A Guide to the Maeklong Railway Market in Bangkok
While Bangkok houses a complete host of markets selling everything from clothes and souvenirs to fish and fried goods, Maeklong Railway Market on the outskirts of Bangkok offers travellers something slightly different. Continue reading to determine all you need to learn about Maeklong Railway Market including how to get there and why is this market so special.
WHY IS MAEKLONG RAILWAY MARKET SPECIAL?
Maeklong railway market is a bustling market with stalls galore lay out after the railway tracks. The funny thing is these tracks still support trains which tell you the marketplace eight times every day! Just before each train rumbles through the marketplace, the stall owners up sticks and shuffle their wares a few feet backwards to permit the train to pass before moving back to their original position on the tracks! This is a completely different experience to any standard market you get across Asia and is really worth a visit.
HISTORY OF THE MAEKLONG RAILWAY MARKET
Because of the region’s proximity to open water, the Maeklong market has specialised in fresh seafood for over a century. The market was founded in 1905 (prior to the railway line was introduced) and has continued throughout the years despite the changing landscape. Whereas most markets would move location when a trainline cuts through the center of it, these guys just made a decision to work around it!
WHERE IS MAEKLONG RAILWAY MARKET?
The Maeklong Railway Market is found in the province of Samut Songkhram and takes between 1-3 hours to make it happen from Bangkok city centre depending on your mode of transport. Alternatively, you can stay static in or around Maeklong if you wish to extend your connection with local life in Thailand.
HOW DO YOU REACH MAEKLONG RAILWAY MARKET?
There are many options on addressing the Maeklong Railway Market and these include bus, train, taxi and private tour.
The bus to Maeklong leaves Bangkok from either Mo Chit bus station or the Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Thai Mai bus station) and will only cost you several dollars. The journey takes around 90 minutes and leaves every 40min-1h and that means you can go and keep coming back per day.
If you want to make the almost all of your train-centred day you can catch the Maeklong railway from Phak Klong San in Bangkok to Maeklong station or have a train from Wongwian Yai Railway Station and change at Mahachai Station (Mahachai Pier) to head on to Maeklong. These journeys take longer (around 2.5 hours) but will surely increase your experience.
A taxi will obviously be the quickest option but is likely to cost you a little more, but if you would like to come and go as you please this is the best choice. As long as you ensure the driver uses a meter or you agree a set price before you travel you ought to be ok.
Finally, using a private tour guide is fantastic if you need to gain a little more insight into the history of the marketplace and also to receive some cool information about the produce and products available for sale! These can be arranged to and from Bangkok and are perfect if several friends are travelling together.
When you have per day to spare throughout your amount of time in Thailand, the Maeklong Railway Market is a one-of-a-kind experience that’s not to be missed. The marketplace provides awesome picture opportunities and while you can find more pungent seafood available than quirky souvenirs, you’ll still be in for a treat. In the event that you do want to make some purchases, check out some of the tasty Thai desserts and fresh tropical fruit!