Maeklong Railway Market
Location: Kasem Sukhum Alley, Mae Klong, Samut Songkhram, 75000
Reason to visit: an authentic fresh goods market set on train tracks
Our ratings: ★★★★★
Entrance fee: free
Opening Hours: 06:00 -17:00 daily
Like any other market in Thailand, Maeklong Railway Market is a traditional Thai market selling fresh vegetables, food, and fruit. What makes it special is that the market is set up on both sides of a 100-meter stretch of railway track where the train actually runs through it many times a day. When the loud horn of a train give the warning call, the magic is about to happen. All the vendors will quickly but coolly lower their umbrellas and move their belongings from the tracks, everyone step back a little from the track as the train slides through. Once the train has safely passed, everything is back to normal. This is why the market is also known as the ‘umbrella pull down market’. Even the train drives slowly, please aware of the danger.
History of Maeklong Railway Market
The Maeklong Railway Market has been around since 1905. It is found in the province of Samut Songkhram, located on the Gulf of Thailand. Fishing was (and still is) one of the main livelihoods of the people who lived here, and the market was another way in which to sell their goods. Officials decided to build a railway in order to better deliver these goods to provinces around Thailand, including the capital. The market remained, however, despite the new tracks that cut through it.
What to Expect
The market sells everything from cooked frogs to good silks. It is an amazing sight to watch the stall holders pack up their stalls in a matter of seconds, and watch the train pass by within touching distance, then to see sellers re-erect their stalls. All this happens within a few minutes. The train comes through and you can literally touch it. Even the train drives slowly, please aware of the danger. Definitely a bucket list experience. Be alert of the schedule when the train will arrive and depart. You don't want to miss the train.
How to Get to Maeklong Railway Market
Maeklong Railway Market (ตลาดแม่กลอง) is about 60 kilometers away from Bangkok. It's roughly a 1.5-hour drive past the Motorway 9 (Kanchanaphisek) Toll Road, which is the outer ring highway running around the outskirts of the city.
To find out more, please visit our Bangkok section.