost (3rd class with fan is ฿330 and 2nd Class with air is ฿560). I like to have an open window to make it easier to see the view and to take pictures.
I always bring a book to read on long train journeys but I rarely read them. I spend most of my time looking out of the window or chatting with fellow passengers. The time always passes quickly.
The highlight of the train excursion is crossing the bridge over Pasak Chonlasit Dam in Lopburi province. This is the biggest earth dam in Thailand. The rainwater catchment area is 14,520 square kilometers and the storage capacity is 785 million cubic meters.
The excursion train stops on the bridge over the dam at a point where there is a good curve. Here we are allowed to get down for twenty minutes to take some photos. There’s a really nice cool breeze today.
The end of the line for us is at Khok Salung station. We stayed here for 30 minutes while the engine was switched to the other end for the return journey. Local people had set up OTOP shops for us to buy snacks.
You don’t need to take the special excursion train to cross the bridge over the Pasak Chonlasit dam. You can take a local train which will be much cheaper. But it won’t stop on the bridge for you to get out to take pictures.
After we left Khok Salung, we went back over the lake to our next destination, Pakak Chonlasit Dam Station. Here we had the option to take a van to two locations including a sunflower field. The cost is 60 Baht per person.
Our first stop was at Banana & Egg Cafe. This is one option for a place to eat. You can also pay 20 Baht to join a golf cart tour through the gardens. It is up to you how long you stay as there are 25 vans doing a circuit.
Our second stop was the highlight for many people as it was a sunflower field. If you don’t have your own transport, these are not easy to visit as they are often in the middle of nowhere.
Entrance to the sunflower field was 20 Baht per person. There are many locations in Lopburi and Saraburi for seeing sunflowers. They don’t last forever and so farmers take turns planting sunflowers so that there is always somewhere to see them during the cool season.
After the sunflower field, I jumped in the next van that took me back to Pasak Chonlasit Dam. They have a recreation area next to the lake and this is where I will hang out while I wait for the train to return at 3:30pm.
Lunch with a view. Today I’m having stir-fried basil and minced pork on rice with a fried egg. 40 Baht. I couldn’t have picked a better day. There’s a lovely cool breeze in the shade by the lake. Up next is a tram tour of the dam.
After lunch, I paid 30 Baht for a one-hour tractor and trailer tour of Pasak Chonlasit Dam. They took us across the 4 kilometer length of the dam to the other side where we stopped briefly at a giant Buddha before coming back. Not very exciting but it passed the time.
In total, we have four and a half hours at Pasak Chonlasit Dam before it is time to catch the excursion train back to Bangkok. I spent most of the time on the two tours, eating lunch, and walking to the spillway. But still another hour to go. Luckily I bought a book to read.
Time to board the train and head back home. The following are some things you can do at Pasak Chonlasit Dam:
- Tour to sunflower field
- Tour around the dam
- Picnic by the lake
- Walk to the spillway
- Fly a kite
- Rent a bicycle
I think I will sleep well tonight.
That’s a wrap on my train excursion to Pasak Chonlasit Dam. I hope you enjoyed my photos and I’ve inspired you to take the train. Thanks and see you on the next train trip.
RELATED LINK: How to Explore the Lam Narai Branch Line