Maeklong train market near Bangkok, Thailand

Have you heard about the marketplace that has a railway track running across it? There is one market like this in the proximity of Bangkok. The first time we’ve read about this place, we immediately added it to our bucket list and the number one must-see place during our Thailand trip.

Ticket to Maeklong Train Market - Bangkok, Thailand

Train tickets.

How to get to Maeklong?

The marketplace gained popularity throughout the years, even tour groups visit it. Obviously, that is the most pricey, but the fastest way. As an individual traveler, you can take a minibus from Victory Monument station (Bangkok). It is cheap and straightforward (1 hour driving time), but you miss out the train journey. For us, it was not a question to approach it by train(s). This option is highly recommended to all train fans, visitors who have a whole day for the adventure, or would like to see more of the countryside and less touristy places of Thailand.

On the way to Maeklong Train Market - Bangkok, Thailand

Departure from Bangkok to Mahachai.

Traveling by trains and ferry

First of all, you have to get to the Wong Wian Yai station in Bangkok. The train ride is long as the trains are slow, and we weren’t able to find out exact timetables online, so we decided to get to the station as early as possible.

The train station was lively already around 8 am when we arrived there. People were on their way to work or just selling their products and food near the tracks. At the station, we bought our huge paper tickets and boarded the correct train to Mahachai railway station. The first challenge is done.

The ticket said Ban Leam as end stop, the time for arrival showed 9:28 (and 8:35 as departure). The train was surprisingly clean and nice. We expected something way worse. After departure, the conductor came and checked our tickets. On the way, we have seen temples, towns, markets and farmlands as well.

On the way to Maeklong Train Market - Bangkok, Thailand

On the way to Maeklong Train Market - Bangkok, Thailand


On the way to Maeklong Train Market - Bangkok, Thailand

On the way to Maeklong Train Market - Bangkok, Thailand

At Mahachai the railway line ends and you need to take the ferry for few bahts across the river to Ban Leam where you can continue your way. Ban Leam was very empty. Probably most of the people were at work at the nearby harbor or in Bangkok.

On the way to Maeklong Train Market - Bangkok, Thailand

Arrival to Mahachai – the market also very close to the railway.

On the way to Maeklong Train Market - Bangkok, Thailand

Taking the local ferry.

On the way to Maeklong Train Market - Bangkok, Thailand

The water was pretty dirty…

First, we headed to the railway station to figure out the next connection. We had a lot of time to spend there, as there are only 3 trains a day and the next one was only at 12:05. We walked around the town, visited the market, bought some food that was extremely cheap and they didn’t even try to overcharge us, unlike in Bangkok…

On the way to Maeklong Train Market - Bangkok, Thailand

On the way to Maeklong Train Market - Bangkok, Thailand

On the way to Maeklong Train Market - Bangkok, Thailand

On the way to Maeklong Train Market - Bangkok, Thailand

On the way to Maeklong Train Market - Bangkok, Thailand

Finally, the departure time came and we were on the way to Maeklong! The view from the train was similar as earlier. One more hour and we arrived at THE MARKET!

On the way to Maeklong Train Market - Bangkok, Thailand

Our train to Maeklong

 

The Train Market

From the train, we have only seen that the sellers’ stalls are very close to the train as we pass through. We quickly got off the train and checked when will it go back to make sure we don’t miss any photo opportunity. Later, we also waited for the next (the day’s third and last) train’s arrival, to have the full experience. In case you visit the market yourself, in between the trains you should walk along the alleys and explore the market. You’ll find a lot of yummy and a lot of unknown food.

Maeklong Train Market - Bangkok, Thailand

Maeklong Train Market - Bangkok, Thailand

Maeklong Train Market - Bangkok, Thailand

Maeklong Train Market - Bangkok, Thailand

Maeklong station.

So how does it work in reality? Imagine a marketplace. A lively one. When the train is approaching, the sellers slowly, without any rush (because the train is slow as we already mentioned) close their sun blocks and move their stalls backwards on the little rails. I had an imagination that it will be chaotic, but it is a routine task. They have to move their stalls about a meter backwards only, on both sides of the alley that has the railway tracks in the middle. After the train has passed, the sellers move everything back to original place and continue their day as nothing has happened. It is not a big deal as there are only few train pairs a day and I’m sure they got well used to doing it every day. I think their biggest concern is to warn tourists if they are too close to the tracks or the train.

Maeklong Train Market - Bangkok, Thailand

Maeklong Train Market - Bangkok, Thailand

Maeklong Train Market - Bangkok, Thailand

Maeklong Train Market - Bangkok, Thailand

On the way to Maeklong Train Market - Bangkok, Thailand

Do you also wonder why the market is placed on the railway tracks? I did for a long time, but after the visit it was obvious. It saves a lot of space by utilizing the railway tracks when the trains are not running… which is basically the whole day except few minutes.

After we have seen the last train, decided to look for the minibuses back to Bangkok. It was a straight, one hour journey. I felt like a kid after the market. Finally, a big bucket list item was crossed out from my list!

 

 

Maeklong Train Market - Bangkok, Thailand

 

 

 

 

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  • Danni Lawson

    Such an unusual find! Glad you explained at the end why the market is there, it does make sense with such infrequent trains on the route, and certainly a talking point. Shows the beauty of Thai culture.

    • First, I was also surprised that only few trains are passing through, but it is a rather small settlement 🙂

  • Bri

    I’ve never heard of this place – how unique!! Adding this to my bucket list.

    • I think it is a must besides the floating markets and other, much more crowded tourist attractions. Happy you liked the post!

  • runaway widow

    Interesting. I would prefer to visit the floating markets. This seems like a nuisance, to move things away from the tracks a few times a day.