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Visiting Maeklong Railway Market in Bangkok

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With a train passing right through the busy market, Maeklong Railway Market is one of the most popular tourist attractions around Bangkok. Trust me, markets in Thailand are anything but boring. Keep reading for everything you need to know about a visit to this unusual (and slightly dangerous) market.

Maeklong Railway Market

You’ve probably already heard of Thailand’s famous train market, or maybe seen a photo on Instagram. Maeklong Railway Market, or Maeklong Train Market, is famous for the train passing smack through the middle of the operating market.

Vendors put out their goods (mostly fruit, fish and meat) right up to the railway tracks, and fold their umbrellas and awnings just moments before the train passes. It’s like a synchronised dance.

Maeklong Railway Market is also known as Talat Hoop Rom, which means Umbrella-Closing Market, or Talat Siang Tai, meaning Life-Risking Market. All pretty accurate names.

Just walk along the railway tracksJust walk along the railway tracks
Checking out the goods with out guide AnanChecking out the goods with out guide Anan

One way to explore Maeklong Railway Market is strolling through the market and hopping aside when the train passes. For the best photo vantage point, find a spot in the market, next to the train tracks. We had to follow our tour guide and were therefore standing at the train crossing at Maeklong Station, together with tons of other people. Mind your wallet!

I know you want to get that perfect Insta shot (or even selfie), but don’t be that person standing on the tracks or leaning in in front of the moving train. It’s not worth the risk, even with a very slow moving train.

Another way to see Maeklong Train Market is from the train that passes through it. The terminal, Maeklong Railway Station, is right at the end (or beginning) of the market. When getting off, you can still take the million dollar shot from the train rolling between the market stalls when it leaves again. Scroll down to “How to get from Bangkok to Maeklong” for more information on this unique ride.

Did you know? The Maeklong railway track was newly laid in 2016.

You wouldn't expect a train to be riding through in just a few minutesYou wouldn't expect a train to be riding through in just a few minutes
There will be plenty of other people watching the train arriveThere will be plenty of other people watching the train arrive

Visiting Maeklong Railway Market is an item on many people’s Bangkok bucket list, as it was on ours. We spent over an hour exploring the train market, sampling some pineapple and watching the train arrive. The market is opened daily, with the train passing through it 8 times a day, on scheduled hours. Scroll down to “Maeklong Railway Market Train Schedule” for the timetable.

Maeklong Railway Market Train Schedule

In order to plan your visit to Maeklong Railway Market right, it’s important to know the timetable for the train. It will pass through the market 8 times a day, every day of the week: 4 times when departing from Maeklong Station, and 4 times when arriving. A slight delay is obviously always possible.

Maeklong Railway Market Train Schedule

Departure from Maeklong Station 6:20 9:00 11:30 15:30
Arrival at Maeklong Station 8:30 11:10 14:30 17:40

Maeklong Railway Market Tour

We visited Maeklong Railway Market with a private market tour from Bangkok. A tour is the easiest way to visit the most popular markets near Bangkok without having to worry about getting from one market to the other, or being ripped off for said transport.

Selfie at Maeklong Railway MarketSelfie at Maeklong Railway Market

We chose a tour that combines the train market with 2 floating markets, the famous (read: touristy) Damnoen Saduak Floating Market and the more authentic Amphawa Floating Market.

We booked this market tour with Pandan Tour, and loved how it combined these 3 markets in an interesting day tour. Anan was an excellent guide, telling us all kinds of interesting facts about Thailand in general and the markets we visited in particular. He told us about Thai food as well, letting us sample several Thai snacks. We ended the tour in an authentic Thai restaurant near the water.

Find more information about this tour (and others) on the Pandan Tour website.

Of course there are tons of other options when it comes to a Maeklong Railway Market Tour, for example:

How to get from Bangkok to Maeklong

Maeklong Railway Market is located about 80 km (~ 50 miles) southwest of Bangkok. If you want to combine a visit to this market with one or more floating markets, joining a market tour is probably the easiest option, as mentioned above. However, you can also use public transport, or book an hotel in the neighbourhood.

You can see Maeklong Railway Market and all relevant stations and other points of interest on the map on the right when you’re on desktop, or by clicking on the map icon at the button when you’re on mobile. Zoom out to see all markers.

Getting to Maeklong by public transport

From Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai) you can take a mini-van to Maeklong Railway Market. Just ask someone at which ticket window you should buy a mini-van ticket to Maeklong Railway Market and they’ll tell you where to go.

We took a mini-van from another Bangkok bus terminal to Ayutthaya, which is pretty similar to the train market in distance. We paid 60 baht (~ $1.80 ~ €1.60) per person to get to Ayutthaya, so expect the price to be somewhere near that.

Unfortunately there’s no Skytrain (BTS) station near the bus terminal, so taking a taxi from your hotel to here is probably the best option.

Getting to Maeklong on the Maeklong Market Train

If you like, you can be on the train that runs right through the Maeklong Railway Market. The Maeklong Line runs from Wongwian Yai Station in Bangkok to  Maeklong Station, where the market is. The line is interrupted by the Tha Chin River, where you’ll have to get off the train to cross the river by ferry.

So, the train ride will start at  Wongwian Yai Railway Station in Bangkok, with Wongwian Yai Station being the closest Skytrain (BTS) station at about a 10 minute walk. Ride the train to Mahachai Railway Station. It’ll take you about an hour, and cost you about 10 baht (~ $0.30 ~ €0.26).

The Maeklong Train StationThe Maeklong Train Station

From there, cross the Tha Chin River by taking the ferry to the Ban Laem Station. This will take just a couple of minutes and cost only about 3 baht (~ $0.10 ~ €0.08). Now board the train that will run through Maeklong Railway Market at Ban Laem Station. It’s terminal is Maeklong Station, which is right at the end of the market. This last part will take you another hour, and cost you about 10 baht (~ $0.30 ~ €0.26).

For more information on train travel in Thailand, we refer to Seat 61.

Book an hotel near Maeklong

If you prefer to spend some more time at Samut Songkhram, the area where the Maeklong Railway Market is situated, you can book a stay there. You can then take a taxi to get to the train market, or book a tour. Your accommodation probably has connections to get you a tour, or you can check GetYourGuide.

If you’re looking for a unique market to visit, you should definitely consider Maeklong Railway Market in Bangkok. With the market goods almost touching the railway tracks, and umbrellas and awnings that have to be folded for the train to pass, this is an unusual sight to say the least. You just have to see it with your own eyes. Did you already see the train pass through the Maeklong Train Market? We’d love to read about your experience in the comments!

 

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Visiting Maeklong Railway Market in BangkokVisiting Maeklong Railway Market in Bangkok