If you are in or near Samut Songkhram Province, Bangkok and have a whole day without plans, Maeklong Railway Market is the place to shop like no other. Here’s everything you need to know before visiting this market in Thailand. While Talad Rod Fai boasts of being the first train market Bangkok has ever hosted, it’s no longer near a railroad: it was relocated in 2013 to make way for the expansion of the BTS Skytrain. There is a market, but it is still right next to the tracks. When the train departs, the Maeklong Railway Market will transform for you to pass.
The Maeklong Railway Market has existed since 1905. It is located in Samut Songkhram Province on the Gulf of Thailand. Fishing was (and still is) one of the people’s main livelihoods, and the market is a way to sell their produce. However, the officials decided to build a railroad to better distribute their catch to the Thai provinces, including the capital, but the market endured despite the tracks running through it.
Good to know about Maeklong Railway Market
The Maeklong Railway Market (Thai Talad Rom Center) is located about 1 hour southwest of central Bangkok. You can reach the market by taking a 6:45 am train from Bangkok’s Wongwian Yai Station. m. The Maeklong railway line takes you right through the market. You can get off at the last station and walk along the train tracks for about 5 minutes to reach the local market.
Stop or go to the nearest store to have your camera ready when you hear the train horn. Although the train moves slowly through the market, it is still dangerous, so be aware of your surroundings.
What to Expect?
You will hear the train long before seeing it, as the average track speed is 30 km/h. Vendors and merchants together and calmly begin to clear their belongings and umbrellas from the tracks as the train rushes by. Go ahead and honk your horn from time to time to warn people of your approach. For this reason, the market is also known as the “deployment umbrella market.”
The carts are removed from the tracks, the top tents are removed, and the trails are cleared to make room for the train. Those hoping to snap a photo are turned away by those who suspect they are too close, on the slopes for more comfort. You’ll be able to tell the difference almost immediately between those who work in the market and those who don’t: visitors to the market, whether Thai or foreign, will have cell phones in their hands and smile. They move back and forth on their faces to position themselves for the perfect photo. However, those who work there see this train pass up to eight times a day and are little moved when it passes.
How to get there?
Maeklong Railway Market has located approximately 80 km (50 miles) from Bangkok city center in the Samut Songkhram area. Based on Bangkok traffic, it takes just over an hour to get there. There are several ways to get here: the first, and certainly one of the most convenient, is to take the BTS Skytrain to Victory Monument station and catch a minibus from there. These buses depart as soon as one fills up, so you never know when your departure time will be. Be sure to check the train timetable before you set off.
Please note, however, that these timetables are subject to change and trains are often delayed.