Everyone who visited Bangkok says that Maeklong Railway Market is a must-see market. But how bizarre can it be?

Ever since my first visit to Bangkok, Thailand back in 2011, I have always wanted to visit Maeklong Railway Market. Everyone who has been to the City of Angels told me that it is a must to visit the Market. I went to Bangkok in 2011, 2013 and 2015 but never set foot on Maeklong Railway Market. For one, it is not situated exactly in the city, so I did not have the courage to venture that far to visit it.

How bizarre can Maeklong Railway Market be?

However, during my trip to Hua Hin with Amira and my daughter, I kept thinking about Maeklong Railway Market. After all, it is just around two hours drive from Hua Hin and the road is toll-free. So, after telling Amira about my long held dream, we decided to visit Maeklong Railway Market after our visit to Phra Nakhon Kiri National Museum.

What is Maeklong Railway Market?

Maeklong Railway Market, as its name suggest, is a market on a railway track. It has been there for years. According to what I understand, the traders do not want to move even after a railway track was built. As a consequence, the Market is now sitting on an active railway track and the traders conduct their businesses on the railway track.

Maeklong Railway Market is a market on a railway track

Since it is a fully operating railway track, trains will be passing by the Market a few times in a day. When that happens, the traders will have to move their belongings away from the track to let the trains pass. Once the train has passed, business will resume as usual on the railway track.

Cheap local produces can be found at Maeklong Railway Market

Without the train around, the Market is just a usual bustling local market selling local produces. While the locals usually come here to buy their food supplies, most tourists are here for the surreal experience of catching the train cutting across the Market.

How to get to the Market?

There are several ways for you to get to Maeklong Railway Market. Apart from the tours, if you are from Bangkok, you can get here by bus. However, the more adventurous option would be to take the train from Bangkok. If you intend to take a train from Bangkok, you can take the train from Wongwian Yai Railway Station (near the BTS station on the BTS Silom line). It takes around 2.5 hours. You will need to change trains and cross the river by ferry at Mahachai Station (Mahachai Pier). Then, continue your journey at Ban Laem Railway Station straight on into Maeklong.

Take this exit to go to Maeklong Railway Market

Alternatively, if you are from Hua Hin and are thinking of visiting Maeklong Railway Market, it is just an easy two hours drive. You just have to follow the signs heading towards Bangkok. Once you see an Exit to Highway 35 (Samut Songkhram), take the exit. The Market is just a few minutes drive away from there.

What time will the trains run at Maeklong Railway Market?

This is one of the most important questions for anyone who plans to visit the Market. If you arrive at the wrong time, you will be left disappointed. Even when we went to the Market, it was a gamble. We did not check the train schedule prior to our visit. We were already happy when we saw the Market with its bizarre concept. Then, it struck us. When will the train arrives?

The train schedule at Maeklong Railway Market
The train schedule at Maeklong Railway Market

Luckily, we went to this one coffee house which posted the train schedule on its wall. I looked at my watch and noticed that the train will arrived in 30 minutes times. So, we decided to drink some cha yen or iced tea while waiting.

Mind your distance.

30 minutes was not that long when you are waiting for something that you have been eager to see for years. I peeked out and saw the traders starting to fold their umbrellas, pulling their baskets and asking everyone to stand behind the line. Then, I heard a long honk and a few minutes later, there it was, a train slowly running onto the tracks. heading towards where I stood.

The experience

All the reviews, articles, photos and videos about Maeklong Railway Market that I have read or watched prior to this visit were nothing close compared to the first-hand experience itself. As I mentioned earlier, the experience was totally bizarre, surreal and at the same time, satisfying.

The traders getting ready for the incoming train
The traders getting ready for the incoming train
Incoming train

It was amazing to see how the traders gauge the distance between the train and their stalls that they managed to do it easily within seconds. It was also surreal to feel the train so close to me as it passes the Market. Never before in my life had I experienced something like this. In fact, after the train left, everything was back to normal with a blink of an eye. Words simply cannot describe the experience that I had.

The train driver even ordered some drinks
The train driver even ordered some drinks
So close and near.
Surreal experience at Maeklong Railway Market

Video of the train running through Maeklong Railway Market

Since it was too amazing and great things are meant to be shared, I embed a video of the train running through Maeklong Railway Market so you can have a feel of the wonderful experience that I had.

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Author

We are Khai and Amira, Malaysian travel bloggers behind Kaki Jalans. Our travels have taken us to almost all the countries in Asean and several countries in Europe. We are still actively travelling and adding to this list.

2 Comments

  1. Fuhh!! lepas baca entri ni JM sngt FRUST bila kenang kembali trip ke Bangkok – nak pergi ke Maeklong Market ni..SESAT…naik Van..di turunkan tepi highway…jalan berjalan tepi highway sorang…nasik baik ada tuk-tuk moto lalu..tumpang naik..di tinggalkan kat Cafe…dari Cafe tu tanya plak staff situ mcm mana nak ke Maeklong Market ni semua terpinga2..mcm tak pernah dengar nama tempat tu..JM siap lukis plan..gambar keretapi…still dorang x faham..nasib baik ada satu family datang nk minum kat cafe tu..family yg agak educated boleh faham bahasa inggeris…then naik tuk tuk moto ke tempat tu..bila sampai…dah betul ada nama station Maeklong Stesen tapi Marketnya x ada..landasan keretapi yang dah ada rupa landasan…ohh…balik mcm tu je…apa pun tak boleh…

    • Alaa sayangnyaa. Rasanya tak jauh dah stesen tu dari pasar tu kann. Tapi, tu lah. Tu dulu-dulu pergi Bangkok tak pergi walaupun teringin sebab takut tak sampai. Last-last masa ke Hua Hin yang sampai. Itu pun sebab gigih drive 2 jam. Hahaha. Mungkin orang tempatan tak tahu sebab nama pasar ni dalam bahasa Siam : (Thai: ตลาดร่มหุบ; RTGS: Talat Rom Hup), meaning the “umbrella pulldown market” – check kt Wikipedia.

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