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Amazing Maeklong Railway Market,Thailand

Updated on June 12, 2013

Amazing Maeklong Railway Market ,Thailand

Aside from all the unique and alluring destinations await you in Thailand, a visit to the local Thai market, will get you a taste of real Thai life. One of the amazing markets, the Maeklong Railway Market or Talad Rom Hoop (= Talad Market, Rome = awning or parasol, and Hoop = pull down), based in the city Maeklong district in Samut Songkram province.

Maeklong Market,located in the city of Maeklong district in Samut Songkram province, 75 km southwest of Bangkok, exists for decades. It stayed relatively unimpaired until the later establishment of the Maeklong Railway and, as opposed to what you might see in the United States and in other parts of the globe, there was no eminent domain Act that compels market vendors to move.

Eight times a day, the merchants must interfere with their business, quickly pull down the thatched their shops, drag their goods inside, then stand against their shop fronts breathing - to let a train go by. That is right, a train. A large, steel, rail travel fairly quickly, straight through the middle of the mall. Sounds strange?

Amazing Maeklong Railway Market

Welcome to Mae Klong railway market in a small town in Thailand. The town of Mae Klong is about 72 kilometeres or a casual trip to the south-west of Bangkok. Mae Klong is the local name of Samut Songkhram, the capital of Samut Songkhram province and district. The market is in the center of town, the last 100 meters before the station. More surreal in a casual sort of way, like a movie set. The only place to go in the middle of a rather narrow rail. Small stalls line both sides of each piece of real estate is available used, less plastic bowl of Thai vegetables and colorful fruit including rambutans and mangosteens, piled right steel rails. What happens if the train is through

The market is your veritable one-stop-shop. Spectacular fresh-cut flowers, every fruit and vegetable you can imagine, fragrant spices, cuts of meat, poultry and seafood so fresh, it was being persuaded to stop flapping about by an earnest man wielding a lump of wood. There are kids' toys, clothes, lingerie, thongs of both varieties, dodgy DVDs -- you name it. Makeshift awnings -- tarpaulins, even a bedspread -- cover the stalls. They combine to give the market a temporary roof that is quite low, so I had to stoop to walk through. It was fairly dark under the awnings, with a pungent buffet of unrefrigerated fish, meat and cut fruit, garnished with spices.

Some stalls are essential, others are set correctly. Some people does not have stalls, just sitting beside the tracks with fruit laid at their feet. Then it happened, the shopkeepers quietly, but quickly started folding down their awnings. Most were held up by simple and effective designed poles. The product trays were dragged in, some high-tech version had wheels. It was a chain reaction and it is strange because I have not heard a train whistle or horn, but the timetable set quite well.

The train rounded the corner and roared in the market. There are only inches to spare train and goods on the ground. The two carriages were past in a flash of grey and yellow and milliseconds later, the shopkeepers were on the tracks putting up the awnings, even before the train had disappeared from view. It was as though nothing had happened.

How to reach Maeklong

Maeklong is appx. 70km from Bangkok, but the train is going to do to feel more and more. During the tour of the two train journeys, punctuated by a ferry ride.

The train departs from Wong Wian Yai station which is is near the King Taksin Statue on the non-touristic side of the river in Thonburi which is about 20 minutes run..

The station has only one track that goes along the side of a small lane, so it is not an exact station to find. From here you can take the train to the end of the line at Mahachai.

This train arrives at Mahachai after about an hour. At Mahachai, exit left of the train, then turn right into the market street. It's a fishing port where you will see seafood everywhere. Walk to the end of the street and on your left you will see the river and the ferry terminal.

You now catch the ferry across the river to Ban Laem. At Ban Laem walk through the market and at the street entrance, turn right. Keeping walking down this street for about 10 minutes and you will get to the station. Once again it is a one track station, so the station is not that obvious. This is the train that will take you to Maeklong.

This train also takes 1 hour, and the trip through the market is right at the end, just before the station. It takes about 2 minutes to get through the market. You should start seeing the outer urban area of Maeklong at about 55 minutes, so that would be the time to get ready if you are going to take photos.

I also noticed that a tour group got on the train at the station before Maeklong. They would have been part of a bus tour going somewhere else, and it would certainly be a less time consuming way to do the trip. I haven't seen this advertised anywhere though.

Planning Your Trip

There are only 4 trains a day to Maeklong, so you really need to plan your day here. This is the timetable from Ban Laem to Maeklong.

Ban Laem to Maeklong Timetable

From Ban Laem and from Maeklong

If you get the 13.30 train to Maeklong, then you won't see the train going through the market as you will be back on it as the last train to Bangkok.

The best timing is the following schedule:

8.40 Dep Bangkok Wong Wian Yai

9.30 Arr Mahachai

-Ferry River Crossing--

10.10 Dep Ban Laem

11.10 Arr Maeklong

At Maeklong the station is at the end of the market. You now have 20 minutes to walk through the market and find a good spot to watch the train come through.

11.30 Train departs Maeklong and goes through the market.

You now have 3 hours in Maeklong until the next train arrives. Seafood is a specialty here, so you could look for a nice seafood lunch. That will take up about 41 minutes. After that there's not alot else to do in Maeklong, but hey, you are an intrepid traveller, I'm sure you will make your own adventures.

2.30 Train goes through market again, arrives at Maeklong Station.

3.30 Train leaves Maeklong. Last train to Bangkok. Make sure you're on it.

This schedule will allow you to see the train going in and out of the station, while you are in the market. If you are a professional photographer - or a train spotter - you could get the 7.30 train from Ban Laem, which would give you another two times to see the market run. That would mean a really early start from Bangkok, which is above and beyond the call of duty really.

As you will see from the videos, I was able to film from beside the drivers window when going through the market. The driver and conductor were quite accommodating to passengers who were riding just to see the market. By the way, there were just as many Thai tourists taking photos on the train as there were western tourists, so you wont feel like a total dork.

The train back will get you back to bangkok at around 6pm, making it a full day out day trip

Peoples shopping before the train arrival.

Shopkeepers arranging their shops for train passing.

Train passing from the market

Peoples Shopping at Maeklong Market

Video before the arrival of train.

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    • GardenerDon profile image

      Gardener Don 4 years ago

      Wow - great pics & videos. It looks like it's quite the tourist attraction by the amount of people taking pictures!

    • writerkath profile image

      writerkath 4 years ago

      Wow! This was amazing! Could they get any closer to those tracks? Yikes! How innovative of the residents. It amazes me that the merchants can arrange their goods to actually fit UNDER the train as it passes. Fascinating! Thank you so much for this wonderful glimpse of Thailand! This is not something you see every day...

    • tfsherman lm profile image

      tfsherman lm 4 years ago

      Beautiful and unique pictures, and that's such an important element for an exciting lens. Not to mention a really different take on something. Oh, and welcome to squidoo!

    • Katyusha profile image

      Katyusha 4 years ago

      Interesting and cool. But, why so close to the railway?

    • BLemley profile image

      Beverly Lemley 4 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      A bit scary, seeing food that close to the train. The differences in culture is very interesting. Great lens! B : )

    • sjgriffith profile image

      sjgriffith 4 years ago

      Real interesting, weird though

    • weirdproduct profile image

      weirdproduct 4 years ago

      Very interesting! Seems kind of unsanitary though. I don't know if I would eat food that was that close to the bottom of a train. It's probably fine, but there's just something about it haha. Great job for a first lens. Don't forget to visit the squidoo forum!

    • profile image

      anitabreeze 4 years ago

      Wow, that is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen!

    • Loretta L profile image

      Loretta Livingstone 4 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      This is a really interesting, well written lens. I enjoyed it. You caught the atmosphere with your words. Thanks for liking my lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      i seen his market on the news in the uk. i will never complain about my local one ever again.

    • Yvette Munro profile image

      Yvette Munro 4 years ago

      What an awesome lens. I'm going to Thailand during the course of this year so I'll definitely visit the market. Thanks for all the tips.

    • br0k2e profile image

      br0k2e 4 years ago

      It definitely is interesting to take a peak into other cultures. Couldn't imagine such a site in the states. Nice Lens!

    • Masterdevin123 profile image

      Masterdevin123 4 years ago

      Very interesting lens, thank you.

    • kabbalah lm profile image

      kabbalah lm 4 years ago

      Very interesting place

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Yeah Amazing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Amazing, the train passing so close to the market is just almost unreal, very original, never seen it before but i liked it. thanks for sharing:)

    • tonybonura profile image

      Tony Bonura 4 years ago from Tickfaw, Louisiana

      I really enjoyed your lens and it brought back many memories about the time I spent in Thailand when I was in the US Air Force. I was in Korat City and Udon Thani. I took a train to Bangkok from Udon Thani to visit my brother who was there with the US Army. I loved Thailand and I loved the people and the food and just about everything about Thailand. Welcome to Squidoo. I hope to see more work from you soon.


    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Amazing market and great first work. Wishes for more!

    • profile image

      dellgirl 4 years ago

      You're off to a nice start with this information on the Amazing Maeklong Railway Market,Thailand. Will return to see your updates. Thanks for sharing this.

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      • Elaine Chen profile image

        Elaine Chen 4 years ago

        This is my first time to see a train passing from the market; very interest lens.

      • DobbyMiller profile image

        DobbyMiller 4 years ago

      • rawwwwwws lm profile image

        rawwwwwws lm 4 years ago

        Great lens.

      • James1978 profile image

        James1978 4 years ago

        What a brilliant lens. Love the photos.

      • darciefrench lm profile image

        darciefrench lm 4 years ago

        Happy Dec 21 :)

      • shewins profile image

        shewins 4 years ago

        Great lens, fabulous photos.

      • pcgamehardware profile image

        pcgamehardware 4 years ago

        Pretty cool lens, I would like to visit Thailand someday and this lens makes me want to visit even more.

        Thanks for sharing this great place. :)

      • oztoo lm profile image

        oztoo lm 4 years ago

        How fascinating. Great photo's too. It's really hard to imagine a train actually traveling right through the market place. Thanks for sharing this interesting story.

      • Markwell1 profile image

        Markwell1 4 years ago

        Very nice blog!

      • profile image

        MiaMusement 4 years ago

        Wonderful lens! I have visited Thailand yet, but it's definitely on my Bucket List.

      • profile image

        applejacking 4 years ago

        Traditional market become the main attraction of tourism object in South East Asia. Great to see your photos.

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        We were told about this when we were in Bangkok but we did not have time then. Next time, this would be a fun thing to do.

      • profile image

        johnsja 4 years ago

        The photos make me feel like I'm there.

      • BlogAustralia profile image

        BlogAustralia 4 years ago

        Wow, this looks amazing and dangerous at the same time. An experience though...

      • mariaamoroso profile image

        irenemaria 4 years ago from Sweden

        Amazing! Wish I could go here.

      • WriterJanis2 profile image

        WriterJanis2 4 years ago

        You have some amazing photos of this market.

      • loveanime22 profile image

        loveanime22 4 years ago

        great lens

      • onyesvic profile image

        onyesvic 4 years ago

        Great stuff

      • Juliusdog profile image

        Juliusdog 4 years ago

        cool market :)

      • Rodaussie profile image

        Rodaussie 4 years ago

        18 likes you are almost there.... nice lens actually. I'm going to thailand end of the year but I don't thik I will have time to visit this amazing place

      • profile image

        anonymous 4 years ago

        Never been to a foreign country other than Canada. Got to change that. Thanks for your fascinating lens!

      • profile image

        wattyan 4 years ago

        Very interesting market.

      • stevel58 profile image

        stevel58 4 years ago

        Facinating information.

        I would love visit and watch a train go by

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      Are u planning to go for Maeklong Market?

      Guestbook Comments

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        • Wedding Mom profile image

          Wedding Mom 4 years ago

          wow! nice lens. railway market in Thailand is really amazing :)

        • BritFlorida profile image

          Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

          Very thorough info - thanks! I'd love to go there.

        • profile image

          Bartukas 4 years ago

          Great lens about market thank you

        • profile image

          Bartukas 4 years ago

          Great lens about market thank you

        • Jo-Jackson profile image

          Jo-Jackson 4 years ago

          Great photos .It's amazing how close to the railway tracks things are.

        • DeborahDian profile image

          Deborah Carr 4 years ago from Orange County, California

          Fascinating information about Thailand. Thanks for sharing your homeland with us.

        • profile image

          Traveller579 4 years ago

          Great lens, about thailand.

        • profile image

          oraisoopoopo 4 years ago

          Whoa, you can easily get struck by a train

        • srsddn lm profile image

          srsddn lm 4 years ago

          It is really amazing. It seems the it is a routine matter for the citizens and they take it lightly, but really interesting.